REVIEW: Four Horsemen The Outer Space Men
Three Alpha Phase Figures Return In New Infinity Editions...
To insure your action figure collection, get in touch with Collectibles Insurance, the official insurance company of the Figures.com network. Say "Figures.com" to get 5% off your first term premiums.
To buy action figures, take a look at BigBadToyStore.com, PlasmaInfusion.com, Toynk.com, BriansToys.com, ToyWiz.com, and MonkeyDepot.com.
There are a lot of big toy companies putting out 3 ¾ inch figure lines, and while that’s great for collectors of the scale like me, sometimes it’s hard to find figures that are really cool and unique in the mix. Thankfully, the Four Horsemen have that market cornered with their fun Outer Space Men. The original “Outer Space Men” were small scale action figures made by Colorforms at the end of the 1960s, and among those in the know are credited with helping to define the modern “action figure.” Long gone and unfortunately mostly forgotten, Outer Space Men seemingly vanished, never to return... that is until 40 years later the Four Horsemen brought them back! Best known for their sculpting work at Mattel (DC Universe Classics, 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 modern figure line with high quality sculpts and paint applications, not to mention fun accessories and impressive articulation. Today we’ll be taking a look at the recently released Infinity Edition Wave 5 & Deluxe 1 Infinity Editions!
Outer Space Men represent a corps of “astronauts” from different planets and space bodies from our solar system to the edges of the universe. Based on the original Colorforms designs, these figures are fully modern with detailed sculpts and paint jobs, solid articulation, and great accessories. Standard OSM figures are released in waves of two figures in various Series with different color schemes and stylings including translucent versions, repaints, exclusives, and more. For the latest Infinity Edition the Horsemen return to Alpha Phase Wave 5 with Orbitron and Gemini along with the single Deluxe 1 Cyclops.
The initial release of the Alpha Phase and Deluxe Outer Space Men featured minimalist packaging consisting of individual bags with card-backs and card toppers for the standard-sized figures and a unique box for the Cyclops. With their new appearance in the Infinity Edition, however, the trio is welcomed into the standard OSM packaging fold with cool classically-inspired blister cards. Each figure and its accessories is 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, including piloting spaceships and hanging out back on their home planets. At the top of each card are 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 (unreleased in the case of Gemini and Cyclops) version mint on card. Finally, at the bottom of the card are photos of the other Alpha Phase and Deluxe figures.
All outliers among the Outer Space Men crowd, the Alpha Phase astronauts are either shorter or taller than the standard 3 ¾ inch figure height with Gemini at 3 ¼ inches, Orbitron at 4 ¼ and the hulking Cyclops towering over the rest at 5 inches (5 ¼ with his helmet on). As spacemen they all have unique retro sci-fi elements, usually involving some sort of bubble or bullet-style helmet, a spacesuit with various doodads, and of course cool space weaponry. All of the figures have (at least) radically different head sculpts, if not entirely different bodies as in the case of the Alpha Phase and Deluxe characters who differ greatly from the standard humanoid spaceman bodies. Infinity Edition Alpha Phase Wave 5 brings you the “brainy” Orbitron (the man from Uranus) and the freaky little Gemini (the man from the twin star Algol), while the Alpha Phase deluxe figure is the mighty Cyclops, the giant from beyond the Milky Way!
Since they come from the Four Horsemen, the Outer Space Men of course have fantastic sculpts, especially for their 3 ¾ inch scale size. As noted above, each of the Alpha Phase aliens are unique with wholly individual sculpts. Starting big we’ve got the massive and mighty Cyclops, a figure with a really interesting sculpt and lots of details. He resembles a space gladiator with traditional armor that shows off his huge muscles; his oddly-shaped giant head has one huge eye, a mouth full of vicious teeth, pointed ears, and a horn with which to gore his enemies. Orbitron is a classic design highly reminiscent of the Metalunans from This Island Earth with a giant exposed brain, spherical eyes, an emaciated body with intricate designs, and long, thin limbs that end in pincer claws. Finally there’s the weirdest one of the bunch, the diminutive Gemini. The little guy has tiny legs and arms and a wide torso with a flat top, growing two pointy-eared cone heads encased in test tube-like helmets.
The last time we saw the Alpha Phase aliens they were done in translucent colored plastic. Those were fun, but now in the new Infinity Editions they have fantastic and highly detailed paint jobs! Orbitron trades in his clear pink coloring with blue orbs for a fresh, fleshy salmon color with a dark purple on the bands on its arms and legs. Meanwhile, the Man from Uranus has a shiny copper sheen on his foot claws, lower torso decoration, mouthpiece, and giant exposed brain, while his eye and chest orbs are bright gold. Little Gemini was an eerie yellowish-green in the first version, but now rocks a bright yellow spacesuit with black joints and translucent red nodes surrounding his torso. Remove the twin orange dome helmets to reveal the alien’s shiny silver heads and black beady eyes. And then there’s Cyclops! Last time we saw him he was a full body translucent blue along with his armor, with an orange eye and some green in his helmet and guns. The new Cyclops really needs to be seen to be appreciated; he’s a stunning mix of pearlescent blue and matte purple, with accents like armor, decorative elements, and his horn in gold. The giant’s solitary eye also gets an upgrade with a three color paint job: white sclera, orange iris, and black pupil.
Since they share sculpts with the previous versions, these three alien figures have the same articulation scheme that features Onell Design’s Glyos System. All Outer Space Men joints rotate 360 degrees with interlocking parts that pop apart so you can customize pretty much endlessly by interchanging pieces between figures. The standard OSM articulation includes joints at the neck, shoulders, wrists, torso, waist, hips, knees, and ankles, though of course some weirder aliens will have slightly different articulation like Orbitron lacking wrists but gaining a moving brain, and Gemini with his two rotating heads. There is a little trade-off in extreme poseability (hinged knees would be really cool on these guys) but they make up for it in flexibility and options with the Glyos joints.
The Outer Space Men look great standing around and posed in different positions, but it’s really their accessories that knock them out of the park. Each figure has unique weapons and gear that clearly match their respective aliens, but can be used by any of the figures and even disassembled/combined in some cases! Orbitron is the least accessorized, but that’s because he’s already so unique and because of his physiology doesn’t need a helmet to survive in a vacuum or hostile environments. He comes with a starburst “shield” and an exotic pistol, both made of translucent pink plastic and equipped with posts he can hold in his pincer hands. Gemini has his aforementioned head canisters along with alternate arms with bent elbows, but for battle takes up arms with a retro sci-fi flared pistol and a staff with a miniature head in its own canister. Finally, Cyclops has alternate open hands (to menace his enemies), a reinforced gold helmet with a hole for his horn, huge front-and-back gold torso armor, twin gold blasters, and a two piece translucent orange bubble helmet. All of these accessories have great sculpts and lots of detailing. There are even extra features like eyeballs under the muzzle caps on his pistols, and built in holsters for the guns as part of the armor!
I think the Four Horsemen really hit a home run with these figures. The original versions were neat, don’t get me wrong, but these paint jobs bring the aliens to life like never before and just look great. Their varied colors, bright metallic paint, and translucent weapons and accessories also mean they fit in perfectly with the other Infinity Edition Outer Space Men who have come before them, so they’re an excellent addition to an OSM collection. You can pick up just Gemini and Orbitron for $26 or all three with Cyclops (and really, how can you resist the Cyclops?) for $50 right now at shopfourhorsemen.com. All Outer Space Men sets are limited editions and most sell out, so if you’re a 3 ¾ inch collector like me you shouldn’t wait too long!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of Four Horsemen