Mattel’s Halo toy line is off to a hot start with summer, but despite the buzz being generated by first-time characters like Spartan Linda, the Alpha Crawler and the Helioskrill Spartan, the best-selling figure in the brand is still the franchise himself: the Master Chief. The Mattel Halo Master Chief 6″ figure is available online now despite selling out fast in stores thus far–is it worth starting off your Halo Mattel collection with this worldwide icon?
This fall squarely into the right for two reasons: 1) Having a Master Chief readily available is crucial for this line’s success; and 2) Mattel chose not to overpack and flood shelves with the Chief. Thanks, Mattel!
Like all other figures in this line, all of the Master Chief’s armor (besides his helmet, obviously) is removable. Whereas the removable armor has caused some figures to look like human blimps (alas, poor hyper-obese Spartan Locke), the armor fits tightly and looks terrific on the Mattel Master Chief figure.
This and the Air Assault Spartan are easily the two best-looking figures thus far for pure, streamlined armor aesthetic.
Also like all of the other figures in this series, there’s zippo in the way of paint washes on the Chief. Whereas this omission is devastating to certain figures (Linda in particular), it’s not really a problem for the Master Chief.
Maybe it’s because of his dark green color and the slightly sheen to the plastic, but I really don’t miss the dark wash on this action figure at all. One would certainly enhance the figure, but I think this is one of the better-looking Mattel Halo figures despite the absence of paint shading.
Some readers have asked me specifically about Master Chief’s head range of motion, so let me go into detail on it: the ball-jointed head can look side to side and way down with no problems, and has no troubling limitations in those directions.
However, the Master Chief can really only look up to about eye level by just moving his head. Even so, thanks to the ball-jointed upper torso, the Chief can easily look as high up as I want, so I’m overall very pleased with his head articulation.
The rest of the articulation scheme is just like the rest of the Mattel Spartans, and is highlighted by ankle rockers and plenty of usable ball-joints. The difference between trying to pose this and the McFarlane Halo 5 Master Chief is like the difference between night and day.
The Mattel Halo 5 Master Chief figure is slightly larger than the McFarlane Toys version, but I’m okay with that, as this is a superior toy that can take on many more poses and I’m certain Mattel will release their own versions of Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris.
The Halo 5 Assault Rifle itself features some nicely-done paint deco and looks terrific in its own right. It can also be attached to the Master Chief’s back (or thigh) with the included connector pegs.
Minor gripe before I get to a major one: the plastic quality on this action figure seems to be slightly worse than what I’m used to. Master Chief doesn’t have any super-loose joints and has no problem standing up independently, but the more I pose him, the more I feel like his joints are loosening up. In the long-term, I’m a bit concerned about this.
My other problem with this figure is worse than just being “wrong”, though. It fits squarely into…
The Energy Sword is oversized for the Elite Zealot figure it also comes with, but at least there it just looks big. With the Master Chief, it looks absolutely ludicrous.
Furthermore, the alternate hand John-117 comes with to hold the Energy Sword is really rubbery, meaning the Energy Sword just topples out of Chief’s hand whenever I do want to pose him with the gargantuan weapon. I hate to say it, but this weapon inclusion is an absolute failure.
Overall: I vacillated between giving the first Mattel Master Chief six inch figure a solid ‘A’ and an ‘A-‘, but the lack of paint wash and ridiculousness with the Energy Sword knocks him down to an ‘A-‘. Even so, this is by far the most poseable and most fun Master Chief action figure released in years, and my second favorite single-packed figure in Series 1 (after the Blue Spartan Air Assault).
Photos don’t do this figure justice–it’s when you get the Halo 5 Master Chief Mattel figure in your hands and realize the multitude of ways that you can pose him and play with him that this figure really shines. If you’re thinking of trying out this line and don’t want a generic Spartan, then the Master Chief is absolutely the figure you should be aiming for. Recommending.