Saga Collection 1
Item No.: Asst. 84851 No. 84854
Includes: Lightsaber, ASN-121 Assassin Droid
Action Feature: Magnet in hand can Force-grab lightsaber or hold on to droid
Availability: April 2002
Appearances: Attack of the Clones
Bio: Ten years after losing his Master at the hands of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi has become Anakin Skywalker's Jedi mentor. Given the mission to protect Senator Amidala after an assassination attempt on her life, Obi-Wan Kenobi finds himself hanging from a fleeing ASN-121 assassin droid as it tries to escape through the maze of Coruscant's cityscape. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.
Commentary: This Obi-Wan Kenobi figure is notable-- and forgettable-- for a variety of reasons. It was the first one previewed to fans by Hasbro in late 2001, to show us the brand-new packaging which gave us our first blue cardbacks. (Believe it or not, fans had been actively asking for blue cardbacks since about 1998.) The figure was also the first Obi-Wan Kenobi that supposedly took advantage of all the digital scanning being done by Gentle Giant, but for the most part the figure didn't look too much more authentic than previous figures. Obi-Wan's eyes and parts of his face did look a little more like Ewan McGregor, but Hasbro continued to struggle with getting the perfect look down for the hair and beard-- and I would venture to say that they never really perfected the figure's face from this film. The Jedi Knight has seven points of articulation, a step down from many of the figures from the previous film, but has excellent painted detail on his costume and a much crisper overall sculpt. So in some respects, it's a big step up, while in others, not so much.
The most exciting thing to me was something I'd wanted for years-- magnets. The figure's right hand has a magnet which, while weak, can hold on to his accessories. He can't hold on to the "flying" droid accessory too well, it works great for keeping a grip on his lightsaber to a point. It was one of many innovations brought forward into the Episode II line (in addition to kid-friendly pricing, additional action features, and mucho accessories) that made it a lot of fun and more exciting to look forward to than another humdrum wave of Clone Trooper repaints. While not perfect, this is a fun figure that works as a symbol for the 2002 line as a whole. Mostly really good, some wonderfully creative ideas, but it also shows the line still had a lot of room to grow.
Collector's Notes: This figure was first released in 2002, then repackaged in the 2003 style packaging for a "greatest hits" assortment that would act as a sort of prototype for future best-of assortments like the Original Trilogy Collection, the Heroes & Villains Collection, and this year's Saga Legends. This figure was also repackaged in a Toys "R" Us exclusive gift set which not only included all of the accessories from the single release, but also added a nifty prison device used to keep Obi-Wan Kenobi floating and incapacitated on Geonosis. (That's the way you should go if you want this figure-- the set also had a uniquely different Nikto Jedi figure you should want.) Overall, this is a good one-- don't expect perfection, but it's a very nice figure.
Day 423: July 3, 2007