SHOUT AT THE DEVIL!
Review by Gatack
March 27, 2007
It's not very often that the devil can bestow otherworldly powers on you and give you a cool look to boot. But that's what
happened to Johnny Blaze. Sure he lost his dad, is cursed to walk the earth, and now spends his spare time foiling whatever
plans Mephistopheles has. Sounds like good times to me (Just so you know, I'm going by the movie version of the story
because that's what the Medicom doll is based on, so don't expect to hear the name Mephisto mentioned here — a second
time that is).
Ghost Rider is currently enjoying a very successful stint at the box office (crossing the world wide
mark of $200 million). It's easy to say that he's on fire or en fuego (ugh), but he is. Medicom has
thrown their kimono into the super hero ring once again and have given us the nicest Ghost Rider
figure on the market — and probably the nicest Marvel Medicom ever.
Now right off the bat you're going to notice how different the outfit is from the movie version. The
chaps and blue jeans look isn't how the final product appears. Word is that it's based on the initial
concept art and not the finished product. That can be a positive or negative depending on your
point of view (coincidentally, the excellent Sideshow Ghost Rider statue also doesn't look exactly
like the one in the movie. That one also has chaps and spurs). Personally, I like the initial design
with the chaps and spurs but don't like the blue jeans underneath. I would have preferred black.
As I said, it's all preference.
Ghost Rider is wearing a standard biker's jacket with side laces. I've seen some real nice one-
sixth biker jackets and some really poor ones. This one falls into the elusive *great* category. It's
a faux leather biker's jacket with five functioning zippers that zip up actual pockets with an
adjustable belt. To give you an idea of the thickness of the material it’s a thicker than the
Medicom X3 Wolverine pleather but not as thick as the Medicom Kamen Rider the 1st outfit. Add
some soft plastic spikes to his shoulders (three on each side) and you've got one mean looking
jacket. My only gripe with it is that the main zipper is a bit too big. It's a little distracting, but it’s a
minor complaint considering how nice the jacket is overall.
Big ups to Meiko Akimoto for developing such a high quality outfit for Ghost Rider. I believe in
giving credit where credit is due and it's most certainly due here.
The denim jeans are of a very good quality and no, the chaps and jeans aren't one piece but two
entirely separate pieces. The motorcycle chaps are side laced (just like the jacket) and fit snugly
into his boots. The gauntlets and boots are far from normal looking as they are adorned with
spikes and sickle-like spurs. The biker boots have spikes on the rim of the boot, while the spurs
are naturally in the back. The spurs are made of the same materials as the spikes on his jacket
so you won't have to worry about breaking them off (which was one initial concern of mine). He
doesn't suffer from MBS (Maul Boots Syndrome) as the boots are well sculpted and the triple
strap design doesn't look oversized in the least.
When you talk about sculpting in regards to a Ghost Rider doll, you're mainly referring to his
head and surrounding flames. The skull itself is sculpted very well but the designers at
Perfect-Studio have taken some liberties. It's not an animated-looking skull, nor does it have a
complete Harryhausen-esque brow (think Jason and the Argonauts, or for you kids out there,
think Army of Darkness) but does have some animated features as it looks a bit more
expressive than a regular skull. It's there, yet at the same time, is not distracting. It's a nice
compromise for those who prefer the realistic approach and those who prefer a more
expressive Ghost Rider.
The interesting bit about the flames is that unlike most posable Ghost Rider Figures where
there are only flames on top and back of his head, the Medicom design of the flames around
the head entirely. It would have been nice if they gave the flames joints so you could move
them around (but that's more of a Kaiyodo trademark anyway) the flames are sculpted to
appear as if they are blowing to the right of Ghost Rider's head. The flames attach itself to the
body so the skull never directly connects the body. It’s as if the skull was floating on a bed of
flames. Looks great but there is one draw back which I will get to momentarily.
While Ghost Rider's popularity is based of 100 percent off his style Medicom doesn't capture
the style exactly. The flames are a necessity to any Ghost Rider design but the flames get in
the way of how the jacket lays on his shoulders. The jacket droops down too much for my
taste. He doesn't look as imposing because of that. It’s not a huge gripe as you can tell by the
gallery below he’s very photogenic but he’s not buff enough. While that's easy to fix by just
padding it yourself, the point is that you really shouldn't have to.
When it comes to paint applications there is very little to critique as there isn't much to talk
about. The skull has some airbrush work around the ridges of the eyes and jaw, giving it a nice
sinister look (I wish U.S. companies would use more airbrush techniques themselves. There
are some effects that only an airbrush can give you). The shading around the jaw is yellow to
give it the flames the illusion of reflection — quite the nice touch. The paint application on the
spikes and spurs is very neat and clean with no sloppy overspray. No complaints here.
While the Medicom 301 body is very articulated, it can only be as posable as the clothes that are put on it. Ghost Rider has a lot
of nice duds, but don't let that fool you. He's more posable than you'd expect in almost all aspects. As the pictures below show,
he's very posable. Remember that one drawback I mentioned before? Well that draw back is the posability of the head. It can
look toward the left and right but can't turn up and down. The skull doesn’t have any articulation in the jaw. It may seem like a
minor bit for some but just adding something as simple as a jaw joint would open up a lot of posing opportunities, mainly for
The packaging is a very straightforward (and collector friendly) presentation with a close-up CG rendering of Ghost Rider
accompanied by the movie version of the Ghost Rider logo. It's consistent with the other Medicom packages that are based on
movie versions of comic book characters. The big "uh oh" with this box is with the text that's printed on the inside flap where it
says that this doll is an exact reproduction of the Ghost Rider that was on the big screen. As I stated earlier, it's not an exact
reproduction of the movie Ghost Rider. So while the box is nice, it's factually incorrect.
Ghost Rider isn't a character that comes with many accessories, since frankly he doesn't need
them. While it would have been cool beyond words for Ghost Rider to come with his chromed
out bike (I still think the Dan Ketch bike kicks more ass. Had to be said), we knew that wasn't
going to happen for several reasons. One of them is that the pricing would have been way out
of the range of most people (people balk at paying 100 for a doll. Imagine what they'd spew
out if they saw the price of Ghost Rider with Bike).
Maybe Hong Kong will do a 1/6 bike. They've done it before and the stuff they've done in the
past (mainly with Asian properties) are pieces of art. But that's a "what if". At the moment
Ghost Rider comes with his trusty chain which is a whopping three and a half feet long (!) and
made of metal with a plastic spear at the end of it. He comes with two set of hands — one
pair of casual open hands, other pair meant to hold the chain. Add to that your standard non-
intrusive clear Medicom stand and that's all she wrote in terms of accessories.
What I would have liked is to have him (realistically) come with are a pair of fist; the hellfire
shotgun, and a couple of pre-posed chains (see Shun from Bandai’s Saint Saiya, Saint Cloth
Myth line). I don't know why he didn't at least come with a pair of fists to begin with, as I think
for action characters those should always be included. Those three items would have opened
up a world of posing possibilities for him.
Again thanks to Sideshow distributing certain Medicom here, we're able to get Ghost Rider at
the very good price of $100.00. The Japanese yen on him is 16,800 (equal to 143 dollars as I
write this) not including the imported shipping price.
That type of a price cut is music to any consumer's ears.
I opened this review stating that Ghost Rider was probably the nicest Marvel Medicom which is saying a lot since there quite a
few very nice ones out there and Medicom does have a very good reputation of making high quality one-sixth. I wasn't that
excited when I first got him, mainly because my mind was all "Spider-Man 3 Medicom, Spider-Man 3 Medicom, Spider-Man 3
Medicom" so I foolishly overlooked this piece.
That was my mistake. I wish all my mistakes were this painless.
|For more one-sixth go here...
*Bike courtesy of the Hasbro's Ultimate Ghost Rider Box Set.
Images by Tendou