Friday, August 10, 2018

The Outer Space Men - ASTRODITE!

Outer Space Men - Astrodite: The Woman from Venus - OSM/Onell Design 2018

There's nothing I love more than a good homage action figure. As much as I love wholly modern toys, I've lived just long enough to (almost) fully witness the genesis and evolution of action figures. So when a newer product hearkens back to the early days of the toy industry, I get that great sense of the hobby coming full circle. The original Outer Space Men were colorful bendy figures from the 1960s that pre-dated plastic articulated action figures by several years, but they had such a unique aesthetic with their colorful quirkiness and bizarre designs that they were just begging to be reborn into a modern toyline. This finally happened in 2010 when Mel Birnkrant, Four Horsemen Studios, and Onell Designs joined forces to create a line of 3.75" articulated (glyos) action figures based on the original designs. Unfortunately for us collectors of female characters, it was an all-male roster. But Mel had plans for several Outer Space Ladies and by 2012 we had three original female characters (with several more in the works).





At the Four Horsemen Studios 2013 Toy Fair event, they showed off this beautiful Astrodite figure, who would be the 4th female in the new OSM line. I was at the event and I was smitten by her, but we wouldn't actually get her for a full five years. (FYI that Toy Fair event was full of female action figures that have yet to be released from Four Horsemen.. check them out). This year marks the 40th anniversary of the 1968 release of the Outer Space Men so in celebration they are introducing four original characters including the long-awaited Astrodite and the surprise character Luna Eclipse (which I have yet to buy).










I've said this before, but I love the overly-voluptuous bodies that the women in this line have. When I think of 60's pulp sci-fi women, my mind definitely conjures these kind of proportions. Yes, they are exaggerated and ridiculous, but so is everything else about the line and that's a huge part of the charm. Also, despite the curves and endowments, for some reason these designs don't give me the cringe-factor that many overly-sexualized action figures do. I'm a fan (and I want more!)







All Outer Space Men figures utilize the Glyos system from Onell Designs. All the joints pop apart and are interchangeable. Although I didn't take a picture of Astrodite completely disassembled, here is an older picture I took of 2013's Beta Phase White Star Horroscope on the dissection table.







I was unable to remove the helmet on my figure, but I was able to free it from her breastbone and shoulders which gives you room to position her head in the direction you want.




Astrodite comes with a winged staff, a crossbow, and two alternate "bent elbow" arms.






Here is Mel Birnkrant's original 2012 design for Astrodite.
Click the image to go to his website and follow the creation process behind the character.
I love how the final product is so true to the original sketches.




And since we finally got Astrodite (a mere 5.5 years after her first appearance during Toy Fair 2013), I would like to take a moment to share three other concepts for new characters. I don't care if they take another 5 years each, I would just love to see them produced.








Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!


Here is Astrodite with the first three Outer Space Men ladies: HorroscopeOhpromatem, and Terra Firma.






Cheers!




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