Four Horsemen OUTER SPACE MEN Series 3 & 4
Unique retro sci-fi line continues with a quartet of fantastic aliens...
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These days, few but the hardcore toy historians will remember the original Outer Space Men. Made by Colorforms at the tail end of the '60s, these small scale figures helped create and define the “action figure.” More than 40 years later, the Outer Space Men have returned thanks to the Four Horsemen! Best known for their sculpting work at Mattel (DC Universe Classics and Masters of the Universe) and their amazing independent figure lines, the Horsemen resurrected the Outer Space Men and transformed what was a lost piece of history into a cool new figure line with high quality sculpts and paint applications, not to mention fun accessories and impressive articulation. Series 1 and 2 were big hits with collectors everywhere, and now Series 3 and 4 are taking the toy world by storm!
Outer Space Men represent a corps of “astronauts” from the different planets in our solar system, each with his own unique look and equipment. The modern figures are based on the Colorforms originals and stick close to their overall design and feel. Each Series by the Horsemen includes two figures sold together, and there have been several waves of repaints and re-colors for exclusives. The latest batch of releases encompasses four new figures: Commander Comet and Mystron of Series 3 and Electron+ and Alpha 7 of Series 4!
As with the previous Outer Space Men, the figures of 3 and 4 come packaged on classically-inspired blister cards that have to be seen to be appreciated fully. Each figure and its accessories are sealed in a heavy-duty rectangular bubble whose plastic extends across the entire front of the card and wraps around its four edges, holding it securely in place. The front of the card recreates the original 1960s packaging with photos of each figure in various scenes, full of cool little details like Alpha 7’s flying saucer and Electron+’s bizarre room. At the top of each card is the figure’s name, homeworld, and a list of the included accessories.
The back of each OSM card is divided into three sections. At the top is a brief history of the Outer Space Men from their origins in 1968 to the current versions, great for those who may be unaware of the classic toys. Next is a biography of the character with appropriately “retro” sci-fi details side by side with a photo of the original version mint on card. Finally, at the bottom of the card are photos of the entire current lineup: Series 3 and 4.
Put simply, the Outer Space Men are retro sci-fi alien figures in roughly 3 ¾ scale. Of course, with the wide range of characters the line has seen already that doesn’t really do them justice. In Series 3 and 4 alone they range from the towering Commander Comet at 3 5/8 inches (3 7/8 with his helmet) to the relatively miniscule Alpha 7 at 2 1/8 inches. Each one has totally different designs reflecting their in-universe origins which apply both to their physiology and to their technology.
Of course, since they’re based on 60’s era ideals of “astronauts” they all have giant bubble helmets to protect them in outer space! Each one also has unique weaponry that matches its overall design ranging from ray guns to staves and more. In Series 3 you’ve got the angelic Commander Comet (the man from Venus) and the demonic Mystron (the man from Hollow Earth), while Series 4 brings you the cyborg Electron+ (the man from Pluto) and “little green man” Alpha 7 (the man from Mars).
Coming from Four Horsemen Studios, the Outer Space Men naturally have excellent sculpts. They’re so varied that it’s hard to make general statements, but on each figure you’ll find a totally unique look that starts with the sculpt. Commander Comet has classically-inspired armor complete with molded musculature on the torso and overlapping scale-mail on the limbs. There must be a story behind his head sculpt; it’s so life-like that it has to be based on someone specific. Mystron meanwhile wears a smooth spacesuit broken up by ringed joint segments, chest discs, and a fringed abdomen; his head reflects the bestial nature of the Hollow Earth dwellers with its horns, long beard, and pointed ears and eyes. Electron+ is downright frightening with a robotic body that’s similar in design to Mystron’s but with a heavy-duty chest piece. The Plutonian’s head has truly alien features and proportions with added spherical and disc elements. Finally, little Alpha 7 has a cute alien spacesuit body with a disc on his chest and a great retro head complete with bulbous cranium, antennae, and huge oval eyes.
As with the sculpted elements, the Outer Space Men are differentiated by their unique color schemes and paint applications. All of the figures in Series 3 and 4 feature metallic finishes, bronze on Commander Comet, cobalt on Alpha 7, and silver on both Mystron and Electron+. Interspersed with the spacesuits/armor are the rubbery plastic at the joints which bring in new colors, additional chest components, and of course their unique heads. Comet brings in a light tan at the joints, a metallic red on his chest symbol, and a head palette of Caucasian skin and purple hair. Mystron’s spacesuit has purple and gold breaking up the solid silver, with more gold, white, and black on his shaggy head. Alpha 7’s head is a bright yellowish-green with metallic blue eyes, while his spacesuit has additional details in yellow and green. Electron+’s head matches his spacesuit with the same pale blue and silver combination while the module on his chest is a bright translucent orange. While they’re removable and technically accessories, the bubble helmets for all the figures add another significant source of color. Electron+ has purple, Alpha 7 a light blue, Mystron orange, and Comet bubblegum pink.
While the original 1960’s Outer Space Men had solid plastic limbs with bendy wires, these new versions are outfitted with solid articulation: neck, shoulders, wrists, waist, hips, knees, and ankles (little Alpha lacks knees). Four Horsemen utilizes Onell Design’s Glyos System for all of these joints, previously seen on their own proprietary figures and customization parts. Essentially, all points of articulation are rotating cut joints with interlocking parts that can be separated and re-attached with any others. This is most easily seen in the OSM arm parts. Each figure comes standard with one straight arm and one that’s bent at the elbow. Included with the figure are the arms in the opposite configurations; between all the parts your Space Man can have two straight arms, two bent ones, or one of each. This goes even further since ALL Glyos joints are interchangeable meaning you can swap parts between the figures endlessly.
What good would a retro Outer Space Man be without cool space-themed accessories and weapons? It’s a good thing we don’t have to find out! Each one comes with at least one unique piece of equipment in addition to the aforementioned helmet. Alpha 7 has an air pack-like piece that plugs into the hole in his back (all Outer Space Men have these slots for back-mounted accessories) and a really cool ray gun with translucent plastic that matches his helmet. Mystron has heavy duty black plastic bat wings that plug into his back, a long curled tail that plugs into the back of his waist, a baroque “pistol” that looks like a gargoyle, and a staff topped by a winged ball. Electron+ has a silver ray gun with an orange tip and a silver polearm weapon tipped with arcing purple electricity. Commander Comet wears angelic feathered wings and wields a golden crossbow and a staff tipped with a winged version of the triangular logo on his chest. All of the weapon handles have the same diameter so they can be used by any Outer Space Man figure.
The Outer Space Men are cool figures with a style that you don’t often see these days. They have solid construction and are pretty stable, though I had a fair amount of trouble getting Alpha 7 to stand up straight. Thankfully, the OSM have holes in their feet so you can use regular figure stands with them. And while a handful of parts are shared between the figures in the different OSM series, each is plenty unique with sculpted elements (especially the heads), paint schemes, and accessories. They represent a decent investment too.
Sold by the pair on ShopFourHorsemen.com, Series 3 and Series 4 are each $26, or $50 for the foursome. If you dig the designs that’s still a good price for such niche figures by an independent group, but I’d say they’re still not for the casual toy buyer. The Four Horsemen frequently repaint or recolor their Outer Space Men for exclusives too, so if you like Series 3 and 4 be on the lookout for those as well. Currently their web store still has Series 3 and 4 in the Galactic Holiday Editions in translucent plastic.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of Four Horsemen