Given that I love me some clones and my wife goes by the moniker of “Oddball” on the Star Wars forums that she frequents, you’d expect that I’d have a real affinity for Clone Pilot Oddball. I don’t. To me, Oddball is a majorly underdeveloped clone, both in the Clone Wars cartoon and Revenge of the Sith. I don’t want Oddball to die or anything, but let’s face it–he’s no Echo or Fives. Of course, all this is a moot point, because I’d have bought Vintage Collection Oddball even if I wasn’t obligated to do so from the Star Wars case I pre-ordered.
You might think that a simple clone pilot action figure wouldn’t reach the heights that some of the other figures in this wave such as Darth Malgus and Starkiller have–and you’d be right. But at the very least, Oddball avoids the fate of being merely a complete repack…
Seeing as how Oddball is a Revenge of the Sith-era clone pilot, he looks pretty similar to every other clone pilot from that movie. He also may look similar to some of your past clone pilot figures, because, well–he’s a kitbash of mostly old parts. Still, Hasbro could have really cheaped out and made Oddball a straight repack, but they at least gave him a couple new parts. I’d have preferred an all-new Clone Pilot Oddball for the expensive Vintage Collection price, but I appreciate the new head (plus helmet!) and lower legs. So the fact that this figure is at least a little bit new earns a marginal “Right”.
Despite being an almost completely old figure, VC97 still comes close to being super-articulated. Oddball has many ball-joints including neck, shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles. In addition, Vintage Collection Oddball has a swivel waist, swivel forearms, and T-Crotch swivel hips. This is a pretty respectable amount of articulation for a guy whose only role in life is to sit in the cockpit of a vehicle.
Oddball comes with two accessories: a DC-15 blaster and a removable helmet. It’s not a lot of accessories, but what else would you really give a clone who I’m not sure we ever even see out of the cockpit in any form of media? The DC-15 is standard issue, and VC97 Oddball’s trigger finger fits comfortably over the trigger. The removable helmet is actually a great accessory, though it’s unfortunate that it leaves a big peg hole in Oddball’s chest when you remove it. The see-thru visor on the helmet is a major improvement over the helmet in the Imperial Pilot Legacy set, as is its deco, and it’s certainly the best-looking Episode III-style Clone Pilot helmet we’ve seen. Since this is a movie Oddball, he’s a plain-haired Jango Fett underneath the helmet. I won’t be displaying him without the helmet–ever–but I appreciate that the option has been given to me.
The major “Wrong” of this figure is exactly what you’d expect: he’s a hodgepodge of old parts. The upper-body is from the very good Imperial Pilot Legacy Evolutions multipack that came out in 2008, but I totally hate the hips and upper-legs. These lower-body pieces come from the original 2005 ROTS Clone Pilot action figure, and to be blunt, Oddball has a mega case of diaper-crotch. It looks really silly looking straight-on, and I really wish Hasbro had developed ball-jointed hips or resculpted the flight suit to look less silly.
Also, some of the paint on my Vintage Collection Oddball is sloppy. He’s got stray black lines on his boots, as well as splotches of white on his black oxygen tubes and black back-straps. Since Oddball has such a simple (and probably cheap) paint job, I wish the factories had been a little more careful with the paint applications.
It’s a dismal period for Star Wars collectors trying to hunt for new figures at retail, and I haven’t seen anything new personally since the Deleted Scenes wave in the winter. I gave up and bought the complete case of this wave off BigBadToyStore and got Oddball, Starkiller, Tarkin, Darth Malgus, Shae Vizla, and a variety of other good Vintage Collection figures for under $10 each.
Oddball is not the most desirable new Star Wars figure, and consequently he’s actually pretty cheap and easy to acquire online: various online stores have him available individually, or you can always try your luck bidding on the current auctions for Oddball.
Overall: This is the best movie version of a Revenge of the Sith-styled Clone Pilot ever released–as it should be at the Vintage Collection pricepoint. From an articulation standpoint Oddball is plenty well-done, and the upper-body sculpting is still excellent (despite being old tooling). The big innovation here is the removable helmet, which is always a welcome feature. But the paint apps on my Oddball weren’t as clean as you’d expect on a figure with so little paintwork to begin with, and I outright dislike Vintage Oddball’s diaper crotch. I like seeing Oddball on the vintage cardback and it’s good that Hasbro improved the ROTS Clone Pilot ever-so-slightly, but this figure is still just pretty average. If you have the 2008 Evolutions version, there’s little intrigue to be found with Oddball unless you particularly fancy his new head and helmet.