We’re wrapping up our Four Horsemen theme week with a look at a much anticipated edition to the 4H’s Outer Space Men line: The Man from Earth! When the Colorforms Company debuted the OSM in 1968, Mattel’s Major Matt Mason was flying high. So, basically, Earth was well represented in the “action figure” aisle.
In modern times, the good astronaut hasn’t made an appearance in quite some time, so once the 4H & Mel Birnkrant started adding characters to the classic property, it was only natural to add a human (or two) into the mix. After over forty years, we finally have the true Man from Earth, Captain Jack Asteroid.
Let me get one thing out of the way before I dig in. I hate his name. I will happily file this opinion under my usual fuddy-duddiness. It just comes across as trying to be clever instead of actually being clever. It’s like someone wants to giggle every time his name is said aloud. Maybe it’s just my Kindergarten-teachin’ wife rubbing off on me. She saw the packaged figure in the shipping box, shouted “cool!” and then immediately dropped her chin, looked at me and said, “really?” Yep, really. Anyway, I’m not going to harp on it.* I’m just going to call him Jack, but the name has given me the impression that he’s kind of a jerk and you may notice that in the photos. Just puttin’ that out there.
* – The Jack/Terra bio even takes a dig at folks like me by pointing out that the world could use more levity. Levity is something I usually try to provide here at IAT, but just not on this particular point!
Name aside, the figure itself is awesome. Sure, it’s mostly smart reuse. We’ve got the Metamorpho/Inferno body with its basic OSM spacesuit in human proportions and only a new head doing the heavy lifting, but that’s exactly all Jack needed to be. The new head sculpt is great – I’m not sure if the 4H were going for a specific likeness (how cool would young Mel have been here?), but he does look familiar to me somehow? Even if he’s just a scratch head, he definitely looks like a cocky, space jockey/adventurer.
The articulation is still fine for the line. The Power Lords Soldiers and their injected ball-joint Glyos ports almost take away from the OSM, but the Glyos swivels can get a lot of jobs done just fine. The basic figure has 13 swivel joints thanks to the parts and 10 of those (neck, shoulders, wrists, waist, hips, and ankles) are useful for posing. Continue to Page 2…