Mattel Halo Ghost Vehicle & Elite Officer Review & Photos

Less than four months after the mega-ton announcement that Mattel had secured the master license for producing Halo action figures, the very first Mattel Halo vehicle set has now arrived–and hey, we even get an all-new Elite action figure packed-in with it! I paid scalper prices and ordered my boxed set last week, so I got it today, but the joke’s on me, as Amazon has the Covenant Ghost w/ Elite Officer for 13 bucks less than I paid last week. Alas. On the bright side, I’ve got the vehicle and figure a day earlier than folks who ordered from Amazon–was it worth it? Read on for my full review…

Mattel Halo Ghost & Elite Officer ReviewThe Right:

First off, let me give mad props to Mattel for jumping into this Halo Collector’s line head-first and not only giving us a 6″ vehicle right off the bat, but also making it a Covenant vehicle! The temptation to make a little UNSC Mongoose must have been there, but I’m pleased that Mattel is testing the water by giving us a Covenant vehicle to kick off the series. (Hopefully this doesn’t backfire and totally bomb at retail, leading us to getting no more vehicles.)

In addition, I’m thrilled with the price-point on this set: $29.99 for a medium-sized vehicle and a fully-articulated Elite Officer figure that would probably otherwise retail for 20 bucks on its own? Great value–sign me up!

Packaged Halo Covenant Ghost & Elite Figure by MattelThe Mattel 6″ Ghost vehicle comes packaged in an attractive box with a bright yellow background that both the Ghost vehicle and figure show up really well on. Both the Covenant Ghost and the action figure are protected by hard plastic, so there’s also no worries about the toys getting handled roughly and worn out by kids checking them out in stores (unlike the McFarlane Warthog and Ghost back in the day, which had open-air packaging).

Mattel Halo Ghost Clear Display Base Flight StandThe Ghost comes with a clear display that is truly awesome–four pieces of clear plastic that you snap together to form a sculpted “levitation effects” base that you snap into the underside of the Ghost.

Side View of Mattel Covenant Ghost 6" VehicleThe base is very stable and sturdy once attached to the Covenant Ghost, and looks drop-dead awesome. This base is probably the single biggest improvement between the Mattel version of this vehicle and the McFarlane Toys Ghost.

Mattel Covenant Carbine Gun for Halo 6" FiguresWhile there’s a tradition of “vehicle driver” figures coming weapon-less that stretches back to the 1980s GI Joe line, the pack-in Elite action figure with this set actually does have his own weapon: a Covenant Carbine gun.

Carbine on Back of Mattel Officer Elite FigureThe Carbine not only has several colors of paint deco on it (and looks very sharp), but the Elite Officer figure can actually hold it! That’s right–this time, the Sangheili’s fingers are a flexible plastic that’s a cinch to wrap around the handle of the gun.

Mattel Elite Officer Figure with Carbine on HipTwo removable pegs come wit the set: a short peg for attaching the Covenant Carbine to the Elite’s leg, and a longer peg for attaching the gun to the Elite’s back. Both do their jobs nicely, although it does look a mite odd hanging a huge gun on the Officer’s leg.

Covenant Elite Officer Figure without ArmorUnlike the McFarlane Toys Elites that were more like semi-poseable statues, this Mattel Elite Officer figure actually feels like a toy you can actually play with. Some of the armor really restricts the articulation, but you can see the full extent by removing any (or all) of the armor.

Overhead View of Covenant Ghost Mattel VehicleThe 6″ Elite Officer has 29 points of articulation, and all of it is easy to use without any fear of the figure breaking or shattering. The ball-jointed neck and articulated head of the figure are among my favorite points of articulation, although I really like the ball-jointed upper torso as well.

Close-Up of Unhelmeted Elite Officer Action FigureWhile the unhelmeted head for this figure could definitely use a paint wash to bring out the sculpting detail, the Sangheili head on this figure is a nice sculpt overall.

Covenant Ghost Mattel Halo Collectors Line VehicleMeanwhile, while it’s surprisingly light, the Covenant Ghost vehicle is actually very nice. I like the purple plastic of the Ghost far more than the color of the Officer’s armor, and I appreciate the large amount of paint deco Mattel implemented on the vehicle.

Halo 6" Ghost Vehicle by Mattel with Officer Elite Action FigureThe seat extends out on the Ghost to make the vehicle longer than it appears in the box, and the vehicle moves in four other places: the energy cannons on the front and the flaps beneath the wings. All four of these parts are nice and tight and stay in position as expected.

Mattel Halo Elite Officer Figure on Covenant Ghost VehicleIt takes a little bit of care and patience, but you can get both of the Officer Elite figure’s hands on the handlebars and both his feet on the footrests of the Ghost at the same time.

Halo Mattel Ghost Vehicle with Elite Action FigureProperly positioned on the Ghost atop the flight stand and with the Carbine on his back, the Elite Officer action figure looks flat-out fantastic!

Mattel Halo 6 Inch Elite Figure vs. Marvel Legends Captain America Size ComparisonThe Wrong:

As much as I like this Halo Mattel Ghost set, it has plenty of issue that I definitely want to make sure everyone is aware of before deciding whether to buy this boxed set or not.

I’ll start with the Elite Officer six inch figure and address the (undersized) elephant in the room first: this action figure is just about 6″ tall on the button. He can see virtually eye-to-eye with my Marvel Legends Captain America figure, despite the fact that Sangheili should be noticeably larger than mere humans.

Basically, Mattel chose to make the Elite action figures six inches tall instead of six inch scale. As a result, the Elites tower over the McFarlane Halo Spartan action figures (as they should), but are going to look kind of scrawny next to the Mattel Spartans when they’re released (hopefully soon).

Size Comparison Mattel Halo Elites vs. McFarlane Spartan BuckThis is a major bummer for those hoping to have properly-scaled Covenant Elite figures to display both with other Halo Mattel figures and with other 6″ toy lines like Marvel Legends and the Star Wars Black Series. Sigh.

Close-Up of Elite Officer Six Inch Action FigureThe paint on the figure is another let-down–it’s not the shiny, metallic purple shown on the packaging or in the official photos at all. Instead, it’s an almost matte otherworldly purple color. The plastic color itself on the armor isn’t bad, but there’s absolutely no paint wash to bring out the details of the sculpt. As a result, the aestheric of the armor is rather underwhelming overall.

Mattel Halo Covenant Elite Officer Six Inch Figure Holding CarbineFor the most part, the articulation scheme on the Halo Elite Officer 6″ figure is very solid–but there are some deficient areas. Those used to Hasbro Marvel Legends 6″ figures will be sorely missing the double-jointed knees and elbows present in the Marvel Legends line, and the foot articulation on the Elite is just not as good as the ball-jointed feet with ankle rockers Hasbro does.

Side View of 6" Elite Officer FigureThe most annoying part of the articulation, however, is the wrists–rather than being ball-jointed, the wrists swivel at the base of the wrist and then have a hinge on the palm to let them move back and forth. It’s really awkward as far as wrist articulation goes, and I can’t remember ever seeing this form of wrist articulation before in any line. It makes getting good poses with the Carbine gun difficult, and also makes it harder than it should be to get the Elite Officer to hold the handlebars of the 6″ scale Ghost.

Covenant Elite Officer Figure Removable Armor MattelBut the aspect of this Elite Office action figure that drives me absolutely insane more than anything else is how rubbery and loose some of the pieces of armor are.

Mattel Elite Removable Armor DiagramJust during the half hour I was taking photos for this review, both pieces of the forearm armor on this figure fell off over a dozen times each. I was getting so frustrated with the forearm armor popping off that I was ready to hurl this Sangheili warrior off into the woods to fend for himself. His helmet also popped off far more often than I wanted it to, despite the  peg in the helmet and the hole in the Elite’s head.

McFarlane Spartan Buck Driving Mattel GhostAs for the Covenant Ghost 6″ vehicle itself–it’s also undersized. While the seat extends out to properly fit the Elite Officer figure, the vehicle is still just not quite large enough to be totally accurate with the Elite.

Bad Paint Deco on Halo Mattel Ghost VehicleIn addition, there are quite a few areas on the Ghost where the paint applications are sloppy and simply not up to snuff with what you’d expect to find in a “collector’s line”. Disappointing.

Halo Collector Series Ghost with Elite Officer Action FigureOverall: It breaks my heart to not give the first item in the Mattel Halo Collector Series a grade that’s below an ‘A’, but this Covenant Ghost with Elite Officer set has too many issues for me to overlook them all. The Covenant Elite Officer 6″ figure comes very close to being excellent, but is held back by the lack of a paint wash, rubbery armor pieces that fall off at the slightest touch on his forearms, and awkward wrist articulation that makes handling the Carbine a real pain. Meanwhile, the paintwork on the Ghost vehicle itself is sloppier than I’d expect in a “Collector” line, and while good-looking, the Ghost’s scale is definitely off.


On the bright side, the Elite Officer action figure looks awesome sitting on top of the Ghost, and I really love the clear “levitating” display base. The Carbine is well-detailed, and hey–for a change an Elite action figure can actually hold a gun! Mattel has achieved in one figure what McFarlane Toys wasn’t able to perfect in years of making Elites!

This set is a solid entry-point to the Mattel Halo 6″ Collector’s Series and I definitely recommend picking this set up online while it’s still available, but be prepared to be a little bit disappointed in some aspects of both the Ghost itself and the include 6″ Elite Officer figure.



Mattel Halo Ghost Vehicle & Elite Officer Review & Photos — 7 Comments

  1. In your photos, you made the Elite hold the Carbine upside-down, while when pegged on his back, you placed it correctly. Whether you intentionally made it reversed so as to hold easier or not is unclear. However, I’d rather it be able to hold the rifle upside-down than not at all.

  2. Y’know, when the McFarlane line ended I thought I’d wind up saving a little money. But, between the Kodiak set and this one…

  3. Wait… the wrist has a swivel and hinge? Looking at the pictures closely, I’m pretty sure you just described all Marvel Legends and Star Wars: The Black Series wrists for the past couple of years.

  4. I was a bit concerned when I first saw the press release pictures that the figures would all be too bright and look ‘plasticy.’ This Elite looks alright but the Spartans all look ridiculous. I still have hope that this line will be better than McFarlane was the last few years though.

    B.t.w. the Carbine is upside-down in all of the pictures.

  5. Definitely looking forward to this one, despite the flaws. The pros seem to outweigh the con’s.

  6. The scale issues with this line will be the nail in the coffin for me. If those Spartans are the same height as the Elites, then I won’t bother. Do they really consider this a collector’s line? That’s a joke right? These are TOYS for snot nosed 6 year olds with a ridiculous price tag. The 12 inch line is just insulting, nothing else needs to be said there.

    I have heard horror stories of how Mattel ships figure sets, and I believe them. This line would be just as difficult to collect as the Mcfarlane line if you go to physical stores, ESPECIALLY if you army build. That is, unless you want to army build Master Chiefs. That’s what I see this line being, half a dozen ways to get another Master Chief and the occasional Locke or MM Spartan.

    They are pandering to children who don’t know any better. I would feel a little better if they just called them toys and NOT collector’s items. They would be honest at least.