By 343 Industries -
Our partners at McFarlane Toys are gearing up for the launch of Halo 5: Guardians, and we’re excited to announce and provide the first look at the all-new Spartan Locke action figure. This 10” figure will go through a lengthy process before it ends up on store shelves later this year, so we chatted with the designers at McFarlane Toys to learn about how this figure is made.
343 Industries: Hey, McFarlane team! Thanks for joining us today. Once you receive assets and renders from our Franchise team, what’s the first step your team takes towards building the figure?
McFarlane Toys: After we receive assets and renders from 343 Industries, we look and evaluate the 2-D and 3-D assets and import them into a modeling program of our choice. Then, we figure out how we will divide the character into pieces/parts that are suited for manufacturing. Because the assets are viewed in two dimensions in the game, we need to make sure that the design is watertight as a solid 3-D model, and suited for output on our 3-D printer. Once we have a 3-D model, we add in the points of articulation.
343: How long does it take to get the first prototype in your hands?
McFarlane: Generally speaking, it’s about a 12 week process to get the first prototype. However, there are a few things that can slow that process down: the quality of the assets and the approval checkpoints.
343: What about Locke in particular was especially challenging to get right?
McFarlane: For all 10" figures, the most challenging is putting the character in a proper pose that defines the character and works for production. When you’re looking at a 2-D character in the game, like Locke, there can be shortcuts with how the armor lays on the body because you don’t see all angles. However, when working with a 3-D model, those shortcuts don’t work because the armor might intersect and interfere with the pose and articulation. So, we remedy those issues during the design process.
343: How is creating Locke different from creating other figures, such as The Master Chief?
McFarlane: The methods for creating 10" figures are the same, no matter who the character is. The most challenging aspect is ensuring the pose can be applied to a 3D model. If we’re comparing a 10" figure to our standard 6" figures, then the difference is making sure the articulation works while keeping the design. Because our 6" figures have more articulation, the 2-D assets from the video game have armor that can inhibit the movement of the figure.
343: What type of stress testing does the figure go through considering all the parts that move?
McFarlane: We make sure that the figure is compliant with all U.S. and International regulations and standards. We also use different materials to ensure that the moving parts and pieces don’t crack, break or warp. Then, we build the tooling for those materials.
343: What criteria must a prototype meet before it’s deemed ready for mass production?
McFarlane: There are three main points of criteria we use to evaluate prototypes before we deem them ready for mass production:
- Aesthetics – We make sure that the likeness between the figure and the character is as accurate as possible. With a 10" figure, we’re able to add more details than we are able to add with 6" (or smaller) figure because we have more room to play with. We evaluate the sculpt and paint which is approved by Todd McFarlane, our team, and Microsoft before we mass produce.
- Movement – We make sure that the character is airtight and all of the moving parts fit properly, move fluidly and meet expectations.
- Production—We make sure that the figure is drafted and placed in a tooling plan that allows us to mold parts that are fit for mass production. We go through the material types and molds as well as test for safety regulations. The final piece is making sure the projection of costing requirements fits within our projected marketing plan.
343: Thank you for your time! The Spartan Locke figure looks great, and we're excited to see what else you all have instore!
The Spartan Locke action figure by McFarlane Toys will be out later this year. You can find other Halo figures and gear at the Halo Waypoint Store. Stay tuned to HaloWaypoint.com and @Halo for all updates on Halo 5: Guardians!