Today we continue our retrospective of 1/12 scale Star Wars action figures with a look at the various Obi-Wan Kenobi action figures. Obi-Wan is one of the most important Star Wars characters and the movies follow his career from being a Padawan to becoming an old hermit on Tatooine and his eventual death. Do 6-inch scale action figures of him do the character justice? Click through for an overview of all the 6-inch scale Obi-Wan Kenobi action figures and let’s find out which one may be the best or ultimate one!
We have a version of every major Obi-Wan Kenobi costume variant, so to find the “ultimate” or “best” version of him will always depend on which version of Obi-Wan is your favorite. Let’s look at things chronologically, even if Hasbro’s first 6-inch scale Obi-Wan was the Revenge of the Sith version.
The Phantom Menace
|Ewan McGregor in his Episode 1 outfit.|
|The Black Series version of The Phantom Menace Obi-Wan is a really good figure. Fortunately, this version of Obi-Wan was released after Hasbro adopted photoreal tech and it shows. The likeness is great, however the body looks a bit plasticky and Hasbro also opted not to paint Obi’s Padawan braid.|
|Hasbro neglected the prequels for many years. S.H.Figuarts filled the gap and offered collectors a wide range of prequel characters. Their Phantom Menace Obi-Wan was the only version for many years. The figure came with two headsculpts. The sculpt pictured here is quite good, but the more recent Black Series sculpt is certainly better. Also, the golden hair may put off some people. However, the paint details, even if years older than the more current TBS release, are much crisper (the SHF photoreal tech has crisper details in general). SHF also painted the braid and the tunic looks much less plasticky and more like fabric. However, there is one severe oversight: SHF gave the figure the wrong color for the pants.|
|The second headsculpt you get with the SHF figure is certainly the better looking version. I would say the sculpt here is spot on and looks just like Ewan McGregor. If you can live with the golden highlights in the hair this version of the SHF figure still beats the more recent Black Series option, in my opinion. The overall finish of the figure is less shiny and plasticky. Also, you get quite a few accessories with this figure, apart from all the hands you need you also get Qui-Gon’s lightsaber so you can recreate the final part of the duel with Darth Maul.|
Attack of the Clones
|Ewan McGregor as Space Jesus in Attack of the Clones. The character designers added two complications for toymakers: long hair and a full beard. An ideal Obi-Wan action figure from that movie should resemble that photo.|
|The Black Series version of Attack of the Clones Obi-Wan may look a bit bored but the sculpt is pretty good. The re-used TPM body is just “so so” though, it all looks a bit plasticky.|
|For a few years the S.H.Figuarts Episode 2 Obi-Wan was the only 1/12 scale version you could get. The figure is not Figuarts’ best effort. The added complication of a beard proved to be a difficult thing to sculpt and paint. The mouth looks all wrong too and this figure only has a passing resemblance to Ewan McGregor.|
|The alternate headsculpt you get with the SHF figure only has few differences. Still, the mouth looks wrong and overall the figure only has a mediocre likeness. It looks more like Ewan McGregor from some angles, but most of the time something just looks off here. However, you get all the accessories you need. And the body sculpt is certainly better than the Black Series version, again, the tunic looks more like actual fabric here, not so much like pastic.|
Revenge of the Sith
|Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith. This is probably most people’s favorite prequel version of the character.|
|Hasbro’s very first 1/12 scale Obi-Wan action figure was the Revenge of the Sith version. A figure which they later repacked in a phase II box. And sadly, this is just a really, really bad figure. The sculpt may actually be quite decent, but whatever details there are, they all get buried under amateurish paint apps. This figure looks like a pre-schooler painted it.|
|A few years after Hasbro S.H.Figuarts released their Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan. In my opinion the likeness is pretty good here and the paint apps are of course very detailed and crisp. SHF even added Ewan McGregor’s mole to the forehead (which he had later removed). The tunic also looks more like fabric and not as plasticky as the Black Series version.|
|And this is the alternate headsculpt you get with the Figuarts Obi-Wan. This may be quite scene specific, but I think the “I have the high ground / You were like a brother to me” headsculpt looks a lot like Ewan in that scene and is a great likeness. You also get all the hands you need for this version of Obi-Wan.|
|Hasbro also released a Clone Wars version of General Kenobi with an all new headsculpt. While not really a Revenge of the Sith version, the headsculpt fits right into that era. The headsculpt is certainly a huge improvement over Hasbro’s previous version. However, as you can see here Hasbro’s photoreal tech is still very much inferior to SHF’s approach, where facial details are just a lot crisper. Black Series figures often look a bit soft compared to their Japanese competitors. Also, for some reason Hasbro decided to give Obi-Wan flushed cheeks.|
The Original Trilogy
|Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. Any action figure of “Ben” Kenobi should resemble that likeness.|
|Hasbro’s attempt at A New Hope Obi-Wan action figure is not really a strong effort. The sculpt may not be all that bad, it may actually even be good, but as with almost all early Black Series figures it’s all destroyed by the paint apps. The beard also looks wrong.|
|Hasbro later released a Force Ghost version of Obi-Wan. It’s merely a paint variant, paint apps are still quite bad, since this is a pre-photoreal figure.|
|S.H.Figuarts released their A New Hope version of Obi-Wan Kenobi after Hasbro. The sculpt is not all that great here, unfortunately, the likeness to Alec Guinness is merely passable, at best. SHF got the shape of the beard wrong (beard is notoriously difficult to sculpt, of course). This figure is also somewhat over-engineered with the clip-on hood. It works, but it looks a bit wonky. The figure is also a traffic cone, but the Black Series version is very much a traffic cone as well. The sculpted outer Jedi robe of the SHF version does look better however than the flimsy cloth robe of the Black Series figure.|
|You also get a very scene specific alternate headsculpt where Obi-Wan has his eyes closed, seconds before he is cut down by Darth Vader. Again, the sculpt is merely “ok-ish” and something just feels off. Mostly the beard and mouth region. But it is certainly nice that you can recreate that pivotal scene from the movie.|
|You get to see Obi-Wan with his eyes closed only for a split second in the movie. The SHF likeness is, as mentioned, passable, but not all that great. Obi-Wan’s beard is really difficult to sculpt and paint.|
|And to provide some perspective… this is the Hot Toys version of Obi-Wan from A New Hope. Even they don’t get the beard really right and you may argue that the likeness, while pretty good, is not 100% perfect either. But this is certainly THE very best version of ANH Obi-Wan you could possibly have.|
And these are all the Obi-Wan action figures in the 1/12 scale! So what is the ultimate or best one? As mentioned above that most certainly depends on what your favorite version of the character is. So let’s break it down by all of Obi-Wan’s major versions.
The best The Phantom Menace figure is still the S.H.Figuarts version, even if the Black Series Obi-Wan from that movie has a really great likeness and the SHF figure has the wrong color for the pants. But an action figure is not just the headsculpt, it’s the overall package that also counts and here SHF has the edge. The details are crisper overall, the body/tunic doesn’t look as plasticky and more like actual fabric. The braid is painted and you get all the hands you need for Obi-Wan, plus Qui-Gon’s lightsaber, whereas Hasbro only gave the exclusive version of their TPM Obi-Wan an extra hand, the regular release came without the extra hand.
The best Attack of the Clones version is certainly the Black Series figure. The SHF figure once more has the crisper details and (almost) all the accessories you need, but the headsculpt is just not there and Hasbro’s Obi-Wan does look a lot more like Ewan McGregor, even if SHF has the much better overall body sculpt!
When it comes to Obi-Wan’s Revenge of the Sith look the S.H.Figuarts version takes the crown. It’s no contest. The TBS figure looks extremely dated and has pathetic paint apps. The sculpt on the SHF figure is pretty close to the real thing, also the alternate, more scene specific headsculpt, looks really fantastic. The General Kenobi figure in the Black Series has a good sculpt, but just look at the photos and you can see that Hasbro’s photoreal was just not there yet when the figure was released, with SHF providing MUCH crisper detail. Also, in my opinion the SHF sculpt is still better than the General Kenobi sculpt. And finally, no Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan action figure is complete without his v-shaped hand. Hasbro gave the exclusive TPM Obi-Wan that hand, the SHF Revenge of the Sith figure is the only one that lets you accurately recreate several iconic scenes from the movie. Which is pretty much the definition of “ultimate”. That being said the SHF version lacks one essential detail, actually all the prequel Obi-Wans lack one essential detail: the Jedi robe. So you may argue that there really is no “ultimate” version at all, since the robe is an essential part of the look.
I feel there really is no ultimate or “best” Alec Guinness Obi-Wan action figure. The Black Series version looks really, really dated. A photoreal update is sorely needed. The S.H.Figuarts version does look better, as in, it has crisp details, great paint apps, the photoreal face looks great, but sadly, the sculpt is just not there and the way the hood was engineered looks weird. All that being said I would still choose the SHF version here solely based on the fact that their Obi-Wan action figure looks like a person, not like some plastic figure a pre-schooler finger painted. But the A New Hope Obi-Wan is in dire need of an update. Maybe Hasbro will revisit that figure in the future.
There aren’t any major versions of Obi-Wan missing. Chances are we will get a new Obi-Wan action figure for the upcoming Kenobi series. So we haven’t reached the end of the road yet. A Mustafar battle damage version could also be made. Or maybe a TPM Obi-Wan with wet hair or without the braid etc. But those are all very minor variants. My guess is the next Obi-Wan action figure will be from the Kenobi mini series.
So what is your favorite Obi-Wan 1/12 scale action figure? Do you think we have THE ultimate 6-inch scale Obi-Wan action figure?
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