So do the action figures from Joyride Studios. And the main character of any assortment of these excellent action figures, designed by Sculptech Studios, is of course, the Spartan.
Master Chief is the core character of the HALO world. This is the character that you play, and he wears the Spartan armor. But there are other Spartans, and they come in a wide variety of colors of armor.
For Series 5, we have the STEEL SPARTAN. I discovered this assortment at Hot Topic. Despite the fact that Hot Topic is a rather unnerving store for someone in my age bracket, I can't deny the fact that that have an interesting, if small, toy section, and their employees, while frequently as peculiar as some of the store's merchandise, are also very helpful. I was perusing the action figure section when one of the clerks mentioned that they'd just gotten a new assortment of HALO 2 figures in. I suspected it might contain the Steel Spartan, so I asked if I could see it. He readily opened the box for me, and sure enough, there was the Steel Spartan.
There's something about the Steel Spartan that looks even more "all business" than the traditional military-green Master Chief, and certainly moreso than most of the other colors. Although the figure has a certain amount of green trim painted on the arms, legs, and helmet (technically, there are three different Steel Spartans, all with different trim -- I got the green-trim one), the steel-grey color of the armor has a certain "unfinished" look to that, that in its own way is quite impressive. It's almost as if this particular wearer of the Spartan armor said, "Forget the fancy paint. I don't need any fancy paint job on this to go out and do my job. Just give me the armor." And so we have this dark grey, semi-metallic Spartan that looks to be all business. It works.
I've reviewed quite a few Spartans, and it's probably been a while since I've commented about the overall construction and articulation of the figure. For the most part, it's excellent. The figure stands a little over eight inches in height, is very well-detailed, and highly poseable. The figure moves at the head, arms, upper swivel-arm, double-jointed elbows, mid-torso, waist, legs, upper leg swivel, double-jointed knees, and ankles. About the only problem articulation area on just about all of the Spartans are the wrists, especially the right wrist. They're notoriously loose.
The Steel Spartan comes with a good supply of accessories, including one item never seen before. Along with his shotgun and Magnum weapons, he comes with a "CTF Flag". I honestly didn't know what this was. I'll admit I've never played the video game. I don't own an XBox, and I'm so horrible at video games that if I did try to play Halo, I'd probably end up getting so many Spartans killed I'd feel obliged to apologize to the action figures.
So what the heck was a "CTF Flag"? Did "CTF" stand for something within the Halo storyline that I just wasn't aware of? I asked a friend of mine, who is a dedicated Halo fan and has played the game. Seems it stands for "Capture The Flag". There will be a brief pause while I go bang my head against the wall for unmitigated stupidity.
Apparently, "Capture the Flag" is among the various training exercises that Spartan troopers participate in. Makes sense. Anyway, the flag is one of the larger accessories I've seen come with these figures. It's a neatly painted plastic flag with a rather impressive, if somewhat scary-looking, symbol at the top in the form of a gold skull. A nicely detailed and rather futuristic-looking four-legged base for the flag is also included.
Overall, the HALO 2 STEEL SPARTAN is one of the more impressive, and imposing, colors they've done for this popular figure. I've since seen him turn up at Toys "R" Us, one of the few otherwise "specialty store" toy lines that TRU carries. You should also be able to find him at Suncoast or Hot Topic. It would appear that GameStop and Software Etc. are, unfortunately, no longer carrying action figures of any sort. This is not good news for quite a few lines, actually.
But wherever you're able to turn him up, I definitely recommend adding the STEEL SPARTAN to your HALO 2 action figure collection!