Friday, June 26, 2009


Toy legend and OUTER SPACE MEN creator Mel Birnkrant, has opened up his secret vault to share some never-before-seen OSM goodies! With the launch of, the newest wing of the Birnkrant "Internet Estate," insatiable OSM fans get a taste of the amazing original artwork that beget THE OUTER SPACE MEN. Stop by to see original concept sketches, unpublished interviews, vehicle prototypes, long-lost promotional material and tons of photos! If you are an OSM fan, than you need to check out this site.

Also on the web; THE OUTER SPACE MEN invade the blogosphere!!

T. Reed's Nightmare Sound Laboratory blog explores monsters, film, comics, toys, music and THE OUTER SPACE MEN. A perfect stop for THE OSM enthusiast.

Animator Jim Lujan talks OSM on his blog.

Sci-fi Super-site, io9 gives THE OUTER SPACE MEN some sci-fi love.

And finally, Collin David recounts his experience with THE OUTER SPACE MEN at NYCC '09 in his blog for

Friday, June 19, 2009


As action-figures around the world are suspiciously gaining muscle and losing body fat, THE OUTER MEN vow to "stay clean." A recent scientific study compared the physique of GI Joe action-figures from the 1960's and today. If the Joes from the 60's were 5 feet 10 inches tall, they would have a chest measuring 44 inches and biceps measuring 12 inches. Not too shabby! By comparison, a contemporary Joe would have measurements of 55 and 15 inches respectively. And at the same time a noticeable loss of body fat has occurred. Really?!
What affect might this type of unattainable appearance have on our youth? Adolescence in America is filled with enough angst already. Throw some body image issues on top and we have a psychological powder-keg on our hands. At a time when our sports stars are being exposed as steroid-using cheats. Must our super-heroes be dirty?
True to their time and place in history, THE OUTER SPACE MEN appeared fit. Not ridiculously muscle bound, chiseled and veiny. Expect more of the same when they make their eventual return to action-figure immortality! Saving Earth from those who might wish it harm keep them pretty trim. Besides which, the code of the Inter-planetary Security Council strictly forbids the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs.

Monday, June 15, 2009


On May 25, 1961, Prsident John F. Kennedy made an impassioned speech to the US Congress. The purpose of this dramatic speech was to announce his ambitious proposal to land an American man on the moon. American morale had been usnusually low after being beaten into space by the Soviets four years earlier. Kennedy was also hoping to recover from the embarassing Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, which had been a disastrous failure just days earlier.

In the speech, Kennedy said, "First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. "

The speech captured the imagination of the American people. More importantly, America's children began crying out for a realistic space-toy to take their collective imagination to the moon. Enter MAJOR MATT MASON - MATTEL'S MAN IN SPACE. This imaginative toyline hit the scene in 1966 an was an immediate success. The high demand for Matt Mason and space-toys led Colorforms toy guru, Mel Birnkrant, to design an innovative toy to be played alongside Major Matt. THE OUTER SPACE MEN were crafted to scale and with the same rubber-bendy material as Mattel's popular toyline. Even down to the accordian-like joints. In the case of THE OUTER SPACE MEN however, the child was given ultimate control to decide whethter THE OSM were friend of foe to Major Matt. In 1968, the first shipment of 200,000 OUTER SPACE MEN landed in the US. Sales were brisk, and another 300,000 were being manufactured in Honk Kong to be released in the summer of 1969. Mel Birnkrant was also busily working on a Second Series of OSM. That's when Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11 took their first steps on the moon. The brave astronauts emerged from the Lunar Lander to find....nothing. No life, no footprints, no alien base, no air....nothing. How are kids going to play out in their snadbox with their atronauts, if there's nothing but sand? And due to shipping delays, there weren't even any OUTER SPACE MEN. Seemingly overnight, "space" became a dirty word in the toy industry. Even with Major Matt as one of its top sellers, Mattel pulled the plug on manufacturing this popular line. Colorforms renamed THE OUTER SPACE MEN, "THE WORLD OF THE FUTURE." But it was too late. Space toys were declared dead. It took almost ten years and a young Jedi by the name of Luke Skywalker to get kids interested in anything space related again. By that time, if you lived on the East Coast, you could probably find a dusty OUTER SPACE MEN on the shelf of some discount department store. So, if your looking for a villain in the interesting life(and death) of THE OUTER SPACE MEN, I suggest you look to Neil Armstrong. American hero, and THE OUTER SPACE MEN "murderer."

Friday, June 12, 2009


One thing my New York Comic Con '09 experience taught me, was that OUTER SPACE MEN collectors come in all shapes and sizes. OSM enthusiast Gary Schaeffer boasts the finest collection of "Museum Quality" OUTER SPACE MEN in the world. An ex-Wall-Streeter, Gary befriended OSM creator Mel Birnkrant at the Atlantique City Toy Show in 1991, and an obsession was reborn. Gary's collection can be viewed at the Official Website of the OSM.
Toy Collector, Steve Fink, discusses his OUTER SPACE MEN collector experiences on the popular toy site Lee's Toy Review. These types of story's are not uncommon when you're dealing with a toy that had such an lasting impact on the lives of so many young children. But the real reason for me to post this blog, is to share the following video. We get to see some OSM collectors in moving pictures! Enjoy the OSM goodness!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tom Hanks to star as MAJOR MATT MASON.

According to Variety, Tom Hanks, has agreed to star in a live action feature film based on the 1960's icon Major Matt Mason - Mattel's Man in Space. Graham Yost has been hired to write the screenplay. Yost has history with both sci-fi(Mission to Mars) and action-adventure(Speed.) He also has a working relationship with Hanks(Band of Brothers and From Earth to the Moon.)

Major Matt was an attempt by Mattel to capitalize on NASA's race to the moon. Major Matt and his astronaut buddies were stationed on the moon and were modeled after images seen in aviation periodicals. This toy line was hugely successful for Mattel and inspired Mel Birnkrant, then working for Colorforms, to create THE OUTER SPACE MEN. Ulitmately, space toys all suffered the same fate when Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon in '69. When no man-eating aliens devoured the unsuspecting astronauts. And the Apollo 11 missioned was deemed a monumental success, space toys were declared dead. That is, until Luke Skywalker blew up the Death Star in '77.

With Hollywood interest in retro toys being adapted into films, what does this mean for THE OSM? If Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is able to match the success of its predessor and GI Joe goes box office Boffo, will THE OUTER SPACE MEN be next? Let's speculate as to the format and casting of a big-budget OSM film. I'm thinking about a combination of CGI and live acting. Dolph Lundgren to play Venusian Commander Comet? Last year's Hulk proved that a total CGI character can carry a film. Is this what the Jovian Giant Colossus Rex will become? What about a "motion capture" technique? Ala Andy Serkis(LOTR and King Kong.)

Forget about Stretch Armstong or Etch-a-Sketch films! Contact your local Congressman, and demand that the next retro toy movie adaptation be THE OUTER SPACE MEN!