Monday, March 25, 2013

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,029: Obi-Wan Kenobi

OBI-WAN KENOBI  Geonosis Arena  Battle
Discover the Force/Movie Heroes Battle Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 37822 No. 37826
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, stand, game cards, Jango Fett, Battle Droid
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $22.99
Availability: January 2012
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio:  The Geonosian arena is rocked by an intense battle. On Geonosis, secret factories are churning out hundreds of battle droids and super battle droids for the growing Separatist movement. Obi-Wan Kenobi fights Geonosian warriors and battle droids that overflow into the arena, as Jango Fett takes on the Jedi and clone troopers. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo hole.

Commentary: Another example of how Hasbro has been successfully milking its past legacy is Obi-Wan Kenobi, a reissue of a reissue from 2012.  The mold started its life in late 2003, and saw a rerelease in 2009.  Today we see how the sculpt, which at the time was pretty cool, can be somewhat improved by paint.  For some reason, despite the boasting of "real scan" technology being employed in figure development, the hairstyles of the 3 3/4-inch action figures were pretty weak.  Obi-Wan's hair as a toy looks more like some sort of Classical Greek statue and less like the Scottish actor, who had slightly flatter hair and a different-looking beard.   As the figure was designed for not-fully-realized Outlander Club scene packs, he looks adequate standing around but isn't much good as a toy to play with and have sit in a vehicle.  You know how it is with the lower skirt pieces, and how articulation back then was still pretty experimental.  Chunky knee joints and swivel boots looked OK at the time, but were rendered obsolete just a few weeks later when that first-ever super-articulated Clone Trooper hit shelves.

The detail on his belt and texture on his garments still hold up quite nicely, and the "Force gesture" on his right hand is a nice touch.  This figure is also one of very, very few with a lightsaber hilt sculpted to his belt as the first release of this mold did not include a lightsaber accessory back in 2003, but rather a bar section and a drinking glass.  Here, he has a lightsaber and since he has two on his person when he's armed, it looks weird.   Ball-jointed shoulders make this figure a little livelier than one might hope, but his hands seem a little big relative to his head and as a toy it never really clicked anyway.  The head deco is improved, and the overall figure looks just fine, but it's not really fun to play with and it lacks the detail and range of motion of subsequent releases.  Were it a new mold with the neo-T-crotch design we're going to see more of in a few months I might be excited, but as it is it's pretty ho-hum for 2012 and one of dozens of reasons why the line just didn't have a good year.

Collector's Notes: The set is nifty enough to get on the cheap, but not for this figure.  If you're on the fence, don't buy it.  Unless you use the Amazon link on this page because I get a cut of the sale.  Yeah, I know that was a cheap plug, but why the heck not. 

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,029: March 25, 2013

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