#2337: Cosmic Ghost Rider

COSMIC GHOST RIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Supernatural powers transform Frank Castle from a force of retribution into an eternal Spirit of Vengeance.”

Ghost Rider is a character who is very influenced by current trends.  It makes sense, since he began his life in the ’70s as an attempt to cash in on motorcycle stunt acts like Evel Knievel.  In the ’90s he became a leather-clad ’90s biker, in the early ’00s he had something of an identity crisis, because stunt cyclist and bad-ass biker were apparently just too different, and then in 2013 he became a street racer because the Fast and the Furious movies were inexplicably still a thing.  While that version of the character is still running around as the main version, we’ve gotten another update.  In the wake of Marvel’s recent trend of cosmic epics and the cosmically-themed characters that populate them, now we’ve got a Cosmic Ghost Rider.  He’s Ghost Rider, he’s a herald of Galactus, and he’s Frank Castle.  Are we sure this guy isn’t another Summers brother, sporting a symbiote, and possibly from the future?  Because that would really check off all of the boxes.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cosmic Ghost Rider is the second figure in the latest “Legendary Riders” assortment of Marvel Legends, shipping alongside yesterday’s Squirrel Girl figure.  As with the Blaze Ghost Rider that was released in the first assortment, he’s a character who makes far more sense in this particular line-up than quite a few of the figures we’ve actually gotten, what with him being rather dependent on his ride and all.  But we’ll get to that in a minute, because right now I’m talking about the main man himself.  No, not Lobo; this is the other space-faring biker with a lot of attitude and slightly outdated ’90s-isms!  Don’t confuse them!  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Compared to some of Hasbro’s more recent efforts, Cosmic Ghost Rider does feel a little on the restricted side in terms of posing.  He can manage sitting on his bike alright, so at least it’s not impacting the main look, but I found the range to be a fair bit less than I’d been expecting.  Some of that’s definitely to do with the design, however.  Cosmic Ghost Rider has one of those sort of nebulous designs (befitting his kind of ’90s throwback nature, really), where the details change-up from artist to artist.  Hasbro’s opted to use this to their advantage a little bit, allowing for a tiny bit of parts re-use.  He gets the hands, legs, and feet of the Red Onslaught Taskmaster, which are suitably sci-fi-armor-y for the character’s needs.  The legs are also the most practically poseable portion of the figure, for what it’s worth.  The rest of the sculpt is all-new, and it’s decent, but…I don’t know, it’s not quite wowing me the way I’d been hoping it would.  Nothing is outright bad or anything.  In fact there are a lot of cool elements, especially with all the little texturing littered throughout the suit.  The head is also pretty cool looking, with the helmet being removable so that you can pose the head within it.  That said, the neck joint essentially just being a cut-joint is a bit disappointing, and the post the head sits on is a little more visible than I’d like from some angles.  Despite the figure’s rather large shoulder pads, the hips still seem comparatively rather large.  It doesn’t seem to jibe with the overall look they’re going for, and ends up making him look a lot less intimidating than you’d hope.  His paintwork is at least a suitable match for the books, with his basic color scheme nicely rendered, and even a pretty solid attempt at all of his cosmic detailing as well.  Being a version of Frank Castle, Cosmic Ghost Rider would of course be totally naked without at least a few guns, so he gets two distinct space guns, each with a distinct flame effect.  And being a version of Ghost Rider, he would be totally naked without a chain, so he gets one of those too!

In addition to the guns and chain, Cosmic Ghost Ride also includes his Cosmic Ghost Ride.  It’s pretty much just a space motorcycle, because what else is this guy gonna ride?  Certainly not the scooter!  Of course, now I kinda want Ghost Rider all themed around riding that scooter.  He could even have a flaming scarf!  Now that would be a scarf to make Kamen Rider jealous!  …where was I?  Not Ghost Vespa Rider?  Well, that’s a letdown.  Darn.  Why’d I do that to myself?  So, how about this cosmic bike?  Well, it’s about 5 inches tall by 9 inches long, and unlike most of the vehicles so far in this line, it doesn’t actually have any moving parts, unless you count the tiny bit of movement on the hover stand, but I feel like that’s stretching things a bit.  Honestly, this thing’s got more in common with the Black Series Speeder Bike than it does the other Marvel vehicles, which I guess is appropriate.  There’s a little bit of assembly right out of the box to get the front “wheel” put together with its effects pieces inside.  The fully assembled product is certainly something of a centerpiece, and does a pretty respectable job of boiling down all the common design elements of the various illustrations of this thing into one concise product.  I appreciate the spots to store the guns, and how well they hold them in place; that’s a cool touch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Full disclosure: I’ve never really gotten Cosmic Ghost Rider.  Since his introduction, everyone’s been crazy about the guy, but to me he feels like a left over idea from the mid-90s, and not in a particularly good way.  He’s the sort of thing you expect to see lots of ball-point-pen drawings of on the lined paper of some kid’s spiral bound notebook in class.  So I’m not really all about him, and I’ll admit that’s probably colored my opinion of this set just a little bit.  Ultimately, if you like the concept, this might hold your interest more than me.  In my case?  Well, it’ll look fine on the shelf, where I’ll only passingly glance at it from time to time and remember its shame.  And also remember that this set somehow ended up far easier to acquire than the WW2 Cap set.  For shame!

Cosmic Ghost Rider was purchased from my friends All Time Toys, where he is currently in stock here.  Don’t let my apathy scare you off, though, I just like ruining people’s good time.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

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