There are few figures in the Mythic Legions line who have achieved the kind of legendary status that Otho has. This is an interesting and somewhat unexpected development, since this key member of the Army of Leodysseus was actually one of our least popular offerings in the first Kickstarter wave where he was introduced. In this “Figure in Focus” article, we will explore the history of Otho, from his inclusion in those early days of the line to his current status as a “grail” on so many Legions’ fans wishlists!
An Early Legion
As mentioned above, Otho was one of the figures featured in the very first Mythic Legions wave and the Kickstarter that began everything for this line. Not only was he included in that wave, he was one of the initial 22 figures offered in the initial, pre-stretch goal assortment, showing this character's importance to the story from the start.
Almost from the get-go, Otho had a troubled introduction into the Realm of Mythoss. For starters, his head was too big – something we only really noticed when we were taking product shots for the Kickstarter.
In these early days of the line, everything was sculpted traditionally, as opposed to the digital process we use today. If we had a head that was too big now, we would simply resize the digital file and reprint it on our 3D-printers. Back in 2015, when we were preparing to launch Mythic Legions, we did not have that luxury. Back then, resizing a head meant resculpting a head, and with the Kickstarter date looming so close, we made the decision to show Otho as is (because really, his head wasn’t THAT much bigger than it needed to be), but we would acknowledge that a change would be made in production (which it was). Poor big-headed Otho. It would not get much easier from here.
Not One of the Popular Crowd
From the start of the Kickstarter campaign, we saw some figures which were immediately very popular, while others really didn’t seem to be catching on as much with our backers. Otho was firmly in this later camp. While he was not our lowest ordered figure, he was certainly amongst the bottom few. This honestly surprised us, as Otho was not only a key character in the storyline we had planned (more on that shortly), but we also thought he made for a very cool looking figure! We expected his unique look would set him apart from the rest of the wave, but in a line also populated by other knight characters, it seemed like buyers focused more on those more traditional interpretations of knights instead of some of the more unique characters and colors. Take Orn Steelhide and Sir Ignatius, for example. Those two characters were also less popular products in that first series, and they both had unique looks and colors to their armor and design.
Another aspect of the Otho figure that we believed led to him being less popular than some others was the fact that he only came with the unhelmeted head. As cool as that head was, we realize now that fans could only make Otho with Otho. A figure like Gideon Heavensbrand, by comparison, came with two heads, and even the head with his character-specific face could be covered and used to make him more of a generic knight.
A more recent example of this would be Magnus from the Areythr wave. That figure is also an important, named character in the Army of Leodysseus, but we had learned our lesson and made sure to include a generic bucket knight helmet along with the unmasked Magnus head. This allowed fans to get an extra Magnus (or two, or three…) to make a non-character-specific knight, something that could not be done with Otho. Because Otho only had the one head, the fans who did order him typically ordered only one, further leading to him becoming one of the lowest produced figures in the first Mythic Legions wave.
It is also worth noting here that the community of fans who backed that first Mythic Legions wave via the Kickstarter are a fraction of the size of the community we have today. Numbers wise, the least ordered figure in a wave today would easily be more total units than the most ordered figure in some of our early releases. So this combination of a less popular figure in an early wave that had a much smaller audience than we enjoy today leads us to the point we are at now – where we have a growing fan base who want some of those older characters, especially an important one like Otho, but there simply are none to be found, even on the secondary market.
The Importance of Otho
Changing direction now from the early history of Otho’s release, let’s look at the character of Otho and where he fits into the storyline of Mythic Legions. This information was not available during the initial Kickstarter, so fans did not realize the importance of this character at that time, or of the role he played with two other key characters in our story - the brothers Attila Leossyr and Attlus the Conqueror. According to Otho’s bio:
Widely known as the greatest warrior in the Army of Leodysseus, Otho stands at Attila Leossyr’s side as his closest friend and most trusted advisor. As childhood friends, Otho, Attila, and Attlus were inseparable as they diligently trained for the day they would all walk onto the battlefield. Walking away from battle after battle unscathed, Otho’s deepest wound came as a result of Attlus’ departure. That departure weighs heavily on Otho, perhaps even more than on Attlus’ own brother Attila.
Otho’s place as a trusted advisor and key member of the Army of Leodysseus would be reinforced in the short comic story that was part of the Mythic Legions Art Book. In that story, Otho visits Castle Silverhorn where he acts as an emissary from the Army of Leodysseus to Xylona’s Flock, meeting with Artymss Silverchord and her advisors to reinforce the alliance and friendship between these two heroic factions. This meeting is eventually interrupted by Skapular the Cryptbreaker and the mercenaries from the Sons of the Red Star. In the battle that ensues, Otho shows why he is “known as the greatest warrior in the Army of Leodysseus.” You can see the cover of the Art Book below to see Otho amongst the warriors from Xylona's Flock that he partners with in that story.
Otho is Not an All Star
We are aware of our fans’ requests to rerelease Otho, but many of those fans would be surprised to discover that Otho was indeed eligible for inclusion back when we did the vote for All Stars 2. Not only did he not make it in, he actually didn’t even come close.
By the time we were preparing the vote for All Stars 3 (and again for All Stars 4), we decided to eliminate Otho from the running. We did the same for a number of other important, named characters in the line. This was deliberate, because it was around this time that we began considering NEW and improved versions of existing characters! The possibility of updating these characters, as opposed to simply reissuing them as is, excited us and the creative wheels began turning. Fans would start to see this approach of updated versions of characters in the Illythia wave with the release of a new Baron Volligar and a new Artymss Silverchord, and again during the Mythic Legions Tactics: War of the Aetherblade Kickstarter campaign with the release of the 2-pack featuring new versions of Attila Leossyr and Gorgo Aetherblade. This is why we have not seen key named characters in the past few All Stars votes, because at some point, if they are to be redone as figures, we want to update and improve upon what came before!
The Legend of Otho
As we stated at the start of this article, Otho has reached a kind of legendary status in the Mythic Legions community. He is often one of the final figures fans are able to acquire for their collection, and many proudly post their “grail haul” photos once this elusive warrior finally makes his way into their hands.
We’ve also admittedly had some fun playing with the legendary status of Otho. Our production manager, Chris, loves working little images or mentions of Otho into many of the emails he sends out announcing upcoming sales on StoreHorsemen. Even writing this article is a not-so-subtle way for us to get fans excited for Otho and the possibility of his return.
Will we see another Otho some day? All we can say is that there is much more story to be told for Mythic Legions, and Otho certainly has a role to play in that story.
Published on 03.01.22