Monday, June 26, 2017

Toy Review – Entertainment Earth Exclusive One:12 Collective Space Ghost from Mezco Toys

By Phantom Troublemaker


I did not understand what I was looking at the first time I saw Space Ghost: Coast 2 Coast.

That has nothing to do with this action figure, as this release is based on the original cartoons, but I can’t very well write about Space Ghost without mentioning his talk show and Cartoon Planet.

I grew up watching reruns of the original Hanna-Barbera cartoons, alongside other fantasy and sci-fi characters like the Herculoids and Birdman. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I had a preference for the designs of Alex Toth, an early development that influences my taste to this day. I also loved the action and adventure of those old cartoons.

Cranky Old Man Note – They were far superior to the animation of today, that seems to primarily feature plump, effete weirdos with squeaky voices creating neighborhood support groups and learning about the magic of love.

I grew to love Coast to Coast and Cartoon Planet, but the original Space Ghost cartoon is a key element of my science fiction fandom. The villains, exotic planets, and even Jan, Jace, and Blip hold up to this day. I had high hopes for Space Ghost with DC Comics’ Hanna-Barbera stuff, but thus far I haven’t gotten the stories I want.

Fortunately Mezco offered the figure I want. I took a risk ordering Entertainment Earth’s glow-in-the-dark variant. While I love GitD toys, if I have to choose it’s more important to me to have a neutral version (and for seventy bucks, I had to choose). But all of the production pictures made the figure seem pretty close to standard with the lights on. I decided it was worth it, especially knowing I’d be reviewing the final result.

To reiterate – I do not own and have not seen the standard figure, so aside from the obvious differences in accessories and colors, I cannot compare the figures. This one gets by (or doesn’t) on its own merits.


FIRST GLANCE

Space Ghost comes from a very specific style of animation, so I wasn’t too sure how the character would translate to Mezco’s One:12 aesthetic. He couldn’t look too cartoony if he was going to fit in with the style, but Space Ghost is inherently pretty darn cartoony.
As soon as I opened the front panel of the box, I felt like Mezco did it. And it’s not really a revelation or anything. He looks just like Space Ghost. But also not overly cartoony. I think achieving this might have been trickier than it would seem.


PACKAGING

This is the same gorgeous style of box as the other releases. The cardboard slipcover protects the box and keeps it closed. The construction of the box itself is sturdy, with thick cardboard and deep creases in the flaps. Several plastic trays keep the contents in order.
There’s a nice little “Entertainment Earth Exclusive” sticker on the top right corner of the front of the box. It blends in nicely and doesn’t have the junky look that such things sometimes have. This is a higher end product, so a sloppily applied or ugly sticker would have annoyed me. This is neither.

The back of the box features several full color images of the figure in action, along with some detail shots. Presumably the glowing image is different from the standard release, though this image is simply the regular version doctored to represent the glow rather than being an actual picture of the product.


The front panel opens to reveal the figure and what I assume is an Alex Toth sketch of Space Ghost (though I might be wrong). It makes me happy that Mezco is using different styles and sources for these interior panels so we get a nice variety of artwork. Normally I’d prefer a more uniform presentation, but it makes this line seem slightly fancier somehow. There are two magnets in the panel that wraps around the side to keep it closed.


The box opens easily. Inside there are two plastic trays, each with their own cover. These separate easily and are not taped together, which I liked. The bottom tray holds the arm and armature for the display stand, two of Space Ghost’s blast effects, and a storage bag. 
Everything else in is in the top tray. The figure itself had a plastic piece around it to protect against scratching, as well as plastic around the cape. There were a couple of pieces of film on various accessories to preserve the paint and keep them in place.


This is a fantastic box. It’s a perfect combination of everything that collector packaging should be – it has a beautiful design, it’s easy to open and remove the figure, and it’s also completely resealable with no sign of damage; not even tape marks. Mezco put together a box that is utilitarian and attractive. I didn’t have even a second of difficulty removing any piece of the toy from the box, and that’s significant.


LOOKS

Just to go ahead and get it out of the way, the figure glows like a mofo:


The accessories and the figure itself are very bright, as evidenced by the fact that for the first time ever I had no problems getting a good picture of said glow. Granted, I had to use my phone camera, which is much better than my camera camera, but it still worked. That’s good glow.

Space Ghost has a big head. He’s having a big head day. Look at his head. It’s huge!

That’s a reference.

Space Ghost does have a big head and this figure reflects that, but not in a bad way. “Huge” is overstating things, but this figure is sporting a sizeable noggin, most of which is jaw. The profile is fantastic, recognizable from all angles as the intergalactic crime fighter we all know and love. From the base of its neck to the top of the cowl it’s all one big piece, preserving the look and proportions of the character. No additional details were added, such as ears, but it works. The paint apps on the eyes and jaw are solid, with just a bit of coloring on the flesh to bring it to life.


The head sits in a socket at the top of the abdomen that is ringed by matching black plastic. The cape is attached under that and the Space Ghost emblem sits in front. It’s a perfect triangle with Space Ghost’s silhouette sculpted on. The red paint is metallic and the black silhouette stands out nicely against it, especially with the white eyes.

Space Ghost’s suit is wild. From what I’ve seen, the standard figure’s suit is an unadorned, shiny white fabric. This variant’s has a pattern printed across the entire suit, which is what creates the glow-in-the-dark effect. It isn’t accurate to the cartoon’s plain suit, but I like it quite a bit. Not just because it glows, but because it adds a sort of space suit look to the figure. It’s still a relatively subtle effect and doesn’t take away from the overall Space Ghost look.

The fit of the suit is great, as it has been other One:12 figures. It moves around nicely while the figure is being posed and it’s a tough fabric that still manages to look right for the scale. The seams are as minimal as they can be and do not detract from the figure’s profile. Space Ghost’s belt is a thick, black plastic band with a sculpted metallic red rectangle on the front. It looks right. Not much else to say there.


The cape is a vinyl-like material with a fabric lining. A wire runs around the edge to allow for posing. It hangs neatly, and even at the neck where the wire goes under the bottom of the cowl it doesn’t have too much thickness. 


This cape is the newest example of Mezco’s remarkable toy engineering. It just works incredibly well. The yellow appears to be slightly paler than the standard figure, but that’s due to the phosphorescent coating. And it still looks darn good.


Space Ghost’s Powerbands are nice and thick, with sculpted control panels. The three buttons are distinct, with gold paint. The metallic red of the Powerbands matches the chest emblem and stands out nicely against the white of the suit. The hands are simply sculpted white plastic and look good.


The all-white lower legs were tough to photograph,  but they’re basically just footies with plastic soles attached. It’s a design that shouldn’t work, but much like Flash, amazes me with the look and functionality. Somehow the fabric moves nicely and doesn’t bunch too badly.


ACCESSORIES

Space Ghost comes with a stand, a posing armature, nine extra hands, three blast effects, Blip the monkey, and a storage bag.


Space Ghost’s additional hands swap out very easily. There are two “flying” hands, two posed to activate his Powerbands, two “I’m gonna grab you” hands, and two hands with attached force rays. They all look great, but the force ray hands are particularly notable for looking awesome. The sculpt of the force rays looks so unbelievably good. They aren’t just big wedges, there’s an incredible amount of detail and dimension. If you look at the ends, they’re designed to look like blasts and not just chunks of plastic. Words are failing me a bit, but you see what I mean in the pictures. The same goes for the freeze ray, which has a right hand attached.


The other surprising thing about these hands is that the weight of the rays doesn’t make the arms or even the wrists droop. The articulation is designed in such a way that the figure supports the extra weight perfectly.


The other three blast effects are the destroyer ray and the two piece magna ray. They can fit over either hand and stay securely in place. The sculpt is just as fantastic as the rays I mentioned above. The glow effect on all of the rays is excellent, as you’ll see below, but I can’t help but wish that I had properly colored versions, too.


Glow-in-the-dark Blip is slightly less nightmarish than regular Blip. As good as Space Ghost looked in the initial photos, I was distracted by Blip’s terrifying grin. He looks like something out of a Stephen King novel:



Blip has way more articulation than I can remember from any other accessory I own. His head is on a ball joint and he has swivel/pivots at the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. What might have been a solid, unarticulated figure is a fun toy in its own right. But still kind of creepy.


The base is the same glossy plastic as the other One:12 releases, but with a Space Ghost emblem painted on. At first I wish it had had glow-in-the-dark paint, but I like how the figure appears to be simply floating when the lights are off. Be careful when swapping the peg and the armature, as the base will scratch easily. I’d like it if the pegs on these were a bit longer, but at least the connection is secure. 


The armature has several pivots and swivels so you can pose the figure jumping or whatever. The joints on the armature are all tight, so it has no trouble supporting the figure in flight poses.

The bag is plastic and has a zipper seal on it. There is a spot to presumably write the figure’s name. I won’t be doing that. I do store the extra parts in there in a drawer, though. If I put everything back in the box I’d never pull the parts out and use them.
The regular version included a second head with a different portrait and I do wish this one had that.


FUN

Under the suit Space Ghost has tons of articulation. Fully functional abdominal joints, double-jointed elbows and knees, shoulders with huge range, and hips with plenty of freedom of movement. The head is pretty great for being one solid piece and the ankles are okay. None of Mezco’s One:12 figures has had fantastic depth on the ankles, but it’s all been “just good enough”. I’m looking forward to seeing how they handle Spider-Man, because that guy has to be able to squat.


The only issue with the articulation is that it takes a lot of effort to pose Space Ghost as though he’s activating his Powerbands. And he can’t quite do it. Just a little more range in the shoulders to get the arms across the chest would have done it. It isn’t a huge deal to me, but at the same time it’s one of the biggest things that the character is known for. I have to mark this as a “not quite”.


Otherwise the figure can do everything that you’ve ever seen Space Ghost do.
As I mentioned above the cape has a wire armature around the perimeter, which makes it a fun addition to the posing possibilities. The wire is amazingly supportive and doesn’t sag even in the most raised and spread out positions.


The combination of (almost) perfect articulation and the bevvy of accessories make this figure tons of fun to play with. Plus he’s just sturdy. I usually mention the fact that I’d be more comfortable letting my nine year old son play with One:12 figures than anything from NECA or Hasbro. Granted, he’s grown up being taught how to handle toys, but that’s still saying something.


OVERALL

I was a little concerned about choosing this variant over the regular version. It was a possibility that the glow-in-the-dark elements would overwhelm what the character should look like, but that isn’t; the case. While I’d like to have the second head and the regular accessory colors, I am completely happy with the looks of this one. Literally the only issue is the difficulty in posing it to look like it’s activating the Powerbands. And since that’s a trademark move, it does lose a point for that.

4 out of 5


Mezco rejected my request to join their affiliate program and get a discount on their products for my reviews, so if you want to help Needless Things pay the bills buy this Space Ghost (or anything else) from Amazon!:


Or I suppose you could just get one for regular price from Entertainment Earth.

If you enjoy Spaaaace Ghoooost, glowing toys, or Needless Things, you might enjoy SupportPhantom.com. Huge thanks to our killer Patrons Zack, Gary, Lucas, and Beau!


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