Thursday, January 5, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,992: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Wandering Jedi, The Vintage Collection)

OBI-WAN KENOBI (Wandering Jedi)
The Vintage Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. E7763 No. F4474
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #245
Includes: Lightsaber, hilt, blaster, cloak, L0-LA59 (disc with stand), L0-LA59 (deployed)
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: July 2022
Appearances: Obi-Wan Kenobi   

Bio: Obi-Wan Kenobi is set years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith where Kenobi faced the corruption of his friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned Sith Lord Darth Vader. (Stolen from Amazon. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary: Good engineering and gear, not the best face paint. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Wandering Jedi) has a lot going on with a whopping six accessories, half of which are loaded with tiny painted details. That sort of stuff doesn't come free, so Hasbro is charging accordingly. This figure was $15 last year and with price increases, would be about $17 if he shows up in a new wave this year. It's a little ridiculous - not because we're not getting a lot in the box, but we're getting way more than we need. This probably would've been a much better figure with only his cloak, lightsaber, and blaster at a lower price. I appreciate the bonus droid buddies and lightsaber hilt, but even the hilt gets lost in the shuffle hanging off his butt and completely hidden by his robes. In short, the Kenner-style one was a bit more sensible and was also priced cheaper.

This is a decent figure with a less decent head. I wager Hasbro worked from a Lucasfilm style guide and that's why we got the droid companions here (and not with the non-existent Leia) because that was on the checklist of "something cute to sell the kids" and the kids didn't show up. Each droid is a wonder to behold at its size, and makes me go "OK, maybe this is worth the asking price." The disc mode L0-LA59 has a clear stand and a ball joint, allowing you to position it a bit. There's a big black eye and a red ring. It features amazing detail at this size, and they're carried over to the "active" droid too. The second L0-LA has articulated ears and a single joint on the leg, which is insane. This may well be the smallest articulated figure in this scale to date, and you can use the head joint to balance her to stand up unassisted. That's amazing. Obi-Wan can grab either droid in his hand, more or less. Each figure probably has about as much complexity as a really good alternate figure hand, but I would assume fans would place greater value in getting two tiny new characters as cute but useless bonuses.

The blaster looks great, and easily fits in his hand or holster. The lightsaber hilt pegs in the belt easily, but is out of sight and I assume it will one day fall out and I won't know it went missing for years. The lit lightsaber fits perfectly in his hand, and the robe looks pretty good too. No complaints. I assume if Hasbro gave you this much stuff in a 6-inch figure, they'd charge you an $8 deluxe premium.

I haven't even mentioned the figure yet. Obi-Wan Kenobi looks a bit like Ewan McGregor and, from some angles, a little like Homer Simpson thanks to this particular beard. The hair looks superb, but the puffy mustache adds a bit of an overbite to the exquisitely sculpted and painted face. The face doesn't look great up-close, but it's acceptable if you've got old eyes and don't look at it with a macro lens. What's more, the arm and leg joints are all excellent and while the figure breaks zero ground, it seems to do a good job carving up what I assume was the digital asset provided by Disney to this size. The one thing I don't like is the eyesore mid-torso joint. At this point, it just looks awful - unless there's an engineering reason I don't understand, I'd prefer to see this joint lowered to the belt line so any cuts would just fit seamlessly in the figure. I'd also be fine dropping it completely, if it meant a lower price point or a cleaner look to the figure's shirt. You're always going to have elbow joints or shoulder joints, but this kind of a belly laceration seems like the kind of thing they figured out how to not do in 1980s G.I. Joe. I'm only making a big deal about it since it's the one blight on an otherwise good figure that can stand without a fight and so far, isn't flopping over due to weirdly tight joints reverting back to a pose I don't want. I like it.

All in all this is a good figure, and I don't know why he sat in an opened tray from his package on my desk for months and months. Hasbro did a bang-up job with him, Reva, and Darth Vader and I only wish we could ever get literally any new show or movie to have a line that makes a real statement at retail instead of 2-3 figures and then nothing. I can't build a collection - or enthusiasm - with so few figures. Anything less than 10 is pretty paltry, even if all we get are rereleased Stormtroopers I'd have been pretty happy. Hopefully Hasbro still has more figures in the pipeline, like a mini Leia or Flea or the once and future Happy Birthday/Thank You Very Much. If you can get this figure at or under $15 it's a fantastic example of what Hasbro can do with the higher budgets, but honestly, I'd prefer they just cut the budget, get them back down to $12, and if they have to cut some gear so be it. Sell us accessory packs if need be - because figures like this are raising the price of every figure, including reissues with little or no gear that are undoubtedly cheaper to manufacture.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,992: January 5, 2023

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