The Island of Misfit Toys – Azeem from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

MisfitToys

This week on The Island of Misfit Toys, we find Azeem from Kenner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves toy line. Released in the summer of 1991, Prince of Thieves was a pretty laughable summer blockbuster starring Kevin Costner doing a weird faux-English accent as Robin Hood. I’ve never been a big fan of the film, but I will admit Prince of Thieves has some nice moments. Most of them are provided by Alan Rickman (doing a twisted take on the Sheriff of Nottingham) and Morgan Freeman’s wise, stoic Moor.

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The Prince of Thieves toy line harkens back to a simpler time when toy companies could get away with more to save money. The entire line of Robin Hood toys is a Frankenstein creation whereby Kenner Toys took existing parts and pieces of previously successful toy lines and retrofitted them awkwardly into a new brand. It seems the majority of pieces for these toys and vehicles were pieced together from Kenner’s Super Powers and Star Wars lines.

PACKAGING

As you can see from the above image, the blister card displays the Prince of Thieves logo and Azeem prominently. The back of the card lists the various characters included in the line (Two Robin Hoods, two bad guys, and assorted Merry Men) and some vehicles. Especially notable is Kenner’s re-use of the Ewok Village playset as Sherwood Forest; some of these reuses are God-awful, but that one particular repurposing was rather clever.

SCULPTING

The Super Powers toy line was one of the best sculpted toy lines of its’ time. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves simply uses a bunch of those previously sculpted pieces. Action Figure Insider has a rather thorough run-down of the entire toy line, including Azeem. He used the Super Powers Green Arrow arms which are really awkward on this body.

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It’s strange, but not as strange as say, the inclusion of a “G” belt buckle on Robin Hood or the use of the Gamorrean Guard body for Friar Tuck.

PAINT

Minimal. Most of the flourishes are saved for the cloth outfit included, and I’ll file that under “Accessories.” Under the cape and turbin, Azeem is cast in grey and dark blue plastic, with brown to highlight his hands and bare legs. He’s also been given a painted yellow belt. Frankly, I’m surprised Kenner even bothered with the paint applications they did, considering how “on the cheap” everything else is about the line.

I will give Kenner some points though – they thought enough to include some painted-on freckles to replicate Morgan Freeman’s signature look.

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The actual face looks nothing like Freeman… but at least someone decided to try.

ARTICULATION

Azeem has the then-standard five points of articulation. He has a cut joint at the neck, shoulders, and hips. As mentioned, the majority of these parts were taken from Kenner’s Super Powers toy line. That line featured knee articulation for most of its’ action figures. That it wasn’t included in the Robin Hood retooling is kind of a shame… but again, clearly a cost-cutting measure.

ACCESSORIES

Azeem comes with two accessories: A scimitar and a removable cloak.

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I’ve found a lot of modern toy collectors have a rather sour feeling about soft goods like cloth being used in toys. I always liked it as a kid, especially when the cloth pieces were removable. Azeem comes with a sort of turban/cloak one piece. It’s one of those accessories that’s a real pain in the butt to get off the character; once you’ve pulled it off the toy, you’ll never be able to get it back on. There’s also the added trouble of this being an over 20 year old toy. The material making up the cloak is some incredibly cheap fabric and it hasn’t aged well. The thing sort of… molts away whenever I touch it.

The scimitar is a fine, character appropriate accessory but again, cost cutting measures have ruined what could have been a decent weapon. This Azeem retool utilizes the Super Powers Green Arrow arms. Those arms were originally designed so that GA could hold a bow and arrow. They weren’t designed for this weapon so it sort of… hangs in Azeem’s hand. Not the best.

FUN FACTOR

Low, even considering the toy standards of the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. I gave this to my sons and they barely even looked at it before they were back to their Ninja Turtles.

OVERALL

Kenner cut every corner with this line and it shows. This is garage sale fodder for sure.

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One Response to “The Island of Misfit Toys – Azeem from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”

  1. I loved this line as a kid. I had all the figures except Friar Tuck. I also had the Battle Wagon. I wanted the Sherwood Forest Playset, but my mom couldn’t find one where we lived. I have since passed them down to my son who loves them. All the cloth accessories are gone though.

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