Review – Sideshow Star Wars 12″ Obi Wan Kenobi

23 09 2006


“For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.”

These classic and memorable Star Wars words were mouthed from one of the greatest Jedi Masters portrayed in the Star Wars movies. A warrior of integrity, courage and utmost dedication to the Jedi Order, he was the epitome of a Jedi’s conduct. He was a  former master and brother to the man Darth Vader was. Masterfully played by Sir Alec Guinness in 1977’s Star Wars and Ewan McGregor in the Prequels, this Jedi Master went by the name of Obi Wan Kenobi.

Star Wars fans could never forget the memorable Mos Eisley cantina scene where Obi Wan ignited his lightsaber and hacked off Ponda Baba’s arm and cut into Dr Evazan in defense of the young Luke. Shortly after, the musicians re-started their music and the bustling activities of the cantina resumed. Talk about a wretched hive of scum and villainy!

When Sideshow announced Obi Wan in its Star Wars 12″ line-up, it was the Obi figure I had been waiting for! I have been holding out on buying a Obi Wan figure for so long as I had always carried the hope that a good rendition of this great Jedi will be produced someday! I skipped all the 12″ Hasbro Obis at a time when Hasbro seemed to be the only producers of 12″ Star Wars. And it was not easy as Obi Wan was a central character in Star Wars. But the waiting has paid off with Sideshow’s Obi Wan reaching my display cabinet!

Let’s have a low-down of the review!

Bottomline:

The best 12″ Obi Wan Kenobi figure ever produced. The headsculpt alone warrants the figure to be picked up by a Star Wars fan for the space in a collector’s cabinet. The face is well-sculpted with the details of Ewan McGregor’s Obi Wan. Although the rest of the figure is pretty standard as collectors have come to notice, the quality continues to testify of Sideshow’s good work in this Star Wars line. Highly recommended piece!

What’s good:

  • As with the Sideshow Star Wars 12″ line, the box is fantastic… again. 
  • Headsculpt is good.
  • Hem of hood has an underwire. Nice touch.

What could be better:

  • Accessories getting pretty standard with each Sideshow’s Order of the Jedi release.
  • A 5cm loose thread on the cloak! Better check your piece and trace where the thread originated from!
  • Material for the cloak could be thinner – maybe something between the current fabric and the fabric used for Takara Batman’s cape.

Review Details

Packaging
Once again the packaging is excellent. Very collector-friendly as you do not need to tear anything. It would still require you to slit the adhesive tapes securing the plastic containers though. Other than that, everything else is designed for easy access. Maybe I should leave this part out for future Sideshow’s 12″ Star Wars review…

Headsculpt/Resemblance
This Obi Wan is sculpted obviously to the Episode III look – full bearded. While the sculpt is really good, I would say that the part of the head above the eyebrows seemed to be a little too broad. Notice the squarish forehead. That is probably what prevents the sculpt from looking like the Obi Wan in the movie. But that is my opinion.

Anyway, they have even included the 2 ‘pimples’ on Ewan MacGregor’s forehead in the sculpt! Cool! Hope they remember that if they ever produce an Alec Guinness version… unless he underwent some laser surgery during his exile on Tatooine!

No complains really. Compared to my electronic Episode II Obi Wan, this sculpt is fantastic!

Quality of Product

This piece that I got continues to testify of the good quality from this line from Sideshow. Most of the joints were tight and nothing seemed damage. My only nitpick is that Obi Wan’s cloak had a 5cm loose thread! 5cm mind you. It seemed a common leftover in sewing of 1/6 clothes.

However, it seemed certain that the shoulder joints of this Sideshow’s line is rather loose. It had problems holding up the arm when it is stretched 45 degrees from the shoulder with the cloak on. I had to try several times before I could get it to hold properly to take the shot below. And I had to compromise somewhat by bending the arm at the elbow more.

The clothes on Obi Wan were fitting and well-tailored. He looked fit and very capable of aggressive negotiations. This is one department I had taken for granted for previous figures. They looked so good like a second skin that I had often overlooked. Well, not anymore. 

The only gripe I have on the clothes is the fabric used on the cloak. It is pretty thick for a garment of this size. As a result, it is not pliable. Covering the figure’s head with the hood made it look like a KKK member. You would have to spend some time to press and coax the material to form the shape you want. On the other side, the material is good as it gives volume to the cloak and it forms nicely defined folds which look great on the figure. A material like that used on Takara Batman’s cape would probably not be able to bring out the definition of the fabric’s fold patterns.

Having said this, I must highlight that I just discovered that the hem of the hood seems to have an underwire thingy. It’s pliable and you can shape the opening of the hood. Very nice detail and effort put in!

Stability

Here was where Obi Wan scored better than Sideshow’s earlier release – Kit Fisto. While Kit was unstable because of his elaborate and weighty head, Obi Wan was stable enough to stand on his own throughout the photo shoot. It is not as stable as a Takara figure(they are still the best!) but with a few adjustments to get the center of gravity right, they can stand there for a long time!

However, for displaying in a cabinet, I would still recommend using the stand that comes with the figure. You do not want one of these figures to topple onto the shelve and dent his nose! By the way, that happened to my Sideshow Luke! *sigh*

Accessories

Accessories included with Obi Wan did not have anything special to shout about. If you own the MR Obi Wan lightsaber and the .45 version, you may be glad that you get 2  1/6 scale Obi Wan lightsabers in this package.

Unless Sideshow has plans to produce an Alec Guinness version of Obi Wan, they could have included a Alec Guinness head! Somehow, although Obi Wan is an important character in the movies, I could not think of some unique accessories that could be included. I mean, he did not loose any limbs like Anakin did. But he did ride on that irritating birdlike beast in Episode III but that I guess that would be too big to include.

I guess I am grumbling because I’m not displaying any of those comlinks or holoprojectors with my figures so they are as good as a waste of my money paid on these figures.

Conclusion

Handling this figure in the course of the photo shoot had made me love this figure even more. I was able to examine the clothes up close, notice the paint work and appreciate the details. It is really a simple figure – its a humanoid, no special accessories, similar cloaks to other Jedis. However, all these ‘standard’ features are still very well made and detailed that it is worth it to have a well-sculpted Obi Wan head on top of it!

If you have Sideshow’s Anakin, you must get this to renew that Master-Apprentice relationship!

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5 responses

5 10 2006
shaun wong

excellent review, never got round to really playing with this toy since I got him. Thanks for sharing!

27 10 2006
Katherine pizzey

Good reveiw.
However, ANH Obi-Wan could have the training remote and head set he trained luke with on the millenium falcon. also his trunk like the on that came wit Hasbro’s 3 3/4″ Saga tatooine luke recently.

27 10 2006
swftoys

Ah yes! More ideas for possible accessories! The trunk would be interesting. I was thinking of Ponda Baba’s arm. Something like the exclusive Kit Fisto had a droid head! 🙂

15 01 2007
Bigfoot

I know this is a few months late but I just read your review here. I had your site bookmarked but didn’t have the time to read it.

Considering this figure as well as the Anakin one but haven’t gotten them yet.

The reason I’m typing this comment is something I noticed and I don’t know if anyone pointed it out. In the 2nd paragraph under the heading “Accessories” you said that Obi Wan rides a birdlike “breast”.

Just thought you should know. Good reviews though. Keep it up!

Cheers.

15 01 2007
swftoys

Ha. Bigfoot, looks like you caught me thinking of the breast of that birdlike beast! 😛 Corrected. Thanks for pointing it out!

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