Originally published on 10.22.21 by Four Horsemen Studios at https://sourcehorsemen.com/updates/blog/figure-in-focus-olek-thygar
Cosmic Legions is just getting started. As more waves are revealed, and more storyline is released, the main heroes and villains of this universe will make themselves known. Even at the earliest stage of the story, however, we can begin to see alliances forming and main characters starting to emerge. One of those main characters is clearly the blue-scaled Abollex known as Olek Thygar. In this “Figure in Focus” article, we will take a deeper look at this character whose design origins date all the way back to sketches Eric Treadaway did when he was just 12 years old.
As mentioned above, the design of Thygar began long before Cosmic Legions, or even Four Horsemen Studios, was a thing. The character who would eventually become Olek Thygar came to life in the sketchbook of a young Eric Treadaway. Inspired by the science fiction of the time, including the Power Lords toy line, Eric began drawing creatures and aliens of all kinds. A few years later, he would discover the seminal book “Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials” by Wayne Barlowe, and eventually make the connection that Wayne Barlowe had also designed the Power Lords characters that we so influential to his artwork at this early age. Below is a sketch that Eric did circa 1985 showing a very early version of the character that would become the Olek Thygar action figure nearly 36 years later.
This "space reptile" design has been floating around in one form or another for many years. During this time, Eric would draw versions of this character for different reasons, including during the design period for Cosmic Legions. Presented below are several super rough thumbnail sketches, a drawn color study, and some digital color studies. There are also some early rough screenshots in Zbrush from before his head evolved. Speaking with Eric about this artwork, he says that "most of my sketches have been rough over the years as I always like to finalize the design in the sculpting stage."
On the topic of the sculpting of this character, there were actually a few eras of progression on this toy. First there were the 4” scale Glyos compatible sculptures. This was from the early daysof the Legions lines, when we were considering going smaller on the figures. Next is the oversized Castaline head from the initial traditional sculpture that was originally scanned as a guide for the digital sculpting. The marks you see below on the head are registration points that we used to put on the pieces when we scanned them. In the head comparison shot, there is also a rough print of the digitized scan, showing a pretty comprehensive life-cycle of how this one toy/character was developed over many year before eventually finding himself as part of the Cosmic Legions - Hvalkatar: Book One wave!
In the build-up to the Cosmic Legions launch, we teased a number of images on our website and social channels. The last of these teasers was for the “GraveRing” version of Olek Thygar. Even with his face hidden by the shadows of the shot, fans were immediately thrilled by this teaser. “Reptilian” characters are ones that have long been requested of Mythic Legions, so to be able to work these parts into our growing library was something we were also very excited for. The image of this teaser (with the shadows removed) can be seen below.
Two Thygars are Better Than One
When we did finally unveil the lineup for Cosmic Legions – Hvalkatar: Book One, fans were surprised to not only get a clear look at the Thygar we had teased earlier that day, but also a second version of this character! In the Mythic Legions line, we went years and many waves before we released a second version of any previously released character, but here we were in Cosmic Legions wave 1 and already we had revisited a character! Were we out of ideas for new characters already? Not even close! The inclusion of two versions of Thygar shows his importance to the start of this story. Below we have the bio information that was presented for this character, along with some expanded intelligence available for the first time anywhere.
The first version of Olek Thygar we meet is actually the “deluxe” version, known as Thygar (Hvalkatar). Images of this version are below, followed by how the story begins:
Waking up dazed and distressed in an unfamiliar darkness, Olek Thygar is unknowingly at the threshold of a life forever changed. After being beaten and dragged along a jagged floor by faceless armored soldiers, Thygar finds himself restrained and staring up at the gates of the infamous prison known as Hvalkatar.
With his former life stolen away from him, as it was once before - long ago, the normally calm and centered Thygar finds himself suppressing a rage that he has fought so hard to contain. It is a rage that could be the key to either his survival or his ultimate demise.
So here we learn a few things:
- Thygar has been captured and taken to the dreaded Hvalkatar prison complex.
- This is not the first time Thygar has had his life upended.
- He is clearly unhappy with the turn of events, and the “rage that he has fought so hard to contain” will propel his story forward as we dig into the Cosmic Legions saga.
The final figure unveiled during the Cosmic Legions livestream was the second version of Thygar. By this point we had been introduced to the Hvalkatar prison and the T.U.5.C.C. organization that runs it. We had been told about the experiments and manufacturing done at Hvalkatar – endeavors that run alongside the prison’s activities in prisoner management. Finally, we were introduced to Block 5 – the lowest block of the prison and home to the fighting pit known as The Grave.
In this version of Thygar, his story expands in his second bio, and we begin to see the changes that Hvalkatar has started to bring to this character. Photos of this version are below, followed by the continuation of his story.
In the prison Hvalkatar, the offenses of violent outbursts, open defiance, and attempted escape are all grounds for a cell transfer to The GraveRing. Multiple instances of all three of these offenses have earned Olek Thygar a spot in that dreaded block of cells.
Uninitiated and unpracticed, Thygar’s early days in the fighting arena have been clumsy and perilous, but as a quick study with a vengeful instinct, his newfound skill combined with a ceaseless tenacity have placed Thygar as a rising star in the ring. Now accessing abilities he never thought possible, Olek Thygar is on the verge becoming something altogether different and possibly greater than before.
So in his rage, Thygar has found himself thrown into Block 5 and made a combatant in the battles that take place in that section of Hvalkatar. We see here that for the first fights Thygar finds himself competing in, he does not seem to be a natural fighter, yet he is smart and he is vengeful. Always moving forward, Thygar survives these early battles and his skills begin to grow, just as his circle of companions grows. Forming an alliance with other fighters in The Grave, including the imprisoned bioengineer Zeerian Spyre, the former Edgehounder known as Vorgga, and the 4-armed champion called Kraggnar, this group calls themselves The GraveRing - named after the block of cells surrounding the fighting arena. Together these fighters are stronger than they could ever be alone, and their friendship threatens to disrupt the carefully orchestrated operations at Hvalkatar.
An Evolving Hero
One additional important piece of information from this latest bio is the mention that Thygar is “accessing abilities he never thought possible”, and that he is “becoming something altogether different and possibly greater than before.”
This idea of an “evolution” is important, and it is something many fans have wondered about when they have compared the head sculptures available with the two versions of Thygar. Those heads are not identical sculptures. The details on the forehead of the character is different on these two heads, and the horn-like protrusions that come out from the sides of his head are noticeably larger on the GraveRing version of the character. Some fans have speculated that these may actually be two different characters. They are not. They are both Olek Thygar, but at different points in time. The “GraveRing” version represents a later point in time for Thygar, while the “Hvalkatar” version is how he appeared when he was first captured and brought to the prison.
Thygar is changing. He is evolving as his story begins to unfold. What will he become and where will he and his companions find themselves next? That is all information for a future chapter of Cosmic Legions.
Visit the Cosmic Legions Hvalkatar: Book One Olek Thygar (Hvalkatar) Action Figure product page at Si-Fi Toys for full details!