HEIGHT: 1.75 meters
STATUS: Jedi Knight, General of the Old Republic
AFFILIATION: Rebel Alliance
WEAPON OF CHOICE: Lightsaber
Trained by the Jedi Master Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi learned the ways of the Force and became a Jedi Knight. He successfully defended the Old Republic in the Clone Wars and was hailed as a hero. He took on his apprentice, the young Anakin Skywalker. But Obi-Wan was not yet ready to pass on the way of the Jedi, and his student became impatient with the rigors of Jedi training. Skywalker allowed himself to be seduced by the dark side of the Force. Taking the name Darth Vader, he pledged allegiance to the evil Senator Palpatine and went on to hunt down and kill the remaining Jedi Knights in the name of the Galactic Empire. Kenobi felt responsible for Skywalker's fall and determined to stop his one-time pupil. He confronted and defeated Vader in an epic lightsaber duel, leaving his broken body for dead.
Kenobi then went into seclusion on the Dune Sea of the planet Tatooine, where he became known as the hermit "Old Ben." There he watched anonymously over young Luke Skywalker, whom he had hidden from his evil father before Vader even knew of the boy's birth. Luke sought Ben out after discovering a plea for Kenobi's help hidden inside the droid R2-D2 by Princess Leia Organa. The two quickly became involved in the Rebellion against the Empire, leading Kenobi to a final confrontation with Darth Vader on the Empire's Death Star. Cloaked in fearsome black armor, Vader was more machine than man at that point and proved to be more than a challenge for his teacher. Obi-Wan sacrificed his life to Vader's lightsaber for the sake of the Alliance, his spirit becoming one with the Force. In doing so he became powerful beyond imagination, and later guided Luke to the final victory at the Battle of Yavin.
Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi was a fixture in the vintage Kenner line up, a character who appeared on more card back throughout the Star Wars saga than most others between 1978 and 1985. So it makes complete sense for Kenner/Hasbro to add “Father Force” into the very first wave of modern figures in 1995. Kenner/Hasbro took a slightly different approach with this figure when compared to 1978's SW Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi figure. They crafted a modern take on Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi in the hopes that it would appeal to longtime Star Wars collectors as well as a new generation of collectors learning about the franchise for the first time. After a long ten year wait from when the vintage line came to a close in 1985, collectors of all ages were elated to add a modern version of the character into their collections. It was a figure that didn’t disappoint in how he looked. His issues were more elusive, however. He had a devil of time standing up without assistance thank to poorly designed feet and angled legs. It isn’t impossible to get him to stand up, but it isn’t an aggravation free experience either. The figure itself isn’t horrendous. It resembles Sir Alec Guinness more than a reasonable amount, and the costume and accessories help make the action figure look screen accurate, although we would have much preferred the use of soft-goods here instead.
Aside from that major issue of balance, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi instantly became a staple in the modern line, and collectors were scooping him up in multiples because there were reasons to do this. Just like the vintage Kenner counterpart, Obi-Wan Kenobi arrived to retail with multiple variations. (Editor’s Note: And this is all on the red card back style and doesn’t include the card back versions in the “green” and “Freeze Frame” lines.) Some of these include: long lightsaber, short lightsaber, short lightsaber long tray, profile, body shot, .00, .01. These are some of the ridiculous variations collectors ate up at the time of the figure's release. Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi came with an outer robe/inner robe shell that was easily removable. However, the figure looks out of place with them. This outer accessory was very cumbersome and inhibited most of the action figure’s movement. It serves as a mold to how you can pose the action figure. But because his feet and legs are awkwardly sculpted, you’re fighting with this outer shell as much as using it to balance the figure. It’s bittersweet, and we wish Kenner/Hasbro took another approach here instead. Still, when fully assembled, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi didn’t look too shabby as an action figure. They did well with the way they progressed is how we’ll put it.
Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi comes with six points of articulation. The articulation system essentially gives you a small playing field of poses, and you’ll quickly get bored with what the figure offers. Besides, the sculpt of the legs makes it more frustrating than anything else. In a different move, Kenner/Hasbro didn’t give the Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi action figure an overtly muscular frame. There is still some mass that the real character didn’t have, but at least they didn’t attribute details to this figure that made him essentially appear ridiculous in the modern line. In addition to the outer shell, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi also comes with his signature lightsaber (which to date comes in two lengths). His hands can hold the lightsaber quite well. All in all, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi looks pretty darn good and is probably one of the few human characters in the Star Wars line that looks like his onscreen counterpart. We’re not claiming that this figure is excellent, but Kenner/Hasbro could have done a whole lot worse for us. Here is a little bit of trivia for you. This action figure was known for having “wet hands” inside of the card back bubble (and not removed from the packaging). Many believed that it was a chemical reaction to the acids in the plastic between the bubble and the figure. To date, Kenner/Hasbro has never commented on this phenomenon. This issue certainly dissipated over time, however.
Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
Status: Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 6 points (6 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: lightsaber, removable cloak shell
Date Stamp: 1995
Assortment Number: 69570/69576
Retail: $4.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.