Toy Review: S.H. Figuarts Obi-Wan KenobiFebruary 18, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Collecting, Reviews, Star Wars, Toys | Leave a comment
Tags: obi-wan kenobi, s.h. figuarts
There are a lot of toymakers jumping into the 6-inch scale Star Wars market, which means Hasbro has some serious competition. Unlike previous decades, they are no longer uncontested in the realm of Star Wars action figures. Of those stepping into the ring is S.H. Figuarts, a high quality action figure line made by Bandai. They’ve made a few figures so far, but the one that stole my eye was their Obi-Wan Kenobi. Quite simply, this is a gorgeous figure and an example of what toys can be when done right.
First off, let us feast upon the sexiness of an Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure that actually looks like Ewan McGregor. All he’s missing is a smile.
Now before we dive into the articulation or the accessories, let us first take a look at the face. When I first saw photos of this figure, I was stunned. There was no way the figure could look that good. I mean, that thing looks like Ewan. That kind of detail and likeness is usually reserved for high end 1/6 scale figures like Sideshow and Hot Toys. This being a 1/12 scale figure, I was expecting the final product to be a little less than the promo pictures. To my surprise, this thing looks just as good in person as it does in promotion.
The trick is the paint app and sculpt of the head. The sculpt is great. But the paint app relies on a digitized spray which looks truly awesome from afar, and kind of crappy up close. But we’re talking really close. Unless you’re planning to make out with the action figure, you’re not going to notice.
The real fun kicks in when you start playing with the lighting. This is when the figure comes to life.
Now taking a few steps back, here’s what Obi-Wan looks like still in the box. Note S.H. Figuarts doesn’t waste much when it comes to packaging. This box is smaller than a Hasbro Black Series 6-inch box. Yet it still looks better and comes with better protection for the figure.
A two piece plastic clamshell keeps the figure nice, safe and snug in the box.
There’s also a plastic blanket that further protects the figure from paint app wear while in the tray.
Like a high end Hot Toys figures, the S.H. Figuarts Obi-Wan comes with extra hands and even an extra head. There’s also three lightsabers: a blue blade, a green blade, and an unlit lightsaber that can hang on his belt.
The hands include closed fists, open hands, hands with Force gestures, and two hands for holding lightsabers.
There are two heads. One is an expressionless Obi-Wan (my favorite of the two) and one is his angry face. While I do like the expressionless one better, I do think a smile would have improved it as that is the one option missing from the package and Obi-Wan does smile a lot in the movies.
Also worth noting, the hair coloring on the two heads is different. The expressionless Obi-Wan has very golden highlights, while the other one is more brown. The golden hue of the highlights would be my one complaint about the paint app for this figure. It’s a little too gold which looks a little unnatural.
As for the lightsaber, you’ll want to take note that the blade does not come off like Hasbro’s, but instead the end piece on the hilt comes off. This allows you to insert it into the hand.
Be careful with the lightsaber as it is fragile, which I learned the hard way. The clear plastic blade will easily snap off from the hilt.
The hands and head pop off to reveal pegs which work pretty good for changing out the spare limbs. I’ve changed them out quite a bit and I haven’t run into any issues with the pegs breaking. The hands and heads also snap in without too much trouble, though the fists have an odd angle with the peg hole that can be a little tricky.
Here’s the Force gesturing right hand at work.
And the Force gesturing left hand which also doubles as a peace sign or scissors.
Here are the open hands.
One open and one fist.
And double fists.
The rest of the figure has some great detail. For instance, I love the texture they molded into the clothing. It’s not only brings a neat tactile feel to the figure, but it looks great. Yet the attention to detail is really outstanding. Just look at the belt. Each thing gets color and best of all, they stay in the lines!
But here’s the thing Hasbro needs to pay attention to. S.H. Figurarts used a soft, vinyl like plastic for the bottom half of Obi-Wan’s tunic. In other words, it’s flexible and does not constrict the figure’s movement. The individual flaps tuck into each other and spread out depending on the pose. It works really well.
The articulation and the balance of the figure make posing a very fun experience. The joints are odd, which makes it kind of experimentive when posing the figure. The knee joints and elbow joints are one style, the wrists another, and the hip joints yet another style altogether.
The ankles have some up/down range and there’s an articulated toe.
Here’s the back of the figure. Again, there’s nice attention to the belt details.
As for the chair test: Obi-Wan passes with flying colors.
Yet how does the S.H. Figuarts Obi-Wan stand up with Hasbro’s 6-inch Black Series figures? Height wise, it’s perfect.
Next Greedo, the S.H. Figuarts Obi-Wan works splendidly. But next to himself…well, Hasbro’s flaws really stand out.
First there’s the gloss. The Hasbro figure is so shiny, it looks like it’s wet. The result is that it looks fake and plasticy, whereas the S.H. Figuarts figure looks real.
Then there’s the fact that the Hasbro figure doesn’t look like Ewan. Keep in mind it’s the bearded Ewan, but it still doesn’t look like him. The S.H. Figuarts Ewan is spot on.
In the end, Hasbro just isn’t in the same league as the S.H. Figuarts Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yet the two lines are compatible, so you can pick and choose which figures you want. My advice, skip the Hasbro Kenobi and go with the S.H. Figuarts Kenobi. It’s a way better figure. That higher quality does come with a price, though. However, if you shop around on eBay, you can get a pretty good deal and you should be able to get one for $50 or less with shipping included. It’s a figure that looks great, feels great, comes with a good amount of accessories and has good articulation to boot. Spend the extra money and you won’t be disappointed.