With the early reveal of 40567 Forest Hideout, a new LEGO 90th Anniversary gift with purchase (gwp) that’s a remake of 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout, it’s lit up quite a bit of interest in the classic Forestmen sub-theme, which part of the Vintage Castle era in the late 80s/early 90s.
So ahead of the full reveal of 40567 Forest Hideout, I decided to pull my set out of my personal archives for a Retro LEGO Review, so that current-day LEGO fans who might not be as well-versed with the Classics, can get a better idea of the original set, and why it inspired the remake.
Note: in case this isn’t clear, this isn’t the new gift with purchase for the 90th Anniversary, but is the original. The new 40567 Forest Hideout will be available as a gift with purchase (GWP) from 15-22 June 2022, and will be free with purchases of US$150 / AU$209 or more from LEGO.com, or LEGO Stores.
This a review of the 1988 set!
6054 Forestmen’s Hideout Set Details
Name: Forestmen’s Hideout
Alternate Name: Robin Hood’s Tree Hideaway (UK) / Robin Hood’s Secret Hideaway (AUS)
Set Number: 6054
Price: US$17.50 / AU$34.50 (US$42.77 adjusted for inflation in 2022) – Buy now from Bricklink
Exclusive to: N/A
Set Designer: Niels Milan Pedersen
Release Date: 1988
Here’s a look at a catalogue scan from the Australian LEGO Catalogue from 1990, which I’ve just scanned because I love the art, and it shows all the Forestmen sets together (and their Aussie prices too!).
There are seven sets in total within the Forestmen theme, beginning with 6066 Camouflaged Outpost which released in 1987, and final being 6071 Forestmen’s Crossing in 1990, which didn’t feature in this calendar. Maybe sets used to arrived much later in Australia.
Interestingly in the Australian catalogue, they were known as the Forest People (very gender neutral option), and the set names have also been slightly modified – in this case, 6054 as known as Robin Hood’s Secret Hideaway, which might be an Australian-only name, as it did have an alternate name “Robin Hood’s Tree Hideaway” in the UK.
Which reminds me, I should probably properly digitise and scan my instructions… which I might do soon.
Here’s a look at the instruction manuals – if you weren’t old enough to build LEGO from the Vintage-era, LEGO used to cram a whole lot of elements into each step, and there are only 23 steps throughout the manual.
I love the gradient sky, and just how bright and poppy it looks, and look, if LEGO wanted to be more sustainable, they’d revert back to slightly more condensed building instructions to save paper.
6054 Forestmen’s Hideout only comes with 2 minifigures, a Forestmen Archer, with red arms a brown hat, yellow feather and a bow & quiver, and another Forestman with a simple green tunic, with a pouch on his belt, and a wooden spear as weaponry.
As is the case with minifigures from this era, the simplicity of the designs, and iconic smiley faces are its greatest strengths. The designs are clean, easily recognisable, with the use of slight colour variations (with the hats/feather), and torsos to tell the minifigures apart.
Who doesn’t love these little Robin Hood-inspired minifigures?
Here’s the completed set which is quite small by today’s standards, but has a lot going for it! It sits on two 6×12 green plates, and the main Hideaway can be transformed, either into an “open” form, or “compact” form where the main structure is enclosed.
There are 2 pine trees, a small and large one, as well as the classic Forestmen target practice bullseye.
There’s also a barrel with 2 yellow studs inside – gold and plunder that the Forestmen have acquired from whichever castle. These pre-date chrome gold coins, hence the use of studs.
Like most sets in this era play features are abundant, and sets often have a sense of dynamism to them. In this case, the black tree trunk opens up to reveal a hollow interior.
The inside of the tree is hollow, and this also gives you access to a small room which has a sword hanging inside.
When you enclose the tree, it becomes a lot more compact and tree-like. It’s a really smart mechanism to make it seem like there’s 2 different “forms”, with the open version looking more like a fort or stronghold.
Here’s a look at the foliage, and leaves on top of the tree, which contrast great against the black branches and trunk.
There’s even a small nook, where the Forestman can just chill out amongst the leaves. Or it’s great lookout spot, to keep an eye out for roving Wolfpack.
I also love these vines that the Forestmen can hang/swing from. This guy is waiting to spear you from above, so don’t mess with him.
Over the front, there are 2 printed Forestmen shields.
And here’s a better look at the room on the Hideout, which has a roof that can swing open. Forestmen have a knack of building/fusing structures into trees.
The design is quite good, despite the use of very basic bricks – the 1×1 round bricks stacked on each other for the windows, give it a sense of texture, and the arches look great too.
What I liked:
- I love all things Forestmen
- No stickers
- Plenty of play features
- Tree design works well here, with plenty of foliage and leaves
What I didn’t like:
- More weapons or play accessories would be nice
- Could use one more minifigure
This was a really fun experience, reacquainting myself with 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout. I’ve had this in storage for years, and when news of the remake broke, I knew I had to re-assemble it, and boy was it a fun experience.
At its core, this is quite a basic set, by modern standards, but back in the late 1980s, this was pretty ground-breaking to have a mid-sized set like this be able to transform from a tree into a fort.
The foliage and tree design is pretty good, even by today’s standards, and the designers make great use of the limited colour palette, with the green leaves contrasting nicely against the black, with pops of grey stone, and a bright blue roof making this set stand out.
I can see why LEGO opted to remake this set for a 90th Anniversary Gift with Purchase (GWP) – it’s small and has a unique design that’s easily adaptable, and unlike 6066 Camouflaged Outpost which is slightly larger, with 2 minifigures, this is just in the sweet spot for a GWP-sized set.
This set incorporates so much of what makes the Forestmen so memorable, with the blending of Castle-architecture into trees, and nature, with so much left unexplained, for you to fill in with role-play and imagination.
Thanks for reading this retro review of 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout, and hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I’ve written a few Retro LEGO Reviews including 6071 Forestmen’s Crossing. I hope to knock out a few more of these Retro Reviews, especially as LEGO’s 90th Anniversary Celebrations begin ramping up, so let me know if you would like to see more!
I’ll leave you with this shot of my Wolfpack army ready to lay siege on the Forestmen. It’s been 10 years… and it might be time to re-review the Wolfpack Tower, one of my first retro reviews, so pardon how rough it looks/reads.
See below for some other photography featuring Forestmen sets!
What do you think of 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout? Did you own this set as a kid?
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