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Toybox Review: Star Wars Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi (The Clone Wars) -

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Title : Toybox Review: Star Wars Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi (The Clone Wars) -
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Toybox Review: Star Wars Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi (The Clone Wars) -

Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi (Clone Wars) 01

Release Date: May 2021
RRP: $24.99/£24.99

In recent years Hasbro have done an excellent job in expanding the selection of Star Wars properties represented in the Black Series – not just limiting it to the films, but also the various television productions, video games, novels, comics and more. With Star Wars: The Clone Wars being such a big part of the franchise's TV offerings it's gotten some fairly good representation, but there are still a lot of key characters (or variants) missing. To celebrate Lucasfilm's 50th anniversary Hasbro put out a special wave of Clone Wars-inspired figures, which was the perfect opportunity to fill in some of those gaps. We've seen numerous figures based on his appearances in the films themselves and even one based on his Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars microseries costume, but finally Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi arrives in his familiar Star Wars: The Clone Wars guise.

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As per the rest of this special Clone Wars wave Obi-Wan comes in nostalgic Star Wars: The Clone Wars card/bubble packaging - a Black Series-sized throwback to the original 2008 toys. The backing card is in the shape of a Phase 1 clone trooper helmet, with a rounded blister and inner card sporting the character name/artwork (and they definitely used artwork from the earlier seasons here because boy did the animation improve) and Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary logo. Though I'm personally not a fan of packaging you can't open without having to destroy, it's certainly a good way of making these figures stand out and draw in fans nostalgic for those old figures. It's quite strange that these figures lack a properly personalised card despite bios being such a prominent thing on standard releases. Even though they went so far to print the character names on each card, they're otherwise identical - simply featuring a Lucasfilm 50th anniversary Star Wars timeline on top of all the usual product information and jargon.

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This newest wave of Clone Wars figures has done an interesting job of combining parts from both old and new clone trooper figures combined with newly moulded pieces, and Obi-Wan is certainly no exception. To recreate his distinct combination of clone trooper armour and those familiar beige Jedi robes, Hasbro have taken the body of the Attack of the Clone Obi-Wan (which was also used for their Kit Fisto release) and combined them with clone trooper limbs. The thighs however are either new or from yet another figure, lacking the armour parts of a standard clone. From there a new soft plastic Jedi robe piece was added over the top, not too dissimilar to the ones used on previous Jedi figures but with that added armoured upper torso piece over the top. Rather than a separate piece placed on top of the robes the armour and "vest" are one all one piece, with the armour then painted white. It doesn't quite have the sheen of the armour on the limbs and there is a bit of overspray on the vest, but overall it replicates the look really well and the soft plastic works much better for both the finish and articulation of the figure. The fact the armour has a smooth finish whilst the robes have a textured, cloth-like feel is also well done. Other than the aforementioned chest armour the figure is actually fairly light on paint apps, but it does have a nicely painted dark brown belt as well as that all-important Jedi emblem on the right shoulder pauldron. The head sculpt looks to be the same photoreal sculpt that was used on the Clone Commander Obi-Wan figure (both figures opting for realistic look as per the rest of the Black Series, as opposed to a stylised animated version), but some slightly more intricate painting around the eyes and beard give it an even better likeness to Ewan McGregor than before. Overall it does a great job of capturing Obi-Wan's primary Clone Wars look in a more realistic style, making it a great addition to a display of prequel trilogy figures as well as those directly from the series itself.

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Being made from pre-existing parts the articulation of this figure should be all-too familiar to those who've delved into the Black Series before, with Obi-Wan featuring; 
- Ball jointed head, neck, torso and hips 
- Swivel hinge shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles 
While the shape of the parts and the above run down of articulation pretty much confirms that Obi-Wan is primarily made from the new 2021 trooper body, that slightly older torso piece does work against it a bit. For a start it lacks the butterfly joints in the shoulders, which were an important addition that help make up for the shift from double-hinged elbows to swivel hinge. Similarly despite the shoulder pauldrons being made from soft plastic they do not slide up into the shoulder cavities the way they do on a standard trooper – they can bend if you lift the arms but not comfortably to point that the shoulders will lock with the arms raised upward. Whatever's going on with that torso, it doesn't seem like it's from a particularly new figure. The soft plastic "skirt" section does attempt to limit the hip movement somewhat but to their credit Hasbro have done their best to get around it – both the stretchiness of the plastic and the cuts in the sides ensure there's still plenty of room for posing.

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As expected Obi-Wan comes with his lightsaber as his sole accessory, complete with a removable translucent blue blade piece. Though the Clone Commander version may have had a (somewhat poor) display stand as well, this version tries to make up for it by actually painting the saber hilt this time around. And truth be told, the silver looks considerably better than unpainted grey plastic. The hilt also as a black tab sticking out of the side, allowing it to be plugged onto the figure's belt when not in use. Both figures however suffer from the same issue in that the right hand has a moulded trigger finger, giving it a somewhat looser grip than it would have had if Hasbro hadn't just reused clone hands on this figure. It can still hold it well enough that it doesn't fall out, but the hilt does have a tendency to slip down a bit. Compare that to the left hand, wherein the grip is extremely tight – the perfect basis for some great two-handed poses.

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For those who hold Star Wars: The Clone Wars near and dear to them this Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi figure is the one they've been waiting for. Despite there being countless versions of the character out there now, there's just something about combination of Jedi robes and clone armour that really make this one stand out. The Tartakovsky Clone Commander version does it exceptionally well too (albeit in a slightly different way), so even if you're a fan of both the two compliment each other nicely. And of course, with that one long out of print and fetching a higher price on the aftermarket this is also makes a good alternative. There's a couple of minor issues from the reuse of clone trooper parts, but on the whole this is another great figure for one of the franchise's most popular characters. It wouldn't be The Clone Wars without Obi-Wan, so it's great to see this version finally given the Black Series love it deserves.

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