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  1. #1

    Star Wars Collecting: A Character by Character Study

    Greetings. In this thread, we will be evaluating all the Star Wars figures (4 inch scale) on a character by character basis. My hope is that when we are done, we will be able to put together a guide to help collectors, particularly those who are new or may have missed out on some figures. In the end, we should have a guide that will tell people which figures are the best versions of each character, which figures are some of the best of all time, and which ones aren't worth getting unless you are an absolute completist.

    So, we will begin with a discussion of Ben Kenobi. This will cover only "Old Ben" from the Original Trilogy, and not the younger Obi-Wan from the prequels. I've gone through and found all the releases that I could. If you know of any others, even if they are just repacks or repaints, let me know and we can add it to the list. I'm exluding the spirit and concept figures for now. We will discuss them after we have evaluated the regular ones.

    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1978 Vintage)
    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1995 POTF2)
    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1997 POTF2 Electronic Power F/X)
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (1997 POTF2 Cantina Showdown Cinema Scene)
    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1998 POTF2 Flashback)
    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (2000 POTJ)
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2002 POTJ 25th Anniversary)
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2004 Saga Collectible Cup) - same as 2000 POTJ
    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (2004 OTC) - same as 2000 POTJ
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2004 OTC Mos Eisley Cantina Screen Scene) - same as 1998 POTF2 Flashback
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2004 VOTC)
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2004 OTC ANH Commemorative Trilogy DVD Collection) - same as 2000 POTJ
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2006 TSC ANH Commemorative DVD Collection) - same as 2002 POTJ 25th Anniversary
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2008 TLC)


    So, at this point, feel free to discuss any or all of the figures. You can simply state your favorite(s), or go into detail about the good and bad points a figure has. If you had to start all over again, which ones would you consider getting?

  2. #2
    I can think of two unique Obi-Wans you've missed:

    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1978 Vintage)
    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1997 POTF2 Cantina Showdown Cinema Scene)

    There's also another re-issue in the Millennium Falcon Passengers set... I think it's the VOTC without his cloak, but still need to check that out.
    Big thanks to DarkJedi5, TheRealDubya, obi-dad, morpheus282, Tycho and Kidhuman for great deals/trades.

  3. #3
    Excellent. BTW, while the spirit figures are of Sir Alec Guiness, they are a different figure like Han Hoth is to Han Endor, representing a different aspect of the character from even a different movie. I don't think they should compete. There ARE different styles of Spirit Ben Kenobis (blue, transparent color-faded).

    Now as to discussing Ben Kenobi figures, including the ones Sibillba just thankfully brought up:

    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1978 Vintage) Not much to say here. He was what he was. I wish I could afford a loose (MINT) vintage collection with as many multiples as I wanted, and the playsets, too. I'd get at least 4 Obi-Wans for the Landspeeder, Falcon, Tractor Beam, Vader duel. This might be more for nostalgia and fun making more displays, but I don't want the expense, nor would I have the room.

    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1995 POTF2) - this was good for a start. He looks like General Robert E. Lee (as portrayed by Martin Sheen) though. Also the landspeeder came out about this time and it took years before we got a soft-goods Obi-Wan who could sit in it, and even though that was later than 1999, it took those 4 years from '95 until we could at least add an E1 Accessory robe to the '95 Ben Kenobi so as to be able to sit him in the landspeeder. I know Hasbro didn't know how successful restarting the line might be back then, but it was disappointing that this figure could not interact with a vehicle he was a primary focus as being seen in.

    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1997 POTF2 Cantina Showdown Cinema Scene) - yuck

    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1997 POTF2 Electronic Power F/X) -eh

    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1998 POTF2 Flashback) - this is kind of a cool, one-pose wonder.

    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (2000 POTJ) - good for Falcon training scenes when Obi-Wan is standing up.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2002 POTJ 25th Anniversary) - nice to have if you like to leave it in the box.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2004 Saga Collectible Cup) - same as 2000 POTJ

    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (2004 OTC) - same as 2000 POTJ

    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2004 OTC Mos Eisley Cantina Screen Scene) - same as 1998 POTF2 Flashback

    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2004 VOTC) - I don't think the headsculpt was great, nor does the skirt matching the molded plastic chest all look like it belongs to the same inner robe. I didn't buy this figure.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2004 OTC ANH Commemorative Trilogy DVD Collection) - same as 2000 POTJ

    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2006 TSC ANH Commemorative DVD Collection) - same as 2002 POTJ 25th Anniversary

    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2008 TLC)
    - this figure looks to be about the very best. Too bad I don't need it and don't feel inclined to replace older Ben figures with this one. There will probably be an even better one that comes around at some point. But the headsculpt looks good and the accessory table is nice!

    But get used to this happening: Tycho will post stating he didn't buy the very best one.

    Also the Training on the Falcon Battle Pack was not listed. I don't know where that Obi-Wan comes from, but I'm not rating it terribly highly either.

  4. #4
    The one from TLC is my favorite, hands down.
    "You know I love the guy but I swear he writes like freaking Yoda."-Dean Winchester
    R12:2-Be Transformed

  5. #5
    Okay, I added the two that sebilba mentioned, but couldn't find a decent link for the Training on the Falcon set. It does appear to be the VOTC without the cloak.

    For me, there really wasn't a decent Obi-Wan until the POTJ version, but his articulation was limited. I was happy with the VOTC version as it was a big improvement, but the cloak was a bit puffy, and the articulation could be better. Thus, the newest Legacy Collection version makes the VOTC one obsolete. If you had to get just one figure, I would get that one.

    Being somewhat of a completist, I did end up getting most of the figures I had missed prior to beginning collecting in 1999. If I was to start over now, I would skip a lot of them, or avoid getting duplicates of the same sculpt. Thus, I would skip the following:

    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1997 POTF2 Electronic Power F/X) - no need for gimmicky figures, especially in the bulky POTF2 style.
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (1997 POTF2 Cantina Showdown Cinema Scene) - extreme poses of figures I could get in another set.
    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (1998 POTF2 Flashback) - I'd just get the 2004 OTC Screen Scene instead.
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2004 Saga Collectible Cup) - same as 2000 POTJ
    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (2004 OTC) - same as 2000 POTJ
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2004 OTC ANH Commemorative Trilogy DVD Collection) - same as 2000 POTJ
    Obi-Wan Kenobi (2006 TSC ANH Commemorative DVD Collection) - same as 2002 POTJ 25th Anniversary

    I might be inclined to skip the POTJ version and get the DVD set to get several figures at once. However, if those sets are hard to find, it might be easier to just get the individual figures. I never got the DVD sets because I had the figures already, and I never got the Power FX or Collectible Cups.

  6. #6
    I don't think there'll be too much argument here, the recent Legacy Collection version is by far the best, in sculpt, articulation and accessories. I only got my wave 5 this week, and opened up Old Ben last night.

    This is undoubtedly the definitive version of this character, though I still have a soft spot for the POTJ release, and would rate that one quite highly as well. TLC Ben is still not quite perfect - the double neck joint is quite loose on mine (and I'm not sure if it's really necessary), though maybe it's just mine, and he seems to hold a pose ok, so it's not really a problem. The soft goods also took some work, but I eventually managed to get them to look pretty good with the hood down. I've also seen criticism of the fixed "force" pose on the right hand, but that doesn't really bother me.
    Big thanks to DarkJedi5, TheRealDubya, obi-dad, morpheus282, Tycho and Kidhuman for great deals/trades.

  7. #7
    Why did we start with Obi-Wan? Anyway, anyone getting into the hobby now can really skip any of the POTF2 versions. The original one has a crazy leg pose and that old-school split robe. The Power F/X is fun for a little bit but his green saber and hunchback are off-putting.

    The new TLC one is the best one, but his neck is too skinny and people might not like the right hand. I would rebuy the figure if they changed these points, but I wouldn't care if they never did.

    For aesthetic value, I also like the one that was released in the 25th Anniversary Set (re-released for a 2006 DVD commemorative set). That might be good for people who don't like soft goods robes. His cloak sits a little funky from time to time, and he's essentially a statue, but a damn good one and he looks great with the Vader also included in both sets.

    But, again, the TLC one is the best version. He can sit in the landspeeder or on the chairs in the new Falcon (one in the cockpit and one in to watch Luke practice). He looks great with or without his cloak. His table accessory is also quite amazing. I have mine set up with the 2005 Early Bird Luke and the table and chest nearby and it's a nice little setup of Ben's house.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    Why did we start with Obi-Wan?
    Tycho suggested it. It was one of the first figures out, and I guess it was first alphabetically, putting it at the top of Rebelscum's list. It was also a little easier than starting with Vader, Luke or the Droids.

  9. #9
    I already made up a list of Tatooine Luke in the other thread, so that should have been easy for you (albeit without links). Luke, R2-D2, Leia, and Chewie should have been first since they were from the Early Bird set, but this is fine too.

  10. #10
    MSP started with the Rebelscum Modern Collection List's order. That begins with Obi-Wan. If it's alphabetized, then since there's no "A", there's "B" for Ben.

    But we're including vintage, too - just using the order from POTF2's debut.

    We'll get to Luke soon enough.

    A-
    B- Ben Kenobi
    C-3PO
    C-hewbacca
    D-arth Vader
    E-
    F-
    G-
    H-an Solo
    I-
    J-
    K-
    L-uke Skywalker
    M-
    N-
    O-
    P-rincess Leia Organa
    Q-
    R-2D2
    S-tormtrooper

    Next wave's all-new characters.... (Luke Pilot, Boba Fett, Lando, Luke Dagobah, Han Hoth, TIE Pilot, Yoda)

    We can't forget Han Stormtrooper...

    I think with the major characters, doing one character at a time is going to work out fine. There will be a lot of them and then it winds down where we can review several at a time if MSP wants to do it that way. I'd almost prefer not to. By going one at a time, we can do what we're doing here, and make our point about how to yet IMPROVE a character's figure.

    Obviously, even with the lead the Legacy Collection Ben Kenobi figure has achieved, it is not regarded as completely perfect by collectors here, and ways to improve it have been suggested.

    Question, since I don't have him: Does he have a non-ignited hilt that can hang from his belt? Also, while the table from his hut and the Holo Leia are great accessories, he could also include the blast shield helmet that Luke wore on the Falcon (or does he?) because Luke could come with so many more accessories, that you might as well add to Obi-Wan when you're also suggesting what would make the ultimate figure of Old Ben.

    His trunk he retrieved Anakin's lightsaber out of (and that hilt) would also be cool inclusions. They've been done with various Obi-Wan's before, but everything in one package (however unrealistic that might be for Hasbro's bottom line) - as much of it as possible would make for one great Obi-Wan Kenobi!

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