With the release of a teaser poster last week, and the announced launch date of 9/10/21, an event that Legions fans worldwide have long been waiting for was finally announced – the unveiling of Cosmic Legions.
This project is one that has been in development for years, and this milestone is an exciting one for our studio. When we released Mythic Legions back in 2015, we had high expectations for the line, but did not fully anticipate the incredible community of fans, collectors, and customizers who would embrace the world we had created. In truth, the success and continued growth of Mythic Legions was one of the reasons its Cosmic cousin stayed in development for so long. We wanted to ensure that we had a strong foundation in place for Mythic Legions before we branched out to explore a new universe. Our mission from the beginning has been to continue giving Mythic Legions the attention it deserves and the love our fans have come to expect, while also being able to devote an identical amount of time and attention to Cosmic Legions. We are at that point now. Our studio is so much stronger than it was in 2015. Our team has grown and we know that now is the time for the story of a new universe to be heard.
In this “Behind the Scenes” article, we will look back at what has led us to this exciting point as we prepare for the official unveiling of Cosmic Legions.
The idea of a “space-themed” line is one we have talked about for years. After the early success of Mythic Legions, we began exploring this idea more seriously, considering what a science-fiction influenced Legions line from Four Horsemen Studios would look like. Similar to what we did with Mythic Legions by drawing upon elements of high fantasy to create Mythoss, we dug into some of the science-fiction we love to get inspired and begin creating!
Of course, this new line would not be our first foray into science-fiction themed action figures. We had helped relaunch the Power Lords and Outer Space Men lines, and had worked for years on Masters of the Universe, which has always blended elements of fantasy and sci-fi into their storylines and character designs. All of this past work would be helpful as we fleshed out what our vision of Cosmic Legions could be. Interestingly, however, the line was not known as “Cosmic Legions” at this point. These were the days of Galactic Legions.
Mythic Legions had continued to grow and find new fans at this point, and the customizing aspect of the line had also really taken off, so we decided that we wanted any new lines we developed to live under the “Legions” brand. We loved the idea of parts being interchangeable between lines, and we knew this was also appealing since it could help drive crossover interest. Playing around with ideas for what to call the new line, “Galactic Legions” was what we landed on. Below you can see a number of early logo treatments that Eric did for this new idea (these have never before been shared publicly).
Early Galactic Figure Designs and Intern for a Day 2018
This was an interesting time for our studio. Not only were we experiencing the success of an in-house line at a scale we had never before seen in our nearly 20-year history, but we were making the move to sculpting all of our work digitally.
The earliest Mythic Legions figures were sculpted traditionally with clay. Those sculptures were later used to make molds and casts here at the studio that would be painted and presented as the early Mythic prototypes that were displayed at events like Toypocalypse 2014 and later for our first Kickstarter campaign to launch the line.
With Cosmic, we began the process still sculpting with clay, but we were also making that aforementioned move into digital sculpting. Starting with the new pieces available as part of the “Advent of Decay” series, all new Legions figures began life as digital sculptures, and since our new line was being developed at this time, we eventually decided to also sculpt Galactic digitally.
On Memorial Day weekend in 2018, fans would get their first glimpse at Galactic Legions as we opened up the doors of Four Horsemen Studios as part of our “Intern for a Day” event. This event was one of the rewards available during the “Advent of Decay” campaign, and to really make the day special for the fans who had selected this reward, we had lots of super-secret, in-progress pieces that they got to see in various stages of development (some of which STILL haven’t been fully revealed publicly). Near the end of the event, we surprised our guests with a very early prototype of Galactic Legions. Looking back now, this figure has undergone many technical changes, but this early design is actually very visually representative of at least some of the parts that we will see in the first release of this line. The images below are being shared publicly for the very first time (we did block out some parts of these images - after all, some of this data is indeed still "restricted access" only!).
In addition to the in-progress figure shown above, one of the demonstrations fans got to see at this event was a live digital sculpting session with Eric. You can tell that aliens were on his mind, because he spent these sessions freestyle sculpting various alien creatures. Below are the creations from these sessions.
Teasing a new Universe
Word of “Galactic Legions” began to circulate in the Legions community around this time. Even though the early design shown above had not been revealed publicly, fans knew we had shown something and that work was being done on this space-themed line. When the line would actually be released and what it would end up looking like became popular topics of conversation in the community! As mentioned previously, we were being extra careful in how we rolled out this new line, wanting to ensure it would not take away from Mythic Legions. The line itself also went through incredible changes during this period as Eric fleshed out the concepts for the storyline and the accompanying characters who would populate this new universe. Slowly but surely, Galactic Legions took shape, but a new name was on the horizon…
Galactic Becomes Cosmic
The name “Galactic Legions” had been part of the line since the very beginning, but during a trip to Disneyworld’s Star Wars Galaxy's Edge park, Eric realized that the name “Galactic” was literally everywhere. Wanting to ensure that this new line was very much its own thing, the team went back to the drawing board to rebrand this new line – and so “Cosmic Legions” became the new name moving forward. This, of course, meant we had to revisit those logo designs and branding, but this name change immediately felt right, and it signaled a fresh new outlook for the line as we got closer to finally opening up this world to our fans. That unveiling would finally happen in late 2020 as part of the 2nd annual LegionsCon event.
Below you can see some of the in-progress design work done for the new Cosmic Legions logo.
Cosmic Legions at LegionsCon
Mythic Weekend 2020 was the first time that the G-con and LegionsCon events were put together to take place back-to-back. Of course, 2020 was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, so both of these events had to be held virtually, but the studio and event organizers worked hard to make the shows amazing.
LegionsCon 2020 was filled with panel discussions and presentations over the course of the day. Those presentations culminated in a panel discussion with Four Horsemen Studios where we discussed the Illythia wave that had been unveiled a day earlier before moving onto “new” items – namely Cosmic Legions. It was at this show that we released the images shown below, including the official Cosmic Legions logo by Nate Baertsch and some excellent photography from Trevor Williams.
While we only teased a few images during this event, we did make some substantial announcements on the line, including the fact that it would be available for pre-order in 2021, that the pieces themselves would be compatible with Mythic Legions parts, and that it would very much be its own line with new races, worlds, and story. This would not be Attlus in space, but would instead be something truly new and unique for our fans to enjoy.
Cosmic Legions Breaks Free
On Thursday, September 2, 2021, a single teaser image appeared across Four Horsemen Studios’ social channels and website, accompanied only by the date of 9/10/21. The Legions community immediately exploded, and fans began sharing this image of a 4-armed character who was chained and shackled, his face hidden in shadows.
A day later, this teaser image reappeared, accompanied by some additional “intelligence”:
Transmission Received: Operatives have uncovered intelligence on the enigmatic entities known as “Cosmic Legions.” According to this intelligence, a full breakout is planned for 9/10/21 at 9pm EST at the following coordinates – www.sourcehorsemen.com/home/youtube.
Stay tuned for further transmissions...
With this announcement and image, the reveal date for Cosmic Legions was out there, but we were not done yet. As “launch week” began, more “transmissions” were received and communicated via the studio’s channels. Below are some of these teasers.
Accompanying each of these images was further announcements, which also revealed additional details, including that the pre-order period for Cosmic Legions would begin on StoreHorsemen.com after the reveal special was completed at 11:00pm EST. With each new teaser image, the buzz around Cosmic Legions grew, and speculation rose about exactly what the new line would look like when it was fully unveiled.
Planning for Launch
The success of Mythic Legions has taught us so much. Even though we had been in the toy industry for years when we launched that line in 2015, and our studio had been around for over 15 years by that point, we know so much more today than we did back then. We also have resources at our disposal that we did not have as we were planning the first Mythic Kickstarter.
When we launched that Kickstarter, we really only had our website forum and a small mailing list to use to build excitement – we had no Cabal, no community of artists on Instagram sharing photos of our products, and no events focused on our work and fan community. We shot a video, sent some emails, and launched the campaign. It was a success by any measurement, but as we began planning the launch of Cosmic Legions, our first fully new line since that 2015 Mythic launch, we knew we wanted to pull out all the stops and make this an event experience.
First off, we planned for these “teasers” and knew that we needed amazing imagery to accompany them and to go with the launch itself. We also wanted that launch to be much more story-driven than Mythic was at the onset, and that storyline tied directly into the images that we began to plan out. Looking to the fans and artists who were part of the Mythic community, we enlisted the help of the Crashbox Customs team to build some very specific environments that we would use for the imagery of the line.
To take those images, we once again partnered with Trevor “One-Six Shooter” Williams, who has been shooting all our products for over a year now. We had very specific shots and scenes in mind for these images, and this team delivered expertly on our vision.
With these images in hand, we planned out the rest of the rollout, including those “transmissions” mentioned above, coordinating their slow release in the week or so before our scheduled launch. For that launch, we once again looked to do a live reveal “special” on our YouTube channel, similar to what we did when we released our Mythic Legions Deluxe Legion Builders line earlier this year. The difference, of course, is that when we unveiled that line, we simply had to showcase some new figures. For the Cosmic Legions launch, we are not only showcasing new figures, but introducing the new world where these characters will exist, and detailing the first chapter of the story which will provide the foundation for everything that is to come with this line.
From those earlies conversations of a “space line” to where we are today, on the precipice of finally throwing the blast doors open to this new universe and welcoming fellow explorers in, we have been excited to welcome fans into this world. We hope you will join us on this journey.
Cosmic Legions Breaks Free in 3...2...1...
NOTE: Join us on our YouTube channel this Friday, 9/10/21 at 9pm EST as we fully unveil Cosmic Legions to the world. Immediately following this 2-hour live event, Cosmic Legions will go up for pre-order at StoreHorsemen.com.
Published on 09.07.21