Following up on the combat team packs offered in Fall-2014, the spring 2015 Halo wave brings us a new style of “weapons pack” by MEGA BLOKS – the Spartan Customizer pack. This set features two Spartan IVs with color palettes indicative of their Crimson and Venom designations and two 2×3 “stands” (like the blind pack figures) for a total of 66pcs. Each Spartan has a total of 3 armor customizations and one weapon and an armor crate to store the excess bits.
The packaging for these sets features a new carded-bubble container displaying both Spartans and all their gear, much like most action figures in the toy aisles these days and follows the same color palette and design as the Fall 2014 wave. The backside of the card features a Spartan render showing the customization possibilities on the left, along with a breakdown of the weapons included and armor types of each Spartan on the right. This particular graphic is very reminiscent of the McFarlane HALO customizer kits that featured the armor permutations in a similar fashion – but MEGA’s color scheme has a cleaner feel to it because of the blue-to-white gradient.
Each Spartan maintains one set of legs and contains the same base under armor, so the breakdown in design will be specific to each team member’s specific armor accessories; as the color and type of armor is the only variation of both figures….
ARMOR TYPE: Oceanic – In the fall 2014 figure packs we had two Spartan fireteams that featured various armor types. In this Spartan customizer pack, we receive the armor types that were previously specific to only one team. In this case, we get Oceanic, which was first introduced as part of Venom team, but now resides as a Crimson member also. I for one am NOT a fan of Oceanic armor whatsoever, as I feel it eludes to a scuba gear design that in the HALO universe is beyond archaic. As such, I can’t see any reason for a Spartan to have this “cross” pattern mask-plate except purely for cosmetic reasons, which seems silly. In any case the black framing makes a nice contrast on the crimson armor, though in examination of the figure I think a silver plate may have been more appealing. This permutation also features some nicely sculpted oceanic pauldrons and chestplates, which will be great for those painters out there that want to give their Spartan a “skin”.
ARMOR TYPE: Soldier – Probably my favorite of the 3 crimson armors offered in this wave, SOLDIER armor has a menacing look on the helmet with the black paint app on the visor. Upon further inspection there’s also a sliver of gold to represent the actual visor, which I feel could be a little more prominent. There’s also a nicely colored paint app on the chestplate where the SOLDIER armor houses a few armor packs, which really stands out to me and makes this armor look more visually intriguing over the other two options. I’ve especially always been a fan of this armor type’s shoulder pauldrons as they seem more low-key and not so ridiculously over-exaggerated like some of the other armors *ahem* Oceanic…
ARMOR TYPE: Aviator -The last armor type offered with Crimson is aviator. Again, not really my cuppa tea, but for those who prefer their Spartan to have a stormtrooper look, look no further (so long as your stormtrooper color-of-choice is crimson). Again, there is fantastic sculpting in the fine details of this armor which will pop once a wash is applied, but I can’t help but feel the factory FX really leave the armor lacking anything distinguishable….that is, save for this faux pax in production:
The armor still attaches (somehow), so no harm, no foul. If your pack ends up having this defect don’t fret it’ll still work just fine. But, if you are one of those that needs their product to be exactly to spec, just contact MEGA BLOKS for a replacement.
Armor Type: Soldier – Unlike the Crimson counterpart, soldier is not my favorite armor type offered in this pack, but the green on black contrast does look fantastic and very “venomous”. Again, this is the only chestplate to feature any accent color apps.
Armor Type: Orbital – probably my least liked armor type next to Oceanic, this set features the Orbital Venom counterpart to the Fireteam Crimson pack offered in Fall 2014. Not a lot to say here as it’s just a recolor of an armor type we’ve already seen.
Armor Type: Recruit- Recruit has to be one of my top 3 favorite armor types in HALO 4 (since there’s no CQB), so it goes without saying that I’m very pleased to see the Recruitarmor offered in this pack. As noted above, these are just recolors to give fans more options to completing their fireteam in the armor types of their choosing, so there’s not much to be said outside of mold quality and the desire to see more military-accurate colors.
So…how’d the customizer pack fare?
Well, that largely depends on who wins your battles:
Truthfully, there’s no build, only two figures, no new … anything — so I can’t justifiably say there’s a lot here for the random fan and builder. The QC issue in my particular case isn’t so bad, but given the possibility of poor paint apps on the soldier visor….I’d be lying if I said this was one of MEGA’s best. Instead, this is a kit that’s specifically catering to those that want to go all-out on their Crimson and Venom fireteams — a commendable move by MEGA for not leaving those guys hanging. However in the same breath I have to say that I hope this specific two-pack sees a limited release as it will be a shelf-warmer compared to the NMPD Trooper 2-pack.
Essentially it’s a great idea, but just not that appealing because of the class [Spartan IV] and color scheme [Crimson/Venom] chosen to flagship this customizer pack; but I think other renditions of the same concept will be much more successful (ODST, Spartan IIIs, NMPD, covenant, etc. etc.)
OVERALL RATING: …. 3.3 out of 5.
Hope you enjoyed the review, thanks for reading!