Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Beta Phase Gamma X Action Figure


Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Beta Phase Gamma X Action FigureI had some problems with another version of this character, but White Star Gamma X works slightly better for me than the clear colorless $31 version and the fully-painted $26 version for one reason: met expectations. The clear one costs twice as much as this one - why? I have no idea. But this one has about the same amount of paint applications, and at half the price actually looks pretty great. The parts more or less all fit in place and while there aren't any options for customization like alternate elbows or fists, it was also $16.00.
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Alpha Phase Jack Asteroid


Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Alpha Phase Jack Asteroid Action FigureThis ability for a classic figure line to grow is both exciting and terrifying. So many action figure lines are revived without the original cast seeing plastic, new entrants are sometimes seen as unwelcome pests - but not Jack Asteroid. Not only did he debut after we saw evidence of the original 13 Outer Space Men were hitting plastic, but the design was a clever twist on existing figures - the body is Metamorpho, from 2010. The helmet, backpack, and weapons are recycled from the Terra Firma design, which debuted in early 2012. The only completely new element is his human head, one of very few mass-produced people noggins in the Glyos-compatible toy world (so far.)
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Infinity Edition Jack Asteroid Action Figure


Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Infinity Edition Jack Asteroid Action FigureWhile Terra Firma was revealed to the world first, Jack Asteroid worked out well as a variation on the theme. For all intents and purposes, Mr. Asteroid is the 21st Century Major Matt Mason stand-on. The original Outer Space Men were made by Colorforms to be compatible with Mattel's line, and since Mattel isn't doing anything with Major Matt Mason (and indeed may never) it's reasonable that this Space Race toy line needed its token human white male astronaut. The orange-suited figure is an insanely clever reuse of Terra Firma's helmet and accessories with Metamorpho's body and a new head. One of the big selling points of figures (like this one) that use the Glyos system is that you can swap around parts, but it seems this is mostly used for customization purposes or color-swaps. With Jack Asteroid, they're giving us what amounts to a completely new figure just by using paint and existing accessories - kudos.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Infinity Edition Terra Firma Action Figure


Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Infinity Edition Terra Firma Action FigureI was pretty surprised to see Terra Firma at a New York event for The Four Horsemen a few years ago - not only was she the first new member of this group in decades, but she was rather shapely. Having a fairly limited background in such things I thought her form looked a lot like Little Annie Fanny character I saw in a Hake's Auction catalog that got mailed to me, which I later found out was a Playboy cartoon character, which I wasn't interesting enough to know already because... when you meet my parents, it'll all make sense to you then. This nifty new figure draws heavily on real-world space program elements like her orange suit and the overall coloring on the figure, plus builds on the 1962 cartoon character's built-in 1960s-ness from Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder. Borrowing from that which came before is smart - the original Outer Space Men aliens were derived from the back pages of films showcased in the likes of Famous Monsters of Filmland, so it's only appropriate to have Terra's origin come from contemporary magazines. 
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Review: Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Infinity Edition Gamma X Action Figure


Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Infinity Edition Gamma X Action FigureBack in May of 2010, I was blown away when I saw the announcement that not only would I be getting some Outer Space Men figures, but they'd be 3 3/4-inch scale, Glyos compatible, fully-poseable, and made by the Four Horsemen. That first batch was glorious - each figure was well made, freely able to stand or sit and everything just plain worked. Figures could sit in vehicles, the glow-in-the-dark figure glowed quite well, and they were a very reasonable $10 each - despite being super-low-run figures. A few years on, edition sizes of 200 struggled to sell out and by the time we got to Gamma X, it feels we just limped over the finish line to update the classic Mel Birnkrant action figure property. Some were good - Colossus Rex, for example, was an exceptional figure and arguably the apex of what Glyos compatibility has given us - but as the line went on, each year we saw new problems. Figures may tumble off your desk due to weak hip joints, or they couldn't quite sit, or in the case of Gamma X... I've got a lot of complaints.
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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Review: Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Infinity Edition Horroscope Action Figure


Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Infinity Edition Horroscope Action FigureThe inspiration for Horroscope started as one of many original designs over the years, the name of which came from an old movie monster projector toy. (It's true, I asked!) Sketches of the character originally started out as an alternate head for Xodiac, but instead ended up has his daughter. Building on Terra Firma's parts, Horroscope has a unique chest not yet used on any other figure - note the lack of the flat surface used to mount a helmet. Her accessories are cleverly repurposed from Xodiac, and her new 2-part head was designed quite nicely. This is a keeper. 
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review: Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Infinity Edition Ohpromatem Action Figure


Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Infinity Edition Ohpromatem Action FigureI will always have problems spelling Ohpromatem but I will say this - she's impressive. The concept originated from some Mel Birnkrant sketches that seemingly were made for the male Metamorpho body, but instead the development bent the gender into something just as creepy and arguably more interesting. She's also the kind of thing I think I need to hide, because this is the first and only figure I can name that actually has light-up breast functionality. How am I supposed to explain this to visitors?
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