Today we bring you a review for Hasbro's 2012 Marvel Legends wave 1 Ghost Rider & Steve Rogers variant figures by John Harmon from Mint Condition Customs. You can check out hi-res images for the figures below in our GALLERY!
Hello again! I know itís been a while, but Iím back to reviews. Here Iím going to continue my look at wave one of Hasbroís new 2012 Marvel Legends. For this review, Iím looking at Ghost Rider and Steve Rogers. These are both the variants though, so Ghost Rider is the one with orange flames, and Steve Rogers has the clear shield. I still havenít found either of these in their normal versions yet. So how do these stack up against the rest of the wave? Keep reading to find out!
PACKAGING- If youíve read my other 2012 Marvel Legends reviews, you know how I feel about the packaging. I love it. The big comic book lettering, the using of shading dots, and the personalized art are all excellent and do a very good job of getting your attention and standing out on the pegs.
PACKAGING SCORE: 4 / 5
SCULPT Ė Ghost Riderís sculpt is very dynamic. The body underneath his armor is the same as Ronin from the 2 pack a few years ago, but you could hardly tell with all the new pieces. Thereís a lot of fine detail sculpted into his armor pieces that really help sell them as being realistic. His shoulder pieces are great, and even the chains look really nice. His head sculpt is phenomenal. Easily one of the best Ghost Rider head sculpts ever. I love the way the flames look rising from his head and shoulder spouts.
Steve Rogers has a great sculpt too, but his body is more basic. Weíve seen it before on other figures, but the new pieces to help make it look unique. His belt, the various straps, and his lower leg gauntlets all look very nice. I really like his head sculpt too. It looks like it came straight out of the comics from when Steve Rogers looked like this.
I do have one nitpick though. Even though this figure looks nice, the body does seem a bit too small and lean, especially when compared against his head. The head looks a bit big for the body. I understand needing to reuse parts, but compared to the source material, Steve here should have a much beefier body.
PAINT Ė Ghost Rider features some very nice silver dry brushing against his armor pieces, which Iím always a fan of. Dry brushing is very easy to do, but it really helps bring the sculpt out of a figure and helps make it look all the more realistic.
The coolest part about Ghost Riderís paint job is on his head and shoulders. I love how his head is painted as if to reflect the flames flowing around his skull. Likewise, his shoulder armor is painted in a light orange gradient fading away from the flame spouts, as if to show the flamesí light reflecting off of him. Itís very cool that they went so far out as to actually paint this lighting detail. You can see more of it inside Ghost Riderís neck collar, and even a but on his chest and belt. The rest of Ghost Rider is left unpainted, instead just case in black plastic.
Much of Steve Rogers has been cast in appropriate colors, with some paint detail added. What is painted is done very well. Thereís no slop or messy lines on him, except for his shoulders, which donít look like that great. Speaking of his shoulders, I know in the comics Steve is supposed to have a star on either shoulder, and that detail is left out of this figure. Clearly, it was because that shoulder disc got in the way, but it seems odd they wouldnít have just used a shoulder that had the joint disc more covered up. Again, a small nitpick, but itís worth mentioning.
Steveís belt and his leg covers are left unpainted save for some silver on the buckles. They could really have benefited from the same dry brush as Ghost Rider, or a wash or something to help bring that sculpt out. Same goes for Steveís face. Not much paint detail on the face, but the eyes and hair are done very cleanly.
ARTICULATION Ė As great as Ghost Riderís sculpt is, it hinders his articulation quite noticeably. This notable area would be his arms. Because of the bulkiness of the torso armor, Ghost Rider canít put his arms down completely by his side. In fact if you try to push one arm down, the other one gets pushed up even more. Itís actually very detracting. But Ghost Rider otherwise features standard Marvel Legends articulation. He has a ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, swivel hinged wrists, ab crunch, waist swivel, ball jointed hips, thigh swivels, double knees, and swivel hinge ankles. If his bulky clothing and armor werenít in the way, you could get Ghost Rider into some very dynamic poses with this articulation.
Steve fares better here, due to the lack of bulky clothing and armor pieces. Steve features the exact articulation scheme as Ghost Rider, except instead of having swivel hinged wrists, Steve has a forearm cut. Thatís how you turn his wrists. The hands and forearms are all one piece. No hinged wrists for him.
I also wanted to point out that, while it doesnít hinder his articulation, his belt piece is kind of annoying. Hasbro seems to be adding a lot more extra pieces to figures that arenít permanently attached, such as Steveís belt. And while that can be great, it also means that because of those hanging side straps, anytime you try and pose Steve with a spread leg stance, that belt just gets pushed up way high on his torso. Itís annoying and just looks off.
He would have been better had that belt been permanently attached, and those side straps were either more pliable, or independent pieces hanging from a metal loop or something.
ACCESSORIES Ė Both Ghost Rider and Steve Rogers come packed with a piece to build Terrax. Other than that, Steve is the only one with accessories. He comes with two very nicely sculpted pistols, and his iconic Captain America shield. I canít tell if those pistols have been used before, but I really like the look of them. Very detailed. His shield looks great too. Even with the clear version you can see the detail in it. The shield has a clip on the back that fits right over Steveís wrist. You can also flip that clip down, and thereís a peg that fits perfectly into Steveís back for storage. His guns, however, have no place at all to be stored.
As I said before, Ghost Rider features no accessories outside of the Terrax pieces. I can understand Ghost Rider not being packed with his motorcycle, because for one thing it wouldnít fit in that packaging, and also because the Build a Figure is supposed to replace the big accessories and bases. But to not even include a chain with him? Flame attachments? ANYTHING? It just seems weird that they wouldnít even give him a chain.
I also just wanted to say that while they arenít technically accessories, you can remove Steve Rogersí belt and Ghot Riderís armor/coat. Steveís belt unplugs and you just slide it off his legs. Ghost Riderís coat is harder to get off. You have to pop his head off, unplug the two sides, and maneuver his arm around that chain hanging underneath his arms. It takes some doing, but you can remove it if you wanted to give him a different coat, or alter the existing one so it doesnít hinder his articulation so badly. At the very least, it makes it easy for customizers to take advantage of.
FUN Ė Both Steve and Ghost Rider are quite fun. Even though I donít particularly enjoy this version of Captain America, itís quite fun putting him in various poses with his shield and guns. Likewise, even though Ghost Riderís articulation is hindered, and he has no accessories, heís still Ghost Rider.
Add to that that this version of Ghost Rider is very attention getting, and heís actually a pretty fun figure. I can see kids clamoring for Ghost Rider more than Steve Rogers, if for no other reason than he has a freaking FLAMING SKULL. Flaming skulls are always fun, right (as long as theyíre not your own of course)?
FUN SCORE -
GHOST RIDER: 3.5 / 5
STEVE ROGERS: 3.5 / 5
OVERALL Ė Both figures have their pros and cons. Steve Rogers is very posable, and he comes with some cool accessories, but you canít holster his guns, and his body is too lean and small for the head he comes with. Ghost Riderís articulation is hindered by his coat, but he manages to be very visually appealing. There arenít as many display options with him though, since he doesnít include a chain or a weapon of any kind. Hasbro should really work on giving better character specific accessories, and also making sure their clothing pieces donít get in the way.
Overall, these are two very cool figures. Itís nice to get a version of Ghost Rider that isnít Johnny Blaze, and I know this version of Steve Rogers has been fan requested for quite some time now. Despite the flaws, Hasbro continues to improve their figures and it shows in this first wave of new Marvel Legends.