The wait is finally over. After months of teasing, toy shows and videos, Mega Bloks Halo Universe is finally starting to appear in stores. Halo Universe is a new interpretation of our classic Halo toys, delivering similar designs at a smaller scale and using a mix of plastic and die-cast metal materials. The result is something entirely new.
What is die-cast?
Die-cast is a term that’s being used a lot here, so we should take a minute to talk about what it is. Basically, it means a toy that is made of or contains a metal alloy — in this case, zinc. The result is toys that feel heavy and solid. If you have no idea what I’m talking about here, all you need to know is that we put some molten metal into a mould and it came out awesome. Check out Wikipedia for the gritty details.
As the ever-suave Green Spartan demonstrates for us, these are designed at a much smaller scale than our classic Halo toys. Why the difference? Miniaturization was one of our priorities when designing Halo Universe; how could we take some of the world’s most detailed miniature collectibles and make them even smaller? Because of this, you’re able to create some pretty incredible battle scenes using a fraction of the space.
Each Halo Universe set includes one figure that is made entirely of die-cast metal. The Vehicle sets that we are looking at here include:
- Covenant Elite (with UNSC Warthog)
- UNSC Marine (with Covenant Banshee)
- UNSC Spartan (with UNSC Scorpion)
I don’t think there’s a vehicle from Halo more iconic than the Warthog. We’ve certainly given it a variety of treatments over the past few years, so when we decided to do Halo Universe the Warthog was an obvious choice.
This iteration retains some of the trademark features our vehicles are known for — namely, the chunky real rubber tires with individual suspension. If you’re someone who likes to play with our vehicles as well as display them, you’ll be happy to know that this model rolls and turns incredibly smoothly — which is why I spent about ten minutes between taking these photos rolling it around the giant tables in our showroom.
Underneath you can get a look at the simple-but-effective suspension system and the screws that hold the hybrid design together. This is what allows it to turn so well.
The Banshee is another incredibly iconic vehicle, this time coming from the Covenant side. On the Banshee you can see the Mega Bloks influence pretty clearly! It also includes this post for aerial posing.
As on our Mega Bloks model, the rear flaps are moveable. The front hatch has actually been improved with a satisfying spring action that causes it to complete opening and closing on its own. And surprise! There’s a white Flight Elite chilling out in there.
Arguably the coolest and inarguably the biggest set in Halo Universe, the Scorpion packs an incredible amount of detail and functionality even in its shrunken state. All of the aesthetics have been painstakingly recreated, right down to the battle damage along the cannon barrel.
The cannon turret rotates 360 degrees and the cannon can be aimed using a single finger. Of course, if it can be aimed …
It fires! Simply pressing this button initiates the springless missile launching system (which we are rather proud of)! It has a pretty long range for such a small model. I think in terms of annoying my co-workers the Wolverine still reigns supreme — however, I think you could make a pretty cool war game using this as a core element.
Of course, what good is a vehicle if nobody can get inside? So we’ve included a functional hatch.
To wrap things up, let’s talk about the terrain plates. Each vehicle set includes at least two terrain plates. The underside of these plates is actually Mega Bloks compatible, and are connected to each other using included 2×4 plates.
And that’s a wrap for the Halo Universe vehicle series. If you want to expand the action even further, there are three Battle Packs available that include six units each — and of course, one die-cast figure per set.
Overall, I am pretty happy with this stuff. The build quality of this series is incredibly high, and the size of it is perfect for displaying on my desk and in my apartment! Halo Universe is something entirely new for us here at Mega Bloks. We’d love to hear what you think about it, so please let us know in the comments. Thanks!