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A LEGEND IN THE RE-MAKING

The Prince of Thieves is looking for booty: in toy stores, grocery stores and department stores. Although its merchandising campaign is modest by Batman and Dick Tracy standards, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has spawned a slew of tie-in products.

Watch for Robin Hood cereal, battle wagons, party favors, trading cards, board games, pajamas, even earth-tone sleeping bags.

Morgan Creek Productions and Warner Bros., which licensed Batman to the max, are planning a selective campaign for Robin Hood, noting how Dick Tracy goods were relegated to the discount bins despite a sizable gross at the box office.

Within the week, supermarket shelves should be stocked with Ralston-Purina's fruit-flavored Prince of Thieves cereal. A generic Robin Hood will grace the box because Costner controls marketing of his likeness.

By mid-summer, Kenner plans to market action figures: two Robin Hoods, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Little John, Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck, a Celtic warrior and Azeem, Robin Hood's new sidekick.

There will be no Maid Marian. Kenner had to quickly retool existing molds, according to spokeswoman Pam Hommeyer, and didn't have a die for a 4{-inch female figure.

A Nintendo Robin Hood game is due to premiere in July. A hand-held Robin Hood electronic game is also in production. And various types of Robin Hood T-shirts and sweatshirts are on the market.

A hard- and soft-cover book titled The Making of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is being shipped to bookstores. The behind-the-scenes account was written by Garth Pierce and under the auspices of Octopus publishers of Great Britain, and Berkeley publishers of the United States.

There won't be a Robin Hood fast-food promotion, but not because Robin is a roots-and-nuts sort of guy. Negotiations between Warner Bros. and Taco Bell fell through.

"We're not going to flood the market with merchandise," Gordon Armstrong, president of marketing at Morgan Creek Productions, said. "This isn't Batman."

_ HAL LIPPER

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