Halo Odd Pods
The Arbiter
4 Inch Scale
By: McFarlane Toys
2009
$8.99

So here’s another Odd Pod. This time it’s not of a typical Halo character, but of one of the many alien factions from the game. At least I think he’s an alien. He looks sort of like a Snickers bar with a bad attitude.

The disgraced Commander of the Covenant Fleet of Particular Justice was stripped of his rank and privilege and forced to don the ancient Armor of The Arbiter—a traditional Elite custom, where a warrior is sent on a final suicide mission to reclaim lost honor in death. In the pursuit of this mission, the Arbiter discovered that the Covenant’s Great Journey was a lie, and he subsequently led a rebellion—a civil war that has shaken the foundations of the Covenant. The Arbiter’s people, the Elites, have joined humanity’s struggle against the rest of the Covenant. It is a strange and strained alliance.

I mentioned back in February when I reviewed the Spartan Hayabusa Odd Pod that I don’t follow Halo. I’ve never played any of the games, but judging from that bio it seems as if this guy was once a bad guy but now he’s good. Simple enough. The actual Arbiter looks a lot more like one of those creatures from Tremors, but with arms and legs.


Obviously this version has been made “cute” as to fit in with the Mighty Mugg ripoff feel. As I mentioned before, this is a harder road to hoe because of the designs of these characters but at least McFarlane had a little more to work with here. I’m still not sure what I think about these McFarlane Halo figures, but I do seem somewhat drawn to these little, Odd Pods.

Packaging:
The Odd Pods come in small window box packaging. There’s nothing overly special about the packages, but chances are if you’ve been to TRU they’ve caught your eye. My local TRU just restocked these, so I guess they’re selling decent. This is the only place I ever see Halo figures but select Targets also carry them I guess.


There’s nothing fancy on the box and it still seems like it’s catering to kids by comparison to the other Halo figures. Either way it’s functional. I don’t love it or hate it.

Sculpt:
Sculpt wise there isn’t much here to distinguish this guy from the Hayabusa model. You’ve got the little Mighty Beanz style body and a different head piece glued in. Making those head pieces removable might would have added to their customizable nature actually.


The paint work is pretty good but I’ll be honest it doesn’t really feel like the Arbiter to me. You know how Mighty Muggs generally look like the thing they’re supposed to be but meshed into that style? Well this doesn’t seem like that. This guy looks like something different.


Not that it’s a bad design per say, it just doesn’t feel much like the actual thing it’s supposed to be. Of course not every Mighty Mugg is a homerun either, so your mileage may vary. I think this bean or pod body is just a little too pill shaped to really add much in the way of character. I do think it works pretty well on the regular Halo guys but that’s just because it makes them seem like robots or something.

Articulation:
You aren’t getting much in the way of articulation here. Not that you’re supposed to be, but it’s not really great one way or the other. Compared to most Mighty Muggs or Dunny Kid Robot guys you do have more articulation. That’s a plus if you’re into designer vinyl… Of course if you’re actually into designer vinyl, you probably look down on stuff like this.


The Arbiter has swivel neck, swivel waist, swivel arms and swivel legs. That allows for a bit of movement, but not a ton. As with the previous figure, you can swap his arms, head, torso leg area with the other figures. It’s an endless combination of possibility (and by endless I mean extremely limited) to create new Odd Pods.

Accessories:
You only get one weapon with this guy. It’s a shame these little dudes don’t come with more. I don’t really get it. There’s less work involved here than a normal figure, so why not load these guys up with fun accessories? So the Arbiter only really uses this one weapon? Why not give him a treat bag filled with his favorite snacks? Or a boom box? Something, you know, creative and fun to make it more worth a purchase?


Either way he gets his patented laser gun thing. It looks pretty good in this cartoony format. It doesn’t fit into his hand unless you pop it apart. Kudos for that little bit of engineering. Also since both pieces fit in the hand, you could make it like two guns instead of the one. If you were so inclined.

Value:
I was able to get this guy for $4. I have no problem with that price tag. However, he only seems available at Toys R Us, where they want a ridiculous $11 for him. Unless you get off by sticking these little Odd Pods up your own Odd Pod, I wouldn’t pay that price for them. If you can find them for $5 and below they aren’t so bad.


“I’m fun size!”
Score Recap:
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 6
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Gun
Value – 6
Overall – 6 out of 10

I don’t know why I like these Odd Pods, but I do. I really think McFarlane should do something else with them. I mean, it’s not like he hasn’t already made the molds. With this sort of platform one mold pretty much fits all. I just wish they were a bit more creative. The Halo theme is such a serious franchise that I think these Odd Pods should have been made more fun. Oh well, missed opportunity I guess.

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