6. Outer Space Men

Dear PrillyCharmin,

The Scary Light did get to the stores, by the way, in the form of a Green Hornet Signal Light. However, the toy industry really only wanted to buy "Colorforms" from Colorforms. We should have realized that from the start, But we did have some successes in spite of all obstacles.

One of those "successes" was The Outer Space Men. It, like BF, has become something of a collectible. There's even a collector's web site and it is very well done! That's another web site just waiting for me to drop by for a visit, and in this case I do have ALL the answers, as I was the only person involved with the project. It was all done by me, in my loft, and no one at Colorforms even knew it existed until it was finished! Only Harry knew I was working on it, but he never saw it, either, until it was done.

The Big Mistake on that OSM web site is 'Thanking Colorforms
"for their foresight and vision" and "especially whoever wrote the stories on the cards" etc. Modesty Forbids, but I really should make it clear, before I die, that it was none other than little "moi"!

Any way You can see this for yourself at

When you look at this, what you might keep in mind, is that this is the only significant sculpting I really ever did before and until Baby Face, 20 years later, and like Baby Face I was not supposed to be doing the sculpting, but did it, or else, out of both desperation and inspiration. The inspiration coming like Baby Face, from "parts unknown." In designing these I used my collection of Famous Monsters of Filmland as a starting point, some images were very much inspired by known movie monsters others were no more than "doodles."

I made a lot of sketches and began in the process to feel quite uneasy, perhaps because it was proving to be too easy! Images were popping into my mind and I don't know where they were coming from. I did at least 50 to 75 sketches, from which I chose 7 final designs and then had to create exact scale drawings, front, back, and side views, for the model makers in Japan to work from.

I was amazed to discover that I could just draw them as if they were actually Real, standing there in front of me, which of course, they weren't (or were they?) I knew exactly how they looked from every angle. It was Exhilarating and also a little Spooky! As I had never been this Facile in the past.

The presentation and drawings were sent off to Japan to be modeled and my hopes and dreams went with them. Five or six months later they arrived, for our approval. They had been sculpted in some sort of clay, like we used to use in grade school, glorified mud really. They were like unfired, air dried ceramic clay. The joints were all perfectly turned of brass. But, in shipping the brass joints had only served to break the clay up even more, and the seven figures arrived in a hundred pieces!

In spite of the damage, one could still clearly see that the interpretation and sculpting was Terrible! And along with scattered pieces of the Outer Space Men, my heart was broken too. So, I set to work repairing and completely re sculpting the lot. Only the brass turnings of the originals remained unchanged. I worked day and night, frantically trying to save them. You have heard the standard "adrenaline rush" story, I'm sure, like when a mother finds the strength to lift up a full size car to save her baby. Well, that's the state I was in-- not for a few seconds, but for three weeks!

And I really didn't know what I was doing. I made all the changes with "Hydrocal" a material that is harder than plaster. This in conjunction with what remained of the fragile clay, was an almost unmanageable combination. But I managed it somehow. The figures were then cast in epoxy, by a model maker in New Jersey. I worked the colors out on the epoxy models, and it all went back to Japan to be made into "real" toys.

I might mention here that the first thing I did when faced with the task of re-sculpting the Outer Space Men, was run out and purchase a set of small sculpting tools. One of the six tools had a sort of flat rounded shape on one end and a tiny flat knife shape on the other. That turned out to be the tool I used most to scratch away at the hydrocal or lay it on when it was wet. I had broken most of the others in the process, but that one tool survived. And to this day, It is the only tool can use to sculpt with. I tried to obtain another, years later, when I realized how dependent I was on it, But the company that made it was out of business, and, as simple as it is, I've never found another like it.

Once, a few days after cleaning up my studio, I noticed that it was GONE! I looked for it, tearing the place up, for two days, Finally I found myself riffling through bags of garbage I had searched through several times before, without success. But now the bags had been taken down to the roadside, and the Garbage Truck was literally heading down the road towards me, And I Found It! That was the tool I used to sculpt Baby Face!

The Outer Space Men were quite successful, and with the royalties we put a deposit on this house. We no sooner moved in than man landed on the moon, and found nothing there. The Whole world lost interest in Space Exploration and hardly anyone watched the second moon landing. Space toys fell down to earth with a thud, and "one Giant Step for Mankind", turned out to be one foot in the grave for The Outer Space Men!

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