Thursday, 14 February 2013

VC103: 'Realistic' Clone Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi Review

Knight of the not-as-old Republic!
A Clone Wars Obi-Wan would've been slightly less enthusiastically received by me at 8 years old than a Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker, but only slightly - that's not to take anything away from Sir Alec Guiness' depiction of Old Ben, but more so about the mystery of the man who became Darth Vader. Anyway, whilst the Prequels did whatever they did to the Star Wars franchise, one positive was that by Revenge of the Sith, Ewan McGregor had finally got a handle on how to play Obi Wan Kenobi, which in turn gave the film its more enjoyable moments. Following on from how good the Vintage Collection Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker was, this seemed like an appropriate purchase...

The Packaging

The packaging follows the standard Vintage Collection template, with the Clone Wars TV series logo in the place of the episode title. The picture is of Clone Wars-armoured Obi Wan Kenobi with a Ewan McGregor likeness in a pretty nifty Geonosis-esque war zone - clones and a Republic Gunship fill the dusty background. I like this; it's more exciting than the Anakin Skywalker card, and even some of the pictures on the movie figure cards. As with all TVC figures it features the Kenner logo in the bottom left, and the back of the card is covered by a boring multi-lingual sticker.

As shown here, he's packed with a lightsaber and a lightsaber hilt. Pretty minimal, but short of a helmet I'm not really sure what else he could've come with.

The Good

General Kenobi & Troops
First and foremost, the sculpt is fantastic. As soon as I pulled it out of the blister I was impressed with the weight of the figure and the sturdiness of the joints (with the exception of the wrists, which I'll come to). Straight away I was able to get Obi-Wan into various Jedi-like poses, and as well as having great joint movement (the shoulder pads share the same under-the-armour trick as the Anakin figure), I was also able to get him to stand in those poses. I don't know if it's the weight of the figure or that it shares some SA Clone Trooper DNA in the legs, but it's really well balanced. 

I'm a fan of the Clone Wars character designs anyway, but I find this figure really visually appealing. It features the best integration of soft goods and sculpted robes I've seen yet with the skirt, which is trimmed and fixed perfectly to allow for full leg movement without billowing. The Republic Jedi crest on the shoulder pad is crisp and brings a nice dash of colour to the armour, which is otherwise splattered with war zone dust (presumably from the same locale as is featured on the cardback). The belt features two pouches and a port for the lightsaber hilt, something that was notably absent on Anakin.

Guardian of Peace and Justice...
The Bad

Easy Now...
When I've seen the figure online I've never been sure if it's boss-eyed or not - since getting it in hand, I've realised it all depends on your point of view, quite literally. The right is on the donk, but viewed from the left or straight on it's really not that noticeable. Since the head sculpt is in general very good (even going as far as to include his forehead bump), I'd say it's not a huge issue. For such an EU figure, I find the dust a bit scene specific, but that doesn't bother me too much - it's more the way it's been kind of slopped on in parts that I'm not as keen on.

As I noticed when I pulled it out of the packet, and again when fixing the lightsaber, the swivel wrists do feel quite weak and as such I'm going to avoid too many two-handed duelling poses. As these are bona-fide collectors pieces rather than simple toys (like there's really a distinction...) I think all but the most heavy handed should be OK; either way, I'm still going to be careful!

Ready for (Clone) War!
The Verdict

If you have a Clone Wars-era display, or any interest in the time frame between Episodes 2 & 3, then this is the Obi-Wan Kenobi for you. I gave the VC92 Anakin Skywalker figure a five star review and this guy's even better - that can only mean he also gets top marks.


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