Friday, March 5, 2010
BBC Robin Hood toys!!!
One of my favorite shows in recent years was the BBC version of Robin Hood. I'll admit it got off to a rough start but halfway through the first season the show started to hit on all cylinders.
The stories were a lot of fun and they were able to put a new spin on the classic myth. I just found out that at some point around the show's second season an European toy company known as Vivid Imaginations put out a line of toys based on the show. Unfortunately the line was never distributed at retail in the U.S. It took some time but I was able to create a list of all the items released as part of this toy line. Lets take a look at everything.
The heart and soul of the toy line, as is usually the case, was the action figure assortment based on some of the show's main characters. Vivid Imaginations put out a total of 5 action figures. These figures measured 5 inches and came with a nice amount of accessories.
The line included Robin Hood, Little John, The Night Watchman (Marion's heroic identity), Guy of Gisborn, and the Sheriff of Nothingham. The likeness and sculptin on these looks pretty good, especially for a line of figures from a company most collectors have never even heard of.
The company also released 2 packs of figures and a horse. So far it seems like the only releases for these sets have been Robin and the Sheriff.
Two exclusive figures of Maid Marion and Robin were included in the Sheriff's castle play set. The figures could only be obtained as part of the set. To me it seemed odd that they included the Marion figure in the castle and the Night Watchman as a regular release. I think it should have been the other way around.
12 Inch Figures
12 inch versions of Robin Hood and the Sheriff were also released. There might have also been a 12 inch Guy of Gisborne, but I have not found any images or proof of this figure yet.
Accessories, play sets, and more
In my humble opinion the crown jewel of this toy line's other offerings is the amazing looking Sheriff's Castle play set. Out of all the play sets I've seen released in recent years this thing is one of the best looking ones. Lately it seems like the word playset has become a foul word for toy makers. Nowadays most companies stay away from designing and releasing play sets for their action figure lines. The glory days of the play set are long gone. And since the late 80s the quality of play sets has truly gone down and year after year it becomes even rarer to see companies putting out things of this nature.
I really think Vivid Imaginations has done a great job with this set. The amount of detail and features is great. Plus you get the 2 exclusive figures I mentioned earlier.
The set features opening doors and gate, a working zip line, two highly detailed levels, a dungeon with manacles, trap door, tower, and more weapons for your figures. The set consists of three sections which seem to fold for easy storage or transportation kind of like the old Castle Greyskull play set. In fact this set reminds me a lot about that now classic 80s play set. This is the kind of toy I would have gone nuts for during my childhood. I really wish there was a way to get our hands on it here in the states without having to import it from England.
The Robin Hood toy line continued the tradition set forth by the great lines of the 80s by also including an assortment of role playing toys. Kids can get their own Robin Hood sword as part of the line's dress up set which includes the legendary hero's sword and a jacket just like the one worn by Robin on the show.
An electronic bow and arrow set was also released as part of the role play assortment.
Vivid imaginations expanded the line to include puzzles and it seems they even had plans at one point to put out a board game, but I did not find any more info or details on that.
I must now return to ebay to see if I can get my hands on any of these. Any readers in England or other territories where the line hit retail are welcome to post their thoughts or comments on the line and if you have any of these figs lying around let me know.