Mcfarlane 12 inch action figure Halo3 Master Chief review

Master Chief

Master Chief or Spartan-117 is definately the iconic character from Halo series. On top of that this title series and this characters has help increase alot of sales for the Microsoft XBox . What is XBox without this characters.

McFarlane toys has a 7 inch figure on Master Chief from Halo line toy series, this figure is a scale up from the 7 inch little brother. This review is the 12 inch rendition from Halo 3 Master Chief.

Box front

The packaging is enormous, and 12 inch Master Chief felt heavy in olive color with a lot of dry brushing using gold colored paints. The package is very plain compared to my usual Japanese toys collections. I guess the focus is on the Master Chief figure itself.  😛

Box back

Yes, the Japanese label that is seen means, I got this from Japanese market. Not mistaken, McFarlane give distribution rights to Takara Tomy. It is a shame that Takara Tomy did not get the rights to create Master Chief under its 12 inch action figure line. The back of the package is having 2 language, English and Spanish.

Accessories is pretty limited to the iconic Assault Rifle and hand grenade.

MasterChief’s battle rifle

Both rifle and grenade accessories feels more like plastic than the standard rubbery type of material.

Hand grenade

Unfortunately, both assault rifle and grenade has a stud that is sticking out like a sore thumb. It is used to attach the accessories to certain critical part of the Master Chief action figure.

Rifle feature a stud to be attach to the back of MasterChief
Grenade has stud for holding and for mounting on points on MasterChief

Placing the grenade unto the hands of Master Chief is straight forward. The only caveat is, the grenade can be hold by the left hand of Master Chief.

MasterChief’s left hand

The left hand by design does not has any for of articulation and there is no extra hand to replace it. The left hand is fixed at a hold pose. The result is limiting the number of pose of Master Chief.

MasterChief holding grenade on left hand

Unlike the left hand, right hand of Master Chief is well thought off, it has articulated fingers. Unfortunately, the articulation of the fingers is not well executed. It takes time to attach the assault rifle to Chief’s right hand. Each of the individual fingers has very limited articulation and extra care need to be given. It is made of soft plastic or PVC. I broke my Chief right pinky finger during the test of how well the finger is articulated.

Right hand fist closed
Right hand opened
Hand gripping battle rifle

Despite having a grenade and an assault rifle, the grenade is meant to be fixed to the left hand and right thigh. And the Assault rifle is dedicated to fix on the right hand and attach to the back of MasterChief.

Left thigh to hold grenade

The back of Master Chief has a hole to be used to connect to the Assault Rifle stud.

Rifle mount to the back

There are numerous joints in this Master Chief action figure.


The Joint at the pelvic has ball like joint with a weak ratchet joint. It has a feel of a major ball socket connected to another minor ball joint.

Thigh details

Joint at the knee is a ball joint it allows the knee area 2 degree of articulation.

Details of sole

The foot and ankle there is articulation. The articulation is using ball joints. Ankle as well as the foot has 2 degree or movement.

Details of foot
Details of legs

Master Chief’s elbow joint did incorporate same ball joint action with 2 degree of articulation it can be greatly improved using double joints techniques of modern action figures .

Details of shoulder

Joints at the shoulder is similar to the pelvic joints but at a smaller degree.

Master Chief has a hidden “feature” , its armor plates at the upper arm can be removed. But is exposing unfinished upper arm with L or R label or it is not meant to be exposed.

Armor removed

The removable upper arm armor plate is discovered when I tried to try of ways to improve articulations at the upper arms joint to the shoulder.

Articulation of Master Chief at its hands is very limited.

Articulation limitations of MasterChief

Joints at the neck is limited, but the head sculpt is highly commended for it details.

Head front view, with good details

Due to the design the head  head articulation to do look up and down is severely hindered.

Details of MasterChief’s head to the side

Master Chief’s torso has very good details but very limited articulation.

The most dramatic pose that I am able to come up with the articulation limit is Chief taking aim at standing position and trying to throw grenade.

holding battle rifle
Getting ready to lob a grenade
Fire in the hole

Another poses are standing still at ease .

At ease Soldier or Marine in this case
More natural view from the side
At ease back view

With its weapon stowed, there is not much pose can be made.

On sentry duty
On sentry duty 2

A few more random shots of Master Chief.

Making a snap shot

To summarize, McFarlane 12 inch Halo 3 MasterChief shines as a detailed sculpt but as an action figure its articulation is very limited.

Articulation of the 12 inch Master Chief is rather primitive, should the knees, and elbows as well as the neck area is given a double jointed joints its articulation will be superb.

The weight of the figure should be reduced, torso to be given more articulations. I won’t recommend this toy for heavy posing. Even the ball joints are new it is not able to support the overall weight of the figure. Should the ball joint wore out, you will need to get a stand to help Master Chief stand straight.

Instead of half backed articulated right hand, the toy designer should consider using multiple fix posed hands to improve its playability.

Final verdict, Master Chief is a very good display statue., truly a McFarlane details. Only recommended to the hardcore fans of the Halo series. For toys collectors that demands details and articulations this version of Chief should be avoided.

Till the next review.

The Chief deserves all rest he needs

6 thoughts on “Mcfarlane 12 inch action figure Halo3 Master Chief review

    • @Animo:McFarlane are well known for their high detail sculpt, never seen any of McFarlane toy comes with a voice-chip or speaker. Too bad the articulation is lacking and central of gravity is too high up at the chest area. In time the Chief will need an supporting stand to help to stand up straight. The only thing that shines on this figure is its sculpt details.

  1. Well, ah dig it. It is a supersized of the smaller version and frankly, it’s added right hand articulation (tho limited) is a seal dealer.

    • @TCracker: Yeah it is a super sized of the smaller version with some minor tweak. I would not bet that the articulate finger is a seal dealer. It is having decent but not well executed articulations. My Chief’s right pinkie is torn due to I have tried learning its limit.

  2. I dont like the seamlines…it’s not so visible on 7″.. Must have been due to bigger size, or maybe this HALO fig got not as much designs to cover them as opposed to Spawn figs.. Nice review nonetheless..!!

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