Onell Design Outer Space Men Orbitron Diversus Onell Design, 2016
Day #1,470: June 22, 2016
Orbitron Diversus The Man from Uranus - Special Edition
Outer Space Men Onell Design Special Edition Crossover with the Outer Space Men
Item No.: No. n/a Manufacturer:Onell Design Includes:Ray gun, star weapon Action Feature:Pops apart Retail:$18.00 Availability: June 6, 2016 Other: Not bad at all
Long pauses are as much a part of The Outer Space Men as space itself. The original line took a nap after its 1966 debut until 2010, and every year we'd see a surge of freshness around July with the line usually being over and done with by January until the next July. Selling out faster than you can say "give Uncle Scrotor a hug," Orbitron Diversus was the last new releases were the final "Infinity Edition" figures from February 2014. In that time, the rights to The Outer Space Men reverted back to the brand's owners, which means you're probably not going to see a heck of a lot of new sculpting but you might see more new releases now that the ball is rolling again. I hope. I mean, it's been 50 years - toy nostalgia usually peters out for most adults before they turn 40. Onell Design's new crossover Orbitron takes cues from its original inspiration - notably the Metaluna Mutant from This Island Earth.
If you're unfamiliar with The Outer Space Men, here's a primer. In 1966, space was a big deal because of the USA's space race with the Soviet Union. Mattel made a big splash with its astronaut Major Matt Mason, but neglected to make aliens for him to encounter. Colorforms realized this, and manufactured a "plays with" line - similarly constructed bendable toy figures that are compatible with and stylistically similar to Mattel's line, making it a very early example of what are colloquially known as "third party" toys today. Like The Corps to G.I. Joe, The Outer Space Men would be right at home with their cousins - except it turned out they were cooler, sold really well, and many collectors hold them in higher esteem than the toys which inspired them. You'll note Mattel neglected to bring back Major Matt Mason in any form yet, but there's a cult following for these guys thanks to parents, older brothers, and a feature in Tomart's Action Figure Digest placing them in many collectors' imaginations. I fell in love with them after seeing them in a magazine, although the price guide for the original toys put me off of ever thinking I could own a figure of my very own. Thank goodness for the shameless endless nostalgia that holds the toy industry in an iron death grip enough to make this stuff viable.
This figure is a bit of a departure from the other nearly 100 releases. Usually the figure is almost entirely unpainted, or is largely slathered in paint. The various "Cosmic Creators" and "Infinity" versions are often covered in pigment, even if the figure is molded in that color - the original Infinity Orbitron [FOTD #640] was an odd duck. It was molded completely in white and painted over. Diversus Orbitron is molded in blue, with added red, white, black, and bone accents for good measure. Personally, I like seeing some bare plastic because it shows good design sense and an economy in decoration. Why spent money for blue paint when you can just show blue plastic? Most action figures have at least some exposed plastic, so it's more or less normal - certainly standard for Onell Design - to go this route.
They didn't skimp on details, either. The brain - which is removable from the head - is gifted with blood-red detail lines. The same red is used for his faux accordion joints, upper torso, and the reds around his eyes. Also, you can see it on what appears to be a Speedo and a symbol on his belly which matches his star weapon. Bone accents are used for his mouth and claws. Black adds some contrast to the eyes and a symbol on his chest.
Articulation is the same as the previous figures, and the figure can be dismantled at each joint. There are 12 points of articulation, with a body featuring 14 dismemberable pieces. Mix and match if you're so inclined! You can swap out the brain, which is arguably one of the most fun features in this (or nearly any other) Glyos figure. The possibility for customization is great, but how many other figures feature swappable brains? All of the joints move fairly well, except for the hips - they're slightly blocked by the torso.
His accessories are the first opaque non-metalized ABS plastic weapons in the entire line! He has a nifty ray gun and a star, both cast in a pretty neutral gray plastic. They're not bad. They're not great. He holds them fairly well, but the clear ones seem to be a little better because they have the added benefit of showing you the figure's hands underneath. The star is very sharp - and I do mean that literally - while the pistol has a nifty antenna on the back. Presumably other weapons were cast on the same sprue, as Gemini's staff and Cyclops' twin pistols were included with the Protoclone Marezioc Guard (a built-up Noboto) from the same series. I assume this means there are opaque Gemini blasters out there somewhere, and so far I can't get anyone to comment on this.
I'm both excited and apprehensive to have the line back. I love the painted figures, especially some of the strange Cosmic Creator edition toys and the original Onell Design colorways and sketches. The White Star figures, after endless recolors and precolors, left me wishing the line would go away. It did, and now it's back, which means I'm going to have to really scratch my head to figure out the best way to display these guys going forward. I wish I could say to you "this figure's great, go get one" but the fast sell-through means you're not going to see a ton of them on the secondary market. At least, not until the infatuation phase wears off. If you can snag one on the fairly priced side (let's say $40 delivered or less) get one. Mine was $18 - plus shipping - so anything under $25 would probably be a miracle.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.