Female Spartans in toy form aren’t something I really thought about until the Reach toyline. Much like female Stormtroopers, the idea of giving them a separate mold is actually kind of silly if you think about it. You’re wearing big, full body armor. Would any defining feminine features actually be visible through that much armor? Heck, I think the Alice-130 figure from the Spirit of Fire three-pack uses the same basic body as her two male teammates! Still, thanks to Kat, female figures are here to stay for the remainder of the Reach toyline… all two of them, not including the unmasked Kat figure…
Using most of Kat’s mold, McFarlane decided to create a female multiplayer Spartan for the Reach line. The last time I reviewed a figure that used a Campaign-specific mold for a multiplayer figure, I was completely enthralled. Unfortunately, the female Air Assault Spartan comes up short in way too many regards, mostly due to the mold itself, and a few unfortunate choices on a design standpoint.
First, the figure isn’t all that exciting when compared to Kat. While the Gungnir took everything to a new level by creating an entirely new Spartan using the base, the Air Assault doesn’t fare as well. At the end of the day, she’s really just a repainted Kat with no robot arm. Air Assault IS my favorite helmet choice, but I would’ve liked to see more variety in her design, especially since she’s the only multiplayer female in the line.
My biggest gripe with this figure concerns the mold itself. First, while the chest piece is removable like the males, it is NOT compatible with theirs. I’m not entirely surprised, but let’s be honest here, why make the piece removable in the first place if there’s NOTHING TO CHANGE IT WITH? Not only that, there aren’t ANY ports for supplemental armor—no spots for shoulder pads or extra rounds on the waist. There’s one the left forearm for a forearm attachment, but for the life of me I can’t think of any figures that have one.
Then of course, there’s the color scheme. Hey guys, she’s the girl, so we should make her pink! Really? I don’t think any seasoned space warrior would be running around in pink armor. Why not purple or even yellow? Pink just makes it seem like they’re trying to drive the fact that she’s a girl home.
However, the female mold has one piece of articulation the males lack: an extra joint on the hips. Yes, the female mold has an extra hinge on the hips, which allows for her to stand much better than any of her male counterparts.
Her weapon selection is unsurprisingly lacking: an assault rifle and a frag grenade. Gee, who saw that coming? I’d suggest picking up the weapon pack from Wave 5 and throwing the jetpack from that set on her, and maybe putting a battle rifle in her hands.
It’s nice to see McFarlane finally throwing a bone to female Halo fans (we exist…), but the effort could have been a bit better. Standing on her own, she’s a decent figure, but she falls short next to the males in the line. Still, FPNYC’s website sells her, and she’ll make a great base for custom figures!