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Sunday, 15 April 2012

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.

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