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Outer Space Men
The Four Horsemen

Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen


When dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was just a boy, there was a very cool line of action figures from a company called Colorforms. You remember them - they did those cool vinyl cut out toys in the 60's and 70's. I had my share of those too, but it was their one and only line of action figures that I clearly remember salivating over at the toy store.

Called The Outer Space Men, the series was very much like another of my favorites as a boy, Matt Mason. They were about the same size, and were bendy figures. I remember using them as the bad guys to my Matt Mason, and I wanted (but sadly never got) the entire series.  Like Matt, my Outer Space Men were lost to the ages or at least to some garage sale at some point in time.

Flash forward to modern times, and the Four Horsemen. They picked up the license to create new figures based on the old line, changing them from bendy to the Glyos body system and dropping the scale down to around 4".

Since Glyos and the Four Horsemen are working directly with the original inventor, Mel Birnkrant, they have unprecedented access to the original designs of not just the released figures, but the planned figures as well. Check out the OSM Annex for all kinds of cool background information on the original series as well as a ton of great information on the development process around this new series.

Mel was a man born before his time, designing figures 40 years ago that would fit in with any cool vinyl designer series today. Adding in the swappable Glyos design is truly icing on the cake!
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Homer Simpson Syroco style statue from Dark Horse Comics
Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen
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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen

Packaging - ****
The packaging has a terrific retro feel to it, with excellent graphics and text. The full line is shown on the back, and you also get a little background info on each character. Best of all, while it might look like traditional bubble/cardback packaging, it's not. The 'bubble' wraps around the card on all four sides, and you can easily slip the cardback right out without damaging anything. It's unusual for us to get completely collector friendly packaging in this style, and it's always very appreciated when we do.

There was one minor nit for me - there's a damn twisty tie holding the figure in. Still, considering all the other factors with this package, that nit wasn't enough to pull it down in the score.

Sculpting - ***1/2
There are four figures in this 'Infinity' wave: Commander Comet, Mystron, Electron+, and Alpha 7. Of the four, only Mystron wasn't in the original series, as he was planned for series 2 but never produced.

Electron+ is from Pluto, and bears quite a striking resemblance to the alien from the film The Man From Planet X. He's the bald dude in the silver outfit, with the bluish helmet. A little bit of trivia - that same silver outfit design was used as Dr. Evil's space suit in the Spy that Shagged Me. You can see an original Electron+ here.

Commander Comet, the most human in appearance, is from Venus. Other than his hair color, he looks like most 1960s square jawed heroes. Back in the day, he looked something like this.

Next up is the diminutive Alpha 7. He's from Mars, and looks very much like Martians were supposed to look back then - green, tiny, and sporting antennae. You can see the similarities with the original design.

The fourth figure is Mystron, my favorite of this set, but he never saw the light of day back in the 70's. He was planned for a second wave, and this is the original intended design.

He is 'the man from hollow earth'.  He's all fire and brimstone, with a reddish helmet, devilish horns, pointed ears, and wild thick gold beard.

These figures are small, coming in at about 3 3/4" tall for the regular figures (with Alpha 7 much smaller of course, hitting 2 3/4 inches tall on a good day). Even at that scale, the sculpting is very detailed, with stranded hair, texturing on the suits and wings, and lots of small extras that give the figures a ton of visual appeal.

My only complaint is the number of mold lines and mold marks. Still, considering the overall look, it's a pretty minor nit.

Paint - ***1/2
Although these are small, all the paint work is clean, sharp and neat. Eyes and lips are well defined, edges are generally clean, and the colors are bright and unique.

There is some gloppiness here and there, which pulls them back a bit for me in this category. But it wasn't major, and can easily be overlooked by the nekkid eye.

One of my favorite aspects is the use of the translucent pieces, as well as the metallic paint. Both features add a lot of pop, but weren't overused.

There are actually several different types of these figures that the Horsemen are producing. These Infinity versions are fully painted, but some others - like Alpha, Beta, Holiday, etc. - rely more on clear parts, with little or no additional paint work. Personally, I like the fully painted versions of the Infinity series, but your mileage may vary.

Articulation - ***
If I were going only off the style and posability of the joints this time around, this score would be a bit lower. That's because while there's a decent number of joints here, they are all really just cut joints, allowing for far less mobility. But that's not all that I'm including in this category - the reason these joints are designed this way is to allow for lots of swapping and switching of parts, and that's a big plus.

There is a cut neck, cut shoulders, cut wrists (at the top of the gloves), cut ankles (at the top of the boot), cut knees on the taller figures, and in some cases where it's possible considering the design (like Mystron) a cut waist. The hips are simple T's, or in Alpha's case, basic cuts as well. And let's not forget the wings - these can turn on their post too.

This style of joint was chosen because it means all these parts can pop off and be swapped around. Anyone who has purchased Glyos figures, which this design is based off, will know exactly what I'm talking about. And it's not just the limbs and heads - the chest emblem is removable as well, and there's always that hole in back where the wings attach to add other goodies.

This interchangeability boosts the articulation score back up for me, making these much more fun for kids and adults alike.

Accessories - ***1/2
Each figure comes with a handful of extras, although poor Alpha 7 gets a shorted a little.

The Commander has his cool winged staff that matches his own white angelic wings. He also has a nifty crossbow type weapon, and two additional arms that allow for a greater number of poses with the staff and bow. His pinkish helmet is also removable.

Mystron also has wings, but his are black and bat-like. His staff has a matching design (and looks an awful lot like something a minion of Skeletor would carry many years later), with funky bat-wings. He has a gun that looks like some sort of weird bat creature as well. Again, there's a couple additional arms that can be used for more poses. He comes with a reddish removable helmet as well.

Next up, Electron+. His staff is complete with translucent blue lightning, sort of a hand held Jacob's Ladder. His ray gun is a bit more 60's traditional, with a translucent end that matches the cool dome cover on his chest box. His clear helmet has a more elongated design than the others, due to his larger, weirdly shaped head.

Finally, it's little Alpha 7. He has a round removable helmet, as well as a cool little ray gun that looks like a modern listening device. He also has two additional tiny arms, and he comes with a small rocket pack that attaches to his back.

Fun Factor - ****
These little guys would be a ton of fun on their own basic merits, but add in the ability to swap and change parts and it takes it to a whole new level. The old Outer Space Men were fun - and I speak from first hand experience - but these are ten times the toys those were.

Value - ***
If you snag these as a set of four or in sets of two, they'll run you about $13 each. These are very much specialty market toys with very low runs, and with very high quality plastic and paint. While that price is certainly not a steal, it feels like a very solid value to me.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***1/2
Make sure you scroll down through all the photos - I think the last is my personal favorite. 

These are some very creative toys, designs from more than 40 years ago updated with modern techniques and style. What's so surprising is that these designs fit in so well with the current style of the offshoot designer labels, who often try to capture this very same retro look.

Adding in the use of the Glyos system was a brilliant touch, giving these a whole new play aspect. While it's unlikely (and unfortunate) that too many kids are ever going to get to play with these, it's nice to see that they have taken the toy DNA and improved on it, rather than shunning it.

Here's the trick now for both the Four Horsemen and Onell Designs - how do they get great figures like these the wider exposure with collectors they need? You can help by spreading the word to your friends and fellow toy fans. We can do our part to aid the invasion!

I have every expectation that we'll see more of these little guys - and other products from these companies - on the Poppies ballot next year. They have everything going for them, and I think once more people inside and outside the industry see what the Four Horsmen and Onell are doing, they'll respond to it most favorably.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store has the NYCC exclusives for $50 for the set of four in stock right now.

- you can get several variations on the OSM figures direct from the Four Horsemen right now.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
If you like the Four Horsemen's work, you should check out their FANtastic Exclusives, like Scarabus and his variants, the Timekeepers, Ssejjhhorr, Xetheus, and Vaskhh. More recent, we had Allux and Izzy and the rest of the cat ladies, as well as the mutants from the same series.

And if you want a lot of cool information on both the old series and the new, check out the Outer Space Men Annex.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

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Outer Space Men action figures by Four Horsemen


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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