The Figures Toy Company was founded to reissue reproductions of Mego originals through online outlets.
While I am a fan of Megos, the Marvel ones in particular, these Robin Hood figures passed me by, being issued many years before I was born.
Robin Hood to me was Jason Connery in Robin of Sherwood, then the fox in the Disney version, then Kevin Costner in prince of Thieves until finally I got to see and appreciate The Adventures of Robin Hood, the 1938 classic starring Errol Flynn on which this line was originally based.
The Figures Toy Company have a reputation for producing somewhat mixed results. They are manufactured in India and quality control is not the first priority.
Manufacturer: Figures Toy Company
Year of Release: 2004
Figures: Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck, Little John
Scale: 8” Tall
Note: These were obtained second-hand on eBay for the purposes of this review by chief editor Colin Dorman.
Author: Alex Shaw
These are some of the cheapest, shabbiest most poorly made figures I have handled in a long time. The last occasion I encountered workmanship like this was buying a purposefully awful figure of a builder lady for a Christmas game. She couldn’t even hold her own hammer.
Clothing: Let’s start with the high points and work down. The clothing isn’t too bad. There are multiple sections and they aren’t simply jumpsuits like many Megos.
The stitching is precise and aside from some fraying at Will Scarlet’s wrist, they pass for originals. However, Friar Tuck has no pants on. This is the same, basic body model as the Mego Boss Hog and his robe is VERY loose, allowing the barn door to creep open for a truly disturbing display of what looks like a hairless Gamorrean guard in all his naked, pot-bellied glory. Because the cloth is so light it doesn’t hang down or stay closed.
His hood flares up like that of an excitable nun and he most resembles a cheerful, porky child in a knock-off Jedi outfit, suffering from terrible hair loss issues. His string bag belt doesn’t have any hips to sit on so tends to sag to his knees and to make matters worse his toes point inwards and his ankles cling together because of the cheap rubber band leg joints. This means he can’t even stand up without leaning against a wall for support. Obviously Friar Tuck has to be stocky and I of course don’t wish to offend the portly, but simply increasing the size of his torso Mego effectively broke the balance of the figure.
Will and John are at least decently dressed, though the colour of the garments is not accurate to the 1938 movie so if that’s what Mego were going for, then they failed. If Will Scarlet’s hood had been scarlet then it would have been close enough, but it’s turquoise.
Neither this, nor the original Mego furnished him with a scarlet hat either. John wore several outfits in the film, but none of them are exactly like this. However, if you know the Robin Hood characters then you can’t possibly mistake the bearded fellow with the quarterstaff, the chap in red and the monk so at least Mego succeeded in capturing the spirit of the characters.
Accessories: Plenty on offer here, none of it impressive. John has his staff, hat and belt, all of which are made of cheap, flimsy plastic, though the belt at least does have a nice, leather texture imprinted. He and Will also have those enormous, shapeless wellington boots that Mego favoured.
Will has a quiver that doesn’t even hold the shape of its strap, the clasp being in the middle lending it a bent, mismatched feel. His longbow has a loose, spaghetti strand of a bowstring which makes it easier to sling over his shoulder, but not the least bit ready for the arrows he hasn’t got.
Another dirt cheap black belt, this time without the texture and a crude, unwieldy sword complete this ensemble. Knock-kneed buffoon Tuck as previously stated has a string belt with a money pouch that won’t stay around his capacious midriff. His quarterstaff is absent in the figure I received, as are his sandals, making him useful as a piggy bank, a human shield and little else. There was an extra sword that comes with none of these figures on inspection of the boxes that I granted to Tuck merely because I felt sorry for him.
Sculpt: Both the good and the bad are prevalent here. Tucks legs being strung together like a chicken in a butcher’s shop window is unforgivable. The faces are oversized, awkward and ugly, but as Mego fans will attest, that is part of the charm of this series. For what it’s worth, Will has the head sculpt of the earlier Mego Galahad figure. Will’s right hand came with the fingers entirely missing (though in the box), which would make for some fun leprosy-based play at a later date for the historically-learned child. They are basic Mego body types and hold their positions well enough.
Packaging: These did come as an auction lot with boxes included but the boxes have been ravaged over time. With packaging in excellent condition these might make for better display models. The word Mego features nowhere on the box. Sadly what I was supplied with is ruined, misshapen scraps.
Value for Money: You can still buy these new, directly from Classic TV Toys for $19.99 apiece. If you had them back in your younger years and are still somehow reading this then provided you only want to display them mint in the box on your shelf I will tentatively say they may be worth your money.
However, if you’re a Mego collector or Robin Hood fan just looking for an extension on your collection you would be far better served seeking out second-hand originals, which, while considerably more expensive I can at least attest to the better quality.
Overall: I can’t even recommend them to Mego fans wishing to inspire their children because chances are they would be broken before the day was out. If it was just Will Scarlet and Little John without the missing fingers, decimated packaging or the comically poor Friar Tuck effort these would succeed in simply being bland loose figures for display rather than play. Taking all the above into account I can honestly say this is the sorriest collection of Merry Men I have ever had the misfortune to meet.