Today’s toy spotlight falls on a brand new-to-me purchase through eBay: Revell's second Robin Hood snap-together model kit from 1974. This model is a little closer to a traditional vehicle - The Royal Coach, Loyal Elephant and Prince John. Unlike the Dr. Seuss Zoo models, this kit isn’t meant to be built and rebuilt in different configurations.
Generally speaking, this model concept is much more hindered by the manufacturing limitations than the Seuss Zoo line. If you don’t paint it, the coach winds up looking as much like an over-sized cereal prize as it does a model kit. It’s only cast in two colors of plastic - not nearly enough for such a complicated subject. The sculpting, too, is only so-so. Prince John looks tiny, and there’s no real interior to the coach. The toy is designed to roll, but the Loyal Elephant is an immobile lump. If its feet had been designed to incorporate a pair of tiny wheels, the coach could be rolled around much more easily.
On the plus side, the kit does come with a backdrop of Sherwood Forest for a little added play value. The box art is pretty good, and it also includes figures that you can cut out and place about the coach. The drawings in the instructions are better than your average model, too - they’re actually character-based, and show the Robin Hood cast building their coach to help you build yours!
The other photos are another good example of strong package design: the box for the Toy Story Collection version of Mr. Pricklepants. Since the character takes his acting pretty seriously, Thinkway’s designers made the box into a mini-theater you can keep using if you open it carefully. Adding the front ‘curtain’ flaps that open to reveal the toy is also a nice touch. The stage theme is carried out all the way around the package - even the space behind the toy is a printed ‘backdrop’ to set the scene!
The Revell Robin Hood kit is somewhat rare, so you’ll probably have to set up a custom search on eBay to find one. I got mine for about $80, but I’ve seen this set go into the hundreds, so be ready to spend some cash. As I’ve said before, the Thinkway Mr. Pricklepants has been spotted in US Disney Stores, so be sure to check out your local branch first. Otherwise, you’ll have to have a friend in the UK (where they’ve been sold the most), or head off to the secondary market. Check out thefind.com, eBay, and Google’s shopping search to compare prices. It looks to be fetching $25 - $58 + shipping on eBay at the moment. Good luck!