I've been traveling so I'm behind on cross-posting reviews over here. I think this will be all of them sans Unhelmeted Kat, though.
Anyway, from Friday, here's the Halo Reach Elite Zealot...
All good things must come to an end, and toy lines are no exception. The Muppets ended, the Simpsons ended, Star Trek ended, and now Halo Reach is coming to an end with Series 6. Luckily for Halo fans, this isnít really the end, as the McFarlane Toys Halo brand will be continuing with the new Halo Universe and Halo 4 lines starting this summer. I previously reviewed the Series 6 Unhelmeted Kat, Unhelemeted Jun, Rust HAZOP Spartan, Sabre Pilot, and Brute Major. Now Iím going to close things out with the final Reach Elite, the Elite Zealot. I donít step into Walgreens for any reason, least of all to hunt for a rare white Spartan variant action figure, so this will be my last basic Halo Reach single figure review (though Iíll still have some multi-pack reviews coming up). The Zealot armor is my favorite armor type for Elites, so I figured Iíd save the best for last. And Iím pleased to say that it turns out the Elite Zealot is in fact the best release from this final wave of Reach figuresÖ[You can access the prettied-up version of this review on my blog with the full photo gallery by clicking right here.]The Right:
Zealot is one of the absolute highest ranks a Sangheili (Elite) soldier can achieve, and itís a title that is only granted after killing countless enemies on the battlefield. Elite Zealots are typically in a command position, and are Elites that you donít wanna mess with. I was dismayed when I reviewed the Zealot Elite Drop Pod Mega Bloks set that it wasnít the Zealot armor from Reach, but thereís no such disappointment this time around. This figure is exactly the Elite Zealot I was looking for.
The two things I like the best about this figure are the helmet and the paint deco. Iíll start with the helmet. The Zealot armor features an exotic insectoid looking helmet. Coupled with the Eliteís already scary face and mandibles, and the Elite Zealot is positively horrifying. I can guarantee I would crap myself if I saw this Elite charging at me, and Iím pretty sure that thatís the intent of this armor.
The Elite Zealot features a different-colored armor than weíve seen before on any McFarlane Halo figure: a reddish iron color. The red has an otherworldly sheen to it that real drives home that this is an alien creature. In addition, the alien writings on the helmet and shoulder armor of the Elite Zealot are a real treat, and go a long way toward differentiating this Elite from all of the others released. As with all McFarlane Toys Halo figures, the paint has been applied with the utmost care and thereís no real issues with the deco itself to note. The sculpt for this figure is great, but the paint is even better.
With 26 points of articulation, the Elite Zealot is ready to strike a pose and kick some Spartan ass. Points of articulation include a swivel head, ball-jointed neck, ball-jointed upper torso, double-jointed ball-jointed shoulders, double-jointed elbows, double-jointed wrists, hinge knuckles, swivel hips, double-jointed ball-jointed knees, and ball-jointed feet. It can take (quite) a bit of trial-and-error to find the Elite Zealotís center of balance and get him standing (more on that later), but once you do heís got all the articulation he needs to menace humanity across the galaxy.
Two weapons are included with the Elite Zealot: a Concussion Rifle and a plasma grenade. The Concussion Rifle fits amazingly snugly and naturally into the Eliteís hand due to the hinge joint on the Elite Zealotís fingers, which is a huge relief since so many figures in the line have difficulty holding certain types of weapons. Of course, thatís no surprise, since this same Concussion Rifle came with the Series 2 Elite Officer and worked just as well there.The Wrong:
Iíve had problems getting every single Halo Reach Elite to stand up easily (with the exception of the Elite Ranger, who miraculously didnít have that problem for me), and the Elite Zealot is a total pain to get standing as well. Considering all of the time and work that went into making the Elite mold superb and then making authentic armor to go on top, I wish McFarlane Toys has put a bit more effort into engineering the Elites so that they could actually stand up without a major fuss.
Also, I really didnít want another Concussion Rifle. The Elite Zealots primarily use Energy Swords, and we have a real shortage of those in the Reach line, so I would have much preferred an Energy Sword, especially since I want to army-build this Elite. If McFarlane Toys didnít want to give us an Energy Sword, a plasma repeater or fuel rod would have been much nicer to have as well.Overall:
Though heís not an unorthodox and unique as the near-perfect Elite Ranger, the Elite Zealot is a quality action figure that I only have minor nitpicks with. Iím not excited about the inclusion of another Concussion Rifle, but I canít deny that the Elite Zealot can hold it perfectly. The deco on this figure definitely looks extraterrestrial and complements the alien-looking insectoid helmet fantastically. It can still be a pain to get this Elite to stand, but I think he makes up for it in sheer visual aesthetic coolness. Iím sad to see the Reach line end, but the Elite Zealot is a sensational action figure for the line to go out on, and is highly recommended for any Halo fan.GRADE: A-