New series of stylized Xbox LIVE Halo characters...

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McFarlane Toys, Xbox LIVE, and 343 Industries are joining forces to bring Halo fans an all-new series of unique collectibles: Halo Avatars. While McFarlane's standard 6-inch figures are based on the Halo video games themselves, Halo Avatars are based on the stylized representations of the Halo characters that are available on the Xbox 360 console itself.

First introduced in 2008, avatars are the online representation of a gamer's Xbox LIVE profile. Players can select from thousands of unique bodies, hairstyles, clothing, and accessories to create their own custom character. Through the online marketplace, gamers can add themed avatar gear from dozens of video game licenses, including Halo. From Halo-themed t-shirts, to Spartan helmets, to full suits of character armor, gamers can make their avatars look like true Halo fans, or even characters from the Halo universe.

Todd McFarlane, CEO and founder of McFarlane Toys, explains, "Rather than make up our own style of mini-figure, we decided to take advantage of the style that Xbox LIVE has established with their avatars. Since each avatar represents an individual gamer, players have a strong personal connection to their avatars. When you choose a Halo Spartan helmet for your avatar, that helmet becomes more than just a piece of some fictional character's clothing -- it becomes part of your online persona. Avatars have become the mascot of the Xbox brand. To represent the customization options available to online avatars, McFarlane Toys' avatar figures feature interchangeable heads, torsos, and legs. Collectors can mix and match pieces to create their own custom avatar figure, much like they can with their online avatar. In addition to human characters and apparel, Halo Avatars also includes various "prop" items such as Warthogs and Banshees.

Each 2 1/2" tall avatar figure is randomly packaged in a small, Halo-themed plastic cylinder. The top and bottom of each cylinder can be removed, and each piece can be used as a display base. The tubes can even be connected, stacking to form a multi-level display.

"With Halo Avatars," Todd continues, "we wanted to do something as different as possible from our standard 6-inch figures. Those figures are big, game-accurate, heavily articulated, and serious. Our avatar figures are small, stylized, pre-posed, and playful. With a standard action figure, you know exactly what you're getting. With an avatar figure, each one is a surprise. And collecting a full series of our standard figures can be a significant investment, but an avatar figure is something any fan can afford." The MSRP for each Halo Avatar figure is $3.

Halo Avatars Series 1 consists of eight random figures:

* Master Chief
* Carter
* Flaming ODST Helmet and ODST T-Shirt
* Green Operator Helmet and Reach T-Shirt
* Elite Costume
* Warthog
* Metallic Gold Master Chief

Halo Avatars debuts in fall 2012 and continues into 2013. Available at Walmart, Target, Toys "R" Us, GameStop, local comic book stores, drug stores, and other retailers.

Click the links below for more recently announced McFarlane Halo news:

Halo 4 and Halo Universe Action Figures

New Halo Micro Ops