Halo Toy Review: Mattel Halo 6 inch figure Series 2 “Build-A-Figure” Imperial Grunt

Technical Specifications:
Articulation:
• Ball Joint Head
• Swivel Joint Neck
• Ball Joint Shoulders
• Swivel Joint Biceps
• Ball Joint Elbows
• Swivel Joint Wrists
• Ball Joint Torso
• Ball Joint Hips
• Ball Joint Knees
Accessories: Needler (Comes with the Spartan Vale action figure set), 1 pin I used from one of the other figures from series 2. (So the grunt could hold the needler, of which you’ll see later in the review.)
Additional Contents: N/A
Cost: Free if you buy one each of series 2 Mattel figures to collect all the parts to build it.
Availability: Mass Retail I got mine from Amazon. (by having purchased all the figures, except for Master Chief which was given to me by 343.)

And on with the pics! (Click pics to make BIGGER)

Below is pictured the Imperial Grunt with corresponding colors to the figures the parts come from. The pic is NOT a reflection of the actual color of the figure. You will see that later in the review. This graphic comes directly from the back of the box of any of the series 2 Mattel halo action figures.

Likewise, the graphic below shows the figures in series 2 with a number to the left of them showing which parts they include that contribute to the Build-A-Figure Imperial Grunt.

Here are all the parts gathered from all the figures in series 2. Including the Needler.

The articulation is MUCH better than expected with this build-a-figure. With exception to no ankle articulation, it has all of the standard articulation that the rest of the Mattel Halo action figures do. That’s quite impressive!

Note there is a hole in the palm of each hand. This comes in handy (pun intended)  for holding weapons as you’ll soon see.

Here is the Grunt in orthogonal views. Be sure and click on this pic to open up a bigger version of it. It’s worth it to see all the detail!

As you can see here, the Grunt can hold the needler…however, it’s not with it’s fingers that it’s doing that. Note that the thumb isn’t wrapped around the weapon.
Instead, you need to use one of the pins that are included with any of the series 2 figures. You can see by the main pic below that the thumb isn’t actually around the weapon. The inset pic shows the pin, which is attached to the hole in the palm.

That would be my only articulation issue with this figure and it’s a small one. Why? Well, consider the size of the hand and the placement of the fingers in correlation to the weapon itself.

Consider this as well, this is the only figure so far from Mattel that has any issue holding weapons. That was a systemic problem with the likes of McFarlane, who had the license before Mattel. Given that the anatomy of the grunt’s hand is just different enough from the longer leaner like of humans and elites, this is a forgivable minor issue.

Another issue I have is with the inconsistency in the color of the armor. The harness is blue while the rest of the armor is varying shades of purple. I’d have preferred all of the armor to match that of the helmet/methane tank.

Beyond this, the Grunt’s anatomy overall is a mishmash of both Bungie and 343’s style. It’s mostly Bungie’s style as the exoskeleton has hard points and spikes, instead of 343’s scales. However, the toes are definitely 343’s style. Bungie’s Grunts had three toes, while 343’s grunts have four. The other odd thing is that the Imperial Armor was not in use in the Bungie Halo games, while it is in the 343 Halo games. So, I guess you can say this is kind of a hybrid grunt. Which I’m actually VERY okay with! I prefer the exoskeleton grunt as opposed to the scaly version and I like the newer armor style of the grunts from 343. So this is a win-win, IMO. Of course, this opinion will vary from fan to fan. On the whole though, I would think this is quite an acceptable Grunt figure.

My biggest complaint is that this should have been one of the regular figures as I want to have a squad of these little suckers. But I DON’T want to have to buy 3-4 sets of series 2 to get all the grunt parts. (So I’ll be eBaying for those parts….) I think I understand why Mattel did this though. It would be a harder sell having a small action figure in the grunt for $20, when all of the other figures are bigger. In the case of the Arbiter and Atriox, a LOT bigger. Though to be honest, I’d have loved to have seen Atriox as the Build-A-Figure.

Evaluation
Sculpt: Excellent 10 of 10 medals! 
Articulation: This figure has articulation that now fairly standard for Mattel Halo figures, with exception to the ankles. Seeing as the ankles are part of a larger chitinous type exoskeleton, no ankle articulation makes sense. 9 out of 10 medals
Paint Application: The paint and/or color choice of the plastic for the armor isn’t consistent. If the torso and lower body armor had matched the rest of the armor, I’d have been ecstatic with it. As it’s not, it doesn’t quite look like it fits. Detailing otherwise is good, especially the methane tank which is exquisite! 8 of 10 medals
Accessories: Since this is a build-a-figure it technically doesn’t have any accessories, even though the box art shows it having the needler. It’s up to you what weapon you put with it. I’m hoping a plasma pistol is made soon, so I can give that to the Grunt. Providing it fits well enough into the hand or doesn’t look out of place with the pin assembly as shown in the review earlier. I’d really would have liked for there to have been sticky grenades included with one of the figures for the grunt. Especially if they were translucent. Opportunity missed. Still, the needler itself is well done. SO going just on that weapon alone… 8.5 out of 10 medals
Playability: Though its articulation is slightly less than the rest of the figures in this series, it still has a lot of play and posing possibilities. 9.5 of 10 medals
Overall: 45 medals out of a total 50 medals. 

Do I recommend this product? For sure! While it scores lowest of the figures from series 2, it’s still a neat little figure to own. If you don’t plan on getting the whole of series 2 though, you’re going to have to do some work to get the respective pieces to put one together. In the long run, it’s likely going to be cheaper for you to just buy all of the figs then sell off the one you don’t want. (Though I suggest keeping ALL of them!)

If you have any questions about this figure that I didn’t cover in the review, please do not hesitate to ask me. Either reply below or e-mail me at sal@halofanforlife.com

If this review gives you an informed decision on whether to purchase the toy or not, please consider a small donation (50 cents) to the blog.You can donate via PayPal to jedisalpitt2002@yahoo.com. Or just click the paypal link at the right on the main page of the site.  It’s much appreciated and helps ensure that HFFL stays registered/active on the internet. Thank You.

-Sal

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About Sal

I’ve got tons of experience with Halo gaming and collecting. I feel I have something to offer to the greater Halo fan community. Posts along the way will be about tips and tricks in the games as well as collecting and many more Halo related things. I’ll also repost interesting articles from the official site, Halowaypoint.com, or from fellow Halo fan sites. As I continue this blog, I hope to help gamers who want advice on the games, as well as any collectors with regards to where to find collectibles as well as deals, coupons and so on. You can also follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/HaloFanForLife or Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/halofanforlife11. Welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll come back again and again. -Sal