Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,019: Fifth Brother (Inquisitor, The Black Series)


The Black Series 2020 Line Look Obi-Wan Kenobi Packaging
Item No.:
Asst. E8908 No. F4363
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #04 - Obi-Wan Kenobi
Includes: Lightsaber with removable blades
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $24.99
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. (Taken from the packaging. What a waste of space.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

An incredibly nicely-designed costume and well-engineered action figure Fifth Brother (Inquisitor) sat in a box for a few months before I got to him. As of my writing this, he's pretty cheap on Amazon at $19 - an indication of a pattern Hasbro and Disney haven't cracked. Namely, the lesser figures tend to sell better before people see the movie or TV show, although you can understand why they want to make us wait sometimes. Rey and Grogu needed you to meet them first. A lot of the 2022 figures were increasingly ho-hum, even if they're pretty good, with the Fifth Brother (Sister Mother Sister, why did you put that peg in the lightsaber grip?) delivering a very good figure with annoying accessory interaction. If you've seen the horrible giant metal pylons they put on benches so people can't lay on them, Hasbro put one on the lightsaber grip. How annoying.

To paraphrase Frasier: "What is the one thing better than an exquisite action figure? An exquisite action figure with one tiny flaw we can pick at all night." That's the Fifth Brother. Hasbro delivered a well-engineered figure with well-hidden articulation, putting that usually obnoxious torso joint right in the armor so it's not an eyesore. The elbows and knees move nicely. The wrists move well, as does the double-neck joint. The ankles rock nicely, and the feet are big so he stands easily and in my futzing, doesn't tip over easily. The Imperial cogs are sculpted on his sleeves too, and there are tons of little painted lights on his hat and chest armor. Which brings us to the tiny flaw: the hips don't have the best clearances. You can swing them forward, but not all the way. Had Hasbro shaved a tiny bit off the lower waist or maybe recessed a bit of the upper leg, he could sit like a normal action figure. Instead, he's probably going to just be standing. Given Hasbro rarely makes vehicles for these figures, I assume they don't care and also the vast majority of you won't either.

The big flaw is the lightsaber hilt. You do get a peg on it to plug it in his back - and that's good thinking! But it's poor execution. The peg is a giant eyesore and Hasbro could have maybe put a small hook on the back of the figure to hold the lightsaber, or included a second hilt for decoration instead of a giant, ugly silver peg that makes it hard for him to actually hold said lightsaber. It does plug well in the hole in his back. So if you're not going to ever use the blades and just store his Tron Identity Disc back there, you're fine, this figure is nearly perfect.

I liked this costume a lot. They cast the fellow well and he looks superb in a costume that fell out of a 1970s concept painting, with lovely banded shoulders and Darth Vader-ish details galore. But, like most things, no one scale has all the Inquisitors as of yet. The Black Series will likely end up with the most of them at the current rate, but will anyone care to collect them all if it takes a few years? The Sun has set on this series already, and while I think this is an excellent action figure unto itself, and if this were an unlicensed design that had nothing to do with Star Wars I'd probably say "Oh this is cool, you should get it." It's very Star Wars, and also available in Kenner-style, where I think he's arguably a lot more fun. But you should get him in either scale you like, because a cool weapon, a nice costume, and a swell hat are generally good reasons to buy any well-engineered action figure.

...minus that awful lightsaber peg.

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,019: April 11, 2023

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