6 August 2015

REVIEW: MEGA Bloks Halo Scorpion's Sting

Tanks a lot.

We're back with another MEGA Bloks Halo review, and this time we've gotten our teeth into something meaty. Taking a look at a lone Charlie Series figure might whet our appetites, but this build has satisfied our brick-loving hunger. We charge into the fray with the MEGA Bloks Halo Scorpion's Sting.

Our first proper MEGA Bloks Halo set certainly didn't disappoint. The Scorpion's Sting comes with 616 pieces and three figures. Altogether it took us about three hours to build; a time that might have been much less if this hadn't been our first ever MEGA Bloks set. Not to dwell too much on the similarities and differences between this and LEGO (which we were always going to consider due to the number of LEGO sets we review), but if you've never tried one of these, be warned... the parts do not come in sequential numbered bags!

Because of that, the first 30 minutes following unboxing were spent sorting all the bits into appropriate groups, so they could be found more easily during construction. We actually enjoyed the process quite a bit, and it was a good opportunity to get acquainted with the different shapes, moulds, and colours of the MEGA Bloks system.

But anyway, here is the finished product, and we think it is great. The main part of the set is of course the Scorpion tank itself, which is a mainstay of the Halo world. All four tracks roll independently, as well as pivoting up and down. The main cannon rotates 360 degrees, as well as elevating through 90 degrees. The forward machine gun turret can accommodate a figure and spin all the way around as well. The driver sits in a fully-enclosed seat just behind that, while at the rear there is an opening compartment to fit two or three more figures. Tonnes of play value here.

In terms of the characters themselves, the set includes (from L to R) a Covenant Elite, a Spartan Protector, and Spartan Buck. All three come with their own unique weapons, and are built from the same system of armour-over-figure that we explored in the Charlie Series review. We love the extra points of articulation on the Covenant Elite's legs (because he's an alien) and the eye-catching paint job on the Protector.

So he has at least a chance against the behemoth that is the Scorpion tank, the Elite is also given a plasma cannon. Just four parts make it up, and we did appreciate the blue transparent pieces to make it appear suitably extraterrestrial.  

The humans get a bit more fire-power thankfully, and as mentioned above the Spartans can happily man their tank as they ride it into battle. The forward machine gun turret can fit a single figure, and thanks to the weapon's grip, his hand can clamp on to create a nice pose.

Behind that, in a very well-concealed position, dear Buck can slot into the driver's seat. Unlike the machine gun turret there is an actual moulded chair piece used here, allowing a figure to sit down in relative comfort. Fit the figure in correctly and you'll be able to close the blast cover over his head.

Round the back of the tank, between the rear tracks, we have Buck pointing at a seemingly innocuous panel, complete with a great level of detail that can be found all over the Scorpion's Sting set.

Oh look, it was actually the entrance to the inner compartment; a space that can fit all three of the set's figures inside. Right now Buck is having a bit of a kip in there, but if you have other Spartan figures, you can load them up, drive into combat, and unleash hell.

Another great feature of the tank is how flexible all four track units are. They all pivot on an individual 'pin' part, and use other well-concealed parts to limit the movement to keep it looking realistic. Because of this the Scorpion can be driven over fairly rough terrain on those...

...actual rolling tracks. Unlike LEGO tracks which you might find in a Technic set, these are one complete rubber piece. That gives the tank real grip, even on a flat and smooth surface, as well removing a frustrating building element. Because no one likes putting an endless line of tiny track pieces together.

One element of the MEGA Bloks system that has really impressed us is the colouring of the bricks. Each piece has a marble-like quality, where two colours are subtly blended. This works exceptionally well on this set, where a camouflage paint job would be necessary for any level of realism. Also there is not a single sticker in the entire set, even on places which we assumed there would be, like the above UNSC crest...

...and on the lettering along the side. There are also printed parts with white stripes on the front tracks and atop the main turret. All other details, such as exhausts, air vents, lights and access panels, are made from actual parts. This creates a phenomenal amount of 'real' texture which was both a joy to assemble and behold when completed. 

The MEGA Bloks Halo Scorpion's Sting set is great and exactly what we want in a brick-build toy: fun to put together, lots of play features, durability, and awesome good looks. From our somewhat out-of-date knowledge of Halo, the design matches that of the Scorpion tank itself, while updating a few details that we will no doubt see in the forthcoming release of Halo 5: Guardians this October.

Check out the set while you can, grab your assault rife, and we'll see you for another MEGA Bloks Halo set review soon!


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