SPACE GHOST: COAST TO COAST
Once or twice before, I’ve mentioned my love of old cartoons. There is one old cartoon in particular that I love more than any other. That cartoon is Space Ghost. Space Ghost is simply put, one of the coolest cartoons ever. The characters were designed by legendary artist Alex Toth, who is the man responsible for most of the character design work on the original Super Friends, and they are all amazing examples of just how awesome his work could be.
In the late 90s, Cartoon Network was looking for some original programing that could possibly appeal to an older audience. They turned to Space Ghost, and through some re-editing of old animation and some new dialogue, they created Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, which re-imagined Space Ghost as a late night talk show host. I’ve never actually seen a full episode of the show, but toymakers Toycom put out a set of figures based on the show. Thanks to Coast to Coast re-using the original animation, this meant that they could work just as well as figures from the original. Today, I’ll be looking at that line’s version of the title character!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Space Ghost was released a few times in Toycom’s Space Ghost: Coast to Coast line. Initially, he was released on his own, but he also shipped with the release of Zorak, Brak, and Moltar. The releases are pretty much identical. The figure was released in both normal and invisible versions. They both used the same sculpt, but the invisible one was made of unpainted clear plastic, while the normal one featured a full paint job. I’ll be looking at the normal one today. Space Ghost stands about 6 inches tall and features 16 points of articulation. Space Ghost features a unique sculpt, based on his appearance in both the original Space Ghost and Coast to Coast. The sculpt does a pretty great job capturing the essence of the character. He’s even got the proper little bit of flow to his cape, which is absolutely essential to Space Ghost. An argument could be made that the face is perhaps a little too smooth for Space Ghost, but there was enough variance in the character’s design on the show that this isn’t a very noticeable issue. The paint on the figure is basic, but that’s right for the design. He’s molded in white plastic for the body and yellow for the cape. Unfortunately, the white plastic doesn’t age well, so it’s yellowed over time. However, this is hardly an issue that the toymakers could have known at the time. The actual paint is all pretty well applied. There’s next to no bleed over, slop or fuzzy lines, which is certainly impressive for the time. One issue is the slight tendency of the black paint to chip, especially at the base of the neck joint. It might have been better to mold the head in black plastic to avoid the issue, but at least it’s not too obvious. Space Ghost is quite well accessorized, with an alternate set of hands (one for holding his cards, one for activating the power bands), a desk, a stool, four cue cards with Space Ghost logos, and a Space Ghost coffee mug.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When I was about 4 or 5, a friend of my dad loaned me his copy of the entirety of the original Space Ghost (and Dino Boy!) on LASERDISC! If you don’t know what that is, don’t feel bad, it’s a format that never really took off. Essentially, it’s a precursor to DVD that was about 5 times the size and held a whole lot less. Anyway, I loved the show and would watch it all the time, prompting the friend to essentially give me the laserdisc on a permanent loan. When the Coast to Coast figures came out, I remember searching several places trying to find the normal version. I eventually got one from my faithful comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. I loved that figure to no end. Okay, I actually loved that figure to its end. By the time I was through with it, the cape was gone and a fair bit of paint was missing from the head and power bands. Eventually, I replaced him with an invisible version (bought years later, also from Cosmic Comix), but that wasn’t the same. A few years ago, I considered replacing him with the Jazwares version, but I never saw one with a paintjob that wasn’t atrocious, so I never got one. Just last month, Cosmic Comix got in a collection of loose action figures, and wouldn’t you know it, there was a Space Ghost. I should point out, I was actually travelling that week, so my Dad found him and got him for me, making this the third Space Ghost purchased for me by my Dad from Cosmic Comix. Which is actually kind of cool! I still love this figure, and I’m glad to have a proper replacement!