Halo is one of if not -the- biggest of Microsoft's video game franchises. It's spawned multiple series and Halo 4 is the next big installment due out later this year. The figures are hitting now and here we have a frosty Master Chief in his cozy Cryotube. These are deluxe figures and are packaged in fairly large boxes, the ODST Drop pod being the other. There's a regular single carded Master Chief as well as a 4-pack Chief but here you get an icy variant.
The first thing you'll notice is how large the package is with a lot of wasted space in there and the tube locked down with zip-ties. Once removed the Cryotube stands almost 9 inches tall. It's design is visually striking with four locks on either side, a semi-clear window and plenty of sculpted detail. Various brackets, clamps, and hoses run along the backside making it look fairly complex. The cryotube is tilted back at an angle with a permanent stand to keep it upright even with the door fully opened.
To open the tube you must first pull the door out, THEN lift up. I saw two returned Cryotubes at different Targets with the door busted off and I can almost guarantee you this is because they didn't read the included directions. Otherwise the tube is extremely well made. Its paint apps consist of molded grey plastic with silver streaked drybrushing and bit of paint wash around the edges to dirty it up. The frost on the glass is a tampo and overlaps in some places making the white appear thicker there. The padding inside is painted but the side edges were skipped. Otherwise it's really nice.
Master Chief fits inside easily and looks pretty neat with his armor all frosted up. His sculpt is super detailed with all sorts of panels and edges. No armor is removable from Master Chief. His paint apps consist of the deep colored green plastic as the base color instead of paint and frosted highlights that really bring out the suit detail. The visor gold is the best I've seen on any Halo figure to date and has a pearlescent sheen that follows your eye as you turn him.
Master Chief's articulation is different from earlier Halo figures mainly in the hips. They're true ball joints this time and lose the separate T-crotch inner system. This means to get Chief to sit his legs angle out a little bit but would work fine if he was straddling a Mongoose. Everything else is Halo standard like the ratcheting joints and a much better range of motion than the Reach figures but not as good as the very first series. He's a little shorter than The Package chief but taller than the others and comes with a single pistol as his accessory.
Going back to the Cryotube we find it will fit your basic 6" figure comfortably. Figures with wider shoulders may need to be angled to get in at first (DC Universe, larger characters) but should fit. The tube itself unscrews if you want to take it apart for customizing purposes and there's a foot rest that can be removed to give you an additional 1/4" space if needed. I really wish it lighted up from the inside like in the game trailer and that could have made this set truly spectacular. There's plenty of room inside the base or bottom of the tube for someone to add their own LED system with a little work.
So what's the verdict? This is a very cool set and for around $25 you get a desk-display quality item with a Master Chief figure inside. I personally love stasis pods/cryotubes and this is the by far the nicest one out also fitting other sized figures. Our sponsors Big Bad Toy Store has them in stock for a very good price and Past Generation Toys will be getting them in soon. I can see people buying multiples and making a diorama using these, changing the number 16 to something else using model railroad rub-on labels. This is one cool pod and would make a great first Halo 4 purchase to get your feet wet.