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For a long time I’ve tracked down and collected Gentle Giant items with the serial number 1. Today I received one of my grail items that falls in line with that part of my collection: the #1 Master Chief Halo mini bust. My friend John (aka THX182) set the deal up for me, so special thanks goes to him. This is my second Halo #1 item.
Mine just came in the mail yesterday. This stuff is no longer being marketed since Microsoft shut Liberty Ammunition down on it, so if you want a box for an interesting Halo collectible or a conversation piece, you’d better try to track down some before it dries up. Not to mention, it would be useful if the Covenant ever invades!
You know Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky as the premier color caster for the Halo Championship Series. His work in esports broadcasting is unparalleled. Bravo also recently teamed up with Max Hoberman for a podcast series about behind the scenes info for the making of Halo two, which you can listen to via various podcast platforms, or on his YouTube channel. He also previously served in several roles at Microsoft 343 Industries, including Director of Esports, Senior Community Manager, and Senior Producer for the Halo franchise. Going back even further, he operated a YouTube channel with a heavy Halo focus after his days as a player and coach for MLG were over. At that time, he was kind enough to do an interview for my old Halo fan site, HaloCollectors.com. Below you can read through the archived interview with Andy.
CLICK HERE read the full interview!
Unless you’ve been under a rock somewhere, you’ve probably seen a video from BravoMLG about the upcoming release of Halo 4. He is a professional gaming broadcaster and coach for MLG, and he has tirelessly provided content from every major gaming event that has showcased the Halo 4, as well as original videos from other Halo games as well, including gameplay, commentary, breakdowns, and more. Andy was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to talk some Halo with me. Read below for his thoughts on Halo 4, MLG, Halo swag/collectibles, and more…
HaloCollectors.com: When did you start playing Halo?
BravoMLG: I started playing Halo towards the middle of Halo: CE – It all started with things like getting outside of the map on Assault on the Control Room, jamming every single thing into the Blood Gluch bases, things like that.
HC: What is your favorite Halo game, and why?
Bravo: Halo: CE due to the fact that the multiplayer is essentially perfect. It’s simple, clean, balanced, and most importantly, a ton of fun.
HC: On your Twitter feed you posted a pic of a Mega Bloks Spartan mini figure. Do you collect a few Halo items here and there, or was that an anomaly?
Bravo: I’ve been lucky enough to grab a few sweet Halo items over the course of this summer, traveling to E3, RTX, SDCC, 343i, and PAX, but I’ve always been a huge fan of Halo memorabilia, especially signs and banners from game launches. Because I’m so invested in the series and now YouTube content, I really hope to expand my collection and get a ton of badass stuff.
HC: How did you initially become involved with MLG?
Bravo: I started following MLG in early 2005 and attended my first event at the end of that year. My interest was sparked by friends of mine who showed me Halo montages and gameplays.
HC: Why do you think it is that Halo is no longer part of the MLG circuit?
Bravo: Bloom and Sprint killed competitive Halo for the last few months, but it’s awesome that Halo 4 has already been confirmed for MLG Dallas in November before the game even comes out. I’m looking forward to seeing the game’s competitive potential.
HC: You’ve been providing a huge variety of Halo content via your YouTube channel. A majority of it has been coverage of Halo 4, but you’ve also thrown in some Halo 3 game commentary, as well as a “Road to 50″ series for Lone Wolves (which I love by the way). How do you decide what projects you’re going do?
Bravo: I’m constantly taking notes on my phone or computer about what type of content I should be doing – I really try to create things that I would enjoy watching myself – interactive live commentary, super-in-depth strategy / breakdowns, and so forth.
HC: You’ve had the opportunity to play Halo 4 on several occasions. What has you excited about the game from what you’ve seen so far?
Bravo: As surprising as this may sound, I’m looking forward to all of the new stuff – new weapons, upgrades, all means new strategy. I’m optimistic about everything but I realize that some (or even most) of the new stuff may not fit into competitive play.
HC: Is there anything you’ve seen or experienced that you have been disappointed in or concerned about in terms of gameplay?
Bravo: I don’t know how I feel about no flag dropping – that could go either way. Also, I don’t like that players can call in overshields in Infinity Slayer. I also hate the tank and banshee, but that is to be expected.
HC: From what you’ve experienced first hand so far, which previous Halo game does Halo 4 most “feel like” in terms of the multiplayer experience?
Bravo: It lies somewhere in between Halo 3 and Reach.
HC: Do you see Halo making a return to MLG with Halo 4? Why (or why not)?
Bravo: Yes! It has all of the potential, possibly the developer support, and a huge community that wants to see it return to the Pro Circuit.
HC: Do you think Halo is good for MLG, is MLG good for Halo, or does it go both ways?
Bravo: I think it goes both ways, depending on who you ask.
HC: Are you planning on attending any Halo 4 launch events?
Bravo: I’m actually wide open for the launch as of right now – not sure if I’ll be attending an even with one of my sponsors, Sony Mobile or Gamma Labs, heading to Seattle for a launch party, or gonna grab the game and start making videos!
HC: Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions. I’m a big fan of your work, and look forward to your continued content on YouTube and more!
Bravo: Thanks for having me!
The One2One Master Chief 1:2 Scale Bust was released in 2010. It was one of the 3 busts released by One2One before they went out of business. To date it still stands as one of the best Halo busts produced in my opinion, and it has all but dried up even on the secondary market and is difficult to find. This review is a reprint of the one I published for my previous news site, HaloCollectors.com. CLICK HERE to read the review and see more images!
I thought about a longer review for this product, but since it is a repaint of the blue Spartan bust from One2One that I already reviewed, much of what would be said would be very repetitive. Instead, I’ve elected to comment on the differences I’ve noticed between the two busts and opt for a shorter review style.
The first difference that the discerning eye will notice is that this bust isn’t packed with foam padding around the gold plated section of the base and the visor. I’m not sure if it was an omission on this bust alone, or on the whole Master Chief run, but in all honesty I don’t think it really affects the safety of the item in any way. The only other difference I saw in the packing is one that you can’t really see in the picures. The authenticity card for this bust had a plastic sleeve that it was inserted in, while the one that was included with the blue Spartan did not. Not a big deal either way, but it was a nice addition.
Another difference is obviously the edition size. The Master Chief bust clocks in with an edition size of 350, while the blue and red Spartans are set at 250 each. It is hard for me to say which of the three will be more in demand down the road, because while the multiplayer part of the game is the most popular component, the Chief himself is the character that most people identify first when they think of HALO. As the main character, the demand for this one long term may be high, especially if the line is successful and continues far down the road (and we hope it does!).
As for the likeness of Master Chief himself, it is reasonably close to the character. There are a few differences you may notice if you are very nitpicky, such as the scale of the helmet if you are looking at it straight on, or the specific battle damage that is on his armor in several promotional pictures. It is important to note, however, that other high-end collectibles from other companies are the same in comparison. The likeness is close enough that it does look like Master Chief, and the casual observer will think “Hey, that’s Master Chief!,” and not “Oh man, the middle of that helmet is a little thin.” In the end, these busts (and other high end items) are ultimately works of art, and not replicas. As such, this bust is a great addition to any Halo fan’s collection.
If you want to read more comments on packaging, see comparison photos with other collectible lines, and see additional pictures, be sure to CLICK HERE to read my full review of the One2One Blue Spartan bust! In the meantime, enjoy the photos below!
My pal Kevin Hurd worked as the Web Designer for this amazing fan film. It is a must see if you are a Halo fan!
I originally reviewed the Arbiter mini bust in April 2011 on HaloCollectors.com. To date it is still one of my favorite pieces in my collection because he’s one of my favorite characters, and Gentle Giant makes fantastic collectibles. Below are the images from the original review, as well as some of the text from the review. There are some excerpts missing that were lost because of data corruption, but the majority is still available. Note that the sections in brackets [ ] have been added to replace missing sections from the original review. You can also click on each image for a larger view. With that said, here we go:
It has been a long time since we’ve been able to look at a Halo offering from Gentle Giant. The original piece was the Master Chief mini bust (repainted also in Red, Blue, and Steel), followed by a “Classic” scale Master Chief (and pink repaint) as San Diego Comic Con 2009 Exclusives. We got our first glimpse of the Arbiter mini bust way back in February 2008, over 2 years ago. The Arbiter, former enemy of Master Chief and humanity, switched sides in the war between humans and the Covenant when he found out that the Covenant leadership had the intention of exterminating his species, the Elites. With the Arbiter at his side, the Chief was able to push forward and defeat their common enemies, making the Earth safe once again. Most fans of the Halo series see the Arbiter as the second most popular and important character in Halo3, due to his efforts in the war, and the fact that player 2 in co-op Campaign games plays as him. So was the wait for the mini bust worth it? Read on to find out!
CLICK HERE to see the images and excepts from the review!
The box for the Arbiter bust matches the other boxes in the GG Halo line. The front has a window where the bust’s head can be seen, and the name “ARBITER” is on the front and back. The bottom of the box contains the edition number and size. I was surprised to see when I flipped it over for the first time that the edition size for this bust is a mere 300, compared to the 2500 edition size of the Master Chief bust (1300 green, 625 blue, 625 red) and the 600 for the steel Spartan. The box displays nicely if you care about that sort of thing, and the design is in my opinion superior to that of boxes from GG’s other lines. Upon opening the box, the inner packaging is the standard white Styrofoam casing you see with GG’s other products and many other companies’ high end items. The base of the bust it wrapped in a clear plastic, and there are two small cubes that keep the bust from shifting around inside. It is a perfect fit, so I doubt that many (if any) of these arrive to their destinations with any damage. The certificate of authenticity is wrapped in plastic and taped to the top of the inner packaging. Like other COAs from GG products, one side contains the name and a photo of the product, and the other has the name, line, edition size and GG LTD logo.
When removing the bust from the packaging for the first time, the first thing I noticed was [the weight of it and how sturdy it felt. The detail that went into the sculpt is evident, and the coloring is appropriate and well-painted. The Arbiter is clutching a Covenant Carbine, which is the precision weapon that he often is armed with in the game.]
Next, I’ve prepared some in-game pictures of the Arbiter’s armor to compare it with what GG’s interpretation on the bust. When you look at each arm, you can see that nearly every detail on the game model is seen on the bust, from the lines and curves to the patterns. On the shoulder guard that sits at the top of the right arm, identical markings are found as well. The only (what could be considered) major differences are on the back of the bust. The markings on the main top piece are not the same when comparing the bust and the game model. Another difference is that on the bust the top gap on each side where the Arbiter’s skin is showing is not seen as prominently on the game model. Looking at the bottom of the back on the game model, the two curves that are joined by another small curve on each side are not present on the bust. As you can clearly see, though these details are different, without having a side by side comparison picture it is unlikely that anyone would even notice them. Not only are the differences miniscule, but they are also on the back of the bust and won’t even be visible in most displays. Also keep in mind that when sculpting the bust, GG most likely did not use game images, but images given to them by Microsoft to work off of, which can be different than what is seem in the game itself.
[Below are some additional images, including the bottom of the bust with the stamp and edition number, as well as a side by side comparison with the Master Chief mini bust.]
[This bust may be hard to find now due to the low edition size, but if you can find one it will be a worthy addition to anyone’s Halo collection.]
After reading my review of the One2One Blue Spartan bust, the sculptor of the item Peter Mook signed up at the HaloCollectors.com forums to let me know he enjoyed and appreciated the review and photographs. He took the time to interact with forum members and agreed to an exclusive interview with the website. He also graciously offered me exclusive behind the scenes photos of unreleased items that were in the works. When One2One lost the Halo license, some of these unreleased items made their way into the hands of collectors due to the original association with HaloCollectors.com. The interview is being reproduced here from the archived information. I will also post the exclusive photos provided in a separate post later.
CLICK HERE read the full interview!
HaloCollectors.com: What made you want to work on the Halo license?
Peter Mook: I used to play Halo when it first came out but unfortunately the spinning made me sick, so I never managed to get very far. But when I was offered the opportunity to work on the license, I was very excited as I knew how great the characters were. I also badly needed a challenge as for the last ten years I have worked on Betty Boop, Disney, Warner and many other cartoon licenses that were not too difficult to sculpt. I had been thinking of a career change when this opportunity came along and got me excited about sculpting again.
HC: What has been the most challenging thing about creating the Halo products so far?
PM: The most challenging thing was the sculpting, as I did not know if it was possible to hand sculpt something that is so geometric. That is why all the products manufactured so far by other companies have been rapid prototyped, but we decided it would make these busts more of a ‘work of art’ if they were created by hand and not a machine. As I wrote on your website forum, I was quite scared as being new to this industry. I knew I would live or die by the pieces I made so to be given Halo which is possibly the hardest license to sculpt as my first project was not the best way to start, although it can only get easier from now on.
HC: Do you have a personal favorite bust from the Halo bust line?
PM: It would be between Spartan, Brute Chieftain, and Arbiter all for different reasons. Spartan has the most fantastic armor. Whoever designed him was very talented. I was also more confident as this was my second ‘geometric’ sculpt. Brute Chieftain is the largest out of the range and I don’t want to sound big-headed, but it is very impressive when you see it. I am really looking forward to seeing this item painted. Arbiter was so difficult I had to sculpt this (with the help from Microsoft) in different stages, and by the time it is prepared for the mold it will have taken weeks to sculpt. Bearing in mind I work a minimum of 70 hours a week, that makes 420+ hours to sculpt. My father who is a bricklayer could have built a house in this time! But all this work means that it is visually very interesting from all angles.
HC: What is the current release schedule for future Halo products from One2One? What is the next bust to be released and when is it expected to ship?
PM: This is a difficult question, as a lot of people are aware we are a very new company and therefore we cannot sell many items from our website. Also one of the partners left as he was inadequate and had made such a mess of the website that we are currently making a new one, which means for the moment we are only selling to our distributors. They are telling us the order they want them in, so all I can say at the moment is Brute Bust is next, then I believe Spartan figure followed by Spartan Bust. After this I am not sure.
We have some Halo Reach items being designed by a fantastic 3D artist called Olivier Coustan and a couple more figures from Halo Wars. There is also ODST and Arbiter Bust, so we have enough products for 8-10 months. I cannot give any precise release dates as this depends on all the companies involved. The distributor tells us when they want it, then we have to book the production space with the factory and only then can I give a release date. Many companies give dates then move them again and again. I do not want to work like this as it upsets fans, so I will only give a date when it is definite.
HC: In a recent post at HaloCollectors.com you mentioned that you had just finished sculpting an Arbiter bust. Is it the Arbiter from Halo 3, or the one from Halo Wars?
PM: Halo Wars. I will speak to Microsoft and when they tell me I can release a photo I will send it to you guys first. We are also hoping that the factory can chrome plate it, if they can this will be something very special.
HC: How long does it take to make a bust from the time the concept is approved to the time it is ready to ship?
PM: I have to prepare it for the mold (1 week), then I have to drive it to the molder and wait for her to make the master molds (4 weeks). It then gets shipped to the factory and it is re-molded to make the production molds (4 weeks), then a copy needs to be sent to be painted and approved again (2-6 weeks depending on approval time). Then we send a painted sample to Microsoft for final approval (2 weeks), and only when this is approved can we send images to the distributors so they can start to solicit orders. Due to the state of the economy they only want to order in low quantities that they know they can sell so they need as long as possible. So it can be anything from 6 months to a year.
HC: Is the winner of the Halo bust fan poll on the One2One website guaranteed to be made, or are you all just using it to see what types of characters fans are most interested in?
PM: No, it was just to see what fans are most interested in, but it was a stupid idea. Now that the other director left, I am in charge of what is made. I think it would be better if in the future I could work with you guys to decide what items are best to make. You all know Halo much better than I do, so the input from you guys could help us really move forward and produce some great items. Also, if you guys are going to be buying them then why not have a say in what we make?!
HC: Are any Halo products in the works besides the 1:2 scale busts?
PM: Yes, we are currently designing a range of figures and dioramas, and later in the year I would love to make something special, similar to the design Kotobukiya was going to produce with the two figures in the Mongoose. But we have to wait on this as the economy is so bad and this would cost a small fortune, but it is something I would love to do.
HC: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions and provide us with some exclusive information about some upcoming products!
PM: Can I just thank you for asking me to do this short interview? I really enjoyed it, and anything else I can help you with in the future just ask!
HC: I had one more quick follow up question if you don’t mind. What types of figures are you all making? Action figures, or replica style figures? And in what scale, 12-inch or another size?
PM: We will be making action type figures. The first one, Spartan, will be on a base with a flagpole with a skull on top, and the size is 10 inches. We would like to make them bigger but due to the economy we have to try to make them a little cheaper but as, hopefully, the economy gets a bit better we can start to make more impressive dioramas and larger figures.
HC: Great info Peter! Thanks again for sharing your time and expertise with us!