If you asked me what the most disgusting, repulsive thing is in all of video games, I would instantly cite the Flood, the parasitic alien species from Halo. Though I own 95% of the hundreds of Halo action figures released by McFarlane Toys, I’ve managed to avoid purchasing any Flood figures during my years of Halo collecting. But as much as I loathe the Flood, I love Halo Mega Bloks even more. So when I was browsing Amazon and saw that they had the Flood Elite Combat Form Pods in-stock at just 11 bucks, I got past my revulsion and succumbed to ordering a set immediately. I am ever so glad that I did, because this isn’t one one of the most creative and fun toys in the Halo Mega Bloks like because of being a toy of a vile, monstrous creature–it’s one of the best Halo Mega Bloks sets because of it…
For those not in the know, the Flood are a race of parasitic aliens introduced in the first Halo video game. They fleshy, zombie-like Flood share a hive-mind and seek to infect and consume all other sentient life into themselves. It’s sort of like the Borg from Star Trek, but on a whole other level of grossness. The Flood reappear in Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo Wars, and are so unstoppable that the ancient Forerunners developed the Halo rings to try to destroy all life in the galaxy just so the Flood would have nothing to feed upon and would die out. Sound creepy? It is.
I’ll talk about the three main segments of the Flood Infected Combat Elite Drop Pod set (Halo Mega Bloks #96929) individually: the mini-figure, the Pod, and weapons.
This set included a purple Combat Elite. He has a lot of nicely-applied paint deco, but we’ve had plenty of Combat Elites–in fact, I just reviewed a Combat Elite Drop Pod the other day. Nothing special, right? Well, it wouldn’t be, except that this time out the “Customize!” gimmick for the year gets its best usage ever: instead of including alternate armor for the Elite, we get a Flood-infected head and arm to convert the figure into a Flood Elite Combat Form. The idea of this is hideous, but ingenious at the same time. The Flood-infected arm is a long, deadly tendril. Its attack capabilities are scary, and even more scary is the possibility of being infected if you can’t dodge the appendage. The horribly-mangled Elite’s head hangs off the side of the figure, completing the terrifying visage. This seriously may be the scariest mini-figure included in a construction block set by any company, and this may really freak grandma out when she takes Little Jimmy down the toy aisle to buy him a birthday gift.
The Elite Combat Form figure has five deco colors on it (purple, brown, tan, red, and blue), and is highly-detailed in spite of being only two inches tall. The brown and tan paints are interspersed on the Flood parts to give them the fleshy, organic look of the Flood. The Combat Elite figure utilizes the same mold we’ve all grown to know and love, so he features the standard excellent 12 points of articulation: ball-jointed neck, ball-jointed shoulders, ball-jointed hips, swivel knees, swivel wrists, swivel waist, and swivel elbows. In Flood form, he loses the elbow and wrist articulation on his Flood arm, so he has only 10 points. The tendril arm looks so slick, though, that I don’t mind sacrificing the articulation for it at all.
The set includes one weapon: a painted Plasma Pistol. Normally I’d be irritated by that, except the set has two additional accessories: little Flood infection forms. If they didn’t want to hack into your nervous system and mutate you into a horrifying zombie host body, they’d be cute. Thanks to this masterful inclusion, you can recreate the scene of the Flood infections forms swarming and then converting the Combat Elite into a nightmarish monster–Yummy! The Flood infection forms each get a small clear figure stand, although they stand totally fine without them, so they’re unnecessary.
Finally, the Drop Pod itself. The Flood Pod is a 100% new sculpt (as you’d expect it to be), and is hyper-detailed. It’s textured like real membarenous tissue, and gives off the aura of being tumor-like and malignant. There are two removable sets of tentacles that plug into the top of the Pod to add a little bit of extra repugnance to the mix. Unlike the UNSC and Covenant Drop Pods, the Flood Pod doesn’t have a hatch that goes up and down. Instead, one of the walls of the Pod comes off entirely, so you can simulate the Flood bursting through the wall and exploding into the wild to attack its prey. The Elite’s head and arm can be plugged into the wall, which gives off the eerie impression of the Elite’s severed body parts being digested into the Flood.
Since this is the first Flood part, the packaging has been totally reworked to replace the ODST/Elite illustration with a Flood on the front and side. Although I’d never say I “enjoy” looking at the Flood, it is a nice touch that the box art was updated accordingly for this set.
Once I got past my general dislike (to say the least) of the Flood, there was really zero that I didn’t like about this set.
I purchased my Flood Elite Combat Form Drop Pod from Amazon, which also has the Ultra Elite Covenant Drop Pod, Zealot Elite Covenant Drop Pod and the Combat Elite Covenant Drop Pod available from a variety of sellers with free shipping right now. I was shocked to see Amazon get these in so early, but definitely happy to buy them there as well.
For online stores besides Amazon, BigBadToyStore has recently started heavily-carrying Halo Mega Bloks, and has the Flood Elite Combat Form Drop Pod and a huge variety of other upcoming Halo Mega Bloks sets up for order.
I’ve haven’t seen this set at retail yet or heard of anyone else finding it in stores, but I would assume this set will be at Toys R Us and Wal-Mart once the cases start to hit full distribution.
The other best choice for getting newly-released Halo Mega Bloks sets is usually ebay. Sets hit ebay as soon as they hit retail, and they often sell for retail price or sometimes even below. Check out all of the current ebay listings for the Mega Bloks Elite Drop Pods by clicking here!
Overall: I would be perfectly content never owning a toy of the Flood in my life. But if I was going to own one, this is the way that I’d want it to be. The subject matter may be utterly revolting, but this Flood Pod has been done the best it possibly could. The Combat Elite that transforms into an Elite Combat Form Flood is by far the most creative use of this year’s “Customize!” theme so far, the Infection Flood forms are surprisingly amusing to play with, the Pod itself is a fantastic totally-new sculpt, and this set feels more like a mini-story of its own than just a small $10 add-on to your collection. If you like (or at least can tolerate) the Flood, this set is a ton of fun and receives my highest possible recommendation by being one of my surprise favorite Halo Mega Bloks sets so far this year.