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Halo Spartan Collection
by yo go re

Wee-ee-ee-ee-eebs! In-n-n-n-n! Spa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ace!

If you remember back when Toys "Я" Us was closing, I kept a list of everything I got there in the final days. And if you remember that list, you may may also recognize that there are things on there I still haven't ever reviewed - things, for instance, like a couple of Mattel Halo figures. But now Mattel doesn't even have the Halo license any more, so when a reader wrote in asking for more Halo reviews, it was off to the stores to see what Jazwares was making.

I've never made any secret of my disinterest in Halo's story, but clearly at some point it's become much more complex than "evil aliens, point your gun at them." Like Marvel's What If, DC's Elseworlds, Star Wars' Infinities, or Transformers' Evolutions, Halo has "Fractures," which aren't exactly canon, but serve to expand some features that do exist within the canon. (It's an excuse to sell new, themed armors for Halo Infinite's multiplayer mode.)

In the Tenrai Fracture, the Covenant weren't opposed by the UNSC, but by the clans of the Imperial Court putting aside their ancestral feuds to work together - or, translated to non-geek, "we wanted to make samurai-style Halo armor." Play through the game during the event, and you could unlock the armor, Battle Pass-style.

While the normal Halo armor is called "Mjolnir," the samurai kit is known as "Yoroi" - 鎧, the Japanese word for "armor." Creative. The core armor got unlocked at Level 5 of the Event Pass, instantly giving players access to the strong basics of a samurai suit: the layered armor on the breastplate, upper arms, and around all sides for the skirt. The angled "Gatekeeper" shoulder pad style gets unlocked at levels 10 and 11, and the "Kabuto" helmet at Level 15, but the "Shadow Raven" knee pads can only be had by spending the game's currency on the "Silent Sentry" bundle in the Shop.

The articulation is plentiful, but in many ways odd. The figure has hinged toes, swivel/hinge ankles (that only allow the feet to turn, not tip), double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a balljointed torso, swivel/​hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/​hinge shoulders, and a swivel/​hinge head. The section in the middle of the knees is surprisingly large, but that's necessary to make the thick legs actually able to bend despite their large armor and poofy pants. The knees and elbows are both surprisingly rubbery, flexing sideways as easily as they move forward and back. The torso is done as a balljoint in the chest that plugs into a post coming up from the waist, and then the entire stomach section is a separate ring that sits around said post. It's... a choice. Presumably this is done for construction reasons, allowing Jazwares to reuse the hips while swapping armor easily, but the shape of the Yoroi chest armor isn't conducive to twisting, just tilting.

The Halo figures don't come with a ton of accessories, though there are plenty of alternate hands in various states of open or closed. His only accessories are a pistol and a sword. The pistol, according to marketing copy, is a Disruptor, though it's based more on the concept art than the in-game models. The sword is the much more iconic Energy Sword - sadly, the Yoroi skin only changes the armor, it doesn't let him wield a katana. You could always lend him one from another figure if you want. The figure is 7" tall, but Spartans are genetically engineered to be larger than normal humans, so technically that would put this in a 6" scale. It's up to you whether that means you want to steal a sword from NECA or Hasbro.

The red and gold colorscheme is directly from the game, but it would be interesting to see this in green - you know, normal John Halo color. As it is, he kind of feels like an Iron Man ready to fight those Movie Realization Star Wars figures.

-- 02/19/23

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