Halo 3 Action Figures: The Good, the Bad and the Codpieces

March 1st, 2008

Well, look who turned up on my front doorstep yesterday…
Master Chief Evolutions

Yes, it is McFarlane’s long awaited Halo 3 figures. First off, let me applaud the Halo 3 packaging people. The packages are pretty, compact, easy to stack, and you can get the figures out of the package in a matter of about 90 seconds. There are only about 3 wires holding the figures down and they are easily removable without the use of specialty wire cutters or pliers. The figures come with a weapon and very tiny grenades. I haven’t removed any grenades from packaging yet because they are so tiny I am worried I might inhale them.

Yes, well, size is an issue here. As you can see from the above, the new figures are much smaller than the previous incarnations. But they are very detailed. The only figure I’ve taken out of packaging so far is a red EVA Spartan:
Red Spartans and EVA plastic comparison

Those that have handled the figures know that the Halo 1 figures are very sturdy. The plastic has a slight vinyl feel to it like the plastic an old GI Joe would have. The Halo 2 figures were made of a slightly more hard plastic, like a LEGO would be made of, and therefore a bit more brittle. I’ve had some problems with joint breakage with the Halo 2 figures because of this, but overall the figures are very tough.

The new figure plastic is much more rubbery, like a Gumby doll, and you can bend it, but it has more memory. For instance, when I tried to put the gun in its hand, I had to pry its thumb away from its fingers to get the gun to stay in place, which is fine, but then when I removed the gun the fingers and thumb didn’t touch each other anymore. I am a little leery about how much manipulation the fingers will take before quitting.

On the other hand, the detailing is terrific. Here’s the front of the little EVA figure:
EVA figure
…and here is THE BACK. Nice.

Now we come to my real only complaint about the Halo 3 figures, which is a complaint really only about the Spartan figures (see the others below). The crotch. Yes, I hear you saying, “Linnea, why are you staring at the crotch of the dolls… I mean action figures?” Well, I really wasn’t, but I couldn’t figure out why the figures looked like they had full diapers, and I realized it was a problem with proportions.

In order to get good range of motion with the figures, which for some reason they decided should be done in less than dollhouse scale sizes, they had to make the pelvis unnaturally wide. Then, they decided not to unnaturally elongate the waist (or unnaturally shorten the ribcage), which is something you will see done in comic books all the time to give a more streamlined look to characters. So a combination of a wide pelvis and a short appearing waist makes the Spartans look a bit like Grandpa with a diaper. The overall effect is slightly comical, although I’m not sure it translates in my photos…

Sergeant Johnson and the White Spartan

But, tearing our gaze away from the codpiece… oh wait, I can’t. Because the real jewels in the first series are the aliens. McFarlane’s done a beautiful job with the Jackal, Brute and Grunt. They are very carefully detailed and beautifully painted. Again, not as big as I would have liked, but the crotch areas in particular have great work. I haven’t been able to bring myself to taking them out of their packaging yet (for fear of inhaling a weapon) but you can get an idea here:
Comparisons of alien weapons and codpieces

Last, I have to give props to McFarlane for the articulation of the Spartan. I’ll update as to the other figures as I take them out to play. But the EVA was very articulated. I had a little bit of trouble with posing the way I am used to, but it may take a bit of playing to find all the best poses. He did have some trouble with the basic Kneel-and-fire pose:
comparison of kneeling in joyride vs mcfarlane toys

But the heads could turn ALL the way around. Finally, we can all do our Exorcist recreations at will!
Ragdoll body twisting comparison

In summary, I think if you want an action figure that you will put next to your monitor and look at to enjoy, these are very beautiful and are worth the money. If you are collector they are easy to store in the packaging (but the plastic packaging easily dents, so you can’t just throw them in the closet). On the other hand, if you are thinking about buying these for your eight-year-old, be prepared that the weapons almost surely will be lost or inhaled within a matter of seconds after opening the packages. These are not really toys for little kids. These are toys for careful grown-ups.

Who enjoy a good codpiece.


Those in the know will notice I haven’t commented on the Cortana figure. I want to make sure she lights up etc before reviewing her…
EDIT: Oh, she lights up just fine (with 2 AAA batteries). So pretty!
McFarlane Cortana Figure

13 Responses to “Halo 3 Action Figures: The Good, the Bad and the Codpieces”

  1. chris119 Says:

    cool. very nice figures! yoiu kept them in good condition

  2. SPU7N1K Says:

    Thanks! Very informative 🙂

  3. Clinton Says:

    Nice man, great job comparing the figures, would you recommend the EVA to people?

  4. floor jacks Says:

    This is the first time I comment here and I should say you share genuine, and quality information for bloggers! Good job.
    p.s. You have an awesome template . Where did you find it?

  5. awesomeness Says:

    dude i love halo! i like the ragdoll test

  6. Zephyrus Says:

    I agree with you, the aliens are beautiful, especially the hunter and the elites.

    And I have a question too, is it just me or do the spartans in later series have a couple more articulation points than the series 1 spartans? I mean I have the same red EVA figure, and a handful of other ones from later series, such as a purple CQB and a red hayabusa, and the later series ones have a part right against the codpiece that can move the leg forward and back, without having to twist the knee and such, while I can’t find that same thing on the series one EVA, which means I can’t get him to stand with his legs perfectly straight, like I can with the others, do you have that problem too?

  7. guywholoveshalo3 Says:


  8. Snoozy Says:

    Beautiful collection you have.. ahh, what I would give for even a fraction of that.

    I’ve always found Joyride’s line of Halo figures to be the best, mainly out of my pereference of the first two Halo games and the larger porportion scale. They also seen to be a lot more durable and just a higher quality. I don’t know.

    Still, good stuff.

  9. Addison Says:

    A very sorround sound blog here… aaah what I meant there was you keep a good balance.. :).. I for one had a small dog.. Not of a particular breed just a street dog who I used to feed ocassionally…Turned out she would go nuts on anybody who tried to approach me.. Geesh!

  10. Elijah Lewis Says:

    Would there be a sequel to the last G.I. JOE movie? iron man has a sequel already. –

  11.  Styrofoam Sheets Says:

    i am one of the biggest fans of both GI Joe animated version and movie. GI Joe is the best”`:

  12. source Says:

    It looks to me that this site doesnt load on a Motorola Droid. Are other people having the exact same issue? I like this web site and dont want to have to skip it whenever Im away from my computer.

  13. Collector Sage Says:

    Wow, great comparison of the differnt halo series. A must have for halo fans.

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