While Terra Firma was revealed to the world first, Jack Asteroid worked out well as a variation on the theme. For all intents and purposes, Mr. Asteroid is the 21st Century Major Matt Mason stand-on. The original Outer Space Men were made by Colorforms to be compatible with Mattel's line, and since Mattel isn't doing anything with Major Matt Mason (and indeed may never) it's reasonable that this Space Race toy line needed its token human white male astronaut. The orange-suited figure is an insanely clever reuse of Terra Firma's helmet and accessories with Metamorpho's body and a new head. One of the big selling points of figures (like this one) that use the Glyos system is that you can swap around parts, but it seems this is mostly used for customization purposes or color-swaps. With Jack Asteroid, they're giving us what amounts to a completely new figure just by using paint and existing accessories - kudos.
The face sculpt is quite nice, although it doesn't scream 1960s like Terra or the other aliens - the hairstyle almost looks modern in spots, but the hard jawline and heroic expression certainly works for an action hero toy of any era. The personality seems to be a mix of light smarm and classic action figure, which basically is what works here.
For the third and fourth year figures, the Four Horsemen cast them in mostly white plastic and painted them up - they look great and the paint is vibrant, but over the long run I do worry a bit about white plastic showing through if the figures get any wear and tear. Looking around the web, and at the low edition sizes, it would seem that most of these are being bought by bloggers and reviewers making this a toy line for people who write about toys. Since there's no more ToyFare magazine and people generally lock in to one or two figure news sites specific to what they're in to, the age of discovering new lines seems over - particularly given the amount of work needed to get in these online-only toy lines.
Jack's flag and blaster fit in his hands with ease, and since he's based on a Year 1 body he can sit in numerous toy vehicles with no problems. The arms can be swapped out if you'd prefer bent over straight elbows, and the magnetic backpack is something of an oddity - there's a hole in the back of it, and a hole in his back, with a male/male Glyos plug connecting the two pieces. Peculiar - but it works. His helmet is three pieces, and it fits like a glove. Some of the visors seem to have weird mold lines, but depending on your lighting situation you may never see this.
With 12 points of articulation - 10 of which really matter - this is a pretty good figure and a nifty update (and probable finale) to the Outer Space Men legacy - odds are this tiny rerelease was the comeback, which is great for people like me who missed the 1960s. Sure, it'd have been nice to see a figure like this done with Power Lords-style ball joints, but I'm rather happy we got any Jack Asteroid than none at all. Action figures that exist for their own sake, and not to tie in to an existing movie, comic, TV show, or video game are a real rarity so this line (and indeed a lot of what the Horsemen have to offer) are sort of a toy evolutionary dead-end - odds are there won't be many new fans down the road, there won't be revivals later, but we'll always have these to treasure. Unless we sell them, which if you look at eBay doesn't seem to happen too often.
For the variation hunters out there: a mostly unpainted White Star Jack Asteroid was sold at New York Comic Con 2013, and a clear orange one was sold at San Diego Comic-Con 2013. Both figures were later used as the basis for two unique customized "Galactic Holiday" figures hand-painted by Nicholas Merz of NiStuff fame, which were a very low run with a few extras made to order.
Additional Outer Space Men 2013 White Star SDCC Exclusive Images
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