Review – Medicom 12″ Ghost Rider

14 04 2007

I surprised myself when I discovered that I had not the usual enthusiasm when it came to reviewing Medicom’s Ghost Rider. When I first saw the promo pics on the Internet, I made a mental note that this would be a must-buy for me. And so it was that I was supposed to pick it up from the local store one day that my preview of the figure upon opening the box flap really disappointed me. I could tell this figure was not going to be as hot as that seen in the promo pics.

The problems with the figure, as you would read in the review below, was not anticipated by myself. This is the second faux leather figure in recent months to come out of Medicom. The first would be Medicom’s X3 Wolverine. Now, the Wolverine figure was truly excellent in implementation. I guess much of my decision to buy Ghost Rider was built from the good experience from X3 Wolverine. Well, I should be more stringent in my purchase decisions when it comes to Medicom in the future.

Well, with Medicom going into what I call the ‘fan favourite’ areas with Stormtroopers and the Fetts, it is highly likely that I will buy a Medicom in the months ahead! Let’s hope they make a good Boba or Jango! Anyway, compared to the quality out of competitors such as Hot Toys or Sideshow, the Ghost Rider is quite a step back for Medicom.

There you have it, you have read the bottomline of this review. You may skip what I write below and enjoy the pics!

 

Bottomline:

Medicom’s take on Marvel’s Ghost Rider in 12″ format is a good effort to capture the hype surrounding the release of the first Ghost Rider movie. Some glaring problems with its look arise due to design decisions. With little neck articulation, a true-to-biology skull sculpt and suspect body proportions, one may want to bypass this first Ghost Rider offering and look to better alternatives when its movie sequels come out. But get it if you can’t wait to assemble an all-Marvel cast on your display cabinet!

What’s good:

  • Nice box art.
  • Good sculpt of the flames on Ghost Rider’s head.
  • Generous length of the Enchanted Chain provided.
  • Stable figure.

What could be better:

  • Face looks off from certain angles.
  • Flames causing narrow, sloping shoulders and bulge on chest.
  • No neck articulation.
  • Wrist joints seem loose.

Review Details

Packaging

Medicom’s box art for Ghost Rider is a marked improvement over its X3 Movie Wolverine box. The latter had a plain metallic art that really say, “Unimaginative, no time for box art”. Imagine if more X-Men figures were to be produced, would the metallic art still be applicable? Would the only changes be the names of the X-Men? I would have preferred at least a more visible signature of the character in the box.

With Ghost Rider, I must say that Medicom did the right thing to bring out the fiery nature of this Marvel character through the yellow dominated box art that left no doubt of the supernatural flames that surround the Ghost Rider. On the inside of the box flap is another take of the Ghost Rider with bluish flames. Nice.

Headsculpt/Resemblance

This Ghost Rider’s head is really a skull. While it is true to the look of a real human skull with those huge eye sockets, they do make the figure look… uncool from certain angles. What you get is really more skeleton looking at you than Ghost Rider the flame head.

I guess much of this is also due to the lack of ‘flames’ on the front half of the head. While the orange-red flames are beautifully sculpted much like my Godannar chogokin, it leaves much of the skull exposed in all its whitish glory. If you manage to sit this figure on his motorcycle ride, I suspect it will look good. At least, it would accurately depict the wind blowing the flames off the front of Ghost Rider’s face. But then, aren’t we talking about flames of an arcane nature that are never extinguished versus torching a human skull on fire with limited kerosene?

Compare the head with the box art and you get the idea. However, it is really a good effort from Medicom when there are no serious producer of a 1/6 Ghost Rider figure. It’s just that being first does draw lots of comic book like expectations from buyers.

Quality of Product

I would say that Medicom’s Ghost Rider is well made considering that nothing is obviously broken, torn or sticky. And the clothes do not make you think of kitbash on the scale of military figures. Honestly, just about everything looks pretty good. The shotgun styled chaps over the denim is a nice touch as it conveys that this demonic agent to be a serious biker who knows his leather subculture!

Ok, maybe I can close an eye on the skull head… And the jacket zipper is too big. Think unzipping with your palm wrapped over it! Practical for unzipping while riding on the road but nowhere near cool in terms of looks.

I remembered peering through the plastic of the box and my eye immediately picked up the narrow slopping shoulders of the figure. It looked ugly and it accentuated the largeness of the skull head. I spent a while examining this matter when I finally got it out of the box to understand where the problem was.

My conclusion would be the design decision to extend the flames to the neck of Ghost Rider. Unzipping the jacket would reveal the plastic flames covering the collarbone and occupying a seemingly small but significant distance of the shoulder from the neck. Clothes for 1/6 figures would usually have the collar wrapping comfortably around the figure’s neck. This would allow the shoulder’s length to start from the neck.

In the case of Medicom’s Ghost Rider, the shoulders seem to start from where the ear would have been (if it was a flesh head). Compounding on the problem is that we are looking at plastic flames which have a mass unlike real flames. And so the jacket has to wrap over the plastic flames around the figure’s shoulders like over a thicker neck. This inadvertently pushes the shoulders of the jacket outwards and creates an unsightly bulge on Ghost Rider’s chest. I do not know how else to describe it but it looks pretty disheartening.

And by the way, the head is rather immobile. I am almost sure this rider will be docked points in a driving test for failing to check his blind spots. Nuff’ said.

I encountered a really loose left hand joint on my piece. It kept popping out despite me putting back the hand repeatedly and adjusting the the jacket sleeve and gauntlet to ensure that the hand was properly inserted. This issue stuck with me because I cannot remember the last instance I encountered something like this with my previous figures. Let me know if anyone has this problem as well.

Stability

Medicom’s Ghost Rider handles standing poses reasonably. Nothing spectacular in this department but sufficient to keep still while I took the photos in a room with open windows. Don’t try to use those spurs on the boots to aid the figure’s stability. They are more like decorative accessories than functional tools.

Accessories

One positive note for this figure is the provision of a generous length of the Hellfire Enchanted Chain. I’ve never measured it but I conservatively estimate it to be longer than 50cm. That’s enough metal to wrap around the gauntlet of Ghost Rider. I am sure it would make an impressive sight if someone had the will to prop up the entire length of chain to depict Ghost Rider’s swinging of the chain comic-style!

Other than the chain, the other accessories included are the extra pair of hands.

 

 

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2 responses

11 09 2007
ian

I would have bought this ghost rider figure if it weren’t for the ugly, out of scale big zipper attached to the leather jacket. You can even read the “ykk” brand of the zipper from far like in the photos. This figure doesn’t have the usual medicom premium look and no where near if compared to the X-Men Wolverine character. I think I will skip this and save up for other new issue later. 🙂

11 09 2007
swftoys

hi ian,
yes, it’s a good idea to skip this figure. And the big zipper in front is most ghastly!

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