I’ve nearly completed my set of toy reviews for McFarlane Toys’ Halo Reach Series 5 action figures, but before I get to the last of the single-carded figures, I’ve got a bit of a weird item today: the Weapons Pack. The “accessory shipped as a single-carded action figure” was popularized by the infamous “The Meat” toy in Jakks Pacific’s “Rocky” line of toys. We’ve had several sets of “armor with no figure” released thus far in the Reach line, but this is the first set of “weapons with no figure”. You get a dozen weapons in one pack, so at first glance this look like the ultimate set for army-builders. At second glace, collectors may end up somewhat underwhelmed…
I can finally throw out all those Grenade Launchers from my Toys R Us exclusives!!! Thanks to this Weapons Pack, I finally have some firepower to give all of the exclusive Spartans I bought from Toys R Us to replace their Grenade Launchers, as well as some extra weapons to stick on Spartans’ backs.
The Halo Reach Weapon Pack includes a whopping 12 items, which sounds pretty awesome on paper. The pack contains one of each of the following: Assault Rifle, Plasma Rifle, DMR, Needle Rifle, Shotgun, Concussion Rifle, Magnum, Jetpack, and two each of the Frag Grenade and Plasma Grenade. So you’re getting seven guns here, which is seven times as many guns as any single figure in the whole Reach line comes with!
Almost all of these pieces have had multiple releases with various figures, although this is only the second release for the Needle Rifle and Concussion Rifle. If you’ve bought any of the figures that came with these weapons before, there are no surprises here–the weapons are all exactly the same. They’re just as game-accurate, detailed and nicely-painted as they were the first time that they were released. The plastic quality is sturdy and not at all brittle, and I’ve yet to break any weapon in the Halo Reach line in this Weapons Pack or elsewhere.
I like that McFarlane Toys gave us a Weapons Pack, but what I don’t like is what they gave us in the pack. There was a phenomenal Weapons Pack released in the Halo 3 line that was bursting with a full dozen great weapons on top of the grenades and that included big guns like the Spartan Laser and Fuel Rod Cannon, along with desirable dual-wieldable Spikers and SMGs and Plasma Rifles. This pack was so cool that it went on to become one of the most expensive and hardest-to-find sets in the whole Halo 3 line.
So why did McFarlane Toys suddenly get so cheap? The tooling cost for this set is zero–every single piece is recycled. The gun count is only seven, slightly more than half of the previous pack. And the guns selected for this set are simply awful. Anybody who’s bought enough Halo Reach toys to need a Weapons Pack already has ample Assault Rifles and DMRs–these are the guns that we don’t need more of. Why not give us rare weapons like the Energy Sword, Plasma Launcher, Focus Rifle, or Sniper Rifle?
It’s nice to get another Jetpack without having to buy another ODST or 2-Pack of figures to get it, but it’s certainly not the equivalent of the five guns that it replaces in this set. Why not give us a Rocket Launcher with the Jetpack at least, so that we can outfit our Spartans for Rocket Fight in one shot?
And if there’s one thing absolutely no one wanted from this Weapons Pack, it’s more grenades. McFarlane has given us frag or plasma grenades with virtually every single figure in the entire Reach line–even characters like the Skirmisher who don’t carry grenades! I don’t need four more grenades, and neither does anybody else. Give me a gun, give me another Jetpack, give me pretty much anything–but don’t give me more unnecessary grenades.
And right there is the main thing “Wrong” with this Weapons Pack: it’s unnecessary. It doesn’t give collectors guns that are in-demand or hard-to-get, it doesn’t include any unique or debuting pieces (how hard would it have really been to make an Orbital Strike for this set?), and it’s a high price for very little content. Unless you’re desperate for guns, there’s nothing to see here.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
Halo Reach Series 5 is starting to trickle into Toys R Us and online stores right now, and should follow at Target and Wal-Mart within a few weeks. The Weapons Pack is shortpacked at 1-per-case, and may end up being difficult to find.
BigBadToyStore has the Weapons Pack in-stock for order at $11.99, and ready to ship out. That’s the regular retail price, so that’s what you’d pay at Target or Wal-Mart. They also have a variety of other Halo Reach Series 5 items available at the best prices of any online store.
CMDStore have the Weapons Pack in-stock right now and available for $17.95. They also have the whole Series 5 set of 6 for $71.95, the best price online for the set of 6.
Overall: It’s really tough to assign a grade to an item like this Weapons Pack. Yes, the weapons themselves are all nicely sculpted, highly-detailed, and well-painted. Independent of cost, this would be a great set that’s highly-useful to Halo collectors and army builders. Unfortunately, this set isn’t free–it costs $12-$18 depending upon where you buy it. With no unique weapons and none of the most popular rare weapons included, this Weapons Pack quite frankly falls short for me as an item I paid $13 for. My Toys R Us exclusive Spartans are grateful to be fully-stocked with armaments now, but unless you’re a die-hard Spartan army-builder and have a multitude of weapons you can’t stand like the Grenade Launcher that they came with, I really can’t recommend this Weapons Pack.