9 October 2015

REVIEW: MEGA Bloks Halo Banshee Strike

Wail like a Banshee.

With the release of Halo 5 just a couple of weeks away, we're taking a look at yet another of the new MEGA Bloks sets from the Halo range. This time our attention has been turned to the skies, for a set that includes both a vehicle and a micro action action figure. We review the Banshee Strike.

This set, which weighs in with a respectable 173 pieces, allows you to construct the latest incarnation of the most iconic Halo vehicle after the Warthog; the Banshee. It seems the flying attack craft has had a slight redesign for Halo 5, captured neatly here by the MEGA Bloks team. And yes, you might have noticed the wee chap standing behind the craft in the image above, as you also get a new Covenant Elite Minor, complete with needler, included. Lets get cracking, shall we?

Here we are then. All told, the Banshee Strike set took us no more than half an hour to complete, but although the piece number might be low, and the finished product isn't massive, that doesn't mean it wasn't tricky. We found that the wing assemblies were quite difficult as there are lots of small single studded parts to get there in the right position. However, once conquered, the overall effect is great, and this is unmistakably a Banshee. Lets take a look at the figure first.

We've written before about how much we love the MEGA Bloks Halo figures, and although one was included in the Scorpion's Sting set, we've yet to have a proper look at the Elite figures. As you can see they feature double-jointed legs which allow them to stand taller than the Spartans, which adds to the alien look. The head is also extended on an elongated neck which projects the whole figure's stance forwards, but apart from that, the main body under the armour pieces is the same as the one used for the human figures.

The Elite Minor's armour is a unique brown colour with very subtle lighter specks within the plastic. With the exception of the lower legs, all the armour can be removed and swapped with other Covenant armour pieces, something that allows you to fully customise your figures. Which we think is such a good idea.

The most 'striking' (tee hee) thing about the Banshee is that solid carapace piece sat on top. By far the largest single MEGA Bloks part we've yet seen, it really adds a sense of realism to the vehicle that building the section from bricks and plates would have lost. Also, thanks to some great sideways building techniques, the only place you can see studs on the whole model is on the wings.

The rear looks just as good and - once more - very accurate. Here you can also see the engines on the back (which we're pretty sure are a re-use of the Covenant energy sword piece), and also the adjustable flaps on the underside. And of course you can see the gap at the back where the carapace can open to...

...fit the figure. All you have to do is straighten out his legs, fold his arms in, and place him in the gap under the canopy. There's even two little control sticks in there to add yet more realism. Thanks to the bulbous nature of the carapace you don't even have to wedge the figure in there all that much, as there is plenty of space to accommodate him.  

There are no stickers in this set, and the slight details that there are on the hood are printed on. The shot above also highlights the twin-linked blasters on the front of the ship, the smooth parts running along the side, and the complex wings, which can tilt all the way up...

...like this, or all the way down...

...like that. Oh, and what is that keeping the Banshee aloft?

Yes, its a stand made entirely from transparent bricks and plates, here proudly modeled by the owner of the ship. Regular readers will know how much we love it when headphones come with a carry case; well, we love it even more when models of planes or spaceships include a stand, so thanks so much MEGA Bloks.

So MEGA Bloks Halo Banshee Strike is great set, at a reasonable price, that has tonnes of play possibilities. The Banshee itself is highly 'swooshable', for both little hands and big hairy hands. Older collectors will appreciate the accuracy of the deign, and the unique pieces included with it, while younger fans will enjoy a set that is filled with action.


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