The third wave of Hasbro’s 6-inch Star Wars Black figures has arrived on my doorstep without much breathing room between this one and the last wave. But then again, this isn’t a complete wave anyway. No, this case consisted of three new figures and the Han Solo from Wave 2. It’s annoying, because my best chance of getting these at a decent price has been to buy them by the case. While I might have a chance of picking up Obi-Wan and Luke at a good price a la carte, I’d have to shell out about $40 online to buy a single of the Stormtrooper. And that means having to suck it up and take the good with the bad. God forbid Hasbro pack two Stormtroopers into the case instead of the extra Han, right? Anyway, let’s kick things off with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
There’s the packaging. I still dig it a lot, but according to what we saw at Toy Fair, the boxes are going to be changing to a new deco in a couple of waves. That’s fine by me because having two types of boxes for the line will aggravate my OCD something fierce and that means I don’t have to save the packaging anymore. The box simply states this is Obi-Wan Kenobi, but as we can see it’s Obi-Wan from the Prequels. Someone better versed in The Star Wars might be able to tell you whether he’s from Episode 2 or Episode 3, but I’m fine just considering him Prequel Obi-Wan. Some may be surprised that I bought him, as I’ve sworn to be really picky with this line and mostly stick to Original Trilogy figures. Nonetheless, one of the few things I liked about the Prequels was the way they portrayed young Obi-Wan so I didn’t mind so much getting him with the case.
The sculpt here is not terrible, but it’s definitely got some issues. The plastic robes look way too bulky, particularly in the waist and shoulders, and the effect is exasperated by the head, which looks tiny by comparison. I get that the robes are supposed to be poofy and flowing, but instead it just makes Obi-Wan look like he needs to drop a few pounds. Interestingly enough, the figure uses some actual softgoods for the robes below the belt. On the one hand, it helps to not restrict the hip articulation, but it also begs the question, why not use this for all the robes? A slimmer buck with this kind of fabric over it might have worked better. Maybe? Well, maybe not, but I doubt it could have looked much worse. I mean, just look at the arms. It’s tough to sculpt arms with droopy sleeves and have them look right in multiple poses. These seem like problems that should have been left behind in the 3 3/4″ line.
The head sculpt taken on its own isn’t too bad. There’s definitely a likeness in the portrait and I would have no problem identifying who it’s supposed to be if someone just handed me the head. The fact that it looks disproportionate to the body is more a problem with the heft of the buck than the size of the head. I think the sculptors did a particularly nice job with the hair and the paint is certainly passable. I’ll concede we’ve seen better head sculpts in this line, but the likeness is the least of this figure’s problems.
The articulation is about right for what we’ve been seeing in this line. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders and elbows, while the wrists have swivels and hinges. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and rockers in the ankles. The neck is both ball jointed and hinged and the waist appears to be ball jointed, but really only works as a swivel. The only real issue I have with the articulation are the hips. They have a weird amount of play in them. It’s like their loose, but only to a certain degree. It doesn’t affect the figure’s ability to stand, but it you hold the figure by the torso and shake him they wobble all over the place.
Obi-Wan comes with only one accessory… his lightsaber. As we saw with X-Wing Luke, the blade can be detached and the hilt can be worn on the belt. This time, however, the hilt gets pegged into the hole on Obi-Wan’s belt and it fits quite nicely. I wish Hasbro had gone this route with Luke’s lightsabers, rather than using the hook, as this method holds the hilt more securely and looks better. But with just the one lightsaber, this figure feels really light in the accessories department. A softgoods cloak would have gone a long way to round out the package. Hell, we used to get those with the 3 ¾” Vintage Collection Jedi. Actually, screw that, we got a softgoods cloak for Jedi Luke… from Kenner… in the 80s! And if not a cloak, then how about some bits of Clone armor? Anything to help justify the $20 would have been nice.
For a line that has impressed me very nearly consistently from day one, Obi-Wan is certainly a disappointing release. The goal of the 6-inch Black series should be to give us superior sculpts and articulation, but I honestly think young Obi-Wan has been done better in the smaller scales. The real shame here is that I’m pretty sure we’ll see this buck again and again. I’m sure Hasbro is already fitting it for a Mace Windu head. It’s ironic, but in the end I feel worse about having to choke down this figure in this wave than I do picking up a second Han. At least the Han figure is excellent and I can display him with his different belt, hands, and weapon. The same can’t be said for Obi-Meh-Kenobi.
Maybe I’lll hang in there for an old man Ben. My Kmart has been pretty good about stocking these figures so I’m hoping to cherry pick from those pegs or the nearby boutique toy stores. I’m already cowed into buying waves of MotU Classics and NECA Predators and Aliens. This sheet gets expensive.
I’ve managed to resist the NECA Preds and Aliens so far, but just barely. Unfortunately NECA will get me when they start releasing their Classic Planet of the Apes figures.