Ghost Rider (Movie)
Ghost Rider Electronic Flame Cycle
Does Hasbro’s Ghost Rider Movie figure rival that of the previous two Marvel Legends Figures? Let’s find out.
The Ghost Rider Movie is due out in February 2007, so I don’t exactly have a perfect point of reference for the accuracy of the figure or the bike. So far from what I’ve seen from trailers and promo images from the movie, this figure and vehicle set looks great. I’ve been curious to see if any one of these Ghost Rider Movie figures would take the place of collector’s favorite version of Ghost Rider by bumping their Marvel Legends Series 3 or Series 7 Ghost Rider figures off of their display shelves.
Sculpt / Design
From Spider-Man Origins and Marvel Heroes lines, Hasbro seems to like to produce simple repaints of older figures. I’m pleased to let you know that this is not the case here with Ghost Rider and his Electronic Flame Cycle. Everything is 100% brand new sculpt and very well executed. The details are almost top-notch from head to toe, Hasbro spared no expense in sculpting every bit of Ghost Rider’s leather jacket, studded gauntlets, pants and boots. The head sculpt looks great until you put him side by side with either Marvel Legends Series 3 or Series 7 Ghost Rider figures. Marvel Legend’s Skulls tend to look a little more realistic and gritty with deeper wash. The flame on Electronic Flame Cycle Ghost Rider’s head is by far the coolest looking Ghost Rider “flame job” as of yet. Much finer detailing, curling and twisting in addition to more translucent and red tips of the flames, makes this “flame job” top notch. They added a bit of flame coming out around the neck area, I suppose to give him a “head floating on flames” look but it doesn’t work, it looks more like a scarf coming out of the jacket. The details in the sculpt look great but in terms of design, when looking at the overall picture and stature, Ghost Rider looks a bit awkward. He slouches forward at the mid torso a bit and his arms are too long especially at the bicep. He stands a little mis-proportioned like an ape. Also, you can never seem to get his arms in a natural down on his sides position. Like he has his shoulder’s shrugged upward like he’s wearing one of those padded sport coats from the 80’s. When sitting in the bike, however, he looks perfect. He doesn’t look awkward at all. In hand, you will notice almost immediately that his right hand is much bigger than his left. No they’re not going for the Hellboy look. They put a small round electronic chip in the inside of Ghost Rider’s right hand thus making the entire gauntlet much bigger and giving the wrist and fingers no articulation at all. You pass the chip in his hand over the gas tank of the bike and it activates the electronic and light features of the bike (details below).
The bike is huge, I love it, the largest Marvel 6” scale bike so far. Ghost Rider fits into the bike perfectly and there are two unobtrusive pegs that stick out on the sides that you stick into holes on the inside of Ghost Rider’s calves, this works really well, unlike ToyBiz’ previous attempt at this with Marvel Legends Series 11’s Vengeance. Sculpt on the bike looks good but the poor paint job (mentioned below) takes away from the details. The design on the bike with an overall bio-mechanical look and feel is accomplished very well. More like the bike is a beast than a machine. Nice. The flames on the bike’s front tire and back look just as awesome as on Ghost Rider’s head with very detailed flames, an overall translucent orange with red tips. The bike’s Electronic features are moderately executed. They are not overly obnoxious nor are they totally mediocre. There is a small round unobtrusive button near Ghost Rider’s right foot that you press and you hear the engine start and then rev accompanied by flashing lights in the “eyes” of the bike, two in the front tire’s flames and one in the bike’s rear light. The flashing lights and sound plays out for about 6 seconds. You get the exact same effect when passing the small round chip in Ghost Rider’s huge hand over a noticeable circle on the bike’s gas tank.
Paint / Color
Ghost Rider actually features a pretty nice paint job. They didn’t leave him a solid black. He doesn’t have that “kid’s meal look” like some have reported of the Spider-Man Origins figures. The head has a dark wash to give it a nice gritty skull look and bring out some detail. They could have given the skull a more realistic and look with a heavier and dirtier wash to bring out the features. The teeth are an altogether different color than the skull slightly blue, sounds like an odd choice in color but it differentiates the teeth from the rest of the skull nicely. The eyes look better than previous releases of Ghost Rider here with a red pupil and yellow iris, the eyes here are the best looking Ghost Rider eyes so far. The whole rest of the body is black plastic with blue dry brush applied to highlight certain areas and looks good. The dry brush gives the whole figure a nice texture, feel and detail. All of the zippers, belt buckles, spikes and studs are painted accurately in silver as they should be and no there is no blotching or sloppy-ness whatsoever. Upon closer examination, the gauntlets have a subtle but tremendous dry brush applied of a iridescent brownish bronze color. Really brings out the details and sculpt. The paint apps on this figure are well designed and executed.
This is the category where the bike stumbles. The paint application on the bike is quite lacking. Under deep examination, I found that the bike is actually sculpted in a dull gray color and then covered with a metallic silver it seems like the silver is too heavy and takes away some of the sculpt details. Additionally, they should have applied a much heavier amount of black wash to make the bike feel more menacing. The seat is a nice glossy black giving it a leather look and the body has the occasional light blue spray to give the bike a little more depth but those don’t save the overall plastic toy look the bike has. The paint app on the bike is mediocre.
Ghost Rider features a pleasantly surprising 35 points of articulation. The reason why I’m surprised here is because this is an entirely new sculpt from Hasbro. Whether or not ToyBiz actually designed this figure before handing the reins over to Hasbro, remains to be seen. First of all, Ghost Rider has accurate jaw articulation which is critical with a Ghost Rider figure. The neck should have been able to swivel up and down but only rotates left to right 360 degrees. One of the most significant features of this entire set is the two brand new kinds of knee articulation
, which I for one am totally excited about. The top part of the knee joint can be seen in super articulated Star Wars figures. Between the upper and lower knee joints, Ghost Rider’s knees are triple-jointed. The top section is a ball joint. The ball joint allows for a full 360 degree rotation, while the swivel allows for a 90 degree swivel backwards. The lower joint in the knee takes care of the other 90 degrees for a full leg folding articulation. Since you can rotate at the top of the knee there is no need for the mid calf articulation which is one less unsightly line cutting the leg in half, that we have to look at. This new way of rotating the bottom half of the leg works especially well in this instance since the pants are covering the boot. Speaking of aesthetics, another great attribute to the ball joint at the top of the knee is that we don’t have to look at a pin going through the leg here. This is a very welcome improvement over ToyBiz’ old design. The other major difference here is the lower knee’s new inset swivel joint. There is one more layer here, making it so the unsightly pin doesn’t show through the sides of the leg again. Basically, this just means that we aren’t looking at pins on the sides of the legs at all here, great job Hasbro, keep it up. Moderately sized ball joint hips look just about right and have a nice range of motion. Ball jointed shoulders are too big and bulbous. Double jointed elbows give full 180 degree range of motion. Left hand features mid forearm swivel, up and down wrist swivel and four finger articulation. This figure loses points due to the right hand’s electronic feature hinderance. There is still a mid forearm swivel but no wrist or fingers. Oh, did I mention that this hand is huge?
The Electronic Flame Cycle has as much articulation as one would hope and expect and just a little bit more. Both tires rotate nicely so you can scare the cat as you send it flying across the kitchen floor. The front rotates so Ghost Rider can make turns accurately. My personal favorite is the 360 degree rotating kickstand. It tucks in nicely although you can’t balance the bike on it’s own, I just like how it gives you the option.
Only accessory included is the Electronic Flame Cycle.
Fifteen dollars seems about the average price for a figure plus vehicle. It’s worth it to pay an extra five dollars to get a properly sized bike as opposed to the pack-ins we’ve gotten with previous Marvel Legends, which were less than scale at best.
Sculpt / Design: 7
Paint / Color: 6
Overall: 39 out of a possible 50
Ghost Rider Electronic Flame Cycle is a solid release by Hasbro. The figure overall turned out very well done and looks perfect, seated in the bike. Not so great a paint job on the bike. The figure features innovative and excellent new knee joints. I think that this Ghost Rider w/ Bike set is just a notch above previous Marvel Legends Series 3 and Series 7 releases in overall quality in all areas.