Mega Bloks Review: UNSC Spade Vs. Skirmisher

UNSC Spade vs. Skirmisher: Set number 96981

Build Time: 5 minutes sorting, 15 minutes build. Total 20 minutes.

Set Piece count: 204
Minifigs, Weapons and Accessories: Reach style Marine, Skirmisher, “Grenadier” Spartan, right “JFO” arm, left “CQC” arm, Base “Grenadier” helmet, Base “Mark V” torso, Assault Rifle, Needle Rifle, Heavy Machine Gun, Marine Backpack, Grenadier Backpack, long ammo crate
Special Features: 4-wheel independent suspension
Price/Value: $19.99 US

The set has 204 pieces, all but the minifigs, weapons, and accessories are dedicated to the Spade model. The set was a quick build, though there was one instruction error near the beginning. Step 4 puts 2 2×2 brown plates in the wrong position. Instead of in the middle as the step describes, they should be one pip closer to the front as subsequent steps show.
From there on the directions are right. The only problem with some is that the brown and dark grey colors are so close in hue and the directions are so small that it might be hard to distinguish which part you need, so “read” carefully when building.

Click on images to see a larger version.

I showed a pic of the box earlier. Here it is now again for reference.

Here is the back, note the cool armory sets coming soon and the complementary Air Assault Spartan vs. Shade turret.

Here is what you get when you open the box:

Next the minifigs, weapons and accessories:

I’m not fond of the blue-green color on the marine, however it is close to the in-game model (which again I’m not fond of the color). This is not a knock on Mega Bloks, rather the choice of color by Bungie. Apologies that the extra Spartan armor isn’t clear in the photo. To note this spartan is by far the BEST spartan Mega Bloks has produced for the Halo line. Not only is the sculpting top notch, the paint application is extensive and brilliant. The addition of a metallic olive green makes this minifig shine, literally.
The only minor issue I have is with the skirmisher’s plumage. It should be black with slight silver/grey highlights, not silver/grey with black highlights. It’s an easy fix to custom. It likely won’t detract for kids.
The marine’s sculpt is fantastic. While I dread the color, I do look forward to getting more of this style marine. Hopefully we’ll get him in different non-game colors. I’d like to see a green/brown version and a sandy/brown version.

Here are the pieces sorted in what I always call the “brick yard.”

Steps 1-10 nets you this:

Steps 11-14 build the base of the bed of the Spade.

Steps 15-21 piece together the engine area, front and mid frame.


Steps 22-25 complete the rest of the frame and add on the front bumpers and tow cable assembly

Steps 26-28 add the wheels and antennae. Here is a shot of the completed set with minifigs.

I elected not to put the damage stickers on my set, preferring a clean version of the Spade. The hubcaps on the tires are a fantastic sculpt. Oh, of note, the inner grey wheel hubs were a bit of a pain to insert into the rubber wheels. Kids should get their parents to do this for them.

Here are the parts left over:

As always I try to make some little minirig or something out of the left over pieces (makes them easier NOT to lose as well:

All in all this is a fantastic set. Great new minifigs with excellent sculpting and paint application. The Spade seems to be just a tad oversized, however I’m fine with that. The build time was fast and other than the one misstep in the instructions, it was not complicated.

I enjoyed new color bloks. Orange, Brown, and light Blue!

The Spade is somewhat of an obscure vehicle from Halo Reach and I was a little surprised that we got it. It was definitely one though that I wanted Mega Bloks to make and they did not disappoint. Now if we can get the blue and green versions as well!

For the typical retail price of $19.99, this set holds it’s value. With three and a half minifigs and a full sized vehicle it’s hard to refute the price given that minifig sets of 4 are normally $12 nowadays. So for just and extra $8 you get the vehicle too.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 medals.


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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,, 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:!/HaloFanForLife or Facebook at: Welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll come back again and again. -Sal