Thursday, August 10, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,054: Grand Inquisitor (The Retro Collection)

(Kenner Style)

The Retro Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. F4200 No. F5773
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, vinyl cape
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $11.99
Availability: July 2022
Appearances: Obi-Wan Kenobi

Bio: The Star Wars Retro Collection features design and detailing inspired by the original 1970s Star Wars figures. (Stolen from the marketing copy. Packaging has 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!

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

I opened this Grand Inquisitor from The Retro Collection about a year ago and I didn't like it all that much - so he hung out with me on my desk all this time. My opinion of him has improved a tiny bit, but he's still got problems and at under $6 on Amazon the free market has spoken. This is not a desirable figure.

The character's personality and design changed a bunch from Rebels to Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the figure reflects that. But, being a retro figure, that's OK - part of their charm were simplified and often incorrect features, as long as the figure itself looks cool. Sure, Hammerhead doesn't match the on-screen Ithorian - but he looks cool. The Grand Inquisitor looks a little odd with a bigger head, a rounder more baby-like face, and a head that says "I was made from concept art" to me. The aliens from Utapau had deep cranial ridges, sharp fangs, and really high foreheads - Grandy here has very smoothed-out ridges and not much of a forehead. (This matches the show.) The eyes and tattoos are all red, and the show has some grays in there. The skin is a pale rosy color - not as ashen as the show - but his expression is good. It definitely reads as being a real, old figure.

The body is pretty good - the major landmarks are there, and some are unpainted or underrepresented. The shoulder armor and gauntlets look great. The boots and pants and belt are fine. Some of the buttons aren't quite as good as the show, but for a Kenner-style figure it doesn't really matter much. The gray parts are a little light, while the black parts are a little glossy. It's striking, but seems a little off. There's decent articulation to be had, although the vinyl cape hurts it a great deal. Unless you want to crease the cape, this figure is unlikely to be sitting any time soon. (Of course given the now-cheap market prices, you can just buy another one.)

His accessories are a cape and a lightsaber. The double lightsaber design is clever - props to them for it - with a round hilt and a double-blade design that borrows from the 1980s Kenner Luke hilts. I can buy that this is what Kenner might have done. The vinyl cape is pretty good in terms of design, but the execution turned out just below what I would hope to get. It was pre-wrinkled in the package and since it can't be removed without cutting off the arms, I don't think you can iron it flat to fix those wrinkles. It's also a little long, so you have to curl it back a bit otherwise he'll fall face-forward. It's a smart design, but a bad practical piece - had it been done in cloth, I think nobody would complain. I also don't know when Hasbro opts for cloth over vinyl, as two figures from this wave went cloth and two didn't. As Hasbro more or less stopped making new vinyl figures about four years in, it's a curious choice.

Because I love Kenner figures, this one is acceptable. The sculpting doesn't have the deep grooves of real Kenner figures, nor does it have a particularly interesting pose - he seems to have copied Bespin Luke's stance, as have most new Hasbro Kenner sculpts. I would love to see slightly bent elbows or maybe some variation in the knees, especially on figures who can't sit well. By no means is this figure awful, but it's probably the worst of the wave. I would recommend grabbing the Fifth Brother first, but given how cheap the Grand Inquisitor is these days, why not just buy one? Five bucks on Amazon is peanuts for something in the "decent" range, and this certainly does meet those standards. At full price - or above retail - I wouldn't run and get one unless you're also a hardcore Kenner fanatic.

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,054: August 10, 2023

1 comment:

Soja rinn said...

He looks like he'd be good for customs. Would've been awesome if his head glowed in the dark.