The brave,noble, chin pondering Jedi Knight gets an update in 2012 that is an overall improvement in terms of sculpt, but loses some articulation in the process. Hasbro must not have been entirely happy with the version from 2011 and decided to issue a new, sterner looking, head sculpt a year later. Obi-Wan even comes with a climbing pack for some play value.
Appearance: The Clone Wars
Includes: Lightsaber, Climbing Pack
Action Feature: Climbing Action!
Released: April 2012
Bio: Obi-Wan Kenobi uses climbing gear to infiltrate a Separatist stronghold. Even the strong, agile Jedi Master sometimes needs help to overcome heavily fortified structures. Using the gear, he ascends the sheer, towering wall that surrounds the Separatist facility, and quickly takes out the battle droids that he encounters inside. [IMAGE BANK PHOTOS]
SCULPT/PAINT: This all new sculpt improves upon the detail and proportion of 2011's with more folds and creases sculpted into his tunic and pants. Hasbro really did a fantastic job giving this Clone Wars figure some TVC like added depth and dimension. The painted right forearm symbol is there as well as finely tuned deco on his utility belt and left wrist. Each hand is molded for a distinct purpose, with the right able to grasp the included lightsaber and the left pre-positioned for some Force pushing or Jedi mind tricks.
Obi-Wan's head sculpt is an upgrade over last year's smaller, slightly out of proportioned iteration and the likeness is quite good. Hasbro gave the facial expression a more serious countenance as opposed to 2008's and 2011's with overarching eyebrows so he always looks pissed and ready for battle. If you're a television mini-series viewer of the 80's and remember Thorn Birds and Shogun, yeah he does look a little like actor Richard Chamberlain. Perhaps too much Kildare and not enough Kenobi? It's still the best Clone Wars one yet.
ARTICULATION: Obi-Wan Kenobi comes with 10 points of articulation that includes ball hinged shoulders and elbows and swivel hips. The 2011 figure wins out with articulation on the wrists, so there's less lightsaber poses you can manipulate and he can't hold the saber with two hands. Does less articulation hurt this excellent sculpt? Of course it does, and while you can still achieve some decent, dynamic poses, it falls short for a main character that received a great upgrade and many collectors would like to have as their basic default version of CW Obi-Wan.
ACCESSORIES: There's some added play value for kids in the climbing pack that was also included for 2011's CW58 Even Piell. Few adult collectors would find any appeal manually hoisting string back forth, but I'm sure some imaginative younger ones will get a kick out of it. Unlike the 2011 figure, the included lightsaber has a woefully unpainted hilt and looks rather banal. Use the better painted 2011 lightsaber if you have it.
Components for the Galactic Battle Game are packed in with each 2012 Clone Wars figure that include a tan Star Wars action figure stand with an insertion for the character card on the back. There are also two notches on the stand to generate a "power boost". The character card and six sided game die feature all the icons for the character's "life force" or hit points. Obi-Wan is rightfully strong in Force Ability, Battle Skills, and Leadership. Too bad they don't have points for Quick Wit, eh?
CARDBACK: It's the Movie Heroes/Clone Wars/Discover The Force unified cardback. The Maul graphic that graces the front is the theme for 2012's Phantom Menace 3D re-release. A character and figure photo along with bio and affiliation data are featured on the back of the card as well as images of other figures in the assortment.The cardback bio even references the action accessory climbing pack for some imaginative re-simulation. Call it short attention span, the need for new gratification, or stale bottlenecked distribution, but this line look is nearing shelf life appeal expiration six months since its debut.
TOPPING THINGS OFF: Overall, despite less articulation than a version a year earlier, this Clone Wars Kenobi is the best one that represents the series character yet. Unlike recent figures like Captain Rex and Commander Wolfe, Hasbro was mindful enough to not deduct lower ball hinged knee articulation so you can still achieve decent action oriented poses. We hope Hasbro can revisit this figure with some added articulation at some point, but this version can more than adequately fill the role of your default Clone Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi and can think of other characters that need to be plasticized and focus their attention on producing. He's been easier to spot on pegs than other figures from Wave 3, but that doesn't mean you should pass him over and certainly deserves a WANTED rating.
RATING: WANTED (4 out of 5 Bounty Points)
REVIEW AND PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE SULLENGER