Given the glut of fresh figures, it was hard for me to settle in and pick that first one to review from this new Revenge of the Sith line. But then I remembered--hey, I've hated pretty much every Obi-Wan figure that's come out over the past few years, so why not start with Obi-Wan? After all, he's got a new haircut, he's a bit older, and maybe--just maybe--he's learned a few new moves.
It's those "new moves" that I was a worried about when the basic figures started crowding the pegs. We were given plenty of hints (warnings) that the collection 1 figure assortment would include "awesome action features," but nothing can really prepare you for that awesomeness. So, I held my breath and tore open the packaging to see for myself.
How is that packaging? The Revenge of the Sith packaging is a departure from the old classic bubble on a square card design that we're all familiar with. Many people probably hate it, some may love it, but it stands out and says, "Look at me, I'm new and exciting!" which is what good packaging does. At first I wasn't sure about this idea of a nonstandard Vader's helmet shaped card back. I didn't like the bubble design much, as I imagined how hard it would be to find them without dents or scratches. Now, after having looked at hundred of these things hanging like purple and orange eye-candy at every store, I'm gonna admit that I'm a fan of this design.
Sure, they get scuffed and the corners can bend easily, but it's not impossible to find a clean one if you hunt around. The use of clear tape on the back is an idea that I'm not hugely fond of, as I'm wondering if the stuff will yellow with age. The card backs themselves are decent, with a character photo, movie info and images of other figures. All in all, the packaging does more than enough to get you excited about the toy.
How does the figure look? In the past, I've had problems with the way Hasbro has rendered Obi-Wan in toy form. Considering that we're talking about a guy with a beard in a tan tunic and brown boots (really simple huh?) you'd think that they'd nail it every time. For the most part--and I suppose I'm really just talking about the head sculpt--they tend to come up with something a little less Ewan McGregor and a little more Charles Manson looking than I'd like. This time we get something closer to the guy from one of those men's beard and hair dye commercials, thanks mainly to the fact that his hair is a bit too dark. It looks like they had only one brown color to use for the entire figure, plus maybe a little tan, gold and silver. Yeah, it's simple stuff, not handled with any great imagination, but it's not terrible or sloppy, so I don't hate it--it's just that I'm not wildly impressed with the paint.
The head sculpt itself is better this time around, still not exactly Ewan McGregor, but now we get a Ulysses S. Grant kind of thing, which is probably better than Charles Manson. The body is handled well enough, with some decent texture all over and a brave try for natural looking cloth folds on and around the heavily articulated arms. The arms themselves could have been a lot worse, given the fact that they're designed to support an action feature, but they're OK, and it's possible to overlook the whole gimmick if you want. The figure comes with a choice of right hands. One is molded to a lit saber and the other is empty with an open palm--they snap and unsnap into place pretty easily. The paint on the saber hand is a bit "off" compared to the left hand's plastic color, and the detail for the saber hand and handle is a bit lame. Nothing compared to the empty hand that you're given though, snap it into place and it suddenly looks like Obi-Wan has a tiny little baby hand to wave at you. (It's a weird little hand, that seems kind of smallish and thin.) Obi-Wan also comes with an unlit saber handle that snaps onto his belt. They did a nice job with this accessory and it looks good in place.
So, how does the toy feel? In short, though for collection 1 figures the focus is really on play value and not so much detail, this Obi-wan figure still seems to be a reasonably solid and well built item. The joints are loose where they're supposed to be loose and they're tight where they need to be tight. The plastic is decent and not too soft or flimsy. The parts that snap and unsnap do so without breaking--which is nice. The action feature really works also, which is a good thing, because nothing is worse than a gimmick gone wrong, especially in the hands of a child looking to really put that toy to use.
And how about that play value? I would have been happy to never have witnessed another figure with gimmicks of any kind after the many failures that came from the Saga line. I'm not opposed to silly features as a rule, but when they either don't work or they actually limit the play value of a toy, then they're bad. When a kid (or heck, me!) picks up that toy and can only do one lame thing with it, then the toy's not worth buying. In the case of this figure, my own seven year old toy testing expert examined it and said, "Hey, that's cool that the lightsaber is part of the hand, because now it won't fly across the room when I make him fight." Looks like you scored this time Hasbro. With saber in place, Obi-Wan can beat the midichlorians out of Anakin, Dooku, Palpatine or even the poor sad vintage Walrusman who always wanders into our mock battles. Oh, and for the record, you can bend his legs at the hips enough to get him into a sitting position that works for the Jedi Starfighter--an extremely important detail, because if this one couldn't sit in his ship, the kid (or heck, me!) would have been mighty unhappy.
Would I recommend that you buy it? I'm going to give this figure a (little baby hand) thumbs up, crediting it for being a fun and reasonably well constructed toy--which puts it on my short list for Obi-Wan figures that I actually like.
See photos >> HERE in the Database.