Outer Space Men
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|Toyline||The Outer Space Men|
|Manufacturer(s)||Colorforms, Four Horsemen Studios|
The Outer Space Men – also known as the Colorform Aliens – is a group of seven "bendy" action figures (similar to Mattel's Major Matt Mason) produced by the Colorforms Company in 1968, they were designed by toy inventor Mel Birnkrant. The 3.5" to 7" bendable action figures incorporate a pliable metal wire armature encased in painted soft vinyl bodies with "accordion" joints, just like the aforementioned Major Matt Mason line, with whom The Outer Space Men were initially designed to be utilized. Each fictional character represents an extraterrestrial being from the planets in our Solar System, as well as various places in our galaxy.
Figures in the series include:
- Alpha 7, the Man from Mars: A diminutive alien molded in lime green with green skin, a bald, green head with antennae and a metallic blue space suit with a green-tinted (removable) helmet.
- Astro-Nautilus, the Man from Neptune: alien molded in purple with a large, octopoid head (designed after the cephalopod from the 1961 film Mysterious Island), four poseable tentacles and a metallic gold space suit.
- Commander Comet, the Man from Venus: The most human-looking alien, molded in pink with large, (removable) angelic wings, a pink-tinted, (removable) helmet, and a metallic gold space suit.
- Colossus Rex, the Man from Jupiter: The largest and fiercest-looking alien, molded in lime green and resembling The Creature From The Black Lagoon, wearing only dark purple shorts over a huge, muscular body.
- Electron+, the Man from Pluto: A bald, robotic-looking alien molded in gray, entirely painted silver with a clear, (removable) space helmet. Resembled the alien from the 1951 movie The Man From Planet X.
- Orbitron, the Man from Uranus: The tallest alien, molded in pink with the least amount of paint, was an alien with a large, exposed brain, a beak-like mouth, long, gangly limbs and pincers in place of hands. Orbitron was designed to resemble the Metaluna Mutant from the 1955 film This Island Earth.
- Xodiac, the Man from Saturn: molded in deep red, with a bald head, pointed ears and chin, a blue metallic space suit with a (removable) pink-tinted helmet and "Saturn" emblem on chest.
Each figure was packed with a weapon, and several also included a helmet or other accessory (the accessories/weapons were constructed of hard-cast polystyrene of various colors). There was also a proposed second series of characters that never made it to market, although a few prototypes, both carded and loose, exist.
Figures in the proposed 2nd series include:
- Cyclops the Giant from Beyond the Milky Way
- Gamma X the Man from the 4th Dimension
- Gemini the Man from Twin Star Algol
- Inferno the Flame Man of Mercury
- Metamorpho the Man from Alpha Centauri
- Mystron the Man from Hollow Earth
- Space Warriors Colorforms Playset
- Space Warriors Alpha 7 Puzzle
- Space Warriors Electron+ Puzzle
- Space Warriors Orbitron Puzzle
- Space Warriors Colossus Rex Puzzle
The Puzzles are unusual as some also depict the 2nd series figures.
Unlicensed hollow vinyl knock-off figures were produced by Bullmark of Japan for the Asian markets. Some smaller knock-off figures also exist, both as wired-armature, rubber "bendy" figures and hard plastic figures (included in playsets).
In 2008, creator Birnkrant partnered with Wall Street specialist Gary Schaeffer to form a company called The Outer Space Men, LLC, which has revived the 'OSM' brand with the release of a graphic novel, and a number of related products, including a new series of action figures.
Four Horsemen Studios was granted the rights to produce new action figures based on the OSM characters, marking the first time the sculptors have acquired a licensed property to develop on their own. Translucent versions of Waves one and two of this series went on sale as a Comic-Con International exclusive in late July 2010. The new figures are rendered in a smaller 3-3/4 inch size, not using wire armatures, but instead utilizing a proprietary Glyos joint system, and were initially packaged in a simple poly-bag with full-color cardboard header, before switching to a standard blister card package. The characters Astro-Nautilus, Inferno, Metamorpho, and Xodiac were chosen for the debut release. Five hundred of each were produced for the event, and availability was split between internet sale and on-site purchase at the convention. The set of four sold at a retail price of $40; both venues sold through this exclusive offering in about 24 hours.
This toyline continued for four more years, releasing the following characters throughout its duration, in a wide variety of colors:
- Astro-Nautilus (The Man from NEPTUNE)
- Xodiac (The Man from SATURN)
- Metamorpho (The Man from ALPHA CENTAURI)
- Inferno (The Flame Man from MERCURY)
- Alpha 7 (The Man from MARS)
- Commander Comet (The Man from VENUS)
- Mystron (The Man from HOLLOW EARTH)
- Electron+ (The Man from PLUTO)
- Orbitron (The Man from URANUS)
- Gemini (The Man from the Twin Star ALGOL)
- Cyclops (Giant from Beyond the MILKY WAY)
- Colossus Rex (The Man from JUPITER)
- Gamma-X (The Man from the 4th DIMENSION)
- Terra Firma (The Woman from PLANET EARTH)
- Jack Asteroid (The Man from PLANET EARTH)
- Horroscope (The Woman from SATURN)
- Ohpromatem (The Woman from ALPHA CENTAURI)
In 2018, 4 new characters will be released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original toyline:
- Astrodite (The Woman from VENUS)
- Zero Gravity (Man from the Dark Side of the MOON)
- Cthulhu Nautilus (Ancestor of the ELDER GODS)
- Luna Eclipse (Woman from the Dark Side of the MOON)