Four Horsemen Outer Space Men Cosmic Creators Mel Birnkrant Edition Blue Angel Commander Comet Action Figure Four Horsemen, 2013
Day #725: August 14, 2013
Blue Angel Commander Comet The Man from Venus
Outer Space Men Cosmic Creators Mel Birnkrant Edition TheOuterSpaceMen.com Exclusives
Item No.: n/a Manufacturer:Four Horsemen Includes:2-piece helmet, crossbow, staff, wings, alternate arms, 3 other figures Action Feature:n/a Retail:$80.00 (sold as a set with Fire and Ice Electron+, Red Devil Mystron, and Alpha 11) Availability: July 19, 2013 Other: The Sixth (or seventh, counting accessory deco variants) Commander Comet
Extending the life of the Outer Space Men is a tricky proposition - you've got a line with limited marketing and limited appeal, so rather than get tens of thousands of people to buy 1 of each figure, you get hundreds of people to buy seven or eight of each figure. The strategy results in some increasingly clever creations, including Blue Angel Commander Comet. Mel Birnkrant did us a solid by describing his creative process at length, so go ahead and read that when you're done gawking at the pictures.
In 2011 we got 3 clear Comets, and since then we've only had one fully-painted standard Comet and a white opaque Comet came out a few weeks ago. The "blue angel" edition is pretty amazing, although it's not obvious until you carry one around from one room to another. The way the deco hits the figure makes all the difference, highlighting feathers on the figure in surprisng ways. The figure's limbs look like feathers sometimes, and like scales on a fish on others - this would make a great "Aquaman"-style space man should the men behind this line so choose to go that route. His feathered wings have a pearlescent sheen on them, which isn't immediately obvious. As strange as this is, the figure looks best with a single light overhead - I've got a small lamp on my desk that really brings it to life.
The secret sauce is the figure's 2-piece, 2-color helmet. With one half in blue and another in purple, the figure's noggin takes on different characteristics depending on where he stands. With a light overhead and the purple in front, it glows with life. With light shining through the blue side, it looks colder and a little more mundane. As such, be careful when deciding where he'll stand on your toy shelves because let's not kid ourselves - you aren't buying this figure to give a kid. This is a figure for old farts to admire and treat with great respect.
His accessories are not terribly surprising, the staff is a shiny gold rather than a duller matte finish shown on previous packaged samples. The crossbow, which is a very tight fit in his hands I might add, has a barely-darker blue color applied to it. The whole metallic look of the figure and his gear gets capped off with a purple toupee that shows the way to a future with metallic follicles. As an added bonus, the figure's eye paint is superior to its 2012 painted ancestor which you may recall was already quite spectacularly good. This is better - and was priced accordingly. The same four figures in "Infinity Edition" were around $50 for the set, and this quartet commands a $30 premium for the deco changes. Is it worth it? Probably not. Do I care? Also no.
The quartet looks really cool and I assume (and hope) it's closer to the end than it is to the beginning at this point, given the vast quantity of repaints we're being given. Some are amazing, figures like this one make the entire collecting experience a little more interesting. The clear figures are perfectly nice, but it's sort of depressing to realize that after 3 years and change I've shelled out something like $600 in unpainted, one-color figures over the years.
It's my hope that we see more figures like Commander Comet here, particularly for this price point. The results in the pictures pretty much say it all - this thing is genuinely one of the most spectacular figures I've had the pleasure of photographing, and between this column and my now-on-hiatus Star Wars column (including some stuff that hasn't gone live yet) I've probably shot over 3,000 different action figures since 2006 alone. The $20 unpainted clear figure thing is draining on multiple levels, particularly when we can see the level of quality that the team is capable of giving us - Blue Angel Commander Comet is a top-notch figure. It's so spectacular that the thought of spending the same amount of money on clear, unpainted figures from this very same line is almost revolting.
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