For years, the folks over at McFarlane Toys have been handling the Halo license — and, to be fair, their action figures have always been great. However, thanks to a recent deal with Microsoft, Mattel will soon be taking over for McFarlane ... and Mattel has already made a strong first impression.
For its first line of Halo action figures, Mattel has designed two separate tiers: one features far more articulation (and a bigger price tag), while the other features a more slimmed-down design at a discount. Granted, Mattel's other Halo merchandise has always looked good — but for a first series, the company's Halo figures look fantastic.
The true star of the show are the new six-inch action figures. Each $20 figure comes with 30 points of articulation, a different set of armor and a pair of interchangeable weapons — basically, you can start with the Master Chief or Spartan Locke and end up with something entirely new. There's also a Covenant Elite available in addition to the five customizable Spartan figures, though its armor won't be interchangeable (it is a different species, after all).
Mattel's 12-inch set isn't nearly as detailed as its six-inch counterpart, but at just $9.99, that's to be expected. Each figure comes with its own interchangeable weapon — and as an added bonus, each weapon actually clips onto the back of the figure for that extra little bit of authenticity. The only thing that's strange about the figures is, well ... let's just say that it looks like the Master Chief and his fellow Spartans went on a pretty intense diet.
There's also a brand-new set of vehicle replicas on the way: the first is a six-inch Ghost replica, followed by a Warthog for the 12-inch figures.
Of course, Halo action figures are just the start: Mattel also announced a brand new line of Halo 5 Mega Bloks. The new sets include a new line of Spartan figures, a new artillery tank, a miniaturized Guass Warthog and a Marine artillery unit.
If you prefer that your Halo toys move on their own, you're in luck: Mattel is working on a line of remote-controlled vehicles as well. The first series includes two different Warthogs — the standard version and an "ONI" variant — as well as third, currently-unnamed two-wheeled vehicle.
Of course, it just wouldn't be Halo without the series' signature weapons. Following the success of its Magnum and Needler dart launchers, Mattel is releasing a second set of iconic Halo weapons: the MA-5 Assault Rifle and the Brute Spiker. If guns aren't your thing, there's also a full-size Energy Sword replica as well.
From Bonnie Ross, head of 343 Industries:
"The success we've seen with the Halo MEGA Bloks franchise over the years laid the foundation for this partnership. We're excited to work with Mattel to bring innovative, quality and, most of all, fun products to old and new Halo fans alike."
So far, it looks like Microsoft's deal with Mattel is paying off — hopefully, the retail versions look just as good as the prototypes when they launch later this year.
Oh, and if Halo isn't your thing, there's always Dark Horse's new set of Witcher 3 statues.