Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Cosmic Creators Mel Birnkrant Inferno Action Figure Four Horsemen, 2012
Day #340: February 22, 2012
Inferno a.k.a. "Blazing Inferno"
Outer Space Men Cosmic Creators Mel Birnkrant Edition Toy Tokyo / Toypocalypse II Futuretro Exclusive
Item No.: n/a Manufacturer:Four Horsemen Includes:Helmet, alternate arms, blaster, art print, more figures Action Feature:n/a Retail:$125.00 (sold as a set with Astro-Nautilus, Xodiac, and Metamorpho) Availability: February 10, 2012 Other: Fifth release of Inferno in this line
How many times can you repaint the same mold before it gets boring? Well, Inferno just got his fifth release, and in a strange twist the pricing was increased significantly for this one. I think there's good cause, mostly because "Blazing Inferno" looks and feels more expensive. This is a mixed blessing, because I bought this same figure four times already for ten bucks a pop. So why did I buy it anyway? I knew I'd cave in eventually, and it seemed better to cave at $125 for the set of 4 than it would be to cave when the secondary market price "dips" to $250 some day in the distant future.
A fun aside. I picked this up at the Toypocalypse art show in New York, in the basement of Toy Tokyo. Due to where my hotel was, I ended up walking about three miles there and another three or more back (wrong turn) to get these while what could probably not be called "snow" blew around in the air. I'm from the desert, so anything snow-like is cause for alarm. I burned a lot of calories to get these figures, which just happened to be the weekend before Toy Fair 2012 and the prelude to setting up a booth, several days of meetings, and a few press events. And as I write this, I think I got sick from the trip. That's how much I like this line as a whole.
There is no new construction here, and "Blazing Inferno" (as creator Mel Birnkrant has dubbed him) is cast in a yellow plastic, coated in orange and metallic orange paint. He has the same Glyos construction and roughly a dozen joints, complete with swappable bent arms for your display needs. The figure seems to have been a yellow plastic clear figure, painted in silver armor, and then the whole thing was painted orange. I might be wrong here, but that's the feeling I get. Even his gun got the deluxe treatment, but is it worth the asking price? Not really. It's not a bad figure-- had this line debuted at $32 a pop, I'm sure people would shrug and be used to it due to the lower edition sizes. This set in particular is advertised at only 200 pieces of each, meaning these are some of the rarest mass-produced action figures in this (or any other) toy line. The question is, will anyone care?
I'm guessing they will-- while I doubt subsequent series at similar prices won't go crazy, this is sort of an amazing mashup of generally awesome figures, plus they come blister carded using the same Infinity Edition packaging. What's more, each carded figure in the set has a whopping five signatures from the Four Horsemen and Mel Birnkrant himself. With all the extra paint and fanfare, it's interesting to see that a mold I was wishing I'd never see repainted again has been given another update and it looks like a million bucks.
The most amazing thing about this particular figure is how it was painted-- not the colors, but the actual paint mask. The figure's helmet was cast in clear plastic, but has a "hole" in the back to let light shine through and illuminate the head through the back of the helmet. It's pretty clever. The figure's lower back has the same feature, this time adding light to the fire logo on his chest. It's a minor thing, but a dang clever way to get around the lack of battery-powered lighting inside a figure. If another toy company hasn't already done this in their figure lines, I guarantee someone else will ape the process inside the next year.
Overall, the set is beautiful but expensive. The "Infinity" editions are a bargain at a fraction of the price, although these "Cosmic Creators" figures look more expensive and feel similar to the various metallic Funko Bobble Head exclusives sold at conventions in crazy low numbers. This is a set for hardcore and/or rich Outer Space Men collectors only, and if you get a chance to only buy one of the four, make it this Inferno.
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