The Forestmen were one the various factions of the Castle theme and were introduced in 1987. It comprised of seven sets and was discontinued after 1990. In 2010, Minifigures theme released a forestman figure, with a new bow piece.
The faction was introduced in 1987 when the set 6066 Camouflaged Outpost was released. This set included the iconic forestman hats, but not the stag emblem, as Forestmen did not officially become a faction until the next year.
Until the end of 1990, nine sets with forestman appearances were released, including various hideouts and fortifications as well as simple carts. The biggest set was 6077 Forestmen's River Fortress, from 1989, which also featured the only guest appearance of another faction in this theme by including a soldier of the Crusaders. More evidence for an antagonistic relationship between these two parties was delivered by the appearance of a forestman as a prisoner in the Crusaders set 6042 Dungeon Hunters. Forestmen were also shown assaulting Crusader castles in various staged photographs for catalogs.
The theme had a short-lived revival in 1996, when Dark Forest was introduced, which made use of the same crest as the forestmen. Its sets also involved woodland hideouts built into hollow trees or rocks and some of the minifigures also featured green tunics and forestman hats. 19 different original forestmen were made and 1 forest woman, and, due to the collecteble minifigure forestmen, there are 21 in total.
The only official word on this matter is: "The Forestmen are a merry band of skilled archers. They enjoy good food and good times."
Some people have also said that while the Crusaders were analogous to King Richard I and his knights, the Forestmen were analogous to Robin Hood and his merry men. This is generally consistent with their descriptions (archery, green clothing, and "merry men" all being associated with both the Forestmen and Robin Hood), emblems (Richard I was known as "the Lion-Hearted", and the crusader emblem is a lion), and the fact that legends of Robin Hood commonly place him as living during the reign of King Richard just as the Crusaders and Forestmen shared timeframes. In some countries, the names of Forestmen sets actually include the well known name "Robin Hood".
Please see Category:Forestmen sets
- Other sets with forestman appearances
- 6103 Castle Mini-Figures (1988), included two Forestmen
- 6042 Dungeon Hunters (1990, Crusaders), contains one Forestman as prisoner