McFarlane Halo 4 Promethean Knight Deluxe Figure Review
McFarlane’s done a solid job on the Promethean Knight and will make many fans with lesser expectations than my own very happy. Just watch out for the sliding foot stands, check the balance before putting on a high shelf or ledge, and be careful with the pressure applied to smaller joints and floating parts when moving the arms and legs.
To search eBay for this figure:
If you’ve been playing Halo 4 like much the rest of the world then you’ve no doubt encountered one of the toughest obstacles strewn about the entire campaign experience. Like the rest of us you’ve been hunted, beaten, slashed, sniped and incinerated by these tricky bastards numerous times already. And those bastards have a name: the Promethean Knight.
So what exactly is a Promethean Knight? Promethean Knights are the Forerunner’s answer to fighting The Flood. Since the Flood can only infect living tissue, the Ur-Didact alters ancient human D.N.A, encases their digital organs in a “poly-metamorphic” armor and creates a ground force that is completely resilient to the Flood infection and can occasionally a major pain in the ass for Spartan-117.
Yanked out of the video game and into your life, McFarlane Toys pounced on the opportunity to produce faithful representations of the fearless Promethean Knight. If you don’t have one yet, maybe this review will change your mind. Join me for a look at the McFarlane Halo 4 Promethean Knight Deluxe Figure.
You won’t see deluxe figure for Halo appear too often, but when you do you can expect the box to be quite large and easy to spot in the wild. The packaging is mostly black with blue barriers and uses four-color graphic elements like the Halo 4 logo and his title of “Knight”, the word Promethean isn’t found anywhere on the box. That’s weird. Some trademark issue, perhaps?
The right side-panel shows off the hefty amount of articulation and the toys one key gimmick, while a large plastic window lets you peer inside and see exactly how gorgeous this toy is. The text is written in various languages to make it more retailer friendly in other countries, along with advertisements of other Halo products. Inside the figure is bound to a plastic tray, which that itself is wrapped in a soft blue lighted cardboard background to make the Knight pop out more. A surprisingly minimal amount of wire ties secure the figure into the tray. The figure is meticulously difficult put back into the tray so box collectors are going to only end up wasting more space keeping this.
In my honest opinion McFarlane Toys hit a high point when it came to action figure sculpture in the late 90’s, right around Spawn Series 12. It was difficult to find any other toy manufacturer that could match the raw talent that Todd’s artists to put into their clay canvases. Today, it’s a different monster entirely. I’m not saying the sculpture of the Promethean Knight is lacking – in fact it’s superb, but when McFarlane Toys moved onto using digital resource files provided by Microsoft and 343, massive scanners and complex machines to create the molds it took a lot of the talent and craftsmanship away from the final product.
I’m an old fashioned-kind of toy collector who admires the skill and craftsmanship that comes with a hand sculpted toy. But that’s not to say what’s here in this toy isn’t still beautiful. The Promethean Knight is 9-inches tall, crafted and assembled using a strong PVC plastic, finely detailed and 110% accurate to the model. This six-limbed monstrosity has good amount of weight added to it because of the oversized shell on its back. The arms and legs all move easily enough and have enough articulation in each joint to allow pretty much whatever your imagination can muster. The head is slender by design, bears all its sharp teeth in a closed mouth and the eyes peer out under the brim of the helmet giving it that menacing, cold stare. There are a number of floating pieces on the arms and legs that are all attached by transparent plastic tabs, this are the areas where care is needed because they do break off easily.
So everything sounds pretty great, right? Well, it’s this shell gimmick that puzzles me. On the back are five individual panels that lift and pivot in a variety of angles, and inside is a spot where a Watcher can rest – just like the game. Problem is, it’s a gimmick that requires a separate purchase in order to use. I’m sorry but did we just experience what’s equivalent to video game DLC?
Staying true to the 343’s resource the Promethean Knight uses a mixture of glossy black, metallic silver and highlights in orange and yellow all lightly brushed over with a very faint wash that dulls the shine just a smidge. Paints are applied with great precision so there’s no sign of sloppiness or running lines anywhere. The orange accents and yellow highlights really make the darker areas of the body pop out and provide a great robotic look. Advertised photography from Spawn.com shows the five back panels using gray panel highlights but this doesn’t seem to be a part of the final product.
The Promethean Knight is filled with articulated generosity and some conflict. My keen eyes count a total of 31 P.O.A. (points of articulation) however a technicality counts for 40 P.O.A. Nearly every ball joint uses a second swivel joint so things start to add up real quick.
Starting from the bottom-up:
- Ball and ratchet jointed feet, ratchet joints in each knees and ball socket hips (6),
- swivel waist joint (1)
- swivel-joint shoulders, elbows and wrists each secondary arm (6)
- ball and ratchet jointed shoulders, and swivel jointed elbows for each primary arm (6)
- ball and ratchet joint in the head (2)
- Each wing on the back has a single ball and ratchet joint (10).
With this amount of articulation the Promethean Knight can take on just about any pose you can think of, but because of the upper weight in the shell, you won’t see it anything more than crouched or standing tall positions. I love the fact that the gimpy, secondary arms have their articulation too. These arms could have been solid plastic and I would have been okay with it, but small things like this really help out the final score.
The only accessory that the Promethean Knight includes is a Scattershot. That’s it. I figured the sword would come off also considering that’s the first thing Master Chief’s does when he assassinates a Knight. The Scattershot is faithful to the game is every detail and can disconnect from the arms by a simple plug fitted into the forearm, unfortunately not enough thought went into the Scattershot by adding a grip for any Spartan action figure to also use this for them self.
The only other item you’ll find inside is an essential two-piece snap on acrylic display stand. If there’s one problem that plagues these toys it’s a combination of weak joints and terrible balance on their own. And seeing how the Promethean Knight is so top-heavy it’s nice to see them put in a little extra effort and planning.
The two-piece display stand isn’t your traditional design. Each stand includes a square slot that fits onto each foot, but the connector is unique to the right and left foot. Once that post is snapped on (and stays on really well too) there is a swivel post that allows these curving stands to act as a counter-balance. Depending on how you pose this toy and where the weight is distributed really depends on which direction each stand will face. They’re a little on the ugly side but the clear transparency makes them simple to forget.
As a Halo collector that has lost many figures due to poor balance or lack of a stand, I implore you to use these stands. Nothing is sadder than seeing a dead or dying Promethean Knight with a bum leg.
The only known variants are easy to identify just by looking at the ball sockets that hold the shell plates in place. The first production run uses a black and silver socket combination, whereas the second run uses all black sockets. Is something like this enough to warrant additional costs to a collector? I don’t think so, especially since demand in McFarlane Halo items have seemingly plummeted but I’ve seen weirder things happen in this industry over something so minor.
Dropped The Ball
The Knight is certainly a neat toy to own and will probably be the largest one we’ll ever see in toy form, however, I will say there are a few points here that left me pretty disappointed.
No extra weapons! McFarlane Toys has always been on the weak end when it comes to accessories, especially considering their Halo license, but would it have been too much to include an assortment of weapons? Optional Forerunner weapons like a Binary Rifle, Incinerator Cannon or even a measly Suppressor would have offered some nice alternatives for the army-building collectors out there, especially considering the good possibility we will never get a Knight Lancer or Knight Battlewagon. Stop being so cheap, people!
Next, the Knight’s helmet doesn’t open! Anyone who’s played the game or watched the commercials will remember Master Chief’s first encounters with Promethean is it revealing the human skulls and screaming it’s lungs out. I don’t expect a voice chip or anything that complex, but who let this toy get past the design team without a working helmet feature?? That’s like forgetting to put a gold visor on Master Chief’s Mark VI helmet.
And finally, the Watcher, or lack thereof! That’s nice that McFarlane included a storage point in the Prometheans shell for a Watcher but it would have been better if they could have just included one. I can’t bring myself to pay $12.00 for the ones that are clogging the pegs but I would have happily paid a few more dollars for one to be included. Guess I’ll be watching the Watcher in the clearance isle.
Chances are if your local retailer is carrying Halo 4 action figures then they’ll be selling the Promethean Knight as well, the only problem is finding one as they tend to disappear quickly. I found mine at Target for $28.99. Second-hand and online specialty retailers are average of $5.00-10.00 more. I think $30.00 is a fair price, any more than that and I would have expected more feature like working lighting, extra weapons and a head that opens.
I’m a huge Halo fan down to my inner core. I lived and breathed these games since Combat Evolved and it’s something I’m rather passionate about. My very own collection has multiplied like the Flood and I have a very hard time saying NO to this brand sometimes – the Promethean Knight was no exception. I wasn’t planning on buying one initially, but after looking back on how rare and expensive the Halo 3 Hunter Deluxe Figure costs these days I think it’s a good investment and one it looks great on my shelf.
McFarlane’s done a pretty good job on the Promethean Knight and will make many fans with lesser expectations than my own very happy Spartans. Just watch out for the sliding foot stands, check the balance before putting on a high shelf or ledge, and be careful with the pressure applied to smaller joints and floating parts when moving the arms and legs.
Where To Buy
UPDATE: If you are interested in buying the McFarlane Halo 4 Promethean Knight Deluxe Figure then eBay is probably your best bet. Click this link to search eBay for this McFarlane Halo 4 Promethean Knight action figure.
Brian Borst resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was the Editor-In-Chief and Creator of the Toy Review section at the now defunct www.PopCultureShock.com for 3 years, and has worked for Toycom / Yamato USA as a Graphic Designer/Production Assistant and Sideshow Collectibles as a Marketing Assistant.