Gimmick figures tend to be kind of a mixed bag to me. By “gimmick” I don’t mean something like spring-loaded weapons or whatever, I mean something based around an idea, like say, a clear version of a character that’s supposed to turn invisible or something. Usually those tend to be cool when they have some sort of status attached to them, like as a convention or mail-away exclusive. When they end up on the retail shelves, they usually end up staying there for quite awhile. But once in awhile, a pretty neat idea comes along that hasn’t really been done before, one that makes me go, “okay, I gotta try this”.
For Halo’s tenth anniversary, McFarlane decided to put out a special Master Chief figure for it, a “low polygon count” version that emulates the graphics from the first game. Some people didn’t like this idea but honestly, I got a kick out of it. I can’t really think of any other toylines that have done something like this, and I figured it was a cute way to celebrate ten years of the franchise.
Save for the joints (which need to be round because otherwise, they wouldn’t work), everything on the Chief is angular. It’s a very cool look and under certain lighting, it looks like it isn’t even sculpted that way. Of course, it would be a bit more convincing under actual video game lighting, but that wouldn’t really work…
The most noteworthy part of him is his very square head and visor. Since computer models can’t make curves all that well (or at least, make them look natural), the Chief’s visor is made up largely of small squares. You can’t really tell in the game, but on the figure it’s more noticeable. It’s neat, but probably the most distracting part about him. He just looks “off” when standing alongside the other Reach Spartans, which I’m sure is why most people are buying him. Really makes you wish they made an HD version.
Only two weapons are included, the classic assault rifle and a grenade. It’s cool to see the old AR again, but I have no clue what they were thinking with the handle. It’s hard to make it look natural in his hand; it always looks off. It can still store on his back, however. The grenade also has the “square” look to it; again, it’s cool, but not noteworthy.
The Chief has the same articulation as the Reach figures, although it’s a bit more limited thanks to his sculpt. However, he holds his Assault Rifle MUCH better than they do, even with the weird handle.
Also included is part of the shield for the Legendary Emblem. I don’t think I’ll go so far to complete it, though.
I bought my Master Chief on impulse, because I figured if I don’t add him to my collection now, I never will. However, unless you really want to make the Legendary Emblem, you might as well just wait for the three-pack that also comes with Halo 2 and Halo 3 Master Chief, both of which are more useful for any given collection.
In the end, I mildly recommend this figure. It’s a neat idea, and a cool way to commemorate the original game. FPNYC carries Halo figures for about $10-$15, so if you want your own Chief, come on in!