From the very beginning of Mythic Legions, Four Horsemen Studios knew that we wanted fans to have the ability to “army build” these toys. This idea started during the early development of the line, when it was conceived as a 1/18 scale series. We imagined fans stockpiling knights or skeletons to create large dioramas and battle scenes with these figures, similar to how we first display these toys at our Toypocalypse event (shown below).
Of course, if you know the history of Mythic Legions’ development, you know that the line was changed from a 4” series to 6”-7” before the toys were ever offered to fans. This decision was made after the incredible success of the studio’s 7” Gothitropolis Ravens figures, but also because early pricing estimates from the factory revealed that the cost of a 4” figure would actually be almost identical to the cost for the larger scale. We knew that the larger size would offer fans more value for their money, and so the decision was made to produce these toys in the scale we now have today – but what about the ability to army build? The studio sat down and considered ways we could offer these amazing toys at a lower price point that would still allow fans to buy multiples to create larger armies and scenes. Enter the concept of Legion Builders.
Fewer Paint Hits Means Lower Cost
The most expensive part of producing action figures like Mythic Legions is creating the steel molds from which all the individual parts of the figures will be made. Those molds can be used over and over again, as you have seen with Mythic Legions and the way that we use our growing parts library to create new characters and toys. Because of this, the expense of creating the molds is actually spread across all the figures who will eventually use the parts which come from those molds.
When it comes to the cost associated with individual figures, paint applications, or “hits”, is the factor which most dramatically impacts the cost of producing that figure. The more paint applications a figure has, and the more detailed those applications are, the more it costs to produce that figure. While the addition of accessories, soft goods, and other factors all contribute to pricing, paint applications remain one of the primary factors in our costs on a figure. With this reality in mind, Four Horsemen Studios wondered if we could release select figures in the Mythic Legions line which included the same highly detailed sculptures featured on all our figures, but with far fewer paint applications. Instead of painting every rivet and buckle on a character’s armor, we would leave those parts largely one color, greatly reducing the cost of producing those figures. We could pass those savings onto our fans and create figures which could be offered at a lower price point, allowing those fans to buy extras to create the vast dioramas and scenes we had imagined. These were the Legions Builders!
The First Legion Builders
The very first figures shown on our initial Kickstarter campaign were that wave’s Legion Builders. Looking at the types of characters we had available in that wave, we took some of the key races and figure types and offered them as these lower price point releases. Mythic Legions 1.0 included a pair each of Dwarves, Knight, and Skeletons – the very first Legion Builders.
Later on in that 1.0 campaign, responding to fan requests, we also released an Orc Legion Builder. This particular figure did require a few more paint hits than the others we had designed for this wave, so he was dubbed a “Deluxe” Legion Builder. His final pricing was a bit more than normal Legion Builders, but still well under the cost of the normal figures in the line.
We Need More Legion Builders!
The lower price points on our Legion Builder figures proved to be incredibly popular, and fans clamored for more! The studio would respond by releasing a number of Legion Builders across various waves, including the super popular Templar Legion Builder in the Covenant of Shadows wave and the Coliseum Orc and the Black Knight in the Coliseum wave (those last two were actually initially offered after Advent of Decay).
With our second Kickstarter came the introduction of brand new races and body types into the line, and along with them came new Legion Builders! Advent of Decay gave use an Elf, a Vampire, a pair of Knights, a new Dwarf, and one of our most popular figures to date, the Goblin Legion Builder. There was also another “deluxe” Orc Legion Builder (known as Orc Legion Builder 2), which was a female orc warrior!
Not All Builders Are Legions Builders
One point of confusion that many fans have when discussing the line is the concept of “builder” figures. This phrase has been used on a number of our releases over time, but not all “builder” figures are “Legion Builders”. Once again, Legion Builders are releases with fewer paint applications which are offered at lower prices, encouraging fans to stock up to build armies!
Over time, we have also released other “builders” which fans can use to create armies with, but these releases were not priced lower than normal releases because they included much more detailed paint applications and, in some cases, many additional parts which prevented us from offering them at the Legion Builder price point.
In the Advent of Decay wave, we released a Barbarian Warrior, a Boarrior, an Elf Ranger, a Shadow Elf, a Vampire Knight and a Skeleton Soldier. That last one even came with a pair of torsos, allowing you to display the figure as a male skeleton or a female! All of these releases were “generic”, unnamed characters. They could be displayed in groups to create the aforementioned armies, but each of these figures included as much paint detail as the named figures in the line. Therefore, they were priced like normal releases.
Future waves would add additional unnamed characters, including the Fury Clan Orc and Shadow Elf Ranger from the Soul Spiller series, and the Red Shield Soldier and Helphyre Goblin from the Arethyr wave. Each of these releases were detailed and priced like normal, named characters.
Above and beyond these generic figures, we have also offered a few “Deluxe Builder Sets”. These should not be confused with Deluxe Legion Builders. The Builder Sets are actually some of our most expensive figures sets since they come with an array of weapons and parts. The Barbarian Builder from our first Kickstarter is an example of one of these sets. We also released a pair of Knight Builder sets, including a male knight in our Covenant of Shadows wave and a female version in Advent of Decay.
While Legion Builders were initially conceived as a way to allow fans to create larger displays of these toys, one element we did not completely expect is what a boon these releases would be for the amazing customizing community that has sprung up around the Mythic Legions line. The ability to get figures at a lower price point, and to have those figures act as somewhat of a blank canvas, has proven incredibly welcome for Mythic Legions customizers, and we have seen some unbelievable creations which have started with these simple Legion Builder figures.
The custom figures below were all created by Jeremy Girard / MythicCustoms. While these creations have all had additional parts and paints added, each one started with a base Legion Builder figure. From left to right they used a Black Knight, Silver Dwarf, Goblin, Skeleton (1.0 version), Steel Knight, and Elf Legion Builder figures.
The Future of Legion Builders
Four Horsemen Studios knows how popular Legion Builders have become. In fact, our earlier Legions Builders which have yet to be rereleased are some of the priciest pieces on the aftermarket today! To meet our growing fanbase’s demand for more Legion Builders, we have actually placed an order for a number of these toys to be rereleased later this year! While final dates for those figures’ availability, and a list of exactly which Legion Builders we will be rereleasing, is still forthcoming, know that there will be more Legion Builders in the future for you continue building your armies and fueling your custom creations!
Builder Terminology 101
OK, let’s succinctly break down “builder” terminology:
- Legion Builders – unnamed characters whose figures feature minimal paint applications and which can be sold for a lower price point. Examples: Goblin Legion Builder, Cavern Dwarf, Silver Knight Legion Builder
- Deluxe Legion Builders – these figures feature slightly more paint applications than the standard Legion Builders, but not as much as a normal release. They are priced between the lower cost Legion Builders and the standard releases. Examples: Orc Legion Builders 1 and 2
- Builder Figures – unnamed, generic characters who can be used to create larger armies in Mythoss. These figures feature the same level of paint detailing that normal, named figures do, and as such they are not priced any lower than those normal figures. Examples: Skeleton Soldier (Advent of Decay), Fury Clan Orc, Red Shield Soldier
- Deluxe Builder Figures – these are our largest sets, complete with full paint applications as well as an array of extra weapons and armor pieces. These sets are priced above the standard releases due to the quantity of parts available in each package. Examples: Barbarian Builder and Knight Builders 1 and 2
Published on 03.17.20