Of all the figures in the Mattel Halo Series 1 6″ Figures lineup, the blue Air Assault Spartan was the one I had the least interest in. We’ve had plenty of blue Spartans and Air Assault armor figures over the years, right? Thankfully, I had to order the 6″ Spartan Air Assault figure with the rest of the set to get all the parts for the Promethean Alpha Crawler Build-A-Figure. And I’m glad I did–this turns out to be one of my favorite generic Spartan action figures in years…
And then I actually received my figures in the mail, opened them all up to get my Alpha Crawler parts, and immediately was captivated by this blue Spartan.
First, let me just say that the boxed packaging for these figures is incredibly classy and compares very favorably to the beloved Hasbro Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black Series boxes. The art on the spines looks particularly good, and I think these figures will stand out well on the shelves. (Let’s just hope people actually buy them!)
The most obvious positive about this 6″ blue Air Assault Spartan is that he looks slick as hell. The combination of blue snap-on armor with the dark blue and black undersuit is immensely visually appealing–and the dark colors make the lack of a paint wash much less of a problem here than on the lighter-colored Spartans.
Of course, looks aren’t everything, as us longtime McFarlane collectors know. But unlike the last few years’ worth of McFarlane Toys Halo figures, you can actually play with these new Mattel Spartans.
That’s right–unlike the last of the McFarlane figures, you can actually pose the legs of these six inch Spartans without breaking them off. Crazy, right?
We’re not talking about a minor articulation upgrade, though–we’re talking about a huge improvement with highly-articulated hip joints and even ankle rockers! These new Mattel Halo figures can take on a ton of stances and look terrific doing so.
Aside from the removable Air Assault armor (which all snaps on tightly on this figure and hasn’t fallen off at all) and the back of the Alpha Crawler Build-A-Figure, this blue Spartan Air Assault six inch figure includes two guns: a pistol and a UNSC Hydra Launcher.
I’ll talk about the pistol shortly (yes, you all know what that means), but the Hydra Launcher gun looks fantastic. Lots of sculpting detail, good proportions and multiple paint deco colors–the Halo 5 Hydra Launcher is one of the best weapons in this whole line thus far.
There’s only a couple things I dislike about this six-inch figure, and all of them have to do with the weapons included. The main offender here is the pistol. Not only is it all black with no paint deco of any kind on it, but it’s clearly way way too big. The oversized pistol just looks silly to me.
In addition, while there’s a short leg included to attach the pistol to the Spartan’s leg, the peg doesn’t go into the leg nearly far enough. As a result, it looks like the pistol is magically hovering next to the Air Assault Spartan’s leg. Lame.
Finally, as phenomenal as the Hydra Launcher weapon works, it’s really hard to give the 6″ figure a solid two-handed grasp on the gun–the plastic used on the hands is just too rubbery, and the gun is constantly trying to slip out of one hand as you position it in the other.
It’s certainly possible to get a two-handed grip on the gun, but it can definitely be frustrating doing so.
Really, the only things I dislike about this figure are the immense size and awkwardness of the pistol, along with how difficult achieving two-handed poses with the Hydra Launcher turns out to be. A terrific multiplayer Spartan action figure that does an excellent job showing how much fun this new Halo Mattel line can be.