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Review of Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure
Star Wars: A New Hope

Hot Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

There are mere weeks until the opening of The Force Awakens, and fans everywhere are getting their geek on. I have my IMAX tickets, but I won't be seeing it til Saturday night...that was the first open slot for my favorite dead center seats at the local theater. If you don't see me online for a couple days, you'll know why.

Hot Toys is doing up sixth scale action figures for the new movies, but they are hitting the classics as well.  Their latest release is just such a beast - Obi-Wan Kenobi from A New Hope, the film that started it all.

This guy has just started shipping, and will run you around $210 - $220 depending on the retailer.  I have a couple tremendously reliable retailers on the low side in my Where to Buy section if you're looking for a good deal.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***
It's the usual, and the box art, colors and graphic design are very much in line with the Sideshow series. However, there's no wrap around fifth panel or magnetic closures here - this is a simple shoe box with a plastic tray to hold the figure and accessories.  There is an inner slip with some additional artwork, but that's about it.

Of course, it's all collector friendly.  They did wrap the plastic protective 'booties' around the boots very tightly and tape them in place, so you'll have to cut them free.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ****
You should always compare an in hand product with movie stills, rather than simply going of memory. That's not to say that memory isn't important - whether a figure pops out at you the moment you see it will play a huge part in your overall assessment of its quality.  Like mom always said, first impressions are the most important. But once that initial feeling of euphoria or pain wears off, it's important to do some side by side comparisons.

I used a couple shots for my own assessment.  This is one with some pretty bright lighting, this one a bit more shadowy. A Google search will turn up plenty more.

When it comes to my three point examination, this is another winner.  It's as realistic as you can get, especially in the skin texture and the hair texture on his head. The super fine stranding that they are achieving on their hair sculpts is getting more impressive with every release, and with a character with softer, thinner hair like this, that skill really shows.

And as I said, that's some amazing work on the skin - the bags under the eyes, the shallow cheeks and high cheek bones, the aging techniques - it's really impressive. I've talked a lot in the past about how it's easier for a sculptor to capture a likeness when the person isn't too 'pretty', because slight imperfections in the nose, or lips, or bone structure can give them something to latch on to and create the right personality. I've noticed as Hot Toys has gotten better and better with their work in sculpting (and painting) skin, that people with older, sun damaged, aged skin are also easier to make look 'real'. Younger people have skin that's too perfect, too much like a mannequin, and lack the qualities that can create the illusion of life. I doubt Alec Guinness was thrilled about being in his early 60's when making Star Wars, but aging is a fact of life we all accept...and it makes Hot Toys' job easier.

The life-like nature of the expression and suggested muscle tone is also quite good. He's got a stern look, with slightly squinted eyes that translate into the wrinkles of the skin over the nose, around the eyes, and into the cheeks. He's serious without being over the top, and the expression is both life-like and matches the character's personality nicely.

When it comes to accuracy, I do have a couple issues, but they are very minor quibbles.  Unlike some other recent figures where the face was too long or thin, this one is a bit wider and shorter than I think it should be.  As Obi-wan, the beard only accentuated his slightly longer, less triangular bone structure, but that's lost a bit here.

I'm also not quite on board with the beard itself. It's not that the level of detail isn't there, or the overall quality is bad, but that it doesn't really seem to match up quite right in length and style to my eye.

However, both of these are minor nits in the big picture, and this is my current favorite Obi-Wan sculpt overall, thanks to the wonderful work around the eyes.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ***1/2
We all know what to expect with Hot Toys paint applications, and you won't be disappointed with this figure. As I discussed in the previous category, the age of the character allows Hot Toys to do more in creating a realistic, life-like skin color and tone. Add in near perfect work on the lips, eyes and eyebrows, and you're well on your way to perfection.

I also really like the work on the hair, where the paint application supports and even improves on the terrific sculpt.

I did drop him a half star here, however, and this gets back to the beard. The longer I looked at it and worked with it, the more convinced I became that it was the paint work on the gray and white beard that was throwing it off for me, even slightly. In photos like this or this, you can see that while his hair is all gray/white, the beard still retains some of the reddish blonde color, particularly in the mustache and side burns. All of that is gone here, which is what I think is causing my issues overall.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ***
Obi-wan didn't do anything too wild - at least not this version.  Posing him in extreme battle stances won't be necessary, but it's nice to know you can manage it if you'd like.

The TrueType is tight and solid, and the hands swap easily.  I did find a couple problems though, and was somewhat surprised by the situation.

First, the feet tend to pop off a little too easily. Normally this wouldn't even register as an issue - just pop them back on. But because he's wearing very tall boots with very soft sides and the ankle post is attached to the interior foot of the boot, it can be much trickier (and riskier) getting that boot back in place. It was a little annoying, since the soft leather boots are perfect for adjusting the ankles for deeper stances...but then they popped off because the posts are fairly short.

Second, the neck is very restricted here, and that doesn't make a lot of sense.  It does have only the one ball joint at the torso - the neck and head are a solid piece - but even then I can usually get better tilt and lean action out of a TrueType. Not so this time, especially side to side. I haven't stripped him down to see what's up, but it was a surprise.

Third and final, the right arm is swappable, a design used to give you a light up saber.  I'll get to the actual light up feature in a later category, but the swapping has an effect here. The elbows on both lower arms are double pin (or hinge) joints, and the post entering the bicep is where they swap.  This worked cleanly enough, but once I had the light up arm in place, it didn't want to stay there when repositioning the arm. It would stay until you handled it again, but then it would slip out quite easily.

This swappable arm doesn't have the same wrist articulation, and the hand can only turn. I wouldn't go crazy turning it either.  While this is a slight reduction in posability, I think it's a reasonable trade off to get the light up saber.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ***
Unfortunately, this is a category where he falls a bit short, particularly compared to some of the more recent releases from companies like Star Ace, ThreeZero or Asmus.

He comes with three versions of his light saber, which is a critical addition of course. There's the basic unlit version which can attach to his belt with a small metal loop, the version with the blue removable plastic blade, and the light up version. This third saber comes already sculpted into the hand of a second forearm. Batteries are installed (and included) in the arm, and a small switch is near the wrist. Remove the plastic blade from the second hilt, insert it into this hilt, flip the switch, and you have a complete saber.  I'll get more into the quality of the light up feature in the next category.

To work with the sabers, he comes with a couple sets of hands. There's the relaxed pose he comes wearing, as well as a set of gripping hands. They've included a left doing the "these are not the droids you're looking for" hand wave as well, and there's a couple extra wrist pegs just in case.

Lastly, there's a small display stand with a crotch support post, designed to look like the grated floor.  The silver name plate on the front has the plastic cover to keep it safe, and no, I have not yet removed mine.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Light Feature - ****
When they originally solicited this figure, they were planning an additional right hand to hold the light up saber, a second forearm, and a separate hilt.  Clearly, they changed their minds as they got into production, and while you still might be able to take the hilt/hand/forearm piece apart, I wouldn't recommend it. It comes all assembled in the package, and it's meant to stay that way.

The battery compartment and switch are easy to reach, and inserting the batteries is a simple enough process. They've included batteries as well, and they lasted through the shoot without fading.

The beauty here is that the light is very bright, and does an excellent job illuminating the entire blade in low ambient light. While it still gets a bit washed out in normal room lighting, you won't have to be in a pitch black situation to see it. Part of that is thanks to the color (if this was a red saber, it wouldn't work as well), but the biggest reason is the bright source.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is pretty standard at this point - pants, shirt, tunic with sash and scarf, belt and robe.

There's no doubt that the materials are very high quality, and they are thinner and more in scale than previous attempts from 10 or even 5 years ago. The boots and belt are made from a leather-like material which improves the realism, and there's even the additional pouch attached permanently to one side of the belt. While there's no dirt effect, they did add wear to the edge of the soft fabric cloak, and the effect works quite well. Another nice touch is the metal hooks and rivets on the belt, giving it a very sturdy, high quality appearance.

That's not to say everything is perfect.  The hood is sewn into a pointed design, and while you should be able to soften it up over time either by hand or with a wash treatment so that it lays down, rather than sticks up, out of the box he has a KKK vibe.

What is most apparent is that while this outfit IS an improvement, it's not the same degree of change as the sculpts and paints. Compare this guy to the ANH Obi-wan that Sideshow did almost 8 years ago, and you'll see my point. There's no comparison with the head sculpt and paint work, and the costuming is better...but is it more than 4 times the cost better? It's a tough call.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
The articulation might have a few weaknesses, and he certainly is short on accessories, but you'll still have a fine time posing and re-posing.  You'll be able to produce several of his key scenes, and once you have Vader (or add him to your Sideshow Vader display), it will make for a terrific set up.

Value - **
At $210 - $220, this guy is slightly cheaper than the $230 or so average that most Hot Toys seem to be pulling down these days. He lacks the number of quality accessories that we are seeing from some of the other players in the market at the same (or lower) price point, but there's a big elephant in the room. Just how expensive was this license, particularly with the new movies coming out? I have a feeling that it is a big contributor this time around.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
I did have one of the saber hilts come apart in the middle, thanks to a poor glue job.  It's easy enough to re-glue, since nothing actually broke, but take some care when putting the hilts in the hands.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Overall - ***1/2
It's nice to see that when Hot Toys picked up the license for Star Wars, they didn't decide to ignore the OT. With their releases so far and their short term announcements, classic characters like Han, Luke, Leia and others are getting their fair shake.

You can easily call this the definitive ANH Kenobi. I can't see any future release getting so much better that it makes sense to upgrade. There's a few issues here that hold him back from a perfect score, but I don't think making those minor modifications would drive me to spend another $220. And while it's possible we could see a better head sculpt, it's not likely any time soon. This is one of those rare cases where you can pick this figure up and feel pretty good about not needing a replacement any time soon. Don't you wish you could say that about any Marvel character? Even if you own the last high quality version in this scale - Sideshow's - you can't complain too much about spending the money now.  After all, it's been eight years, and that one only cost you fifty bucks.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Light Feature - ****
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- is at just $209.

- has him for $210.

- has him for $220.

- Sideshow has him for $220 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
The most recent Star Wars sixth scale release was Jango Fett, from Sideshow. Sideshow also recently released their Speeder Bike and Scout Trooper. Hot Toys started off their work in this license and scale with Stormtroopers and Blackhole Troopers, and I have their Han Solo and Chewbacca sitting here waiting for me to review.

Other versions of Obi-wan in this scale include the Sideshow Padewan, Obi-wan in Clone Trooper armor, the young Jedi Obi-Wan, and their own version of ANH Obi-Wan.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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