Sunday, 30 December 2012

Is this the Lowest Quality Piece of Halo Merchandise Ever?

In the last two months there have been many criticisms levelled at Halo's custodians, 343industries. We should not forget that as well as being a videogame developer they are also in charge of all aspects of the Halo Universe, from books, to comics, to hoodies and action figures.

There have been suggestions that Halo has become nothing but a cash-cow. Big money deals have been signed with Pizza Hut, Mountain Dew, Doritos, Virgin Gaming and Ford. Not to mention the swathe of anti-consumer pre-order "incentives" we were met with at launch. In all of these cases I can see why 343industries would sign off on them, they all have benefits to the franchise beyond cold, hard cash. [I'm treating increased sales of the game as a discreet benefit, separate from money in the bank even if the two do go hand in hand.]


Today I popped open a box of "Halo Mega Bloks METAL SERIES". For reference the two sets I have here are not cheap, they RRP at £20 for the Scorpion and £8 for the figures.





First impressions are not great, whilst the packaging is cool it's clear that the quality here is total pap. It's actually quite funny that they choose to move that chrome Spartan front and centre as it looks like a screwed up piece of tinfoil.


When I open the box, things don't get any better, it quickly becomes apparent that the "Halo Mega Bloks METAL SERIES" doesn't actually contain all that much metal. The figures are actually very cheap plastic, the only exception being the chrome Spartan which I'd guess is pewter with silver paint. "DIECAST!" proclaims the packaging, which is all well and good, but what good is diecasting, when the die and materials you're using are of such low quality?


The Scorpion itself is mostly plastic, the wheelarches and centre body are metal while the turret, wheels, underside and hatch are all plastic. The turret does fire, although rather than shooting a shell, it just fires off the end of the turret. : \

Yes, they did need to add a bit of cheap plastic to the driver so he fits in the cockpit properly.. 
You may be wondering why it doesn't really look all that much like the Scorpions you see in game? Well that's because Mega Bloks have taken the curious decision to base this model on their own Mega Bloks Scorpion as opposed to the actual in-game Scorpion. A bastardisation of a bastardisation, if you will.

One final criticism before I leave you is that the antennae on top of the turret doesn't fit in the box properly, the box art indicates that it should be a proudly erect antennae, but because the Scorpion doesn't fit in it's own box, it ends up irreparably bent.

If this didn't say Halo on it, if it was a kids' tank toy on sale in the 99p Store, I'd think it was overpriced. These little green army men actually have a better build quality than the figures in the "Halo Mega Bloks METAL SERIES".



There's only two reasons I can see for this to exist. It's either a quick cash-in, designed to dupe unsuspecting parents at Christmas time or it's intended to be of such low quality that it makes Mega Bloks main line of Halo toys seem premium quality. Either way it's best avoided, especially when Jada Toys excellent models can be picked up for a similar price. It's concerning that even in the face of the Mountain Dew and Virgin Gaming promotions it's these toys from Mega Bloks that offend me the most.

- Cowboy Out.

5 comments:

  1. Man, that really is terrible quality. I was looking forward to getting this too : (

    I just got the Warthog for the holidays. It seems like it's in decent shape, but I haven't put it together yet. I did also get to RvB packs and noticed the paint was a little off, but it gives it a nice hand painted look (it's bad, but better than I'd manage). Hoping they turn out better when they're shelved. I'm worried now : /

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  2. Theres not even any space in between the prongs on the plasma rifle! Look at the human weapons, the only one i can recognize is the rocket launcher!

    THIS IS BAD.

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  3. I'll be honest, I've always felt that Megablocks was lacking in quality, and I have never seen anything to convince me otherwise. It was sad when Microsoft partnered with Megablocks for Halo Wars, and I was sad to see it continue with Halo 4.

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  4. About the criticism around 343i... You may find interesting this link:
    https://careers.microsoft.com/jobdetails.aspx?ss=&pg=0&so=&rw=5&jid=92473&jlang=en&pp=ss


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    Replies
    1. I think no matter what happened, 343i would have come in for some criticism. The Halo community expects the best, and having to deliver that with your studios' first game is close to impossible. 343 would have expected a vocal group of dissenters, every Halo game has had that, there's always been a group who feel they've been shafted.

      It will take time for the dust to settle and for us to really assess what 343i delivered with Halo 4.

      As for that link.. I've applied. :P

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