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Friar Tuck Action Figure (From “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”) by Kenner

October 25, 2012

No, you’re not on the wrong site. As it turns out, Jabba and Friar Tuck have more in common than just an elevated cholesterol count. When Kenner was making their line of toys for “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” in 1991, they reused and resculpted pieces from many different existing lines, including Star Wars.

Here is the good friar out of the package. Still doesn’t ring a bell? Let’s get him out of that bulky robe and into something more comfortable…

Hmm… Those sandals… Those chunky thighs. That furry codpiece, over-the-shoulder strap and armor pieces… There’s just something familiar about them all…

If you hadn’t guessed already, Friar Tuck’s body is VERY similar to that of the vintage Gamorrean Guard figure. The legs seem to be 95% identical, but they did rework the torso significantly, smoothing out the sculpting of the fur, removing the circular piece of armor on the chest and even adding a dagger to his belt. The arms look almost identical at a glance, but closer inspection shows that while the basic design of the armor is the same, they are totally different sculpts.

Borrowing of this nature isn’t that uncommon for action figures, and I guess if it works, there’s nothing wrong with it. In the case of Friar Tuck, he was in a robe anyway so most people probably never even saw what was going on underneath. And it’s clearly not a case of them just directly reusing the body, since quite a bit was changed. It’s not even entirely clear to me if they actually reused some of the sculpts for the Gamorrean or just used the figure as an inspiration (although the legs are so close that I think they had to have used the original Gamorrean legs). Kenner did a lot of borrowing for Robin Hood, as this post on Action Figure Insider illustrates. They even reused several ewok playsets to make Robin Hood toys.

Since Friar Tuck looks so much like a Gamorrean in this outfit, I’ve decided to add him to my vintage Jabba’s Palace display as another guard. He should fit right in.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alesand permalink
    October 26, 2012 4:40 pm

    Speaking of earlier British times, if you remove the guy’s beard, he would look like the original Jabba. Still monkish, except Irish instead of English.

  2. icruise permalink*
    October 26, 2012 10:39 pm

    Good point!

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