Thursday, July 14, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,587: Obi-Wan Kenobi

OBI-WAN KENOBI Jedi Training on Dagobah
30th Anniversary Collection Battle Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 87503 No. 87214
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, 4 other figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99-$24.99
Availability: Spring 2007
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Wise, old hermit and secret guardian of Luke as a child, Obi-Wan Kenobi was struck down by Darth Vader only to become the Spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi - more powerful in the Force than ever before. It was he who directed Luke to Dagobah, and his patience that convinced Yoda to take Luke on as a student. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' couch.

Commentary: Why the Hell does Hasbro insist on putting a lightsaber with a dead guy who never used a weapon in the afterlife? Since 1997, fans have seemed to demand a lightsaber with their Spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi action figures despite the first two not including one. Because he never had one as a spirit. What's so hard to understand about this? Why is Hasbro wasting budget resources on a lightsaber that could be put into making other figures in the assortment better? A nickel multiplied out sixty-thousand times makes a big friggin' difference.

Anyway, where was I? This Spirit figure is a slight redeco of the Spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi figure from the 2004 Original Trilogy Collection release, and I'd go out on a limb and say you wouldn't notice the two were different if someone didn't tell you to compare them. The colors are a little different, and the lower robes of this (the 2007) release seem a little bit lighter. The 2007 release also lacks the swell swamp base of the 2004 release, and each Spirit has unique packaging that's good for different reasons.

Based on the body of a 2000 figure with new arms and a few other changes, this figure looks old compared to other releases but fits in this gift set nicely. The articulation below the waist is basically not there, and Kenobi works well as a display piece standing off to the side and looking cool. I consider this Spirit of Obi-Wan (or the 2004 release) essential figures, as Hasbro has yet to improve on them and if the 2007 Spirit Anakin is any indication the addition of cloth pieces will not make the figure look better. Get this one, somehow.

Collector's Notes: The entire set is quite excellent, with a unique-to-this-set R2-D2 and slightly redecorated versions of Darth Vader (two versions of him, actually), Luke Skywalker, and Yoda. Yoda doesn't look very different. I'd say the individual figures are worth buying if you want all the extra accessories, but this gift set is a lovely boxed set in its own right and would make a nice gift for a collector and some kids. Get it if you can!

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,587: July 14, 2011

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