If you had to give a non-Mythic Legions collector a single figure to show them what this line is about, which figure would you offer up? For many Mythic Legions fans, the obvious answer to this question is the Barbarian Builder deluxe set, which was initially offered in the very first Kickstarter. With its arsenal of different weapons and a number of armor and head options, there really is no better release to showcase the playability of Mythic Legions!
Interestingly, even though the Barbarian ranks as one of the best-selling Mythic Legions figures of all time, this set wasn’t initially even part of the plans for the first Kickstarter wave. In fact, the inclusion of the Barbarian was the direct result of fan feedback and the FANtastic Exclusive voting process that was part of that first Kickstarter campaign.
The Viking Versus the Blood Knight
During the voting process for the “FANtastic Exclusive” figure, the results came down to a battle between the eventual winner, the Blood Knight, and the closest challenger – a character fans called “the Viking”.
For those not familiar with the FANtastic Exclusive process, this was a way to allow fans to select from a library of parts in order to create a brand-new character for the Mythic Legions line. Fueled by voting on the old website forum, fans combined the bearded head found on a few of the dwarves with the bare chest and limbs from characters like Attlus and Urkku to create a “Viking-like” character.
Both the red-armored “Blood Knight” and the Viking had passionate and vocal supporters, but in the end the Blood Knight won, becoming the Vorgus Vermilius figure that was part of Mythic Legions 1.0.
Pro-Viking fans bemoaned the demise of their chosen champion, but before the Kickstarter campaign ended, Four Horsemen Studios surprised those fans by adding the first “deluxe” Mythic Legions set into the campaign – the Barbarian Builder. This set was such a late addition to the line that the first pictures of it were not even painted. To get this exciting addition in front of fans as quickly as possible, the studio revealed it in its unpainted prototype form, which can be seen below.
The Viking Becomes a Barbarian and an All Star
Fans of the “Viking” design were delighted to have a chance at the Barbarian, but in true Four Horsemen Studios fashion, they couldn’t just do a normal figure for this special set. For the line’s first deluxe release, fans got not only the Viking-like figure, but to help fans fully realize the full nature of the interchangeability in the series, the Barbarian actually included 2 sets of shoulder armor, faulds, and loin pieces, plus 2 heads, 5 helmet attachments, and 6 weapons!
The Barbarian Builder was one of the most heavily ordered figures in the first wave of Legions, but as new fans discovered the line, he quickly sold out everywhere, becoming an incredibly sought-after release. Thankfully for those fans, the Barbarian made his way into the very first All-Stars lineup, adding a second run of this incredible set for fans to add their collection.
It is worth noting that while All-Stars releases are meant to simply re-release past figures, there have been some minor production changes on some those figures between runs. The original release and the All-Stars Barbarian are two of those figures with some noticeable differences between the different versions. The original Barbarian features a slightly lighter skin tone than the All-Stars release, and the armor on the two is also different. The original Barbarian’s armor has a bit of metallic, coppery highlights on it, while the All-Stars version sports more of a matte black finish. The photos below show these two versions, with an original release on the left and the All-Stars version on the right. The differences between these two may be harder to see in photos, but in hand the differences are much more obvious. One way you can identify which of these two runs the figure comes from is the "ball" at the top of the neck. The original release had the ball painted flesh colored, like the rest of the torso, while the All-Stars version has the ball in white, unpainted plastic.
An Unexpected Return
The Barbarian Builder set has the unique distinction of being the only Mythic Legions figureto date who has been released 3 separate times – although his third release was actually an accident.
The Mythic Legions: Advent of Decay wave was offered to fans during a Kickstarter campaign, as well as through two separate pre-orders on StoreHorsemen.com. The Kickstarter orders and the first pre-order were produced as the first run of the figures, while a second run of Advent of Decay was done to fill orders from the second pre-order period. It was during this second run that the factory producing these toys made a small mistake. Instead of running the female “Barbarian Warrior” figure from Advent of Decay, they accidently ran a brand-new batch of the male Barbarian Builder sets. Four Horsemen Studios discovered this mistake once they had received the shipment of these figures. The factory went back into production to fill the orders for the missing female Barbarians, but in the meantime the studio now had a whole new batch of Barbarian Builder sets to make available for sale. New fans to Mythic Legions jumped at the chance to grab this set, which had once again become hard-to-find and which was fetching substantial prices on the secondary market. The growing community of Mythic Legions customizers also rejoiced with the release of this figure, finding the Barbarian to be an excellent canvas for so many custom Mythic Legions creations.
How can you determine if a Barbarian Builder is from this third release? Look at his shield. If it comes with the "handle" as opposed to the "c-clip" attachment, it is from the third release! Both the original Barbarian and the All Stars version came with the old "c-clip" attachment for the shield.
Despite three distinct releases for the Barbarian set, he is once again a sought after and hard-to-find figure in the Mythic Legions line. His continued popularity is a testament to the incredible value and playability of this deluxe set.
With Four Horsemen Studios announcing their goal to have select “builder” figures available for sale later in 2020, fans can’t help but wonder if the Barbarian will make a triumphant return for a fourth release in the Realm of Mythoss? No plans have been revealed for additional Barbarian Builder sets, but one thing is certain, if more of these amazing toys are ever released, Mythic Legions fans will once again open their wallets and their collections to welcome more Barbarians into their Legions!
Published on 03.06.20