#3271: Clone Pilot Odd Ball

CLONE PILOT ODD BALL

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Clone Pilot Odd Ball, who received his nickname during advanced training, has participated in many significant missions in the Clone Wars. Odd Ball is a starfighter pilot trained in flying V-19 Torrent starfighters, ARC-170 fighters and other standard Republic fighters.”

When they first appeared in Attack of the Clones, the Clone Troopers were completely interchangeable and devoid of any distinct traits or personalities.  Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars expanded on them a little bit, but only a little.  Revenge of the Sith went further by giving a few of them names, but it was really just commanders, and, again, any personality or the like was largely absent.  When the second Clone Wars launched, its creators much more quickly went to work making the clones into actual characters.  In many cases, they were working with all-new characters, but they also went back and filled in a little more with the small handful of named clones we’d gotten in Sith as well.  Today’s focus, Clone Pilot Odd Ball began as little more than a cameo in RotS’s opening dogfight.  He didn’t get a *ton* to do in Clone Wars, but it was certainly more than he’d had previously.  And he also got a figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Clone Pilot Odd Ball was figure 11 in Hasbro’s Clone Wars tie-in line.  He was one of the four new figures in the line’s second assortment.  While he sports the name “Odd Ball”, his design is also just a fairly basic Clone Pilot, which allowed Hasbro the opportunity to do one of those, while still providing another named character for the line.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  Odd Ball was largely a re-use of the standard Clone Trooper body.  It makes sense, since they would have the same build and armor, and Odd Ball has minimal unique pieces on the armor.  It’s still a really good base as well, so it’s hard to really go wrong with a figure on this set-up.  His head is a modified version of the standard helmet sculpt, now with the extra pilot gear.  It wasn’t quite as show accurate as later helmet sculpts, but I think it still made for a nice translation.  In contrast to the prior standard clone, Odd Ball’s armor is without the heavy wash, making it look far cleaner.  It makes a good degree of sense, since you wouldn’t imagine that the guy in the ship would get nearly as dirty as the trooper on the ground.  The rest of the paint is basic, but covers all the bases, and he looks pretty sharp.  Odd Ball was packed with the smaller blaster rifle, as well as a rocket launcher and missile.  They were the same ones from the standard Clone, but without the silver detailing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t remember anything special about Odd Ball’s acquisition.  I remember seeing him a few times before actually getting him, and finally breaking when there were a few other Clones to go along.  He’s never really been one of my favorites from the line or anything, but he’s a solid by the numbers release, and he had a lot of appeal being a pretty basic pilot and all.

#2843: Clone Pilot Hawk

CLONE PILOT HAWK

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

Store exclusives have been the bane of pretty much every collector’s existence for the last year, because not only has the number of things that are exclusive jumped, but so has the number of people trying to scalp them in order to make a quick buck.  Not helping matters is the general lack of quality distribution when it comes to actually getting them out there, making for an all around just unpleasant experience.  So, there’s definitely a little twinge of anxiety that hits every time a new item is announced, and then also confirmed as an exclusive.  In the case of Star Wars: The Black Series, there’s a whole sub-set of throwback Clone Wars figures, which seemed poised to be the worst thing ever to get, but which now seem to be significantly less so, which I suppose is a good thing.  For me personally, I was most invested in getting the clones, which I have.  I’m starting things off today, with a look at Clone Pilot Hawk.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Clone Pilot Hawk is one of the four figures in Target’s exclusive assortment of Clone Wars-retro carded Black Series figures.  He’s the most obscure character in the bunch, to be sure, notably being the only one included who has never had a figure, even in the days of Hasbro’s far more expansive Clone Wars toy line.  Not only did we not get Hawk, we never even got one of the pilots with this specific helmet design, which does feel kind of baffling when you get right down to it.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Now, the fact that Hasbro very recently introduced an all-new basic clone body into the line might lead you to believe that Hawk might, you know, be built on it, what with being kind of a basic clone and all.  However, you’d in fact be a fool to think that, because he’s absolutely not built on that body.  Neither is he built on the old clone body, though, so don’t think that either.  Instead, he’s actually built on the Captain Rex body, for some reason.  I mean, I’m not knocking it.  It’s a good body in its own right, and certainly an improvement on the old clone body, meaning his movement isn’t really restricted like it would have been on that older body.  In fact, his movement’s pretty darn great, so that’s cool.  He gets an all-new head for his unique helmet, as well as a connected breathing device, to signify his pilot nature.  Also, in a far more minor touch, he also gets a new belt, sans the kama and the holsters.  The new parts are nicely crafted, with the helmet in particular being the real star piece here.  It does a quite respectable job of walking the line between animated faithfulness and merging with the realistic style of the line.  I definitely like it a lot.  Hawk’s paintwork is generally pretty nicely handled.  There’s a little bit of slop on the hands on my figure, but he otherwise turned out pretty nicely.  I like the extra markings on the armor, as well as how they’ve weathered them a bit to show that his armor’s been in use.  Hawk is packed with a standard small Clone Trooper blaster.  It’s a little light, but it’s also fairly standard set-up for a pilot figure in this line, so it’s hard to say it’s a surprise.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hawk was my only “must have” figure in this set, largely because I’ve just always liked this particular pilot design and it’s literally never gotten a figure before.  I was happy he got a figure, but not so happy that it wound up as an exclusive.  Fortunately, Max was able to help me out with this one, as it wound up being literally the first of the four he saw at retail.  He turned out really nicely, and I’m curious to see if we might actually get some of the other Clone Pilots in the main line now.  Time will tell.

There’s also a bit of a post-Jess segment to this one as well.  This figure is the last figure added to my collection before Jess died.  Max brought him to me during her last week in the hospital, and I had him with me those last few days.  He’s the last new figure I got to show her, and the last figure she got to be excited about me adding to my collection.  I didn’t know that when I got him, but those are the sorts of things you never do know, I guess.  I do know that showing off my new figures to her was one of my very favorite things about collecting in the last eight years, and the items I gotten since all feel a little different, since something’s very definitely missing.  He gets to be my last contact to that feeling, and the last true part of that collection.  My collection post-Jess will be a different one, and I’ll have to figure out how as I move forward.  But this guy’s not going anywhere, I can tell you that much.