The Cosmic Squadron Project

We wanted to try something a little different and put a sharper spotlight on some of the neat collaborations that we have been doing with our friends - some of which have been a little bit more behind the scenes than usual,

Back in October 2009 Matt Walker (Dead Presidents Designs) was visiting the house and started talking about a new project that he wanted to get rolling. It was a new toy, born from his love of classic Sci-Fi and the old toy line Billy Blastoff in particular. After some back and forth we decided to work on designing this cosmic figure together. Matt supplied some sketches of what he was thinking and I used those drawings as a jumping off point. We both shared a passion for 1950's tin robots with each other , so that era became a very big influence on the early designs (especially the Yonezawa stuff).

The collaboration on the aesthetics was really fun, and Matt and I began to realize just how much we had in common in our taste for classic space toys. The evolution of what would become his Cosmic Squadron took some very interesting turns, with the initial figure nearly being sculpted here at the shop and produced in China, then almost coming out as a RXH mini at one point!

Eventually Matt settled on the design he liked and it was sent over to Sunguts in Japan to be sculpted. After a few rounds with Ichimiya-san and some modifications made, the final wax master was completed and the first Cosmic Squadron figure was created in Japanese vinyl!

Matt got the first test shots in and we then set about making some blasters up at the shop (every Squadron member needs a ray gun after all). One blaster was based off of some Cosmic Squadron art done by Mark Nagata and the other was something I designed paying homage to good old Billy Blastoff's tools of the trade. The weapons were then tweaked to combine together. Both final sculpts were completed by our Fabrication Overlord, Ron Daley, and then molded up in silicone to make some urethane parts. The rest is Dead President's history.

Matt and I thought you guys might like to see some of the early conceptual drawings as well as some of the possible heads that we were thinking about adding to the mix. Some of those heads may actually pop up in smaller form throughout 2011!

I wanted to say thanks again to Matt Walker for letting me play around in his sector of the ship. I had a really great time working on the Cosmic Squadron project and I'm personally psyched to see what Matt decides to do next!


  1. I was always wondering what the background was on this figure. INCREDIBLE! I personally get a Tomland Space Raiders vibe from the heads.


    I hope to see some of these incredible heads (at least as CC urethane heads) in the near future!


  2. This is some neato stuff, guys! I hope we get to see something like that "robot buddy" get made into an actual piece someday. And why, oh why, do I see a couple of familiar faces in the gallery up there?

    Also: we need a "Doughty Sketch Week" or something. I could look at these designs all freggin' day...

  3. Marty beat me to the punch. The last set of sketches in particular really are channeling the Tomland stuff. I used to love those little ugly suckers! Great stuff, man! I always love seeing behind-the-scenes stuff. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow. Great stuff!!!

    I have to keep an eye on that Cosmic Squadron Blog so I don't miss the next drop! Gotta nab me one of those beauties!

  5. Y'know I was like THIS close to picking up a Cosmic Squadron fig or two, and then you mentioned new heads. Now I think it's a certainty. Mmm... yes, quite.

  6. Such good stuff here - love the Space Boy design!

  7. Thanks guys! Tomland in general was just awesome. There is a pretty good link over on the right with some neat artwork of a few characters from their ranks. I like the character Dado quite a bit. I own a couple of the figures and they are so damn strange in their construction with the extra heavy legs.
    I was also checking out some Matt Mason stuff and you can see a spin on Callisto popping up in the head sketches as well.
    The OSM were floating around in my deranged brainwaves while drawing those cosmic craniums and I tried to imagine what some lesser forms of Xodiac, Orbitron and Colossus Rex might have looked like, sort of "grunt" versions.
    Throw in a little Henshin Cyborg and a dash of Gamma X and things got even stranger. The alternate Pheyden head is actually a sneak peek of an upcoming project, as is the head directly below him.
    Matt has recently been talking about possibly making a Glyos compatible, OSM sized Cosmic Squadron figure. It seems like the perfect time to take a run at a project like that! More parts to create with-and maybe more OSM style clear domes to boot!
    Mel must get quite a laugh when he sees how far his creative influence has reached!
    Helmets off to the original design powerhouse, Mr. Birnkrant!

  8. Loving #15. Has an Ultron feel. It's awesome! Can't wait to get involved and start collecting when they get rolling. Awesome work Matt's.

  9. I want the black dude to be made - he can be the giant leader of my GI Joe "Bronze Warriors Squad" :D!! Again, missing girls here! Why is that always? LOL - Awesome Space Shit! Lovely, Lovely!
    Cheers, Ralphmatt.

  10. Wow. It's always great to see the creative process in action, even as hindsight.

    This: "Some of those heads may actually pop up in smaller form throughout 2011!" caught my attention; then you commented: "Matt has recently been talking about possibly making a Glyos compatible, OSM sized Cosmic Squadron figure."

    All I can say is: hoody-hoo! Bring 'em on! My toy knowledge might be lacking, but I'm a diehard SF fan, particularly enjoying space helmets and powered armor. So if Onell and Dead Presidents can feed that need, well, looking forward to 2011.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing Matt! The Art of Star Wars books were some of my favorites as a kid. This takes me right back!

    Glyos-Cosmic Squadron would be amazing. I keep missing out on the figures (anyone have a Rayon they wouldn't mind parting with :-)