Monday, May 10, 2021

Walt Disney Productions' Robin Hood (Toys, Comics, Disneyland, & More!)

Back in November of 2010, I wrote a post titled,  Robin Hood is Alive and Well, and Living in Tokyo Disneyland.  More than 10 years have passed now, but that continues to be one of my "most viewed" posts.  So, I thought maybe it was time to do a "follow-up" post!

Walt Disney Productions' Robin Hood was released on November 8, 1973.  Below, is the film's original "one sheet" theatrical poster.  I found this in a "movie memorabilia" shop on  Hollywood Boulevard, back in the 1980s.

The Fall 1973 issue of Disney News Magazine, featured Robin Hood on the cover.

The magazine also included two articles about the upcoming film.

This first article talks about the actors who voiced the characters.

This article tells the story of Robin Hood, or at least, the "animals' version."

In the Spring of 1982, the film was re-released in theaters.  (This 1982 newspaper ad is from my original "Robin Hood" post, back in 2010.)


The Spring 1982 Disneyland Souvenir Guide included an ad for the film's re-release, on the inside of the back cover.

The park's entertainment guide from April of 1982, also featured a Robin Hood ad on it's back cover.

Robin Hood was released on video tape for the first time, in 1984.  It was re-released on video, in 1991.  This is the 1991 label.

The film was first released on DVD, in 2000.  A remastered edition, ("Most Wanted Edition") was released in 2006, and included a never-before-seen alternate ending.

Now we will take a look at some personal items from my childhood.  Two years ago, we saw my "Herbie, The Love Bug" model (made by Revell), which came from the toy aisle of our neighborhood "Lucky's" grocery store.  The same store sold these two "Robin Hood" model kits (also made by Revell), at the same time as the Herbie model.

Set #1 included models of the main characters.

The model pieces "snapped" together, so no glue was needed.

This backdrop was included with the models.

I also saved the assembly instructions.


Set #2 was Prince John's "Royal Coach."


The Royal Coach model included this backdrop.

And here are the instructions.


I also had the Robin Hood Colorforms set, however, this was the very last of the Colorforms sets I received.  At this point, I was just about at the age where I would have been getting too old for Colorforms, and I actually don't even remember playing with this particular set.  It is pretty much in mint condition and contains all of it's pieces.  In January of 2020, I posted pics of my Doctor Dolittle Colorforms set, but it definitely got played with, and as a result, was missing some of it's pieces.

The board:

The pieces:

The instructions:

For a short time (1974-1975), Gold Key Comics published a comic book series titled, The Adventures of Robin Hood.  I only bought two of the issues, but from what I have seen online, it appears that were seven issues altogether.  These comics did not retell the original story from the film.  As stated on the covers, the stories were "Based on the All-New Disney Cartoon Feature Movie."

Issue #2, from May of 1974:

Issue #3, from July of 1974:

Golden Books, which was owned by the same parent company as Gold Key Comics, released a much nicer "book" version of four of the comics.

The back cover showed three other books that were available.  I purchased all four of these at Pic 'N' Save, shortly after the movie was released.

These "soft-cover" books all used a better quality of paper and ink, than traditional comic books.  Here's a comparison of the two versions.

Golden Book version:

Gold Key comic book version:

This Robin Hood Valentine was from a boxed set of Disney Valentines, circa 1974-1976.   I often chose Disney-themed Valentines to give to fellow classmates, and I always kept any of the leftover ones.

In my previous Robin Hood post, I included pictures of the film's costumed characters at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Tokyo Disneyland, but these two photos were not used in that post:

This December 1973 photo, shows the first use of the Robin Hood characters, in a Disneyland Christmas parade (Fantasy On Parade).  This same float was used again 8 years later (and also a few other years in between), in the 1981 version of Fantasy On Parade.

And here, Robin Hood is greeting guests in Disneyland's Fantasyland, circa 1979.


In 2012, Disney's California Adventure held a dance party called, "Dancin' With Disney," in the park's former "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" building.   This event used costumed characters which were rarely seen in the parks anymore.....characters like the Big Bad Wolf, and Robin Hood's Prince John and Sheriff of Nottingham.

We'll end this post with a more "current" Robin Hood item.  Back in 2013, this ceramic figure was being sold in DCA's "Off The Page" shop, for $95.

To view my previous Robin Hood post from 2010, click here: Robin Hood Is Alive & Well & Living In Tokyo Disneyland.



Chuck said...

As always, it's impressive what you managed to save from childhood.

I still have my Disneyland Records Robin Hood: Story and Songs, which is unusual in that it has the child animal characters telling most of the story rather than a narrator describing most of the action. There is also no picture book as part of the package, unlike most other 12-inch Disneyland story records. My best friend, Gary, had the similarly- (and confusingly-) named Story and Songs From Robin Hood. That was a more traditional record with narrator, picture book and all.

After writing all of that, I found an interesting article on "Disney's 'Robin Hood' on Records" that talks about the various record releases over the years.

Those models don't look terrible challenging, but they appear to be more like toys that you assemble yourself than models. One kit even has a script you can act out with the characters. Still charming.

Glad to see somebody else saves the instructions to model kits.

As you say, your Colorforms set is in immaculate condition. If only it were in the hands of a true collector... ;-) The colors remind me of my Star Trek Colorforms set from the same era. I don't believe that survived our 1976 move out of California; it almost certainly didn't make it through the 1977 mom-in-the-closet tornado. It happens. It's still a great memory of a fun childhood toy.

Thanks again for sharing!

Chuck said...

I forgot to mention that I was really disappointed when I got my Robin Hood record that it didn't have a book or Robie Lester narrating, but over time its departure from the norm has grown on me. I'm glad it's in my small collection.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I am glad that you still have your Robin Hood album! And it looks like Pete Renaday (Renoudet?) did some of the narration on that album. He is a part of "Disney Royalty," in my book!

Thanks for those links! I need to go back to those sites and look around further. While I did not have any of the Robin Hood records, I see that there are articles about other records that I did have, as a child.

You are right about those models, they were very simple to put together. And not glue was needed, since they just "snapped together."

I'm sorry to hear that your Star Trek Colorforms didn't survive moving and/or a tornado! I have at least six other Colorforms sets to share in the future, but some are missing pieces, or their instructions, or the original box they came in. (Unfortunately, I didn't keep everything pristine!)

Robie Lester is another part of "Disney Royalty"! My brother and I grew up listening to her retell so many of the Disney stories and reminding us that we will know when it is time to turn the page, "when Tinkerbell rings her little bell like this........"

Chuck said...

Any time I hear a tinkling bell, I always think of that, too. As Pavlovian responses go, it could be worse, I guess. It sure beats drooling.

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, another giant extravaganza of a post! I have a certain love for Disney’s “Robin Hood”, though I also sort of lump it in with some of their lesser (in my opinion) animated features, such as “The Sword in the Stone” and “The Aristocats”. I can’t explain it, but the storytelling and humor were so “Disney” to me. I once griped about the state of Disney animated features at that period to a friend (who worked in animation), and he pointed out that Woolie Reitherman managed to keep the animation department alive when the aging animators and cost of making the movies meant that there was always talk about eliminating the animation studio (hard to believe these days).

I thought I had a pretty decent collection of “Disney News” issues, but I definitely don’t have that Fall 1973 issue, so… something to look for! Thanks for sharing the article.

I had no idea that there were ever Robin Hood model kits! The figures almost look like Disneykins, only I’m sure they are much larger. I love that the instructions are written in the first person. “Be sure my head is in position…”! I particularly like the Royal Coach.

Boy, I loved Colorforms when I was a kid, but I always wondered why they were printed in a single color plus black. Why not full color? You’d think they could have gotten permission to reproduce an actual film-used background painting for the board, but obviously the artwork was not done by Disney.

I love the photo of the kids at Disneyland, they have blunked-out eyes! Just like Lulu Arfin’ Nonny. The Sheriff of Nottingham looks like he won’t let that little girl pass until she hands over her lunch money.

Thanks for another thorough and detailed post!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, ha, ha! I know Pavlov used a bell, but when I think of a Pavlovian response, I always think of the cat we had when I was growing up, and how she would come running when we operated the electric can opener, even if it wasn't something for a can of olives or soup! Today, my cats respond that same way to the "popping" of the pull-top lid, on the cans we have now.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I agree with you about having a certain love for Robin Hood. For me, it was the last animated Disney film to come out during my childhood. The next feature length animated film for Disney was The Rescuers, and by then I was in junior high. However, I do have a love for that film, too.....maybe even more so than Robin Hood.

As for the models, the figures in that first set are much larger than Disneykins. The Little John figure is about 6 inches tall, and then the others are all smaller than that, of course.

I also used to wonder why the pieces in the Colorforms sets had to be all one solid color. But I'm sure it was cheaper to make them that way. I never thought about that background artwork not being "Disney," but I think you are right! That might have been another cost saving move on the part of the Colorforms company.

HA! I had to look up Lulu Arfin' Nanny. I was somehow wondering if it had a Little Orphan Annie connection with the words "Arfin'" and "Nanny" in there. I had never heard of that group or that song before. I did try to do something different from my usual "white ovals over the face." The kids in the vintage DL pic are family members, so I still wanted to protect their privacy. Maybe in future posts, I will use the "Annie" eyes and add a "speech bubble" making the people say "Leapin' Lizards!" or "Arf! Arf!"

Major Pepperidge said...

TM!, the "Lulu Arfin' Nonny" that I was referring to was from the old comic strip, "Pogo", by Walt Kelly (a former Disney artist). My dad loved Pogo, and so he had a stack of old books of collected daily comic strips. I can't even remember the specific story, but at one point the characters talk about having "blunked out eyes" just like Lulu Arfin' Nonny. I've never heard of a band or a song with that name!

I like your idea of adding the Annie eyes instead of a big oval over the whole face!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, OH! I did see something about Pogo come up when I searched it, but this rock band called Kaleidoscope also came up, and they had a song called Lulu Arfin' Nanny. From what I could tell from the lyrics, they were talking about blunked or blanked out eyes. Maybe I just thought they were talking about Little Orphan Annie.

I think I just might switch from big ovals over the whole face, to smaller ovals over just the eyes. Maybe I'll even write a song parody called, "She's got Orphan Annie Eyes."

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thank you, TokyoMagic! I enjoyed this post, but must admit that I feel like a failure in life. I'm a huge Disney fan and old-movie buff - yet I've never seen "Robin Hood" - neither Disney's version, nor Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland's movie version. Now, I have to do something about that...

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, Disney actually did another "Robin Hood" movie. It was a live-action film titled, "The Story of Robin Hood," and it was released in 1952. I have never seen it, or the Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland version, but the latter is considered a classic!

K. Martinez said...

I really love how you have extensive collections of the less celebrated films and animated features from the Walt Disney Productions era. It's amazing. You seem to specialize in the 1970's era of Walt Disney Productions which I love.

I've always liked that poster for Robin Hood. It's one of my favorite Disney posters from that era.

I had no idea the film was rereleased in 1982. I thought maybe they didn't consider it worthy of rerelease.

The Revell "Robin Hood" Easy to Assemble Kit is the prize here in today's post. Again, you've got some incredible stuff, TM! Thanks for documenting all the aspects of it from the box art and figures to the instructions. I LOVE IT!

Do you have the Prince John's Royal Coach Revell model too! Now I'm really jealous. And you have the Robin Hood Color Forms as well! Again, I'm amazed by the 1970's Disney collectibles you have. Especially for "Robin Hood".

I have seen just about everything Robin Hood. "The Adventures of Robin Hood" with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, the Walt Disney live-action version "The Story of Robin Hood" from the 1950's, Walt Disney animated feature "Robin Hood" from the 1970's, the Kevin Costner version "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves", "Robin and Marion" with Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn and a bunch of other versions I've seen.

My favorite is the Errol Flynn version with the Walt Disney live-action version being second. I also like the animated feature "Robin Hood' which you are featuring here today. It's considered one of the lesser of Disney's animated features, but I love it. It has those classic Disney voice actors that I love like Phil Harris and Pat Buttram. I'm also a fan of "The Sword in the Stone".

For the record, I was bored watching Kevin Costner's version of Robin Hood.

Anyway, you're posts are highly entertaining and always bring back great memories of my own youth. Thanks for sharing, TM!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, most of the toys, comics, models, etc., that I use in my posts, are from the 1970's, because I was a child in the 1970's. As an adult, I have purchased a few items from that time period, such as that movie poster, just because of the fond memories I have of that era.

As for the Royal Coach model (Set 2), I have the model itself, the backdrop, and the instructions. For some reason, I could not find the box for that particular model. I can't imagine that I would have kept the box for the one set and then thrown the other one away. Anyway, for that model, I "borrowed" the image from ebay. That is why I wasn't able to show the artwork from all six sides of that box.

I'm familiar with all the "Robin Hood" films that you mentioned, but I haven't seen any of them! I do remember a live action clip of Errol Flynn as Robin Hood, was used in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I also remember watching Mel Brooks' TV show, "When Things Were Rotten," back in the seventies. Dick Gautier played Robin Hood, Dick Van Patten played Friar Tuck, and Bernie Kopell played Alan-a-Dale. Then sometime after that, Mel Brooks made the theatrical comedy, "Robin Hood: Men In Tights," but I never saw that film, either!

Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad that you enjoy these type of posts!

Dan Alexander said...

Oh wow! I didn't see Robin Hood until a 1980s theatrical re-release, and there wasn't a toy to be found back then. Robin Hood does seem to be getting more attention these days, as I've seen some pretty nice action figures and dolls recently.