Despite the fact that I easily own over 100 Spartans from McFarlane Toys, there’s still two types I can never pass on at even the most ridiculous prices: Rust-colored Spartans and Security armor Spartans. So it’s just my luck that Toys R Us would hit me with a crazy expensive exclusive Security Spartan in Halo Reach Series 5 after hitting me up for $90 in Rust-colored exclusive Spartans in Series 4! But like I said–I just couldn’t help myself, so I’m $18 poorer and my Spartan army has grown again. I reviewed the Halo Reach Series 5 Elite Ranger earlier this week and named him one of my all-time favorite Halo figures and well-worth the $18 he cost me at Toys R Us. Can I say the same for the exclusive Security Spartan?
It’s the Security Armor! Considered by many fans to be the goofiest armor, McFarlane Toys put the Marathon-inspired Security Armor out last in the Halo 3 line, so it’s no surprise that it’s the last armor permutation released within the Halo Reach line as well. The Security Armor is my personal favorite Spartan armor and I honestly thought that McFarlane Toys would skip it entirely as it’s one of the most unpopular armors, but McFarlane impresses me again with the breadth and depth that’s making their Halo line one of the most complete toy brands in many years. As we approach the end of the Reach toy line, it appears that this is the only single-packed Security Spartan that will be released, although you’ll be able to build Security Spartans using the red, steel, and rust armor packs released as part of Series 5.
Many fans will be pleased that for Reach the freaked-out bug-eyed shape of the visor has been toned down somewhat since the Security Armor’s debut in Halo 3. I’m saddened that some of the quirky appeal has been removed, but it’s still my favorite helmet. The prominence of the visor on the helmet makes the common gold paint used on it really pop. The helmet is an all-new accurate sculpt, as is the left shoulder pauldron. The right shoulder pauldron is reused from Halo Reach Series 1, where it was worn by Noble Squad’s Emile. I believe the chest armor is also reused from a couple other armor permutations.
I’m very pleased with the ammo-belt being added to the Security armor for Reach, as it adds a “tough” aesthetic to the armor and makes it more visually interesting and distinctive alongside other Spartans. It also fills the obnoxious Spartan “crotch-hole” most all of the figures have. Since very few Spartans utilize the waist attachment, I really wish McFarlane had invested in base bodies for the Spartans both with and without the gaping crotch-hole.
Articulation is the standard outstanding 28 points that most all of the Reach Spartans have. All of the articulation is useful, and the joints are sturdy and capable of holding whatever pose you decide to put your Security Spartan in.
I had some quality-control issues with this Spartan, which is quite unusual for the consistently-strong Halo Reach line. Most notably, my Security Spartan had a chunk of extra plastic stuck on the front of his helmet which, rather than being removed at the factory or being thrown into the defect pile, just got painted over with gold paint and sent out as-is. My wife cut off the excess plastic and repainted the visor so he looks almost perfect now, but I’m surprised to see something like that get past quality control. This may just be an anomaly as I haven’t had a defective Reach figure before this one, but exercise caution when selecting yours just in case.
In addition, the blue paint isn’t quite a match for the Halo Reach Series 1 Blue HAZOP Spartan or the Series 2 Noble Squad Carter action figures. The paint variance is only slight and not extremely off-putting like the differences between all the different Steel-colored Spartans put out over the years, but I really wish McFarlane would get the factories to settle on one consistent shade of the colors on the Spartans to make squads look more natural.
Finally, this Spartan comes with (another) Grenade Launcher and (another) plasma grenade. I already have more grenade launchers than I’d ever want from having to buy multiples of the Rust body from Series 4’s Toys R Us exclusive, and I’m not really delighted to be getting it again with their next exclusive. Several of the Reach weapons are still very sparsely packed-in or not released at all, so I’d have preferred a Sniper Rifle, Orbital Strike, Plasma Repeater, or other rare weapon. Also, I’m beginning to really miss the pieces of equipment that McFarlane packed in with later series of Halo 3 such as the bubble shield unit. I really wish we could get some more diverse equipment in the Reach line than the plethora of plasma and frag grenades coming with every figure.
I went on at length in my Rust CQC Spartan and Rust Armor Pack review about how scandalized I was by Toys R Us’ $15.99 + tax per figure price on the Halo Reach figures, and you’d better believe I’m going to do it here as well. For Toys R Us to be selling their Reach figures for 33% more than Target, Wal-Mart, and even Gamestop is simply ridiculous. The product still seems to be moving at Toys R Us, so I guess that gamble is paying off for them, but it’s still pissing me off quite a bit. I was going to purchase all of the Security Spartans regardless, but price-gouging going on at Toys R Us really bothers me and is making them my least-favorite store to shop at for anything but their exclusives.
The Blue Security Spartan (Male) is a Toys R Us exclusive that is shortpacked within their Halo Reach Series 5 case assortments. It retails for about $18 after tax, as I just ranted about above. If you’re willing to pay that (I was), ToysRUs.com just got these in-stock, and they’re also just starting to trickle into retail.
As far as online options go:
BigBadToyStore won’t have the Blue Security Spartan as it is a Toys R Us exclusive, but they just received their huge shipment of a TON of other Halo Reach Series 5 items available at the best prices of any online store. Their Rust Armor Pack and Steel Armor Pack Boxed Sets each include a set of Security armor along with a figure and 3 other sets of armor. Obsessed as I am, you know I ordered 4 Rust boxed sets and a Steel set.
CMDStore doesn’t have the Toys R Us exclusive, but they do have nearly every non-exclusive Halo Reach figure from every series available, and they also have the whole Series 5 set of 6 for $71.95.
Overall: The exclusive blue Security Spartan is a quintessential figure if you want to have one of every Spartan armor permutation without buying Armor Packs, but there’s just not that much “new” here to get excited about. The figure holds to the same high marks in paint, articulation, and sculpting that we’ve come to expect from the Halo Reach line, but other than the helmet and left should armor, you probably already have all of this figure. At the crazy Toys R Us $18 after tax price, this may or may not be a worthwhile purchase for you. I want all the Security Spartans so I was willing to pay the $18, but I was decidedly unhappy about it. Couple that with some of the first manufacturing defects I’ve ever seen in the Reach line, paint that’s slightly off, and boring weapons packed-in, and you have a figure that I’m happy to have but am still underwhelmed by. Recommended for completists or Security Armor fans, but certainly passable for everyone else.