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Welcome back to BAToynews, fellow blok-heads!
Today’s review features one of the most sought-after figures since super-articulation was announced; Noble Six! So how is he…er…um, the gungoose? Let’s get started…
Following the same design changes mentioned here (Covenant Commander review), MEGA BLOKS follows suit with the Gungoose box; showcasing the render of the vehicle against a black backdrop silhouetted by the words “HALO” in the top corner. On the back panel we can see another render of the vehicle in a brief, with a side graphic indicating the figure included is in fact the long awaited for Noble Six with MA37 ICWS (Assault rifle)!!!
[Editors' NOTE: It seems that contrary to some speculation, Noble Six is GRAY, not BROWN; hence ending the debate -- and corresponds with McFarlane's released figure AND game renders]:
Now on our 4th release of a mongoose by MEGA BLOKS; this set contains an arctic variant of the M274-M Ultra-Light-All Terrain Vehicle, or “gungoose” — an ultra-light-all terrain vehicle mounted with an M67 light anti-infantry weapon. Not much is known about the M67 since it was cut/reintroduced in H2:A; but it appears to be equivalent in firepower to two M7 submachine guns with possibly a larger caliber ammunition.
In bloks, this vehicle in constructed of 97 pcs requiring a meager 10.2minutes to build (including time to open the bags). I literally put this thing together in the time it took Netflix to load on my PC (10 minutes for Netflix, seriously? Yeah :-/ ) so army builders need not reserve hours upon hours to get their fleet ready for battle. Construction is rather simple and those familiar with last year’s All-Terrain mongoose (with Emile) will recognize 85% of the build is identical. The variation is all in the hood and is cleverly pulled off look with only a few pieces:
It begins using a new cast gun barrel with an extension “post” that allows for up to 4 clips to mount to it. Hence, the construction is simply:
- 1×1 round stud [hollowed] w/ peg; with 1×2 plate single-offset hollowed stud attached by peg
- 1 C-clip (used as a connection into the hood)
- 1 1×1 round stud w/ c-clip; attached with (2) 1×1 round studs [ammunition barrels] attached by stud.
A few comparison shots of the M274 and M274-M:
Also of note is the painted details, much like the new-release ghost. I hope this is a sign of the future, and the demise of sticker-applications. One particularly interesting addendum to this set is the left-rear fender is supplied twice, once with the words “UNSC” being scribed in a vertical alignment stacked atop one another; and the other fender having “UNSC” stacked vertically scrolling from the bottom-up. Nice to have options; though I prefer the vertical/stacking piece myself. Moving on…
Here he is folks…NOBLE SIX!!!
Alright, alright…I’m just kidding. I know you all want to see this, and had to take the opportunity. Here’s what you all REALLY want to see:
OK – so how does he measure up? Well, to be honest I’m kind of “glass-half-full” with this figure; though the proportion is probably more along the lines of 70/30. What does that mean?
After waiting what seemed like an eternity for MEGA to release more of Noble team [a year, OK maybe not THAT long; we get a figure that has superbly detailed lines throughout the sculpt. The visor, for example is lightyears ahead of the previous release; and the overall conjecture of the figure gives a very stealthy/lurking kind of presence; largely on account of his stealth appearance. He integrates well with Noble team and MEGA didn’t skimp out on giving him a paint app on the shoulder-mounted knife sheath or a few other smaller details found on the helmet and torso. Very satisfying to see the team complete…
We waited a year for MEGA to release a figure that literally only required two new tooling moulds— the helmet and shoulder (which is the same on both sides). My biggest gripe here is twofold:
1) The helmet feels undersized compared to the rest of Noble Team. It may be only by a small amount, but it feels like Noble Six stepped through one of those airport security scanners a few times too many and got his dome shrunk as a result.
2) The shoulders absorbed all that aforementioned scanner radiation and inflated ol’ Six’s shoulders up to “pirate-sleeve” proportions. Technically Noble Six doesn’t have any shoulder pauldrons; that sculpted detail that we get as an attachment to the base arm is actually supposed to BE the base arm (as shown in the game render). So this “piece” is the bicep under-armor that contains an attachment point for other permutations to attach to. However, as a result of MEGA using a basic design that serves the same purpose for Spartan II’s, III’s, and IV’s, we are given an added piece instead. I would’ve preferred to see MEGA use the costs of creating the extra clip-on and instead develop a special shoulder for Six that would’ve been more in-line with the character’s design. We [the fans] could always swap it out if we wanted to give him customization; but we can’t make our own moulds…
Other than the sculpt (which despite the knocks still looks great IMO); is I would’ve liked to see MEGA go game-accurate with Six’s forearms [vambrances] and boots by utilizing the same silver as seen on Carter, opposed to more meh! gray. For the record I <3 stealth figures, but I don’t understand this decision. Had we been talking ODST’s here..I would’ve opted for black under-armor and stuck with the gray boots/vambrances — but a Spartan III base-armor? Sir/Ma’am…THAT is shiny, unpainted steel all day long.
Clutch: 4.5/5 stars – no issues with the set, but my particular Noble Six has a bad cast in the t-socket that the legs attach to. Unlikely to be a production-wide flaw though; so buy with confidence.
Stability: 4.75/5 stars – It’s as sturdy as last year’s release; however if you’re having trouble getting the gun turrets to look like they’re pointed straightforward you’ll likely experience some piece-popping while trying to reposition the clips to make it work. I’d recommend moving your mirrors out a stud if you don’t mind the wider profile.
Build: 5/5 stars – I can’t say enough in terms of compliments to the MEGA BLOKS design team for finding such a simple-yet-effective solution to the gun turrets. I’ve seen many customizers tackle this unreleased vehicle variant and every other technique built up the hood too much or looked under-detailed. Absolutely brilliant work!
Innovation: 3/5 stars – Where innovation really rung true for this set was in the construction of the gun turrets; so I felt it was more justified to give the high marks in that category. For me, innovation in a set is all about:
- Finding clever ways improve a design to add to it’s intrinsic value or ways to remove hindrances that would detract from it’s value or
- Making something unexpected or abstract through artistic expression that we [the fans] never knew we wanted; but now in it’s existence can’t live without. EX: Flood Siege – it featured a well-designed structure that was useful for customs, lots of cool accessories and some of the best-colored Spartans to-date.
In this regard, let’s call a spade-a-spade:… everybody was expecting Noble team after we got the 2014 Elephant; it was just a matter of time — though I’m glad to see he’s released in an easily attainable set like Emile. MEGA could have just as easily dumped him into the vulture or another high-end set to extort funds from their base, but instead they chose a low pricepoint. However, this is not innovative.
In that vein, I do wish there was something to it that made this set feel more unique than being a re-release of last year’s set with a different figure. An arctic mongoose just doesn’t seem that sensible to me; I think a covert-blue or even black ‘goose would’ve brought more visual appeal to the line (or even clear, since we are talking about an almost unreleased vehicle). I also feel it necessary to knock it down a little for the all-gray tones of the figure opposed to the added value of the silver detailing.
Overall: 4.51/5 – Definitely A- worthy (hence the hundredth of a point added); and I’ll probably buy another 2-3 just to have my beloved steel-toned armor for customizing. The biggest draw here is that you get the instructions for converting a standard ‘goose to a gungoose, and you walk away with a figure that lets you do THIS:
Kudos MB: Halo design team…kudos.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the commentary and photos! Be sure to check out all the 2015 MEGA BLOKS upcoming sets at BAToys4BABoys.com
Semper Vigilans, Sabre