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Outer Space Men - Jack Asteroid, Terra Firma and Horroscope
The Four Horsemen

Jack Asteriod Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen


I was born in the 60's, but my real formative years - at least when it comes to action figures and pop culture - was from about 1966 to around 1975. This was a golden age for action figures, especially in science fiction.

Long before there was Star Wars, there was Major Matt Mason. Taking its cue from the moon missions of the 60's, Mattel developed a line of bendy figures that included astronauts and aliens. These were terrific toys, complete with vehicles and play sets, and are highly desirable on the collector's market today.

The Outer Space Men from the Four Horsemen find their roots in that early series. While the scale and construction are different - the OSM are about 4" tall, with articulated plastic bodies - the concept is very similar, and the designs clearly have their roots in the 60's sci-fi series.

I'm checking out three of their newest wave tonight - Jack Asteroid (The Man from Earth), Terra Firma (The Woman from Earth) and Horroscope (the Woman from Saturn). There are three more in this series that I'll be covering soon as well.

Expect to pay just $13 each for these direct from the Horsemen's website. I'm looking at the Infinity series here, but the Alpha and Beta series of these are also available through their site. The difference is one of paint - check them out here and you'll see what I mean.

If you'd like to find out more about the vintage Matt Mason series and how it compares, check out this terrific article.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Jack Asteriod Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen
Jack Asteriod Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen
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Horroscope Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen
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Terra Firma Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen
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Terra Firma Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen
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Horroscope Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen
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Jack Asteriod Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen
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Terra Firma Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen
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Horroscope Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen
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Jack Asteriod Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen
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Jack Asteriod Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen

Packaging - ****
It's rare to find truly collector friendly bubble/cardback packaging, but the Horsemen know how to do it. All four sides of the plastic bubble cover wrap around the edges of the cardback. There's no tape holding it, just the wrapped plastic edge. You can easily slip the card over the top edge and slide it out, freeing the figure with zero damage.

There is still one silly twisty tie, but that's a minor inconvenience in an otherwise stellar package. The artwork has the same retro style as the figures, really making these pop on the peg.

Sculpting - ****
These guys are generally a 4" scale. Jack is right about there with his helmet on - without it he looses about a 1/4 inch.

You'll see some very clear references to the old Matt Mason in the suit design. The black ribbed bands around the joints, the brightly colored suit, and even the helmet owe their inspiration to the original figures.

That's a good thing though, as this retro style is what really makes these special. While Matt Mason didn't have a ton of aliens, the Outer Space Men do, and they've managed to keep that funky retro sci-fi look working across all the far out races.

Take Horroscope, a name that even sounds like some sort of technical feature of a 50's monster movie. "See the creature in living HORROSCOPE!" She has a multi-eye, multi-tentacle face that would fit right in on the set of any B sci-fi flick from the early 60's.

I also love the use of translucent plastic whenever possible. Here we see it with her weapons, and even her eyes have a slightly clear effect that gives them a glowing appearance in just the right light.

The two lovely ladies also have sculpted stomach insignia representing their home planets. It's a nifty touch that ties the series together.

There is something a bit odd about their breasts, however. They are extremely round and perky, which might not sound like a bad thing, but in this case it looks an awful lot like two balloons. Perhaps this is the effect of zero gravity...

The face work on both Jack and Terra Firma is really impressive, especially when you consider the small size. He's all about being a dashing, heroic, strong jawed astronaut, and she's a beautiful, sexy woman. Her sculpt is particularly impressive, with a tremendous amount of fine detail in the hair.

One of the coolest features is the anti-gravity backpack on Terra Firma and Jack Asteroid. It's shaped like a magnet, with translucent bolts of energy protruding from each prong. Now that is a cool design!

Paint - ***1/2
The figures sport a lot of bright colors and fine details, as well as a nice use of clear plastic whenever possible.

The smaller details, like they planetary emblems on both female figures, are clean and sharp. Eyes, lips and hair are well defined, and cut lines are generally sharp and even.

There's a rub mark here, a slip there, but it's solid work for such a small scale and reasonable price point. Too often paint is where the chicken's come home to roost when the price point starts to drop - that's not an issue here.

Articulation - ***1/2
One of the cool things about the Outer Space Men is that the limbs and various body parts can all be disassembled and reassembled in multiple combinations. You can mix and match pretty freely, often even with figures of different sizes.

While that's a huge plus when it comes to play value, it does mean that the articulation is largely confined to cut joints. The all have a cut neck, as well as cut shoulders, cut wrists, cut knees, and cut ankles. The hips are T style, and both the ladies and Jack have a high chest joint. Jack also has a cut waist just above the belt. Other parts, like the insignia and backpacks, also pop off.

While it might seem that this style of joints is restrictive, you can actually get some really solid poses out of them. They designed the joints to get the maximum use. For example, instead of making Horroscope's head and tentacles all one piece, they separated them, making the longer tentacles more like a collar. This allows the head itself to turn freely, something that wouldn't have been possible with a one piece design.

All three figures stand well on their own too, although the smaller feet on the ladies can be a bit tricky. You'll need to get the center of gravity just right, but once you do they remain upright and sturdy.

Accessories - ****
All the figures come with 5 extras, and there's a similar theme.

Both Terra Firma and Jack have a blaster, American flag, space helmet, and an extra right and left arm. They are pretty much identical for each, but it's still a solid assortment.

The helmet is particularly well done, with a visor that flips up and down. The helmet comes in two pieces, so it's easy to remove and replace.

The flag is made from a stiff material so that it sticks out straight, giving it that zero-g look. The gun and flag pole fit nicely in the gripping hands.

The two extra arms allow you to have the figure in several different poses - both arms straight, both arms bent, or either arm straight while the other is bent. While the lack of elbow articulation is a loss, these multiple arms help take some of the sting out of it.

Horroscope also has a helmet, but hers is completely clear. I suspect I have mine on backwards, although it seemed to fit better with the longer edge in front. I'm sure you'll figure out the best look with yours.

She also has an extra set of arms, as well as her own translucent blaster. Rather than a flag, she has a staff complete with a Saturn-like top.

I didn't mention the anti-gravity backpacks as accessories, but technically they are. While Jack and Terra Firma come wearing them in the package, they are removable.

Fun Factor - ****
These are fantastic action figures, and any kid could play with them in the sand box with little fear of breakage. Solid and dependable articulation with a nice assortment of extras goes a long way to having fun, but the cool theme - with human astronauts and funky aliens - really takes them to the next level of play.

Value - ***1/2
It's tough to find any action figures for $13 these days, especially low run collectors figures like these. There's plenty of re-use to keep costs down, but it's done so well and with such creativity that it doesn't hurt the perception of a strong value. The good assortment of accessories helps as well!

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing - working with these is very easy, and they are extremely sturdy. They make great toys for any kid that loves sci-fi, or for that adult who remembers the great 60's and 70's toys with affection.

Overall - ****
These figures are a ton of fun, with a cool retro design and great play value.  They're also priced right for collectors who tend to be completists, and they are the sort of series that is even better when you have more - one or two just aren't enough.

This is the sort of line that I love to review, since far too many collectors - and kids - have no idea they even exist. Give them a try and I'll guarantee you'll love them.

There were three additional aliens released in this series, and I'll be covering them in the next couple weeks as well.

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

Where to Buy -
Your best bet is to snag these directly from the Four Horsemen at their web store, where they are just $13 each. They also have a ton of the earlier series, as well as some upcoming releases. You can search ebay for a deal as well.

Related Links -
Other Outer Space Men reviews include Gemini and Orbitron, the Cyclops, and this early series.

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.

If you want to learn more about the vintage Matt Mason series, check out this terrific article.

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

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Jack Asteriod Outer Space Men action figure by the Four Horsemen


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

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