I received my SH Figuarts Ben Kenobi figure today. With him only Leia is missing from the SHF hero line-up of A New Hope. So how does the figure compare to the Black Series version? Click through for a handful of photos and a quick overview!
I am no toy photographer and I don’t have a home studio with lights, so please don’t expect any fancy pictures. But I can give you a first look at Ben Kenobi, as SHF call him on the box!
First up, here’s the figure next to his twin brother from the Black Series:
As you can see SHF Obi-Wan is basically a traffic cone, the Jedi robes are molded in plastic which makes them look (mostly) great, but they hinder articulation a lot. Obi-Wan has all the joints and articulation, even the legs are fully sculpted and articulated, but unless you give him a custom robe all Obi-Wan can do is stand. The plastic robe is removable, but of course the arms keep their sleeves, but a cloth robe will cover them mostly.
About accuracy: Overall SHF Obi-Wan seems to be more accurate. In the movie his robe doesn’t have these fringes, also the lightsaber he uses in the movie is incredibly worn and the emitter is almost black, not gold/silver as the Black Series saber.
A closer look at the facesculpt (as for the other images, click on it to see a larger version!):
I think if the beard on the SHF figure had a somewhat different shape, less rounded and a little bit more pointy, the likeness would be close to perfect. The mouth/lips seem to be somewhat off perhaps. The Black Series version might have a good sculpt, but it’s buried under terrible paint apps. Overall, the SHF figure has the weird effect that it looks somewhat off in close-up photos but in hand, on your desk or shelf, it 100% looks like Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan comes with an alternative face plate and hood:
I think this looks gorgeous. The sculpt is spot on, in my opinion. It’s very scene specific but for that one scene it’s simply perfect.
You can also see the alternate hood. The hood plugs into the shoulder. While the version you see in this photo looks really good, the hood down version doesn’t fit seamlessly, there’s always this weird gap/transition from robe to hood. The aesthetics of the hood up variant are undoubtedly much better, but the hood down version is ok. I suppose modders will simply remove the plastic outer robe and get a cloth version instead to avoid this problem.
And finally a shot of the galaxy’s best buddies for life:
My verdict: Obi-Wan is a quite static figure, maybe a high quality cloth robe would have been the better choice here, if you need Obi-Wan to perform action scenes. But since Obi-Wan was a more or less static character in A New Hope who did not do any crazy stunts it’s mostly ok to have plastic robes instead. However, you can’t pose SHF Obi-Wan without his robes, this is something the Black Series will give you. Also, SHF Obi-Wan can’t sit, not at all, and he can’t sit in the Landspeeder either.
Once you remove the arms you can remove the robe, you can, in theory, give him the Black Series robe, it fits quite good but looks somewhat cheap. A custom robe off ebay will probably do the trick here. But the plastic robe is nicely sculpted, it’s even a little frayed at the seams to show some wear and tear. The inner cloak has some nice shading applied to it and even if you can’t see it, thanks to the robes, it’s fully sculpted and Obi-Wan also has his handbag attached to the belt.
Obi-Wan also comes with various hands, of course, among them the Jedi mind trick hand. He can grip the saber with both hands easily. The hands are easily interchangeable and the plastic is somewhat pliable. And one curious accessory is his Jedi robes, lying crumpled on the floor. This is also very scene specific, but it looks great and works. It even has tiny indentations for the unlit lightsaber (which can also be attached to the belt), so you know where to put it.
All in all the SHF Obi-Wan makes the Black Series figure look very outdated and I think it’s as good a 1/12 Ben Kenobi figure as you can get. You have to like the typical SHF aesthetic though, if you didn’t care for it before, Obi-Wan won’t change your mind. But he, Luke, Han, C-3PO, R2-D2 and with some caveats Chewbacca look great together. Once we get Princess Leia the Black Series versions will have a hard time to fight for shelf space.
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