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Space Ghost and Hong Kong Phooey
Jazwares

Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares


Everyone is pretty clear by now - Jazwares has picked up a bunch of Cartoon Network licenses, both new (The Regular Show) and old (The Flintstones). They are doing figures in multiple scales, from little 1" PVC's to 6" action figures, and even plush toys.

When I first heard that Jazwares was including a Space Ghost figure in the 6" series, I thought "yea, but Toycom just did thet one that was almost perfect". And then I looked back at when I reviewed the Toycom toy, and was thunderstruck to realize it had been 12 years since that figure was on the shelves. Twelve years!

I'm checking out both Hong Kong Phooey and Space Ghost tonight. I just knew I had to pick up Space Ghost, but when I saw that Toys R Us was doing a "buy one get one 50% off sale" I had to snag Hong Kong Phooey as well. I don't recall ever getting an action figure of him before, so he's a nice surprise.

These are at Toys R Us right now, and run around $11 each. There's a Tom and Jerry in this scale as well, and I believe Jazwares has plans for some additional figures.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Hong Kong Phooey action figure by Jazwares
Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares
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Hong Kong Phooey action figure by Jazwares
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Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares
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Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares
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Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares
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Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares
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Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares
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Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares
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Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares
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Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares

Packaging - **1/2
The package is very similar to the smaller scale figures, but there's a lot more waste with these. They could have fit four or five accessories with the amount of extra space in the bubble.

They also have that same annoying group shot on the back, which tells you nothing about what figures are out or what might be planned. That's a big mistake with a line like this, since buyers may make their decision on buying any one figure based on what others might be available to go with them.

Sculpting - Space Ghost ***; Phooey **1/2
The plastic used on these figures is a smidge soft, but not nearly as bad as I'd heard from some folks. I didn't find it to be a problem overall, but it did mean that the joints were weaker than they should be - more on that in the Articulation section.

Speaking of the joints, one of the issues with the sculpt is that it isn't designed to work particularly well with the articulation. I'm not sure how they could have managed it considering the weird concepts employed in the articulation, but it's still an overall issue.

For Space Ghost, scale is his biggest sculpt problem. The head is a bit small, the hands much too large. These odd internal proportions throw off the complete look in a somewhat subtle way.

I'm also not loving the cape, which is harder plastic than the body and gets in the way of many of the potential arm poses. The sculpted folds are actually a hindrance, although I did find that it's attached so close to the torso that it doesn't drag him over backward as much as I'd expected.

Phooey has the same issues with the sculpt conflicting with the weird articulation, but his overall internal proportions are better. He suffers from a lot more mold lines and textures caused by the cheaper plastic though, and the darker color of the figure (the basic color isn't painted, but is the color of the plastic itself) seems to exacerbate the problem, making the lines, swirls and imperfections more obvious.

Both figures stand about 6" tall, although keeping them standing on their own is quite the trick.

Paint - **
These are both fairly basic, cheap paint jobs. The cut lines are sloppy, and edges generally trail onto other areas of the figure - check out Phooey's white collar for an example.

Overall, this is pretty much standard mass market discount work, something you'd see on any cheaper line. These are clearly toys, not collectibles, but this cut rate work is likely to make kids and parents question the price tag as well.

One other area of concern is the clear pegs on Space Ghost. Like the earlier Secret Squirrel, they clearly thought that it wasn't necessary for the pegs in the hips, shoulders and other joints to be white like the body - clear would work just as well. It doesn't. Even his red wrists have a clear peg!

Articulation - Space Ghost **; Phooey *1/2
It's not a lack of articulation that hurts these figures - it's weirdly designed articulation. There's enough joints, but they work so poorly that it drops the score quite a bit.

Space Ghost has less of a problem with the weird joints. He has the usual cut neck, pin and disc ball shoulders, pin elbows, wrists, ankles and knees, cut thighs, ab crunch chest and cut waist, and a T crotch with hinge hips. Seems like plenty, right?

The weirdness comes in for him on the wrists, where there's almost no movement in the front to back pin. Add in no cut joint of any kind on the arms - nothing at the bicep, shoulder, elbow or wrist - and you have no ability to move the arm across the body. The cool right hand sculpt would look great pressing the buttons on the left cuff, except for one minor detail - you can't bring the right and left arms any where near each other without the necessary cut joint.

His other major problem is loose joints, especially in the legs. He was one of the more wobbly, floppy figures I've seen in this scale in quite some time.

But at least he could stand in certain poses - poor Hong Kong Phooey is defeated by loose joints that are also poorly designed. The legs have no cut joint either, but they have a weirdly designed pin knee and ankle that are so loose and soft that it's almost impossible to keep him upright.

He also has ball (pin/disc style) shoulders, cut wrists, a cut waist and a cut neck. These all work pretty much as you'd expect.

And then he has his elbows, done in the exact opposite way from every other action figure ever released. Instead of the pin running from side to side so the lower arm can move forward and back, the pin runs front to back, forcing the arm to only move side to side. Huh? On top of that, the sculpt only allows the arm to move the tiniest bit, making the joint ugly and useless - the double whammy!

Accessories - ***
Each figure comes with one accessory - a sidekick! This is easily the best feature of these two figures, and might actually tip you over to buying the Space Ghost.  If you already have the Toycom version, you can add this little Blip the monkey to the display.

Both Blip and Spot (Hong Kong Phooey's cat who was the actual brains of the operation) are non-articulated PVC style figures, at about the right scale. The sculpts are solid, but the paint work suffers from the same sort of issues as the larger figures.

Fun Factor - **
The paint and sculpt issues wouldn't have hurt these figures a lot in this category, but the loose, sloppy articulation makes a big impact on the playability. There's nothing more frustrating to a kid than an action figure that can't even stand.

Value - **
While the price itself is pretty average, these figures lack the overall quality of  figures in the same ball park. You can snag these for 'but one get one half off' right now, but that's probably not going to last, and it assumes you actually want more than one.

Things to Watch Out For -
Weak joints are the only real issue - if they are stuck, be careful when freeing them up to avoid tearing or breaking.

Overall - Hong Kong Phooey **; Space Ghost **1/2
Space Ghost has several major problems, including the weak paint and weaker joints. Add in a modern price tag, and he's not going to be on the top of anyone's list. He really has two things going for him - Blip, and the simple fact that he hasn't seen plastic form in 12 years.

If you really, really want a great Space Ghost in this scale, I suggest going after the Toycom version. You'll probably pay $35  - $40 for one these days, but it really is a much nicer figure overall.

If you can't afford to spend that much, this guy is really you're only alternative. And if you want to add Blip to your Toycom display, this is the way to go.

I can't recommend picking up Hong Kong Phooey, unless you're a serious fan and don't mind the utter frustration of keeping this guy standing. I won't be picking up any more of the 6" series based on the quality of these two, but I might hunt up the DVD releases of their 1960's shows.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - Space Ghost ***; Phooey **1/2
Paint - **
Articulation - Space Ghost **; Phooey *1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - **
Overall - Hong Kong Phooey **; Space Ghost **1/2

Where to Buy -
These are at just about every Toys R Us right now for around $11, although finding Space Ghost might be a little tougher. I think the case is even packed, but SG is going to be a more popular guy.

Related Links -
Just last week I checked out a couple of the smaller 3 - 4" figures, including Captain Caveman and Secret Squirrel. Back in the day, McFarlane did a couple series of nerd Hummel Hanna Barbera figures - I reviewed both series 2 part 2, series 2 part 1, and series 1. There's also deluxe set 1 and deluxe set 2.

As I mentioned earlier, this isn't the first time Space Ghost has been made into a collectible. Here's a guest review of a great statue, and my review of both the Toycom Space Ghost and the 'sidekicks' from the television show.

Discussion:
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Space Ghost action figure by Jazwares


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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