I had promised to get a review of the Sideshow Collectibles Ben Kenobi Mythos statue a while ago, but alas, life has a way of getting in the way and throwing us curve balls. The statue review had to sit on hold as I attended to some personal matters, but today we examine the second entry into Sideshow’s Mythos line and see if it delivers the goods. As mentioned in my Darth Maul Mythos review, the Sideshow Mythos line is populated by Star Wars characters from new and existing storylines while offering Sideshow’s interpretations of what these characters have done outside of the Star Wars canon.
When it comes to Ben Kenobi, Sideshow didn’t have to go too far for inspiration for this statue. The back story on which this statue is based revolves around the events on Tatooine, where the Jedi master leaves a young Luke Skywalker in the care of the Lars family. Ben heads off into the Dune Sea to find a place to build a shelter that is both close enough to keep a watchful eye over Luke and far enough to keep the Empire from discovering him should Obi-Wan be discovered.
Removing the statue from the brown shipper box reveals the beautiful product packaging that Sideshow created for this piece. On one side of the box, you have a photo of the statue displayed with Sir Alec Guinness’s head sculpt; the other side shows a concept drawing from the design phase of this statue. The two smaller sides also have additional concept artwork with one side showing the Tatooine skyline and the other a portrait of Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. I mentioned it before in the Darth Maul review, and I’ll repeat it here, the box designs for the Mythos line so far have been works of art. Upon opening the box, we find a large-sized heavy card stock envelope decorated with the statue’s concept artwork that holds within it the statue’s Certificate of Authenticity. The Certificate of Authenticity itself is also printed on thick card stock with all the elements of the artwork found on the product box coming together for a unique 8 1/2 x 11 poster on one side with the Certificate printed on the other.
Opening the protective Styrofoam reveals a slew of pieces (13 total, 11 usable at a time) that you have to put together to complete the statue. You get a weighty base that has a simple round design with simulated sand on the top. The edition size and the statue information are inscribed on the bottom of the base. Ben’s body attaches to the ground through a key on his left foot, while the right foot slides into an indentation in the base for some additional support. Do note that Ben’s body is hefty, so caution is advised when you take him out of the box not to put all the pressure on the legs when handling him for fear of breakage. Sideshow ships Ben with head sculpts based on both Sir Alec Guinness, and Ewan McGregor looks. The heads attach to the top of the statue by slipping into a large groove in the upper torso further secured by magnets.
The statue also ships with two rights hands, one with an open palm the other holding a lightsaber and just like the Darth Maul Mythos, these attach through a peg and hole design though this time around, they are tight and snug, with no fear of them falling out. The lightsaber is deployed and cannot be detached from the saber without actually breaking it off. For those who hate plastic sabers, you can cleanly break it off by gentle twisting until the plastic breaks off. The statue ships with many accessories that must be attached and for which Sideshow provides no instructions. They are simple enough to install, but they have to go in a specific order as some attachments overlap others, so it took me a couple of tries to put the statue together in the proper order. The two sabers that attach to the cloak using a key to secure in place. We then have the antenna that attaches to the top of the water cistern and the goggles which attach below Ben’s face through two small keys in the statue. The pieces that attach to the back of the statue are the ones that must go in a particular order to connect correctly. First, you must attach the rope and hook to the side of the backpack, after which you attach the bladed weapons, followed by the Tusken rifle giving you the fully assembled statue.
Moving onto the sculpt, I have to say that this is one of my favorite designs in a long time for a Star Wars piece. Ben is portrayed as walking through the Dune Sea, carrying his belongings and cloak blowing in the desert winds, which gives this piece both a gritty and dynamic feel. Besides his backpack, Ben is portrayed holding a slew of items and belongings on his back, including his armor from his service in the Clone Wars, Tusken Raider weapons including a rifle and melee weapons, a rolled-up Jerba skin rug, Jawa Bandoliers, a water cistern, and a rope and hook. These accessories give us an insight into some of the adventures and situations that Ben encountered on his journey. Ben also carries two lightsabers on his cloak, one a keepsake from his fallen master, Qui-Gon, the other for Luke for when he comes of age. All the accessories mentioned are intricately detailed and add to the overall piece by conveying Ben as a nomad on a journey. The polystone clothing is sculpted in layers and given momentum with clothing folding and flapping in the wind. Small touches like a loose piece of simulated leather around his boots and bits of sculpted cloth around the Tuskin rifle blowing in the wind giving us additional reminders that the desert winds are battering our Jedi. The flowing cloak, which is also a keepsake item from his fallen master Qui-Gon is impressive in size and brings this whole piece together by really giving it a sense of momentum. The swap-out hands are well sculpted, though it would have been nice to have been able to display the saber wielding hand without having to resort to breaking the deployed plastic portion; Darth Maul’s plastic attachments were removable, why not this one? Both head sculptures on this piece are incredible looking with a younger-looking Sir Alec Guinness and an older looking Ewan McGregor. Both are unmistakably similar to their respective real-life actors and feature incredible detail in the facial hair, skin wrinkles, and hair.
The paint application on the Sideshow pieces has always been a bit of a hit or miss depending on the piece; I am happy to share that this piece features an outstanding paint application that puts some of the newer pieces to shame. The clothes are painted in drab colors, and the significant weathering effects painted on the clothing add to the sense of grittiness of the piece. The boots feature shades of brown, and while sculpted, they convey a leathery look thanks to the excellent paint application. The cloak generally has a uniform brown color with some areas of lighter and darker paint to bring out the details in the sculpt work. The Weapons and sabers feature a metallic look with organic elements such as leather and ropes, all painted with precision. The Clone Wars armor shines with all the simulated battle damage. The head sculpts excel with unique flesh tones and perfectly painted eyes; add to that the fantastic detail that is brought out by adding highlights to the hair and facial hair, and you have two of the best-painted head sculpts in a while. The overall paint application is of a very high quality applied by steady hands as I don’t see sloppy painting, smearing, or imperfect edges.
With everything good being said about this statue, there are unfortunately, two problems that have arisen since it shipped to customers. The first has to do with the edition size. Sideshow’s edition size for this statue is 2000 pieces. Unfortunately, it appears that someone got it wrong on the factory floor and put the edition size on the first batch of statues as 1200. Sideshow announced the remainder of the statues being produced would carry the 2000 edition size, which leaves this statue’s edition size fractured. To Sideshow’s credit, they did offer the owners of the wrongly marked statues a $25 credit should they decide to keep the statue or a full refund should they be unhappy with this error. The second issue, and probably the more controversial, is not including Obi-Wan’s un-deployed lightsaber, which was part of the statue on Sideshow’s website when the statue went up for ordering. Sideshow doesn’t consider this to be an issue and is not owning up to the fact that the photos on their website which people based their orders on, had it around his waist. It now appears that Sideshow has gone back and updated the photos after all the complaints to show the statue without the saber. Thankfully, homegrown solutions have popped up, and some talented sculptors have provided those who wanted the saber a way of buying one and attaching it themselves. Other issues specific to my statue include a chipped collar around Ben’s neck, which unfortunately looks like it occurred on the factory floor since the chipped piece was not in the box. A broken melee weapon, again on the factory floor, because on this one, it appears that someone tried to fix it with superglue and did a lousy job at it by leaving glue residue on the piece and a loose piece that is barely attached.
I love this piece and the feeling it conveys. It’s a beautiful translation of outstanding concept design to a statue medium, and it translates oh so well. The overall sculpt and paint application are outstanding; add to that Sideshow has knocked the ball out of the park when it comes to the head sculpts on their Mythos line, and you owe it to yourself to own this piece if you are a fan of Star Wars. Unfortunately, this line is still far from perfect, and this statue is marred with production issues and controversies that prevent this statue from achieving perfection. The edition size issue and Sideshow’s practice of updating photos of products until after they’ve shipped (which has happened more than once) are a sore point among collectors. Even with all these issues, this statue still comes in as Highly Recommended.
This product was purchased by the reviewer and was not provided by the manufacturer for this review.