Yodanews.com Exclusive Review: SSC Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Exclusive Edition)
This has to be the quickest time span between reviews yet. This past month has felt like Christmas. First, I finally received my Hot Toys 1/6 scale Robocop figure. Then I received a Sideshow GoldenEye James Bond figure for my birthday. Finally, there was Mace on a Saturday, and Obi-Wan arriving two days later!!
Ladies and gents, when it rains, it certainly does pour!!
When I reviewed Mace, I indicated that everything I’d seen and read on-line so far indicated that Kenobi would be the figure to beat. I should really try to stop making such predictions. Rather than being a home run, Obi-Wan falls short of Mace Windu. There are many fantastic elements to this figure, but there are shortcomings that keep this from being the best. While I’ll be addressing these matters in the appropriate sections, I’ll say this much…I’m glad my wife knows how to repair torn seams.
But I don’t want to get off on a heavily negative note, so let’s just get into the review.
Packaging: 5 out of 5
As I said in my Mace Windu review, there’s little left to say about the packaging. Expect more of the same high quality here. Now, moving on…
Sculpt: 5 out of 5
Simply put, this IS Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. This is the best sculpt I’ve seen on a Sideshow Star Wars figure so far (I can’t really count Kit Fisto because alien likenesses are easier to capture than a human likeness). Everything on this is top-notch quality, and I’ll touch on some of the highlights. First, the hair is so well sculpted that the waviness appears very natural and flowing as if really being swept back. Ewan’s two distinct forehead moles have also been sculpted onto the head, and that goes a long way toward cementing the likeness.
In my opinion, only Luke, Mace, and now Obi-Wan have come close to perfectly nailing the likenesses with all the figures to date. Obi-Wan is the clear winner here. Not only is the likeness there but the choice of facial expression can apply to a broad spectrum of poses. Luke’s expression made the figure look comical when posed in an action stance. Mace’s expression was too fierce and…well…mean to be in anything BUT an action stance.
Obi-Wan’s expression, however, can take on many emotions. He can appear determined when set in a duel stance. He can look meditative when placed in his iconic mustache stroking pose. And he can appear forlorn and saddened as well…although finding the right pose for that is more difficult.
Paint Application: 4.8 out of 5
It seems as though there’s always some kind of problem with Sideshow’s paint applications.
With Obi-Wan, the beard and hair are too dark to be film-accurate. In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan’s hair was a more reddish brown. On the figure, the hair is a darker brown with no reddish highlights at all. However, this does not hinder the appearance of the figure or the likeness of Ewan McGregor. In fact, Obi-Wan’s hair color seems inconsistent in the movie itself depending on the lighting in use at the time.
I know there are collectors out there who heavily dislike the paint applications and have had their heads repainted by more experienced customizers. If you are one of those collectors, then check out the repaints over at www.sideshowcollectors.com and hopefully you’ll find an artist who can give you the figure you want. But it’s my opinion that the majority of consumers will be more than satisfied with the factory paint applications.
Now, if Darth Maul comes out with a red and green face, then we have a problem…
Costuming: 3.5 out of 5
This is the big negative for Obi-Wan, and I’m particularly harsh in this area because the entire reason for Obi-Wan’s delay was costume-related. Specifically, Sideshow needed to correct his robe color. While I’m not convinced that the final shade is entirely film-accurate, the robe looks great on Kenobi. Also, the boots are very well done.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that nearly everything else about the costume is lacking significantly.
First and foremost, this new tunic material is horrible!! To the best of my knowledge (and I may be wrong about this), Sideshow first switched to this thinner material with the SDCC-exclusive Darth Vader figure with the justification that this material better sells the scale of the figure. Personally, I didn’t see a problem with the original thicker material. This new stuff…it’s just way too thin. As soon as I removed Obi-Wan from the box, one of the seams was TORN!! Thankfully, my wife was skilled enough to repair the damage, and I didn’t have to return the figure.
But that is the last thing you want to see with a $60 figure (after shipping). I find myself wondering how many other collectors had a similar problem.
My next criticism is that the belt pouches are practically useless. Whereas the pouches on Anakin and Mace were fully functional, the pouches on Obi-Wan’s belt simply cannot fit his accessories. The holoprojector is the one exception because it’s so small. The Jedi communicator can also fit in one of the pouches, but you practically have to shove and wedge it inside. Obi-Wan’s electrobinoculars? Forget it. They don’t have anywhere to go.
Still, the overall appearance of the costume (especially when robed) looks great on the figure. It’s just the specifics that are heavily lacking, and it’s all the more disappointing because we’ve seen how well they succeeded on earlier figures.
Articulation: 4.6 out of 5
Again, my comments on the articulation are comparable to the ones I made for Mace. The hands fit very securely. The joints are sturdy and tight. But it’s still the Sideshow standard “Art S. Buck” body and therefore isn’t as articulated as other bodies on the market. Achieving the “mustache stroke” pose is virtually impossible. You can get very close to it, but the arm continues to droop slightly. Perhaps this is a flaw in my own figure, but I’ve read of others being unable to fully achieve that pose.
Again, great articulation, but there’s room for improvement. With any luck, we’ll see new body types introduced for the Military line so that the troopers are able to achieve dynamic weapon poses.
Accessories: 4.9 out of 5
Obi-Wan comes with an excellent assortment of accessories, but Mace still holds top prize due to the extra lightsabers and severed stump. Still, Obi-Wan is the first figure to include electrobinoculars, and I’m happy to say they work exceptionally well with the figure if you use the blaster grip hand. With a small bit of patience and practice, you can have the binoculars right up in line with Kenobi’s eyes for a fully realistic pose. The lightsabers are well-done too—very detailed and clean paint applications. The typical Jedi accessories are also included. Again, refer to my Anakin Skywalker review for a detailed description of those items.
The exclusive accessory here is the blaster used by Obi-Wan to destroy General Grievous on Utapau in a most “uncivilized” manner. The blaster is large but surprisingly lightweight relative to its size. The scale is visible in the included picture.
Here’s a full list of what you get with the Exclusive Edition of Obi-Wan Kenobi:
“Fun Factor”: 4.7 out of 5
While not on the level of Luke and Anakin, Obi-Wan is a pretty good subject for a wide spectrum of Photoshop projects. Of course, the most popular theme will undoubtedly be the duel between Kenobi and Darth Vader on Mustafar. But that can be a pain in the rear to achieve. It’s a challenge to get each figure into complimentary positions, and screen caps don’t really help because the speed involved makes for very blurry reference pictures.
Still, having Anakin and Obi-Wan together is a major plus, and it gives you the option to pose them as either brothers or as mortal enemies.
And if you’re feeling experimental, you can even use Photoshop to add the lava burns to Obi-Wan’s tunic without having to damage the real figure. Plus, you can even produce an older Obi-Wan whose realism depends entirely your skill level. If anything else, it would certainly be an interesting way to close out a review (hint, hint…).
Overall Rating: 4.64 out of 5
When you crunch the numbers, Obi-Wan barely squeaks past Anakin and Luke but falls short of being the best out of my reviewed figures. Mace still holds that position, and it really comes down to the pitfalls in the costume. For all the delays with this figure because of tailoring issues, that is the one area that I expected to be nearly flawless. Unfortunately, Sideshow failed to fully deliver.
Fortunately, Obi-Wan excelled greatly in all other reviewed areas. He is a definite must-have for collectors of the line, and it’s no wonder that he is one of the harder figures to find. Prior to shipping, no online retailers that I came across had an Obi-Wan figure available. Even now, he’s hard to come by through various Internet retailers.
If Mace held the promise of brighter days for the future of the Sideshow Star Wars line, then Obi-Wan keeps us grounded in reality. However, it can be argued that, technically, Obi-Wan was produced earlier than Mace and we could just be seeing old flaws that have been remedied. I think we’ll have a better indication of the line’s future with Qui-Gon and Darth Maul as they are the last two figures of the year before the Jabba’s Palace juggernaut hits us full-force in 2007 (c’mon…who really expects Sideshow to keep a 4th quarter release date with Bib Fortuna??).
Until then, enjoy your figures and try not to dive into bankruptcy with this particular line of collectibles. They are still worth every penny in the long run.