Saturday, June 11, 2016

Overview: Astro-Nautilus Thus Far

More Outer Space Men!  I haven’t done an updated complete group shot in a while - maybe I will if we get another Astro-Nautilus - but these shots cover the major bases.  The four-armed creature from a planet associated with a god of the sea, Astro-Nautilus was one of the most memorable figures from the original line-up.   If you saw pictures of the original bendable toys, you didn’t forget this one.

Each tentacle on the 3 3/4-inch scale alien is two pieces, and each leg is three.  The pieces all rotate and allow for mixing and matching.  The designer Mel Birnkrant incorporated a couple of loops on the staff, allowing a tentacle to slither through on the giant 1960s bendy figure as well as the modern action figures pictured above.

Like many figures, many Outer Space Men from the modern incarnation are more popular (and tougher to find now) in their “regular” incarnations, with the lower-run, often 300-piece exclusives slowly declining in price while their painted peers go up. Later waves are particularly pricey now, and from the look of things this week’s new Orbitron Diversus edition might be as low as 100 pieces.  (We don't know, but it sold fast.)

What’s really amazing was the price range on these guys.  Most of them started at $10 - a  bargain!  As time went on, prices went up.  The largely unadorned white one was part of a big boxed set of 8 figures for $115, which makes it a little over $14.   The black suit one was sold first at a gallery show I was at for $125  with an art print and only 4 figures, or about $30 depending on what value you put on the art print.
I took the above photos in numerous places for several reviews over many years, and they’re pretty inconsistent.  However, you’ve now seen every modern era Astro-Nautilus save for the gold staff variant of the red one, which I do not have.  If you like space toys whose designs largely hail prior to the moon landing, these are some you should absolutely look up - along with the Marx Mystery Ship and of course Mattel’s own Major Matt Mason.  After the moon landing, space toys were a tough sell without a major media tie-in.   Thanks for nothing, New Frontier.

Here’s a review of the White Star one:
Here’s a review of the Cosmic Creators Four Horsemen edition in green:
If you want more reviews, here’s a list:


  1. Micronauts did pretty well without a huge media tie-in (and were out well before Star Wars toys).

    But they were kind of an exception. :D

    1. I guess that depends on what you qualify as a "space toy." :)