Ghost Rider (Movie)
(12") Ultimate Ghost Rider & Flame Cycle
Is the sticker shock just too much for the awesomeness of this figure set?
We Marvel toy collectors tend to get pretty touchy with prices on our figures. This is meets the limit of what Hasbro or ToyBiz have asked us to pay for a Marvel figure (or figure set). Is it worth it? Keep reading to see.
Ultimate Ghost Rider & Flame Cycle. It's huge, It's heavy, It's beautiful. This is just my impression upon seeing this in the store on the shelf before even taking it home and opening it up. Comparison photos are provided below, but you still can't fathom the size of this in package until you've seen it with your own eyes. Already, this makes us feel pretty good about a purchase. The packaging, like the rest of the Ghost Rider movie packaging thus far is great. One thing Hasbro has going for them these days is definitely packaging. Beautifully illustrated, dynamic shapes and with the perfect theme and photography front, back, top, bottom and sides. The narrow sides of the packaging have a cutouts of a skull head on each side where you can see Ghost Rider on his bike from the front and back wheel angles.
Sculpt / Design
For both Ghost Rider and his Flame Cycle, two words: top notch. Honestly, the sculpt and design here for both pieces could not be better. I don't know if it's the size of this figure at roughly 12" or the excellent paint applications, but this looks to be the best Ghost Rider head sculpt yet. Just the right balance of realism, detail depth and grit. The translucent flames fit right on the skull nicely, the curly, wavy sculpt looks just right as they flow off to one side. Ghost Rider has thousands of sculpted hairlines all over his outfit for that crackly leather effect and it looks perfect. The collar, zippers, spikes, studs, belt, gauntlets look real and with a great attention to detail. If they didn't put the articulation into this figure, he could easily pass for a statue. The Flame Cycle looks mean, gruesome, gritty and true to the source. The attention to detail even here, especially for the flames coming off of both wheels and out of the eyes, is awe-inspiring for an accessory of this size. The bike however is not to scale, but it's not tiny either. For a toy, hey it's great, I'll take it. If the bike was actually to scale we wouldn't have room to display this thing and it would be $60.
Paint / Color
In just about all of my Ghost Rider Movie figure reviews, I keep saying that the head could have been a little more gritty and dirty, could use heavier washes, etc. Well, I can't stop saying how perfect this 12" Ghost Rider's head looks and a lot of that perfection has been achieved by just the right amount of the right choice in plastic color and a nice heavy, dirty dark wash with the eye and nose cavities blacked out. There is so much variance of grimy browns all over the skull that bring a wealth of life to the sculpt and the toy overall. The only two things that could have made the paint apps to the head that much better would have been a blacked out inside lower jaw and a different tone for the teeth. These are very minor things and without them, Ghost Rider's skull still looks fantastic. Hasbro really has the flames down, just the right amount of translucency to give the feeling of illumination and the mix of orange an red colors are right on. There are very light hints of browns dry brushed throughout Ghost Rider's outfit. The dry brush is more heavily applied to the gauntlets and secondarily to the jacket and belt. The light brown dry brush highlights bring even more of a sense of realism to the textures and sculpt. The silver spikes on Ghost Rider's shoulders have even received a bit of brown dry brush highlights. The pants could have used some highlights, it looks like they forgot them. Due to the tremendous sculpt, the pants pass just fine without the highlights. I had a big gripe with the bike that came with the 6" Ghost Rider Electronic Flame Cycle not having nearly enough black wash applied to the crevaces to the bike's body, well, this 12" version has made up for that and then some. The amount of black applied on the bike is perfect. The flames as usual look amazing and the tank is very impressive with a green air brush on the sides and silver on top, really makes for a perfect two-tone sheen effect.
Ultimate Ghost Rider features an astonishing 42 POA (Points of Articulation). Their is no shoulder to bicep swivel but it doesn't seem to limit this figures poseability one bit. Not having the cut there makes this figure in particular with the jacket look very nice without such a seam. There is still full 2 point ball articulation in the shoulders, double jointed elbows and mid-forearm swivel to allow you to pose Ghost Rider's arms in just about any position you'd need for him. One of my favorites, four finger articulation exists and is especally useful to clench the chain included or squeeze the handle bars on his bike. Ab crunch, waist swivel, ball joint hips and double jointed knees allow just the right poseability for sitting Ghost Rider in his bike for a little stroll. The bike itself has all the articulation you need, rotating bars for turning, free spinning wheels and my personal fave a kickstand with a swivel.
Bike sculpt and paint apps are great as mentioned above. One thing I haven't gotten into is the chain included. First of all, Hasbro could have skipped this piece, in fact I'd expect it, being the 6" version didn't have one. Well this is the Ultimate Ghost Rider and Flame Cycle set after all isn't it? The chain although plastic, somehow sounds kind of like metal, I wish I could explain, but you have to get this yourself and see. Cool chain and could only have been better if it actually was metal, but I suppose that would jack the price up and would be too hard for Ghost Rider to hang onto it due to weight.
So far, I just couldn't help but give every category above a great score. Design and execution on this figure and bike set is great, there is no denying that. Head to toe and wheel to wheel, the Ultimate Ghost Rider & Flame Cycle never feels cheap. I have to admit the kid and gadget geek in me wanted Electronic lights and sounds in the bike. But if that meant another $10 or $15 price hike, which I'm sure it would have, I'd just barely rather leave it out. Even so I can't help but feel like a company ago, this would have been $5 if not $10 cheaper, but I bought it and I think you should too.
Sculpt / Design: 9
Paint / Color: 9
Overall: 54 out of a possible 60
Is 12" Ultimate Ghost Rider and Flame Cycle worth the $40 to me? Oh yeah. He will look great on that top shelf lined up with the rest of your Icons at right around the same scale. If you're not a Ghost Rider fan or don't care at all about the movie coming out this February, then you may not care. Or maybe this toy may peak your interest. I know there is a bit of a sticker shock here, but it's not like we are getting alternative forms of 12" figure + bike executed this well anywhere right?