Review : Obi-Wan Kenobi (A New Hope)
Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)
Wave/Series : Wave 9 (Phase 3) *
Released : December 2016
Price : £22.99
One of the key elements of any Star Wars Black Series SDCC convention since 2013 is that Hasbro has always followed up the exclusive with the release of a vanilla version in the main range - obviously lacking a few sprinkles of accessories. We got Boba Fett without the Carbonite, Jabba without the throne rail, Kylo Ren without the First Order Flag & Vader Head and now we have Obi-Wan Kenobi from A New Hope.
The SDCC Obi-Wan was a particularly impressive release, coming with the first accessory containing sound and light FX in the Black Series range. The table, with it's Princess Leia projection, is not included in this set - nor is the additional Anakin/Luke Light-Saber. That being said, for the standard RRP of £22.99 the figure contains all you would expect from a basic release.
He arrives in the red phase 3 box, numbered figure 32. He fits into wave 9 - arguably the most desireable wave to date with figures such as Obi-Wan, Princess Leia, AT-AT Driver, Sabine and of course the 2015 Fan Vote Darth Revan. As with all the Phase 3 releases to date, the box boasts an impressive grey lined illustration of Alec Guiness, and down the right spine is the bold red gloss onto which is printed the #32 and the name of the character.
Round the back is a larger view of this Grey lined image. Onto this we have a short paragraph that tries to sum up Obi-Wan in just a few lines. It talks about his roles training Anakin Skywalker, fighting in the Clone Wars and being a mentor to Luke. This text differs from the more in depth text that was added to the larger SDCC package. Like all the European releases, this text is repeated in 3 other languages down the back of the box.
Obi-Wan stands 6 inches in height and is probably one of the best Human character likenesses they have done in the past 12 months. The likeness is a reasonable one to Alec Guinness particularly capturing his cheek-bones and the fierceness of his stare. There remains a lack of any paint application on the skin tone, but with a more define aged face than say a General Hux, the light and shadows falling on the sculpt does part of the job for you. The beard and hair also helps, and I am pleased they didn't just go with a stereo-typical grey, but more the grey/blonde colouring that Kenobi had in 1977.
The torso is a hard plastic with the outer cream robes over an inner darker one. Neither of these carry any real paint depth, just a base colour. The belt is a dark brown band with gold buttons and hook to the right as you look on which Ben can hang his light saber hilt. And to the left is a pouch. The lower robes are a more flexible plastic and are a slightly different colouring to the top half. These lower robes are fitted on top of sculpted, and very detailed, legs. These legs are dark brown with texturing on the trousers and a sculpted seam, and these trousers then tuck into a sculpted boot. You wonder if these legs will make an appearance further down the line in another figure as Hasbro didn't really need to put any detail into a pair of legs that are completely hidden at all times.
The outer robe is done in soft goods, similar to how Emperor Palpatine was realised in phase 2, and is fully removable - although I found one of the arms on mine was a very tight squeeze to get over the flared cuff of Obi-Wan's sleeve. Straight out of the box and the robes are a tad flat and need some work to get them to hang right. The fabric is light enough and does flow and hang fairly well to the scale it is representing. The hood is stitched and therefore does sit like a hood when up, but is a bit bulky when folded back.
I compared the supplied robe to another that was fan made, and they are probably about the same in terms of how they work on the figure with pros and cons to each. The custom version is a bit better in terms of stitching and finishing, and I worry that Obi-Wan's cloak will fray pretty easily over time.
Articulation is standard to the Black Series. Starting at the feet there is ankle rockers, double jointed knees, a thigh cut swivel and ball jointed hips. None of this is really of any use as you can only move the legs within the confines of the outer skirt piece. That being said, Obi-Wan stands really well and isn't going to fall over easily. The waist is jointed so the torso can swivel and this joint is hidden nicely in the wrap around the belt.
The arms are where you will tweak Obi-Wan's look so it's good to find the arms are really maneuverable on the ball jointed shoulders either up above the head or out to the side. The elbows are single jointed, but do swivel. And as you can see from my pictures, with a bit of tweaking of great wrist movement, you can get Obi-Wan to hold his saber in both sides and ready to take on Vader. The articulation ends in the ball joined head, so Obi can look around a full 360 degrees and up and down.
Now as we mentioned as we opened this review, this is the basic version of Obi-Wan. For £22.99 he delivers as much as any other figure with a decent sculpt, a good mix of sculpted and soft goods and a nicely designed Light-Saber. There is no additional saber to hand over to Luke, nor is there is table onto which the hologram of Leia is projected - for those you will need to seek out the SDCC boxed version. But if these little bells and whistles aren't important to you, then this is the Obi-Wan for you - and no need to pay a more premium price.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a figure many fans have wanted for a long time, in fact he made it into the short list for the 2015 fans poll. He is a nice figure, and unlike other recent "human" releases is a great likeness to the character. The robes will always split opinion, but like Palpatine you can get a good display pose with a bit of work. I score the Wave 9 Obi-Wan Kenobi a 4 out of 5.