15 April 2012

¡Hola, Robin!

This doll action figure might have been the first time anyone dressed Robin in pants.

It’s a Robin figure produced in the 1970s by Lili Lely in Mexico under a license from Mego. As Brian Cronin explains in the latest “Comic Book Legends Revealed” column, Mexico had laws requiring toys to be manufactured domestically, so Mego licensed its molds.

Evidently Lili Lely didn’t believe in a superhero in shorts. Or perhaps it was cheaper to give Robin the same red boots that Superman wore instead of manufacturing pixie boots. The company also made Robin’s sleeves about as long as the other heroes’ and left the R symbol off his jerkin.

I remember the Batman and Robin dolls action figures that my brother and I shared as coming in two distinct sizes, as in the TV shows and comics. But this Robin appears to be the same height as the accompanying Batman and Superman. All in all, one suspects that Lili Lely didn’t appreciate the nuances of the legend.

Nevertheless, in giving Robin green pants and boots, the company presaged the redesigns of the 1990s and beyond.


Eric said...

Um, J. L.? I hate to tell you this, but I think the Spanish word you're looking for in the title is "Hola", not "Ola". The former means "hello", while the word you used means "wave" (the noun form, like the kind you'd find on the ocean, not the verb asking someone to wave a hand). However, major props to you for remembering the upside down exclamation point at the beginning!

J. L. Bell said...

All I can say is, "Racias!"

J. L. Bell said...

When I was finishing up this post last night, my first thought for a title was “Nice Boots, Robin!” in Spanish.

Unfortunately, I studied other languages in school, and haven’t lived in a part of the country with a major Spanish-speaking population for over forty years. So almost all my knowledge of that language comes from Sesame Street. I still remember abierto [sp?] and cerrado, but am quite sure “Nice boots” wasn’t one of those lessons.

I tried looking up that phrase on the internet, and had just enough sense to realize that the phrase one site was offering actually meant “boots from Nice, France.”