Ghost Rider (Movie)
Fire Blast Ghost Rider
Do the single carded Ghost Rider Movie figures live up to the quality and buzz of the Ghost Rider Electronic Flame Cycle I reviewed last week?
I'm going to tell you right off the bat that Fire Blast Ghost Rider is a disappointment from the Ghost Rider Electronic Flame Cycle in almost all areas. If this were on it's own, maybe I wouldn't know any better, but it's impossible to ignore the fact that "Cycle" Ghost Rider is superior over "Fire Blast". How so, you ask? Keep reading.
Hasbro is continuously doing a great job of giving more life and dynamic to card backs than ToyBiz' old packaging schemes. The Ghost Rider Movie packaging is appealing. The bubble is indented on the right side like as if a chain had impressed upon it. There is a paper insert at the figure's feet with a bolted metal plaque that displays the figure's name. Flames all about the card and a cool CGI image of Ghost Rider from the movie in the upper left hand corner. Card back features a nice big image of the figure showing what his action features do. A few smaller head shots of other figures for the "collect them all" affect. The head shots look nice, but wouldn't full body shots, like say the Fantastic Four Movie line did, be more helpful? Also, I'm starting to see a trend and I know we will see it more and more that the figure on the back of the card, due to paint job and / or lighting looks better than the actual figure and that's always a letdown.
Sculpt / Design
Everything looks great UNTIL you get to those ball hip joints. What happened?? The Ghost Rider Electronic Flame Cycle figure had pretty average ball hip joints. But Fire Blast Ghost Rider's ball hip joints are these tiny pathetic little balls. These balls are almost the size of the end of the femur bone. What's worse is that they don't fill in the necessary space between the crotch piece and the thigh. We are left looking at this huge gap, revealing the peg that goes from the ball joint and into the leg. I think that maybe this gap is here to compensate for the left leg being shorter or some other shortcoming. You will see in the pictures, that even with this gap in his upper left leg, he still stands at a slant to his left. I could not get him to stand straight up. There is a bit of a gap between the torso and crotch pieces as well. It baffles me but, the entire body, except for the ball joints, right hand and head look exactly the same as the Ghost Rider Electronic Flame Cycle figure's, however they've corrected his posture in this one. Fire Blast Ghost Rider stands nice and straight, there is no struggle of trying to get him to stop slouching at the dinner table. errr.. you know what I mean. The sculpt on the gun and fire blasts is well done. The gun features two discreet little buttons on the bottom of the gun, one for lighting up each eye. The Fire Blasts are a big pain to get into the gun. When you place them inside, they keep popping out on their own. Here is another big flaw in design. This figure cannot hold the gun! I tried and I tried for a long time so that I can take a shot of him for you the way he is meant to be. Well, I guess it just wasn't meant to be, because as you can see there is no shot of him holding his gun. It's too heavy, the articulation in his fingers are just to weak and the handles are very flimsy. Unless you plan to use those clear rubber bands to wrap the gun to his hands, just put the gun away or throw it away, because it's basically useless for display purposes. It lights up and shoots missiles so the kids should have fun with it in that sense. I do appreciate the fact that they didn't put any action features on the figure himself. The ugly stuff, the terrible teeny-weeny ball joint hips that look just awful and the fact that he can't hold his gun, have to give this category an equally ugly score, despite some of the nicer qualities of this figure.
Paint / Color
The Ghost Rider Electronic Flame Cycle figure excelled in this category where Fire Blast Ghost Rider simply flunks. There is no wash or dry brush on the figures body whatsoever. You are getting flat black plastic with occasional lightly pained silver zippers buckles, studs and spikes. Without any sort of wash or dry brush, the figure tends to just look flat. Some may welcome this pure black look of the costume as opposed to blue hints here and there but I don't. To me it's a downgrade to what we have gotten before. The painting for the skull head is unquestionably lesser quality than that of the aforementioned Electronic Flame Cycle figure. The plastic looks cheap and the paint looks even more so. The mouth is not even filled in with a dark color. The teeth are not differentiated from the rest and with no defining lines between them.
Fire Blast Ghost Rider does well in the category as did the preceding Ghost Rider Electronic Flame Cycle figure as well as all of the following Ghost Rider movie figures as they all will use the same body. So, yes that means he still has the two brand new kinds of knee articulation. And with a useful 39 points of articulation you can get this Rider in a lot of different crazy positions. But he's not Spider-Man, so do you need them, really? I would have rather they spent the extra money and time correcting his shortcomings (mentioned in detail in sculpt / design) or given him a finer paint job. With all of the Hasbro figures I have opened thus far, I am pleased to announce that I have had no problems whatsoever with stuck joints like we were oh so used to dealing with from ToyBiz' last year of Marvel figures.
Two dollars less than Marvel Legends figures means a lot to people. It doesn't make sense but hey, we'll take these figures for less. No build a figure piece but for a movie line, I'm not so sure there would be a place for such a thing anyhow.
Sculpt / Design: 4
Paint / Color: 3
Overall: 30 out of a possible 50
If you want just one Ghost Rider figure, skip this one, get the Ghost Rider Electronic Flame Cycle. Yes, it's twice the price, but you get the bike and the figure features superior quality over these single carded figures.
Fire Blast Ghost Rider is not a complete waste, kids will love it, you can shoot the cat and parents will appreciate the cheaper price tag.