MEGA Bloks HALO Wars
Reconstruct the epic battles.. one building block at a time.
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The ongoing success of the HALO franchise has increased with the release of the HALO Wars video game. Bringing an entirely new type of gameplay to this immensely popular series, the RTS (real-time strategy) HALO Wars not only introduced avid fans to a new perspective on playing HALO-based games, but also introduced the prequel happenings in the HALO universe. The game allows players to see the viewpoints of humans and Covenant alike during the early stages of the interplanetary war. This, in turn, allows an entirely new realm of toys differing with the current HALO 3 lines.
The first such company to divulge into HALO Wars is the MEGA Bloks, which utilizes building blocks to create exquisite pieces. And not only did MEGA Bloks decide to jump into the HALO toy realm, they did a cannonball from 20 feet high with 6 sets covering a majority of the iconic vehicles seen in the game. The sets include everything from both UNSC and Covenant turrets, the Ghost, Warthog, Hornet, the ultra powerful Scorpion tank, the Banshee, and finally, a vehicle first seen in HALO Wars: the UNSC Hawk. And something that MEGA Bloks had never done that’s exclusive to this series is the introduction of camouflage blocks. This effect nicely enhances the look of the vehicles depicted in each set.
MINI FIGURES: Included in the varying sets are 4 different mini figures. These include the popular Spartan decked out in Mark IV armor, the Hellbringers which are flamethrower Marines, the ominous Elites, and of course the always comical cannon fodder of the Covenant, the Grunts.
The Spartan, Hellbringer, and Elites all have the same type of articulation. These include ball-jointed neck, ball-jointed shoulders, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, ball-jointed hips, and hinged knees. This degree of articulation for such small figures is impressive and I must say the quality of the figures is equally as impressive. I had no problems at all posing the figures and never felt like they would break under any stress I put upon them.
The Grunt, because of its extreme small size, is only articulated on the neck, shoulders, and hips but is more than enough to get some varying poses.
SET 1 – UNSC TURRET: This 54 piece set is the first in the MEGA Bloks HALO Wars line and is perhaps the most basic. This set is the turret that the human forces in the games(the UNSC, or United Nations Space Command) use in battles.
The turret can rotate a full 360° and includes four blaster cannons for taking out any ground or aerial Covenant vehicles.
Also included in this set are 3 Spartans with one having a SMG and two having shotguns. The turret can also go be situated in an up, anti-aircraft position if desired. This set normally retails for $9.99.
SET 2 – COVENANT GHOST: This set includes 72 pieces and is used to create one of the most common vehicles seen in the HALO games. This rapid assault vehicle is used in raids during battle by the Covenant.
The vehicle features twin blaster cannons and a boosted gravity propulsion drive. The set packs an Elite with a Beam Rifle and 3 Grunts. This set normally retails for $9.99.
SET 3 – UNSC WARTHOG: This large set includes 173 pieces to create not only the most recognizable vehicle from the series, but also a Covenant Battle Turret.
As for the turret, it’s a very simple build and comes with an Elite armed with a Beam Rifle and has great mobility as it can rotate a full 360° around.
The Warthog is, simply put, freaking awesome and not too difficult to put together. It has a sort of suspension system allowing the wheels to easily maneuver over any obstacle in its way (or perhaps a pesky Grunt).
The Warthog is also accompanied by two Spartans armed with SMGs, but they really don't need any weapons with you one Spartan driving and the other manning the M41 Light Anti-Aircraft Gun. This vehicle is a must-buy for any true fan of the HALO series and will not disappoint. The retail price for this set is normally $19.99.
SET 4 – UNSC HORNET: Another big set packing 159 pieces that create the Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicle designed to provide close air support for UNSC troops. The set is a nice addition to the UNSC armory and is moderate in difficulty for building as some aspects of it will detach if handled with too much force. The cockpit opens up allowing the included Spartan, who comes with a shotgun, to be placed inside.
Also included in this set are 3 Grunts that serve as yet another hindrance to the UNSC’s campaign against the Covenant. As can be seen in the picture gallery for this set, the Spartan and Grunts can be placed on the wings for both dramatic and/or comedic value. The normal retail price for this set is $19.99.
SET 5 – UNSC SCORPION: This huge set includes 278 pieces to create the most badass weapons platform in the UNSC arsenal. There are not enough good things I could write about this set to express how awesome it truly is.
As for building difficulty, it’s slightly moderate, but not because of problems having pieces fit together but just the sheer number used to create it. Each of the four singular treads can movie independently of each other allowing for some interesting poses (as can be seen above with the Scorpion crushing the Ghost).
Also, the cockpit opens up so that the red Spartan equipped with an SMG can be placed inside. The Scorpion is also armed with a 90mm High-Velocity Cannon and 7.62mm Machine Gun that can rotate fully and move up and down. This set can easily be the favorite for most and will not disappoint. The normal retail price for this set is $29.99.
SET 6 – AERIAL AMBUSH: This set includes a whopping 376 pieces to create a vast air battle. The Covenant have two components to this set with the first being a second assault turret. The next is the main aerial assault craft of the Covenant forces, the Banshee. They are armed with twin Plasma Cannons and the Fuel Rod Cannon used for taking out any ground troops. The cockpit flips up to open so that the include Elite, also armed with a Beam Rifle, can take control.
The build difficulty for the Banshee is not too bad but the wings can be sensitive to coming off if handled too much.
The last vehicle included in this set is the UNSC Hawk which is a super-unit upgrade anti-vehicle of the UNSC Hornet seen first in the HALO Wars game. It is armed with a powerful nose-mounted Laser Cannon and dual Machine Guns.
The build difficulty for this is also not too difficult and is pretty sturdy. The cockpit, like all the other vehicles, opens up so that the Spartan armed with a shotgun can be placed inside. Two other figures are included in this set with the first being another Grunt and the second being exclusive to this set, the Flamethrower Marine. Once built, he is the only action figure that requires some slight assembly, he is a menacing addition to the UNSC arsenal and is definitely helpful in creating unique diorama sets.
While each included vehicle may not stand out as being the coolest by themselves, put them all together and this set really stands out as a definite platform for creating a massive display. The normal retail price for this set is $39.99.
Overall, the 6 sets that MEGA Bloks have created to commemorate the newly established HALO Wars franchise do a more than adequate job of catching the essence of the characters and vehicles in building blocks fashion. While some sets really stand out in my mind in both build and in-game accuracy (Warthog and Scorpion), all the sets will please the buyer with what’s included.
That being said, buying just one of the first couple sets might leave the buyer with some remorse as they’re not very compelling on their own. One should know that these are used more as army builders rather than standalones. Once you get up to the larger sets, and especially the last 2, is where you really feel like MEGA Bloks has created some pretty dynamic pieces. The quality of the blocks is also good, but there are some pieces that could have been molded for better gripping strength (I’m looking at you Banshee wings). Yet, I was very pleasantly surprised at how each vehicle turned out as far as comparisons to in-game shots. Any fan of HALO and HALO Wars alike will enjoy adding these sets to their ballooning collections of HALO memorabilia.
MEGA Bloks' HALO Wars sets can be found at most mass market retailers. For free downloads and further HALO Wars information, visit www.megabrands.com/en/kids/halowars.
For over 200 images of these awesome MEGA Bloks HALO Wars sets, CLICK HERE!
Review and Photos by Aaron Binder
Review Samples Courtesy of MEGA Bloks