OBI-WAN KENOBI — WANDERING JEDI
STAR WARS: RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)
It was only just a few months ago that I was looking at the second series of Hasbro’s Star Wars: Retro Collection, which was about a year removed from its first series predecessor. Those two were both based on The Mandalorian, but it seems Mando isn’t getting all of the Retro Collection love, and we don’t have to wait a whole year for the next round of them. Hooray! For years, it’s been widely agreed that, whatever your opinion of the Star Wars prequels may be, Ewan McGreggor’s Obi-Wan was the best part of them, and was also really under-utilized in the grand scheme of things. With Ewan still being very much on board to do more with the role, Disney decided to give Obi-Wan his own show, bridging the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, at least as far as Obi-Wan himself was concerned. It started slow, but the show’s honestly the best instance of truly melding the aesthetics and tones of the Prequel Trilogy with those of the Original Trilogy, and was just far better than it had any right to be. With its direct lead-in to ANH, it’s not a bad fit for the Retro style, and Hasbro jumped right in on it, with an assortment of six different characters from the show. I’m kicking things off today with Obi-Wan himself!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Wandering Jedi) is the first of the six figures that make up the first (so far) Kenobi-themed series of Star Wars: Retro Collection, which is officially the fifth series within the wider Retro Collection set-up, counting the more direct re-issue sets. The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. He’s based on Obi-Wan’s “Wandering Jedi” look, which is what he wears for the first couple of episodes, while he’s doing his whole detective thing. It’s the look that got the biggest marketing push up front, and also the one that I suppose best fits the overall aesthetic of the show, being consistent with his general looks from the prequels, while also still being a little more average and downtrodden. To facilitate this, he gets an all-new sculpt, which, much like the rest of the line, is meant to evoke the vintage Kenner feel. Though time-line wise, he’s from pre-ANH, the figure is clearly meant to evoke a post-Jedi era of the vintage line. He’s a little less stilted in his posing, and the details are a little more organic. He’s also lacking the built-in lightsaber of the original Obi-Wan, and gets a cloth robe that’s actually a robe, rather than the vinyl extended vest piece. It’s an interesting concept of what an Obi-Wan in the vintage line might have been like post-ANH, if he’d gotten there. I can definitely dig it. I also enjoy that they’ve kept the working holster concept from Karga in the first series; someone was clearly very proud of that idea. His paint work is rather on the drab side, as expected, but that’s not a bad thing. In some ways, he feels like maybe he has just a little too much paint for proper accuracy to the style, but there’s obviously a bit of idealizing here, and I don’t think that’s so bad. Obi-Wan is packed with his lightsaber (a recolored version of Bespin Luke’s from the vintage line), and a small blaster pistol.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I really enjoyed Kenobi, and I found myself really drawn into how it handled the throw-back feel. I had the chance to grab the first round of Black Series offerings for it, but for whatever reason, they just didn’t speak to me. These guys, on the other hand, felt much more up my alley. If I’m entirely honest, this Obi-Wan design is probably my least favorite of the three that have thus far been tapped for toy treatment, but it’s not a bad one, and it certainly translates to a pretty fun little figure.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.