Today we’re having a peek at a crossover between two of our most favorite media: big-name games and tiny interlocking block toys. Today we’re preparing for Halo 5 by taking a closer look at several of this season’s Halo-brand toy sets from the folks behind Mega Bloks. Just like the Halo video game franchise, these toys strike a place between childhood and adulthood – a pressure point in the body of the gamer. After your Master Chief experience but before Halo 5, here you’ll find something very different.
Halo 5 arrives on the 27th of October, 2015. Until you pick up your copy of the game – or perhaps as you pick that precious box up from the store – you’ll also find Mega Bloks’ Halo collection. These bricks can be found in Target and Wal-mart locations across the United States as well as in a number of fine toy stores throughout the world.
These bricks might remind you of a very similar brand of building toys. While it’s no secret that we’re pretty big fans of LEGO here on SlashGear, we must acknowledge the one place that the LEGO brand intentionally limits itself: their content must all be appropriate for children of all ages.
Mega Bloks doesn’t worry about this quite so much. They make toys based on all sorts of licenses, including video games that most certainly aren’t appropriate for little kids.
But they are toys. There’s no mistaking these products for anything other than toys. But while similar products might feel a bit more like a toy, these kits feel more like models. Like hobby models – model airplanes and model spaceships. The sorts of models you put together with glue. Mega Bloks, of course, require no glue, just the click of plastic in plastic.
The models we’ve put together are as follows:
• Scorpion’s Sting : set CNG68, 616 pieces, ages 8 and up, $54.99.
• Phaeton Gunship: set CNG67, 455 pieces, ages 8 and up, $44.99.
• UNSC Attack Gausshog: set CNG66, 229 pieces, ages 8 and up, $24.99.
• Covenant Commander : set CNH23, 97 pieces, ages 8 and up, $9.99 USD.
Watch the teaser for HALO 5 here and see if you can spot the Microsoft Studios tip-of-hat to the HALO-brand toy industry.
The Scorpion’s Sting set is the largest of the four we’ve put together and reviewed, and the best example of well-made bricks. If you look up close you’ll notice that the plastic MEGA uses here is not all one color – it’s green mixed with hints of black. Because of the mixture process the company uses, each brick is unique.
Printing on bricks here is precise and sharp. Surprisingly so, in fact, since the cannon here was so difficult to finagle together. If there’s one place MEGA lacks precision machining in toy parts, its in cylinders. You’ll see this again in the section below about the Gausshog.
You’ll notice our tank cannon is always pointed upward here, this is because the cannon’s barrel’s connector pieces are JUST a little smaller than they should be, so they don’t always hold the cannon tightly in place.
This is only a minor setback, on the other hand, as the rest of the tank fits perfectly. Tracks roll right, pieces click fine, and the final look and feel of the tank is top quality.
The Phaeton Gunship is not for children. They will break it. This ship depends on your ability to rely on a couple of transparent rod pieces to keep the ship hoisted up. The two cylindrical pieces of the ship are connected to the hull by two more tiny transparent rods, which can break if your 4-year-old accidentally topples upon the ship. That’s something that’s going to happen.
Otherwise the ship is pretty neat. Two cockpits, lots of beam cannons, three micro action figures. One basic UNSC Spartan with Orbital armor and a fabulous Pilum Rocket Launcher – and two Promethean soldiers with their own unique weapons.
UNSC Attack Gausshog
Master Chief and Arbiter, together again. Before the oddity that will be the Master Chief’s destiny in Halo 5, here you’ll find SPARTAN and Sangheili together in a good time aboard their heavier-duty Warthog-based UNSC Attack Gausshog ATV.
The good bits here include the inclusion of these two iconic characters in the same box as well as the well-formed, iconic nature of the vehicle itself. On the negative side, the gun’s base tube doesn’t fit tightly to its base peg, so you’re going to be relying on the figure controlling the gun to provide all the friction to keep it in place.
If you’re looking to buy an inexpensive set that’s also pretty rad – or just put a set on your desk to fly around every once in a while – this is it. You’ve got a Ghost, you’ve got the the Jul ‘Mdama micro action figure, you’ve got your very own Energy Sword.
There really aren’t any drawbacks with this set. It’s ten bucks, you’ll be able to put it together in less than an hour, and you get a gosh-darned Energy Sword.
These four sets are just a tiny sampling of the vast collection available from MEGA right this minute. The whole shebang can be found in your local toy store or department store’s building block aisle – right alongside the rest of MEGA’s Mega Bloks collection.