Monday, June 2, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,081: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Saga Legends 2014)

2013 Darth Vader Lava Line Look Saga Legends
Item No.:
Asst. A3857 No. A5916
Number: #SL13
Includes: Lightsaber
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: CDN $6.99
Availability: May 2014 (Canada)
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Obi-Wan Kenobi leads Clone Trooper forces into battle during the Clone Wars as a Jedi General. Using his skills as a warrior and negotiator, he helps the Republic achieve many victories. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: At press time there is no concrete evidence of US-packaged figures on the market.   To date it appears that it is debuting in Canada, so keep an eye overseas.  I have not yet seen one in any packaging on eBay or Amazon.

Commentary: Upon his first reveal at Comic-Con 2013 it wasn't obvious to me that Obi-Wan Kenobi was new.  It took a while to click that the line for kids would have not one, but two TV-inspired, Ewan McGregor-based figures of the Jedi hero.  Considering we just got this costume as a Vintage figure in late 2012 it's quite remarkable to see it made as a kid figure again, but given the seemingly intentionally low distribution of him so far maybe it makes good sense.   It's not like it's going to have a chance to rot on the pegs, but neither did the guys from wave 2.

The lost waist joint is no big loss, as it was ugly anyway.  The new joints largely blend in and they all seem to move quite freely, even the hip joints actually have enough clearance so he can sit down.  Hasbro did a great job giving the figure a little personality in his face, too, but I think the 2005 one is a bit more expressive.  His helmet is a very tight fit, and his dreadlocks more or less work fine.   I didn't have any real problems getting him to hold his weapons, but in cold weather it seems the plastic in his hands have a little less give than I would prefer.

This figure was a real surprise - I was expecting a recycled warrior and I got something new and well-executed.  The entire wave is above average - 3 new guys, 2 retools - I gotta give Hasbro credit, this is easily the best new wave of figures in The Black Series so far.   It seems that this Obi-Wan Kenobi's head is similar if not identical to the previous two, albeit with different deco.  The body and legs seem all new, but the arms may share some parts - I'm unclear, but if you compare the Mission Series 2-pack Obi-Wan Kenobi to this one, it seems the Clone armor bits may be the same.   It feels like there's more paint on the new figure, with what seems to be more than one brown in his hair and a surprise like a silver belt buckle around his waist.   There is no black paint on the legs for the Clone body glove, but from the waist on up it's pretty dang good.

The sculpt isn't bad - there's more texture on the garments than we saw on the 2012 The Vintage Collection figure and it makes the most of its paint budget.  There's no Open Circle Fleet logo or Jedi Knight insignia, nor is there any mud or sweat.  It's just a nice, armored figure that I would have assumed would appeal to the tiny tots - or in this case, the Canadian tots.  The figure passes the Landspeeder Test, in that it fits in a Kenner Landspeeder as well as the most excellent downsized Revenge of the Sith and Attack of the Clones Jedi Starfighters.   All I want in a good toy is for it to stand, to sit in vehicles, and to hold his weapons.  Many figures cannot do this, but Ben here can!

If this figure came out earlier, I'm convinced it would've been a decent hit - it's great, and I wish I had one or two more to sit in vehicles.   The lightsaber is cast in blue with silver paint plus a black band around the grip - which is more than I'd have expected.   As a complainer, I can't complain about the overall quality here.  The eye paint is good, the face is expressive, and I'm a huge fan of the Cloned-up Kenobi figures.   Get it if the chance arises, I'd even say consider overpaying a couple of bucks if it comes to that.  Your not having this figure is something of a tragedy.

Collector's Notes: I have seen no online pre-sells for US packaging.  This pattern - Canadian or European releases followed by a US release much, much later - has happened a few times with Transformers lately, but there have also been quite a figure figures that started out in Europe and stayed there.   I'm not seeing on eBay, nor Amazon, so while it could just be early my paranoia kicked in early.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,081: June 2, 2014

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