Odds ‘n Ends > Battle Beasts, Disney/WB, & a new Outer Space (Wo)man?

  • As of this posting it’s just under a day and a half to go until we find out what Diamond Select’s plans are for Battle Beasts (probably at C2E2, if I had to guess). Keep an eye on this site.
  • As a favor to Poe Power Pal and resident homicidal maniac Doc Thomas, please “Like” the Australian store Popcultcha on Facebook. If they get 10,000 likes, they’ll have a 20%-off-everything sale, and Doc Thomas has promised to review every single thing he buys here on PGPoA. (Actually I just made that last part up, but I’m going to hold him to it anyway.)
  • Bored at work? Poester Sped linked me to this list of “30 Cool Toy Commercials From the ’90s.”
  • Topless Robot picked up on my “DC Universe Tragic” post, and Rob agrees that the problem is as much DC as it is Mattel. I noticed in the comments the growing idea that the superhero comics of the big two are a dying medium that will soon move almost entirely to movies/TV/videogames. I think that’s just as well, if only because at least that would force Disney/WB to employ some goddamned consistency (for a TV season, or at least two hours in a theater). Side note: how soon before Marvel/DC becomes Disney/WB?
  • I somehow missed this, but Outer Space Men creator Mel Birnkrant has created a new OSM member, “Terra Firma – the Woman From Space,” who will evidently be sculpted by the Horsemen and added to the OSM line. Since Major Matt Mason – the original, if unofficial, Earth OSM member – is owned by Mattel, I think the curvy Terra is a perfect fit. Or rather a “snug” fit, judging from that costume – ring-a-ding-ding!

Comments now closed (17)

  • I can't recommend that Birkant site enough. It's a fascinating look into his creative process. Looking forward to Battle Beasts news.

  • Can't wait for the Battle Beasts news, but I'm sure it'll be disappointing considering the hype. Anything else then a five part web series and a three series launch of the Vinyl style figures will break my heart.

    God, that Mel Birnkrant piece is incredibly sexist. I understand he's from a different time, but still, you don't take your racist grandfather to a Church's Chicken on the south side of town and you don't give your half-crazed toymaking relic access to the internet. I've never collected OSM because frankly, I like stability and accessibility in my toy collecting, but I would never support the line now, not even if I was personally asked to by someone involved. Toy collecting is a shrinking habit that is already fairly low in numbers, there's no reason to specifically exclude women and try to drive them off.

    There's a debate ongoing with video game fans because the companion in the next BIoShock has incredibly large breasts, which the developers have defended as being necessary to allow players to "spot her from across the room" and allow her to have "femininity." Video games being one of the first areas that were viewed as being significantly male territory to have actual and legitimate gains in encouraging women participants, as well as that have actively allowed female leads.

    Femininity isn't something that should be reduced to breasts and butts, any more so than masculinity can be reduced to penises and…Taylor Lautner's abs? There are a million different ways that Mel Birnkrant could have leaned, and instead, he just stuck nipples on it and called it a girl.

    Lastly, I don't like the line but I read reviews of it, particularly on ItsAllTrue, and she really doesn't seem to fit with the 50's retro-pastiche nature of the line. A female character in the works that they would be playing off of would likely fit closer with the gender roles of the time (and I realize accusations of sexism would be more readily apparent, if that were true, but I think the theme of the line excuses it) and unlikely to be allowed "in space" but if she were, she'd be allowed in space in a dress, or another billow-y float-y material, or a female equivalent of a male spacesuit. with float-y billow-y embellishments. Also, given the size of the helmets on the majority of them, a pony-tail would easily be accomplished, and could use a standard sized hole for the line, increasing customization. Instead, he went for the increased sexuality implied by the shorter hair cut.

    • I get what you're saying. It's definitely over-sexualized in its design, and honestly I'm curious to see whether the Horsemen just go with it or tone it down in their sculpt.

      Is it sexist? Yeah, probably…if you read Birnkrant's description on the site and on the Four Horsemen forums, he was inspired by underground artists of the 1960s like R. Crumb, who tended to draw that sort of exaggerated woman shape.

      It also reminds me of Heavy Metal a bit as well. Or maybe it's what it would look like if Don Draper had Joan Holloway model for the poster for a sci-fi B-movie. But I don't know that it's much different than your typical sexy superheroine in a skintight outfit, and at least she has somewhat meatier proportions than a lot of them do.

      I can't say I find it quite as offensive as you do right now, but I'll ask my wife about it. I trust her opinion.

      • I don't see it as being sexist. I think if someone is already biased and sexist, they might project their own insecurities on the toy and see a reflection, but in and of itself, it's just a toy.

        • I don't really find the design sexist, albeit I do think it's a bit corny for a toy design and I only skimmed the article…

          But I do think the penis gun is a bit much. I mean there is literally two big balls strapped to the end of it. I realize he's cribbing the old Buck Rogers gun, but come on, I'm supposed to believe that's coincidence?

          I will now refer to her as only Lady Spaceman Wiener Gun. Of course he also gives the wiener gun to the dude, so I don't know what to think anymore.

        • Perhaps just to seal the deal, I think it's kind of notable that you misspelled the name of a feminist icon with the word "hem" which is an important part of sewing, a traditionally female activity and one that women were relegated to for many years.

          You may be right, however, I am an incredibly biased and hateful individual. I am a misanthrope by nature, and I only care about human rights as a way of maintaining my humanity so I don't just start barking at my neighbors. Good guess!

      • Ah, I can see some elements R. Crumb in there now that you've mentioned it, I only read the link that you included, and I suppose that does justify it to an extent, but I would still say that it's a misplaced intention to even take inspiration from that source, given the lack of a connection between that material and what the Outer Spacemen generally have as their domain.

  • Sorry, Poe, I didn't realized I used any words that would catch wrath of the computer.

    • Me too! I hope the finished figure looks exactly like the concept art.

  • I recognize that snake-headed guy in the header image. I used to have one of those…

  • I really wish there was a “like” button for your last comment, Poe. :-p

  • I came here to make a "Terra-FIRMA indeed!" joke, but I guess I shouldn't anymore.

  • Woah, Terra Firma! Sexy, hell yeah!!! Sexist, definately not! Unless you are going to call out almost every single superheroine, female action figure, movie, videogame, or cartoon character. And what about the male characters for comparison? No more pecs or biceps on action figures? Take a deep breath, relax, this is media, this is art, and this is a heckuva lot of fun. Terra Firma’s voluptuousness is the antithesis of airbrushed anorexic models that possibly are a bad influence on young women’s eating habits. Birnkrant explained very clearly as some posters indicated that he was influenced by Crumb, Frazetta, Leroy Neiman, Harvy Kurtzman, Will Elder. Take a deep breath and relax, Terra Firma is hot, sexy, not sexist, and will make a fantastic addition to the Outer Space Men collection.