The Island of Misfit Toys: Ultraforce Ghoul (Galoob Toys)

MisfitToys

Today we’ll be looking at Ultraforce Ghoul Ultra Figure, a toy created by Galoob Toys based on the animated series of the same name. This toy came out in 1995.

Ultraforce was the premiere superhero team from the Ultraverse, a comic publishing initiative from Malibu Comics in the 1990’s. One of many upstart shared superhero universes, I was a fan of these comics when they were originally published. They offered new readers a “ground floor” approach to a new bunch of characters and I was especially taken with Prime, the Ultraverse’s modernistic riff on Captain Marvel.

Malibu pushed their characters quite hard into other media and had a decent amount of success for a new comic company. The Ultraverse characters made their way into syndicated television (Night Man), computer games and CD-ROMs (remember those?), and a brief run at a Saturday morning cartoon series, on which this toy was based, I’m guessing.

PACKAGING

I decided to pick up a Ghoul figure off eBay for somewhere around $3 bucks because of my memories of the comics and I thought it would be a nice addition to this column. This will have little to no bearing on the actual review of the toy but holy crow, look at the condition this box came to my front door in!

UF3

It looks like someone purposely stomped on it! Again, the toy itself was fine but thank god I was planning on taking it out of the box to play with… the blister card and whatnot were all but ruined.

UF1

The back of the card displays all the figures in the line as well as several vehicles and it’s perfectly serviceable.

UF2

SCULPTING

Ghoul clocks in somewhere around 5 inches tall, which was the standard for most superhero toys during the 1990’s. His head has some good pocking and gross-out factor.

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I’ll mention the coffin later when I discuss accessories, but I want to note here: the coffinis also very well sculpted, with lots of small touches that show great thought and care. Besides the thorough sculpting of the woodgrain, the inside of the lid is scrached over with lines, as though Ghoul were counting days before coming back to life. There are sculpted cobwebs and spiders all over the place. It’s neat.

PAINT

Paint is pretty nice, with very little slop on any of the major sections. Galoob decided to offer a little extra value for money here, as all the bone areas of Ghoul on his face, chest, and legs are painted in glow-in-the-dark paint! It’s the standard “hold it up to the light to charge and take it in the dark to glow” feature and even all these years later, the glow still stands out fairly well. It’s a nice additional touch.

ARTICULATION

Ghoul has 10 points of articulation, a pretty good number for 1995. He has a swivel at the neck and both shoulders, pin joints at the elbows and knees, and two joints at the hips. He also has a swivel waist.

ACCESSORIES

Here’s where Ghoul jumps from being a misfit to a REALLY fun action figure toy to have in your toybox. Ghoul’s special feature is that most of his limbs are removable. Like any animated walking corpse, Ghoul’s arms, legs, and even his head can be removed with a slight tug. Here’s a picture of the guy disassembled.

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Additionally, Ghoul comes with a coffin, sized for him with an additional play feature. At the bottom of the coffin are two pegs sized for the bottom of Ghoul’s boots. Clip Ghoul in and, with a turn of the switch located off to the side, Ghoul will “rise from the grave!”

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Now, THIS is a cool feature. Galoob could have included a coffin and most kids would have been happy but really, the action feature is a cut above.

FUN FACTOR

This might be a “misfit toy” but don’t let that fool you – Ghoul is tremendously fun. Both of my children have been playing with him non-stop since we got him. Unlike last week’s abomination, this action figure has been wrongly marooned!

I can’t speak for the vehicles but I can tell you these action figures sat in the Clearance section of my childhood Toys r Us for YEARS. The Ultraforce cartoon seemed to hit airwaves just as the syndicated market for cartoons was drying up… and the comics followed suit not too soon after. I can’t say he’s a fan favorite or anything but if you’re looking for a fun, cheap action figure… you could do worse and probably not a whole lot better than ol’ Ghoul here.

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One Response to “The Island of Misfit Toys: Ultraforce Ghoul (Galoob Toys)”

  1. IM A BIG FAN OF THE TOYS AND COMIC BOOKS, AND ALWAYS WILL, I REALLY HATE THAT MARVEL WAS ABLE BUY OUT THE MALIBU COMPANY AND THE CHARACTERS JUST TO KILL THEM OFF. TO NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN,, THAT IS WAY I DONT BUY ANYTING MARVEL TOY OR COMIC ANY MORE.. rAy

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