Spirit Obi-Wan Kenobi
Released June 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on June 11, 2004
The dead rarely get the kind of treatment Obi-Wan Kenobi sees, with this The Empire Strikes Back version of him as a spirit being arguably better than any of the "living" figures. Spirit Obi-Wan is the first version of the character in this state that doesn't look like he was carved from a deoderant stick, and this is a most welcome change. The mold is so good, we'd like to see Hasbro repaint it as a "living" toy.
This figure is packaged with a base and, oddly, a lightsaber.
This version of Obi-Wan Kenobi is based on the Power of the Jedi version of the figure which had no exterior brown robe. The body is the same, except cast in a new color and given new arms, a new head, and a new robe. The end result? Striking.
By building off an existing figure, Hasbro managed to create something really nifty. The new arms and robe are nicely done, hanging off his arms in a very robe-y kind of way. At first I assumed they cribbed them from another figure, but after doing some looking around, they seem to be completely new. The pose is great, because he can grip his belt (almost) and gesture, meaning this would be the figure of choice to have deactivated the tractor beam on the Death Star. You know, if he wasn't dead.
The new head sculpt is top notch, if a little hard to see given the materials used.
On the new version, the most obvious thing is his hairline isn't receding as much, which is a nice change. It's also nice to not have a green spirit, which we've all been used to since 1997 and, at the time, was pretty exciting.
For a dead guy, Obi-Wan Kenobi is pretty posable. He has joints at the waist, hips, neck, shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Hasbro put a lot of effort into making this toy nicely
poseable, which is good because Obi-Wan is a pretty active guy. As Obi-Wan, as a spirit, also had his hood up and cloak removed, one wonders if this is the final version of the character from the hereafter.
This set includes a base as well as a lightsaber.
The new Dagobah wave has a new base, which is great until you realize that three figures have this same base and they don't connect especially well. I was hoping I could line up the treestumps, but no, that was not doable. It's a bit of a shame to not have unique swamp bases, especially as seeing all the care and detail that went into 2003's Geonosis and Tatooine bases, but you take what you can get.
The lightsaber-- a real oddity, given as he never used it after his life ended-- is the same as the POTJ version that was repackaged with the Saga cup and elsewhere. Because of its inclusion, I would have to think Hasbro is considering repainting this guy down the road... but who knows?
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, behold. This is it. This is the cardback you've wanted from the start.
There's a lot to the packaging, surprisingly. The double-border is just like the original Kenner packaging, and the black background is also very similar to the old toys. Also, the font of the name plate is similar to (if not the same as) the old days. Beyond that, there aren't a lot of similarities to the old days. Instead of a big photo, there's a background showcasing the environment that character belongs in, and I'm surprised Hasbro made three different Dagobah backgrounds. Yoda and Spirit Obi-Wan share the same background image.
The back of the card is completely new, but quite colorful and striking. It's a departure from the past few years, but it's a welcome improvement and something I'd like to see more of in the future.
The nameplate for the figures is a sticker, and the plastic bubble is grooved so it fits snuggly in place and won't be off-center. Customizers will probably have a field day with this packaging, as there are a lot of generic elements you can easily change out
and create a package that's very specific to your tastes.
Lastly, the Jedi Master Points have been eliminated.
As of today, this figure is not yet available in the USA, but looking at future assortments he should be really easy to get and shipping for a good long time.
What's not to love? Other than the lightsaber, everything about this figure is great and makes a lot of sense. I never understood the fan demands for a weapon with the POTF2 Spirit Obi-Wan, and here, it continues to make no sense. He's dead-- even if kids were getting this to play with, their only Obi-Wan, I'm sure a few would go "wait, why does he have a sword?" Back in the vintage days, we had one Obi-Wan figure, and we liked it that way!
This new release is a welcome addition to the line, bringing Hasbro's newfound love of translucent toys into the modern age with some color. This is a great figure and I, for one, can't wait to see it repainted into a living version.
Our sample was obtained from some guy in May 2004.