Ask the Four Horsemen
The Outer Space Men Edition

Two weeks ago, the Four Horsemen announced that they’d resurrected The Outer Space Men. We weren’t familiar with the property, so we did a little digging to learn about the original line that same weekend. We still wanted to know more, so we went to the source. The Four Horsemen graciously agreed to take some time out of their hectic schedule to sit down with IAT and answer a few questions about how the new line came to be and what their plans are for the future of The Outer Space Men.

Judging from the press release, you four seem to be big fans of the original Outer Space Men. Did any of you have the Outer Space Men toys as kids?

CORNBOY: I had a couple of the figures when I was a kid, and Eric had the Colorforms playset. The original Outer Space Men were released before I was into action figures – I was a toddler – so by the time I found my Xodiac and Orbitron figures at two different times at two different garage sales, the series had been and gone, and I had no idea what they were or even that they both belonged in the same line! All I knew was that they were cool, and a couple of my favorite early action figures.

ERIC: The Outer Space Men were released before I was even born, but I was made aware of them later on when I got a Colorforms playset. I used to play with the OSM Colorforms playset a lot, but even more than that, I would stare at the awesome looking characters on the box cover thinking about how awesome it would be if these guys were actually action figures. Little did I know that they were also action figures, and the figures on the Colorforms playset box cover were actually prototypes of those figures.

What was the genesis of this collaboration? We have three big names in the toy community coming together to make this happen. How did everything fall into place?

CORNBOY: We’ve been really good friends with Matt Doughty, owner of Onell Design, for a few years now, and we really love his innovative Glyos figures. We’ve talked for a couple of years now about finding a way to collaborate on something, but there just never seemed to be enough time, and the right opportunity hadn’t yet presented itself.

JIM: We’d been discussing for quite a while how we’d like to get the opportunity to re-do and re-release the OSM in some form, but the timing and collector climate never seemed to be quite right.

CHRIS: The opportunity to take the scale, style and playability of the Glyos system and combine that with the cool quirkiness and distinct look of the OSM seemed to be the perfect method to re-introduce the Outer Space Men to today’s market.

ERIC: We contacted Eric Hayes, who is the writer on the first (and hopefully future) Outer Space Men graphic novel, and he put us in touch with Mel Birnkrant – the creator and owner of the Outer Space Men. We discussed with both Mel and Matt Doughty about the possibilities of re-introducing the Outer Space Men action figures and incorporating the Glyos build system, and things just kind of fell into place.

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What can we expect to see for the packaging? Some of the press release photos look like they could be used for a retro card back design. Can we expect something like the wave one designs or will the packaging go in a different direction?

ERIC: We don’t want to say too much about the packaging just yet, other than to say that those “environment” photos were taken for more than just a press release. Like the Glyos stuff that Matt’s releasing, there will be ultra limited production runs and colorways of the characters, and when we do those, the packaging will probably be a little less elaborate than the regular releases.

If each of you had to pick one of the characters you’re most excited to update, which ones would you pick?

ERIC: For me it was definitely Astro-Nautilus. He was always the most fascinating to me as a kid, and I still think it is one of the most unique designs in the line. Since we have already sculpted him, though, the next one I’m really looking forward to is the Cyclops!

CORNBOY: Easily Cyclops! He’s one of the characters from the second “World of Tomorrow” wave that was never released, and he’s a big, hulking monster! The massive powerhouses always seem to be my favorite characters.

CHRIS: Commander Comet – The Man from Venus. The sleek elegance of that character just speaks to me. He’s like a futuristic cherub or a Cupid from outer space. A gold suit of armor with wings and feathers all over it? I’m there! 😉

JIM: Alpha 7. He’s like your classic gray alien (even though this one’s not gray). Even though that type of alien is always portrayed as being small and thin, there’s something that always seemed so sinister and dangerous about them.

We know it’s a little early, but is this line viewed as a strictly homage line, limited to the thirteen original designs, or is there a possibility of expansion either through redecos or new characters down the road?

CORNBOY: Our hopes are that this line can continue indefinitely. We’d love to have the opportunity to not only do the original thirteen characters, but also to expand into some of Mel Birnkrant’s other un-used designs and work with him to create new Outer Space Men characters! We’d love to do “army builder” versions of the thirteen main characters as well.

ERIC: If this release of the Outer Space Men is as popular as we hope, we’d love to get the chance to produce a six inch scaled, fully articulated run of these guys as well. Only time, popularity and sales will let us know if this is possible.

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60 thoughts on “Ask the Four Horsemen
The Outer Space Men Edition

  1. Great stuff. I’ll be really interested to hear a price point and a release date.

    1. From their comments on Fantastic Exclusive, it sounds like they’ll be another press release with more specifics before too long. I can’t wait!

    1. And this was cool to see……”We’d love to have the opportunity to not only do the original thirteen characters, but also to expand into some of Mel Birnkrant’s other un-used designs and work with him to create new Outer Space Men characters”

      1. Even though these 13 are “new” to me, I’m always happy to see new characters added to any mythos! I’m curious what other drawings Birnkrant might have had sitting around all this time.

  2. Great Interview! It’s to see a Q&A with actual answers to the questions.

    1. Are you making fun of my Q&A thread over at FanEx… is kind of a sad thread. 🙂

      1. No I was mocking a certain monthly Q&A all the sites do filled with non answer answers, and you knew that. I knew you knew that, but I still answered.

        1. 🙂

          Maybe I should fill in my answers in over there is magic 8 ball answers. 😉

          1. Ahhh . . . gotta love the Ebon/Dwal friendly rivalry thing.

            Puts a smile on my face and a song in my step and a slice of cheese on my cheese sandwich made with cheese. 🙂

            1. Who said it was friendly? 😉 He is my action figure sweater making archenemy. 🙂

  3. Excellent interview! And thanks for the nameplates, I haven’t learned all their names yet.

    1. That’s why I did it. I haven’t completely gotten their names down either. When I heard the names, I had to look at one of the old pictures. This way, they’re right there for us.

  4. Great interview. I cannot wait for these figures!

    I, too, loved the idea of expanding beyond the original lines into Birnkrant’s unused designs. That’s fantastic!

    …also dug the hope of another graphic novel. Good job on the interview!

  5. Is anyone else a mixture of excited and scared about the ultra limited production runs in other colors? I might want some of those and I absolutely suck about getting in on some of the Onell stuff.

    Also, learned a new word today – colorways.

    1. Yeah colorways is not a term really used outside the urban vinyl toy world.

        1. And now we know why Ebon really knows the term… all comes back to fabrics with you Ebon. 😉

      1. I only heard of that term through my toe-dipping in the Glyos waters.

        Very cool to imagine the possibilities!!!

        Some of those combination detailed paint work and different types of plastic (translucent, pearlescent, etc) will really look amazing on these 4H sculpts!!!

        1. The cool thing is that we’ll already be able to make Meta-Nautilus or Inferniac, but the redeco pieces will make it nigh unlimited!

  6. Fantastic interview, guys!!

    I can’t wait to get this line in hand. I still can’t believe the 4H are even doing this. Somebody pinch me!

    1. The 4H did a great job. It’s refreshing to get so many quality answers in a row. 😀

      I’d pinch you, but that’s creepy…

  7. Other than the previous article and poking around on the creator’s site, I’d never heard of these before two weeks ago, but it really seems like it was a great toy line.

    When will we find out about pricing and release dates?

    1. Hopefully soon. The 4H gave a hint on the FanEx boards about saving your monies now.

      And, agreed on the line, I wasn’t familiar with it until a member of my forums showcased while (correctly) guessing the line the 4H were teasing about. Since then, I’m very excited for these.

  8. Redecos!! Just steal the money out of my wallet and leave the toys on the dresser why dontcha…

    1. The 4H are like a de facto Santa Claus that way.

      You get all the toys from your wildest dreams, provided you got some “milk and cookies” on hand.

      Hmm . . . I wonder if leaving Taco Bell sitting out would magically result in 4H toys showing up. 😉 :p

      1. LOL. Santa Claus didn’t occur to me…

        Taco Bell has to be pretty fresh, leaving it out might attract more than just the 4H. 😀

  9. so cool.. its also very cool to see that they had been hoping to work with Matt Doughty on something.. I’m a big fan of the glyos figures, and I think that’s just awesome. looks like the stars aligned just right for them. I really hope these are a success, they certainly look very cool and retro.

  10. Great to hear more about these guys. I’m definitely interested, but price will be a big issue. The Glyos stuff is expensive to most people, although the smaller runs explain why.

    1. I think price and scale will be the two biggest things for most folks. The thought of 6″ articulated ones down the road though is really tempting. I’d love for this line to get to that point.

  11. Great interview!
    OSM (and Astro Nautilus in particular) were my favorite toys when I was a kid (yes, that’s right, in the 60s – it even sounds like a long time ago to me!)
    Astro N. was fantastic, and that big head was solid rubber – I used that thing like a club on my brother more than once! I finally lost it (taken away from me by a teacher in an after-school Greek class) and forgot to get it back after class, and the next week it was GONE.
    Colossus Rex always reminded me of that guy in Dave Cockrum’s Starjammers in the X-Men Comics.
    And lastly, ‘colorways’ is a word I just started hearing from my boss (I’m a Graphic Designer) in the last couple of years – he could have gotten it from his background in the outskirts of fashion design…

    1. Thanks, Tad!
      Always good to hear about the kids who had the early toys. These were totally unknown to me three weeks ago. I feel like I missed out!

  12. ::has never sown a piece of toy clothing in his life, despite all this talk of him doing so::

    1. It is not the act of doing it….it is the thought of doing it. That is where you are getting in trouble. 🙂 😉

      1. And the more of I think of my friend Wun-Dar, the more I would like to retract everything I said in this thread about my buddy Ebonhorn. 🙂 😉

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