I’ve always loved the vehicles in Halo. They really felt like the one thing that made the game stand out and reach its current level of popularity. Also, putting the vehicles in a third person perspective instead of staying in the first person was a wise move. When you keep it in the first person it just feels like you’re moving faster with different physics, kind of like in Half Life 2. Here, the vehicles made an added experience, giving you both a way to move faster and a way to blow stuff up faster! Shame it took so long for them to get decent toys…
The Mongoose has seen four releases in the Halo Reach line thus far: one with Noble Six (who himself has received about four releases…), one with an ODST, one in blue, and the one in red here. Several Mongooses (Mongeese?) were released in the Halo 3 line, but I’ve heard many issues regarding the quality control with the drivers. Thankfully, this version of the Mongoose has no such issues.
The new Mongoose is an entirely new mold and at a larger scale to work better with the Reach figures. It’s a pretty nice looking vehicle, but not as nice as the Warthog. McFarlane never really was a “vehicle manufacturer” so I can give them a pass. The only real disappointment from a functionality standpoint would be the lack of any steering. It just seems like it can only go straight. The handlebars can pivot, though, but it’s kind of pointless without the wheels doing the same.
However, the tires ARE made of rubber—something that feels like a lost art on toys these days.
On the rear of the vehicle, a little platform swings down so a second Spartan can hang on to the handlebar. It actually manages to work pretty well, I’m surprised! Once the Team Objectives set hits shelves, this toy will be a lot more fun—you’ll be able to have one red guy driving while the other carries the blue flag!
The driver has a pair of footpedals that don’t really seem to do much except get in the way. They’re on a swivel, but I think they would’ve been fine fixed in one position. Because the figures don’t havethe best articulation, it can be difficult to get them to properly sit down. Although let’s be perfectly honest—the Spartans don’t really sit on these to begin with…
The included driver for this set is a custom Scout Spartan. This figure utilizes the Scout head, the default torso, a JFO shoulder pad, and a Grenadier shoulder pad. Maybe it’s the chest piece, but this figure doesn’t really do it for me; which is ironic considering it’s the one piece in it I was after, but that’s another story. The Scout head on the default torso just makes him look boring. Maybe if he had the UA torso it would look a bit better, but as it stands, he’s one of my least favorite Spartans thus far.
To make things worse, almost every photo on the package shows him with a different colored visor. The stock photo has a red (!) one, and some of the package art show him with a blue one. I think that would’ve made the figure a lot more interesting, in my opinion.
With four releases, there are plenty of Mongoose toys to choose from, and I do quite like the red here. However, if you’re looking for a cool new Spartan to add to your collection, you can definitely do better elsewhere. It’s a worthwhile purchase, and I’d recommend getting one if you see it at FPNYC. Now I just need the Grenadier armor pack to put the body and chest piece here to work…