Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 1,141: Obi-Wan Kenobi (General)

OBI-WAN KENOBI General of the Republic Army
Clone Wars Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 84851 No. 84826
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #0345
Includes: Harness, lightsaber
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: October 2003
Appearances: Clone Wars

Image: Adam's back yard.

Bio: As a general in the Republic Army, Obi-Wan Kenobi leads Clone Army warriors and ARC Troopers in ground battles throughout the galaxy. Coming up against the formidable Droid Army, Obi-Wan achieves hard-won victories against enemy forces. On the planet Muunilinst, home of the Intergalactic Banking Clan, he struggles to destroy the Hailfire Droid factories that are supplying the Separatist forces with their military forces. Armed with his lightsaber, survival gear, an array of new weapons and his innate resourcefulness, Obi-Wan attempts to strike a decisive blow against the enemy army. He also encounters a new enemy during the Clone Wars with the appearance of Durge, a bounty hunter
on a personal mission to destroy the clones because of their Mandalorian heritage. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Commentary: Hasbro's direction in 2003 with Clone Wars was pretty open-ended. Some of the figures were based on existing designs, while others were Hasbro making new versions and telling their own stories outside the comics, novels, animation, and games. Obi-Wan Kenobi took a modified version of the character as seen in Attack of the Clones and added some pockets to his shirt, some added dirt, and slightly more sturdy looking boots. A removable harness was added, as was a backpack which gave the figure a slightly more commando-ish look to it. After all, you need survival gear on the front, right?

The figure itself is about par for the course for its era. You get the basic six points of articulation we've all been used to for so long, plus some swivel elbows were added for good measure. The design seems fairly good for action-oriented stuff, but like most of the Kenner and Hasbro team's original designs these were phased out of future Clone Wars-inspired stories and collectibles. Which is a shame because I thought the pockets were pretty cool. Today, the figure shows many signs of age such as overly pale facial hair and pin-headdedness, so one could say that it didn't age especially well. (The same can be said of most Obi-Wan figures from 2002-2004.) As a toy, though, it's pretty neat because Hasbro did get a limited opportunity to create something new, and while I do wish they were allowed to go a little crazier with the design it does fit with the look and feel of the movies.

Collector's Notes: A nearly identical rerelease of this figure was sold around 2007 in the Battle of Geonosis Battle Pack. As the set has no new characters and changes on the others are very slight, either release should be suitable for any loose collector's needs. The mold was reused to make an Order 66 Obi-Wan Kenobi figure for Target in 2008.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,141: October 28, 2009

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