Review: Halo Mega Bloks Containment Outpost Patrol

KURT WHAT ARE YOU DOING BUYING CHEAP LEGO KNOCKOFFS HOW DARE YOU GIVE THOSE DIRTY THIEVES YOUR MONEY INSTEAD OF BUYING LEGO LIKE A NORMAL DECENT PERSON

With that out of the way, Mega Bloks have come a long way from their shaky origins. Thanks to their popular Halo licensing and progressive minifigure design, Mega Bloks has distinguished itself from other “leading brand” building block construction toys, especially with their minifigure breakthrough that came with the Call of Duty line, introducing a ridiculously poseable action figure build that has lately made its way into the Halo line. With these new super-articulated minifigs, my interest in Halo Mega Bloks has been piqued, so I picked up the Target-exclusive Containment Outpost Patrol. A small base, three minifigs, and a mech suit seemed pretty good for $40, but how does the set stack up?

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At a Glance

I was debating how to format reviews for Lego/Mega Bloks sets, so I’ll give it a go this way, by starting with the full package then breaking down the components. As a whole, the Containment Outpost Patrol works well as a self-contained set. You get a fairly detailed and well-built little outpost/base, a Cyclops mech suit, and three Spartans to man the base. On top of that, you also get the added play feature of being able to swap out the orange armor on two of the Spartans to glow-in-the-dark armor, turning them into infected zombies. With these elements, I feel like this setting could make a fairly creepy horror story about a zombie plague breaking out in this small outpost… but the open nature of the base makes it a bit less believable.

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The Minifigs

You get three new-type Spartan minifigs in this set, with generic Halo: Reach-style armor bits and helmets identifying them as HAZOP, Commando, and Scout (from left to right). HAZOP and Commando share shoulder armor, while Scout gets his own pair. Other than the helmet and shoulders, the three Spartans are identical and look pretty good together as a small squad, especially if you add the JFO Spartan from the upcoming Last Man Standing set. As far as weapons go, the team is a bit short, only supplied with a sniper rifle, a flamethrower, and a few grenades. I guess the mech suit makes up for it. There’s also a single jetpack for one lucky Spartan to utilize, which will no doubt come in handy when his teammates turn into the living dead…

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I’ll take this time to cover the new Halo minifigure body type. Articulation consists of a balljointed head, universal shoulders, universal elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, balljointed hips, and single-joint knees. The optional armor parts consist of the helmet/head, as well as separate armor parts for the chest, back, shoulders, crotch, and thighs. The parts are fairly easy to switch out, with the most difficult step sometimes being removing the lower body from the torso to switch out crotch armor. Even so, it’s still a lot easier than popping on joints on the Call of Duty figures.

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After presumably being exposed to some kind of infectious, mind-altering disease (or simply having been killed by another player in Infection), the Commando and Scout Spartans can be switched out into their zombie forms, complete with glow-in-the-dark armor and green energy swords. The best advantage over the previous Zombie MB Spartans is, aside from the ability to swap from normal armor to zombie armor, the greater articulation allows for better sword posing. Also, the glow-in-the-dark works super well.

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The Containment Outpost

I suppose as far as military bases go, this one can seem a bit underwhelming. It’s really nothing more than a two-story platform with a communication/radar/control/targeting system/whatever console, a rather impressive-looking cannon turret, and what could generously be called a sniper’s nest. You also get a barrel, a gas tank, and a weed for decoration, too. While it’s a bit silly to call this a full military outpost, I actually kind of like it because it has a good amount of play features. The sandbags on the middle platform provide a nice place for a Spartan to snipe oncoming zombies, the control panel could be used as a desperate signal for help on the brink of an outbreak, and the somewhat futile-looking AA cannon seems to compound the fact that these Spartans are not prepared for the enemy they’re about to face. Sure, it’s just my interpretation, but I love the play potential this set has.

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Cyclops Mech Suit

From what I understand, the Cyclops hails from the Halo Wars video game, which explains why I (having only played Halo 1, 2, 4, and Reach) had no idea what it was when I first saw it. Mega Bloks has released a fairly large variety of these things in all sorts of affiliations, but this is unique with its orange elements and tubing. The construction of the mech is fairly simple, but a bit more involved than you might think at a glance. Articulation is acceptable, with limited ball joints for hips and shoulders, single pin hinges on elbows and knees, and some toe articulation. One arm has a mounted cannon of some sort that looks fairly neat, but I feel like it could have been incorporated a bit better; it kind of looks like it’s just hanging off the arm. The other arm has… a light? It could be an energy shield, I guess, but it really just looks like a light. The cockpit hatch opens, allowing for one of the Spartans to squeeze in. On its own, the Cyclops is just kind of all right. If I had gotten one of the single pack versions, I’d probably be disappointed in it, but as a part of this set, I feel that it fits right in and definitely adds to the value.

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Overall

If you’re into Halo Mega Bloks, I definitely recommend this set. It’s a fun build, and you end up with pretty decent-looking barebones outpost, three new-style Spartans (two with different armor sets), and a Cyclops mech, all for $40 ($30 if you order online). Sure, there’s nothing “canon” about the set, but I’m pretty sure the majority of Mega Bloks’ Halo offerings have no basis in Halo canon. Besides, it’s fairly self-contained and has plenty of play opportunity, if you’re into that sort of thing. I believe this set is a Target exclusive along with the other orange-armored Reach Spartans/Zombies sets. If you’ve got the money to spare and would like a fun Halo set, I’d say pick it up!

Where to Buy

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