Four Horsemen Studios

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Four Horsemen Toy Design Studios
Type Private corporation
Industry Toys
Founded 1999
Founders Jim Preziosi, Eric Treadaway, H. Eric (Cornboy) Mayse, and Christopher Dahlberg
Headquarters Butlers Place, New Jersey, US
Employees 6 (2013)
Website [1]

Four Horsemen Studios is a collectible figure design studio and manufacturer, specializing in creating sculptures of toys and action figures. The company was founded in the late 1990s as a contractor to Mattel, and have since grown to an independent studio creating their own line of figures as well as manufacturing third party designs under license.

History[edit]

The Four Horsemen of Four Horsemen studios are Jim Preziosi, Eric Treadway, H. Eric Mayse and Christopher Dahlberg. The four partners met while employed as figure sculptors at McFarlane Toys. In September 1999, the four left McFarlane to found Four Horsemen Studios, where, in a partnership with Mattel, they created hundreds of figures for Mattel's Masters of the Universe, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter, DC Universe Classics and Man of Steel toy lines, among others.

In 2005, Four Horsemen Studios began creating their own properties and designing and manufacturing the toys to support them. The studio has developed several in house properties including: Seventh Kingdom, Gothitropolis, Magma Corps, and Symbiotech.

In early 2010, the Horsemen made the leap into licensed action figures. The studio signed a deal to produce figures based on the 1960s sci-fi toy line The Outer Space Men. A second license, 1980′s brand The Power Lords, has been purchased in 2013.

Original lines[edit]

Seventh Kingdom[edit]

The first original line to make it into production, Seventh Kingdom's Xetheus won the first Fantastic Exclusive competition in 2005.

Magma CORPS[edit]

Magma CORPS was the second original line to see actual product. A vinyl figure of Argus a leader within the Mercury City police force was created in 2006.

Gothitropolis[edit]

The third Original line to actually be produced as figures, Gothitropolis includes Scarabus, the Time Keepers, and all the members of the Raven Flocks.

Symbiotech[edit]

The forth original line, Symbiotech has yet to see any actual production but has down quite well over the years in Fan Ex voting. The line was announced as the next to go into production but has since been put on hold while licensed lines take precedence.

Symbiotech designs that have been shown to the public suggest a humanoid and beast character in symbiosis with each other. Each design had two figures that could combine or interact.

Other Original Lines[edit]

Other lines that have been shown during Fan Ex voting but have not had any other information about the made public at this thine include:

  • Chrysalis
  • Zodiac Pack
  • Alien Line

Licensed Lines[edit]

The Outer Space Men[edit]

Licensed from their original creator, Mel Birnkrant in 2010, The Outer Space Men take a new look at the 1968 action figure line by the Colorforms company. Using Mel's designs and a somewhat new point technology created by Onell Designs called Glyos, Four Horsemen Toy Design Studios gave us a new line of figures with interchangeable parts that caught on very quickly.

Power Lords[edit]

The Power Lords license was acquired in 2012 and the first figures went into production in 2013. Working again with the original designer of a classic toy line (this time with Wayne Douglas Barlowe) and the Glyos joint system from Onell Design, Four Horsemen Toy Design Studios added to both giving us new characters and the expanded Glyos joint system.

Work For Mattel[edit]

DC Comics Lines[edit]

Mattel has commissioned Four Horsemen Studios for most if not all the figures in they DC Comics lines including Man of Steel, Dark Knight Rises. DC Universe Classics, Young Justice

Masters of the Universe[edit]

Four Horsemen Studios were responsible for the figure sculpts of the 200x re-imaging of Mattel's Masters of the Universe toy line and helped bring about the Masters of the Universe Classic, an Adult Collectors figure line

Max Steel (Overseas Figures)[edit]

Many of the Gigantor figures that were part of the Max Steel line in Europe and Latin America are sculpts by members of Four Horsemen Studios

Work For Others[edit]

NECA[edit]

NECA Four Horsemen Studios were contracted to sculpt the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line in 2008.

Toy Biz[edit]

Several figures that were part of the Toy Biz Marvel Comics lines from 2001-2005 were sculpted by Four Horsemen Studios

The Fan Ex Project[edit]

In 2005 Four Horsemen Studios created a whole new way to interact with their fan base and let those fans participate in the design process called the Fantastic Exclusive Project, quickly shortened by the fan base to be called the Fan Ex Project. They started by giving the fans several original line names and brief descriptions than let the fans choose which one would be made into actual figures. Once the line was chosen fans would then decide which figure, then scale, articulation, accessories, and even repaints. The final choices would be combined into a figure and sold by the studio.

Fan Ex 2005[edit]

The Seventh Kingdom line was the winner of the first vote in the newly created Fan Ex. The character the fans chose was Xetheus, the Champion of Mynothecea, a Minotaur from the Animal Kingdom. There were 7 variations of the figure produced in very limited numbers. There were about 250 of each figure with Xetheus himself getting around twice that.

Fan Ex 2006[edit]

For the second year of voting Seventh Kingdom again and this time Ramathorr, Captain of the Anitherian Guard. Also from the Animal Kingdom Ramathorr was an Elephant and there were a total of nine figures offered. 4 Elephants, 2 Mutants, 1 Rhino, 1 Hippo and 1 Boar. Unfortunately production issues left many of the original figures with breakage issues. Four Horsemen Studios paid for a second production run to make sure fans ended up with quality product.

Fan Ex 2007[edit]

In the third year a new line won the first round of voting. Gothitropolis took the stage and the big bad of the story line, Scarabus. 10 figures would be released in this year but production issues (rising costs at the Chinese factories) pushed the actual sales of these figures to 2010. In between Four Horsemen Studios offered The Time Keepers, also from Gothitropolis 2008 and Queens court, 11 ladies representing 5 of the seven Kingdoms.

Fan Ex on Kickstarter[edit]

The Fan Ex project moves its fulfillment to Kickstarter

Members[edit]

  • Jim Preziosi - Original Horsemen
  • Eric Treadaway - Original Horsemen
  • H. Eric (Cornboy) Mayse - Original Horsemen
  • Shane Dittsworth
  • Sherri Lynn Cook
  • Owen "O-Dawg" Oertling
  • Christopher Dahlberg - The fourth Horsemen and a founding member of Four Horsemen Studios. Chris chose to leave in 2012 and is currently the owner of Berger Inc. a toy design studio specializing in digital sculpting and rapid toy prototyping.

Awards and Honors[edit]

Poppies Toy Industry Awards:

  • 2007 Best Male Figure Under 12" - Judges pick - Clayface
  • 2008 Best Male Figure 5 - 11" - Judges pick - Donatelo
  • 2009 Best Overall Line / Low End - Judges pick - DC Universe Classics
  • 2009 Best Overall Line / Low End - Fan pick - DC Universe Classics
  • 2009 Best Build a Figure - Judges pick - Kilowog
  • 2009 Best Build a Figure - Fan pick - Kilowog
  • 2010 Best Overall Line - Low End - Judges pick - Masters of the Universe Classics
  • 2010 Best Overall Line - Low End - Fan pick - Masters of the Universe Classics
  • 2010 Best Male Figure 5 - 11" - Judges pick - Trapjaw
  • 2010 Best Female Figure Under 11" - Judges pick - Evil-Lyn
  • 2010 Best Female Figure Under 11" - Fan pick - She-ra
  • 2010 Best Build a Figure - Fan pick - Darkseid
  • 2010 Best Overall Line - Low End - Judges pick - Masters of the Universe Classics
  • 2011 Best Overall Line - Low End - Fan pick - Masters of the Universe Classics
  • 2011 Best Male Figure 5 - 11" - Judges pick - Scarabus
  • 2011 Best Build a Figure - Fan pick - Bane
  • 2012 Best Female Figure 5" - 11" - Judges pick - Sorceress
  • 2012 Best Female Figure 5" - 11" - Fan pick - Sorceress
  • Toyfare Hall of Fame 2008 (inaugural class)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]