Robin Hood & His Merry Men
Will Scarlet
8 Inch Scale
By: CTVT (Mego?)
2004
$5.00

Last year when I started reviewing Mego figures, I did it on a whim because I thought it would be neat to look at some old style toys. Little did I know that by the end of 2009, Mego-style figures would no longer be retro but TOYS OF THE FUTURE! At least that’s how it seems with everything from LOST to Venture Brothers to DC Superheroes and Ghostbusters getting the “Mego” treatment…

Robin finds a finely dressed young man shooting deer in Sherwood, and offers to let him join the band; they quarrel and fight. Robin asks who he is; he says he is Young Gamwell, who killed his father’s steward and fled his father’s estate to seek out his uncle, Robin Hood. Robin makes him welcome and renames him Scarlett.

To me, Christian Slater will always be the immortal Will Scarlet… Hey, I like that movie. Anyway, this figure is a Classic TV Toys reproduction of the original Mego figure. For various reasons these repros didn’t light the world on fire back in 2004, but now that the style is what all the cool kids are talking about these days, I suspect we’ll see even more of these guys pop up. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s Mego was smart in offering figures of public domain characters like Robin Hood and Frankenstein, because they didn’t have to pay for licensing rights.

Packaging:
Early Mego figures came in window boxes. They were probably one of the first real collector toys to do so. Of course back then, nobody knew they would be “collectibles” in the future. I assume people just figured we’d be too busy with our flying cars and interstellar space ships to care about retro toys from the 1970’s. Turns out, they were wrong.


The box art is a pretty good reproduction of the original art, or at least I assume so. I didn’t really examine them a ton. Even so it’s a nice little box with pretty cool artwork on it that screams 1970’s.


The side of the box shows off the other figures in the series. Interestingly, Robin Hood didn’t get any villains. You’d think a toy of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham would be a more natural selection than Friar Tuck. Then again, who am I to question a toy company that urban legend has it passed on Star Wars in favor of Buck Rogers? That’s Mego I’m referencing of course, CTVT would have loved to get some Lucas love.


There’s also a great picture of the toy on the back. This is retro artwork, so there are a handful of differences between the actual figure and this picture. Either way it looks pretty cool. These boxes used to sit on registers in cases until kids were opening them too often and the blister card was invented.

Sculpt:
Hardcore Megoheads can tell you all the minor differences between the vintage Will and the repro Will. Since there is a Whole Website dedicated to that sort of thing, I’ll just say that generally speaking this is a pretty good reproduction. If anything the details overall have been softened somewhat.


Even if the details have been softened on this replica, the end result is still pretty full of depth. This is one of the more charming head sculpts for a Mego. I suppose that Mego knew that too, because they reused this guy’s head several times for other popular characters.


He’s got a bit of a grin and a smugness about him, but while his cockiness and confidence shine through it works very well for the character. Again maybe Christian Slater’s performance in the 1990’s Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie have clouded my judgement, but I imagine Will Scarlet as a bit of a smug fellow.


Of all the Mego replica bodies out there, CTVT’s is arguably the worst… Well, actually Mattel’s is hands down the worst, but for a different reason. The CTVT body isn’t bad it’s just made out of really brittle plastic which makes it prone to breakage and such. I haven’t stripped this guy down but I don’t see any problems with him at all.


That doesn’t really mean anything… You sort of gamble when you get these bodies. Sometimes they fall apart, sometimes they don’t. At least they LOOK good, which is definitely better than what Mattel’s offering. The hands have some excess plastic and such on them and generally look pretty cheap, though.

Articulation:
Mego-style figures have always been surprisingly poseable. They are sometimes referred to as the “father” of the modern action figure. That might be a bit of a stretch, but even by today’s standards they have a fair amount of points.


They start out with a simple cut neck, but they have a simulated ball joint shoulder. I say simulated, because it is a ball, but is constructed with a rubber band holding it in place. That means you won’t get a full ball joint movement without it snapping back down.


Hinge elbows, swivel hinge wrists, swivel waits, simulated ball joint hips, hinge knees and swivel hinge ankles complete the articulation. Again the entire inside is held together via a rubber band, but these bands are notoriously strong.


As well, you can restring a figure if the band was to get too loose or snap. Pretty cool. You can pose this guy quite a bit, but since he uses real clothing, that will restrict movements. Something you don’t run into with most modern figures without soft goods.

Accessories:
This vintage reproduction comes with replicas of all the original stuff that Mr. Scarlet had on tap. Some Megos came with absolutely nothing, but others like this guy were loaded down.


“Take that imitation Sheriff of Nottingham!”

He has a cool little dagger which fits into the top of his boot. Make sure to take note of that, I almost lost this knife right off.


He has his bow and quiver of arrows. Both are decent little sculpts, but nothing to write home about.


Scarlet rounds out his arsenal with a detachable belt with a holster for his sword. The sword is a nice piece but it got a little warped by being in the holster. I suspect setting it between two heavy books would straighten it out.

Value:
These Megos originally retailed for a couple of bucks in the 1970’s. I’m not sure what these replica went for in 2004, but I’m guessing about $10 or so. Now they can be found for about $5 which makes them a pretty decent value. Sadly, that’s a markdown price and all of the stuff coming from EMCE and Mattel are closer to $20. I love this throwback stuff and it has a certain charm to it, but it’s not worth premium pricing, in my view.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Sword, Bow, Quiver, Knife, Belt
Value – 9
Overall – 8 out of 10


I’m giving ol’ Will Scarlet a pretty high rating. Why? Well he’s a gosh darn fun toy at the $5 price point. If this guy was $20 like most of the recent Mego-like figures his rating would be closer to a 6. So there’s a big gap here because of price.

If you’re interested in looking at some reviews of other Mego-esque figures, here’s some I’ve done:
Space 1999: Sandra Benes
Space 1999: David Kano
Commander X
POTA: Ape Soldier

4 Responses to Robin Hood: Will Scarlet Figure Review

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    Great to see you reviewing these guys! I've been on the fence about getting the reissued Merry Men, Knights, and Pirates. I love historical (or semi-historical) figures and the price for complete sets couldn't be lower right now. Mego got the Errol Flynn Robin Hood and Robert Taylor Ivanhoe likenesses down to a tee and these repros seem just as nice. But the brittle plastic might be the deal breaker here. Still, I'll probably grab 'em off eBay sooner or later. Cool review, Newt!

  • Thanks. Glad you liked. The more I look at them the better I enjoy them. The bright colors, the classic characters, they're pretty nifty. The price helps though.

  • Mark says:

    Excellet review, I am plannig on getting some Mego reissues.

  • Pingback: Figures Toy Company Announces a Re-Mego Revolution | Infinite Hollywood

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