One of my friends had a Robin Hood party when we were about 4 or 5 years old, and we were all bestowed with Robin Hood hats made out of cardboard. I hung on to that bad boy for years. I fashioned a (terrible) longbow out of a stick and string, and would lurk around in my parent’s backyard, dressed entirely in green. I still have memories of jumping around on the furniture as I watched the Errol Flynn version, much to my parent’s chagrin.
Though my enjoyment never really went away, it had faded a little by 1994. But around that time, ABC TV in Australia was screening a little British show called Maid Marian and Her Merry Men. Starring Tony Robins of Blackadder fame, it was an irreverent take on the legendary outlaw, casting him as an incompetent fool; Marian had actually been behind all of the gang’s successes. Though I haven’t watched it in close to 20 years, I remember it being hilariously funny as a child. Importantly, Maid Marian was a strong, empowered female – funny and tough.
Following on from my recent acquisition of the Forestman, I also invested in his female counterpart, the Forest Maiden. Originally I thought she was connected with the Elf from Series 3, but it appears I was mistaken and she is actually more based on Robin Hood’s beau, Maid Marian – hence the lengthy introduction you now read above!
Dressed almost entirely in green, the Forest Maiden is simple in her garb -- a cloth belt and a small coin purse are the only features really of note on her clothing. It's appropriate, of course, given her woodland lifestyle, and is a nice complement to the simple Series 1 printing on the Forestman.
She’s armed with a bow and arrow, and can defend herself with a shield. A sword would have been nice too, but I’m sure I can find a spare in my bits box. The only real disappointment is that her hair is cast in soft plastic, rather than hard plastic. But it’s not the end of the world.
The Forest Maiden is a cool minifig – one of the best from Series 9 – but only at the right price. Like much of series 9, she seems to have rapidly appreciated in value, and you’ll probably pay a minimum of $15 for her, potentially more. So keep an eye out, but proceed with caution – just as one would do if they were a tax collector in Sherwood Forest.