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The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Collection In Summation

Posted by Paul | October 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM ET

The "Shadow Of The Dark Side" phase of The Clone Wars line was definitely Hasbro's best effort yet. While some of the super-articulation was reduced by just a few points in later sculpts, the proportions and interpretations of the characters brought forth into plastic realization were beyond incredibly impressive. Let's take a look at what the line brought us and we even hint at where it may be going. Click through for our summation on the "Shadow Of The Dark Side" line look phase of The Clone Wars line!

The last 1.5 years have been a blast for The Clone Wars collectors. We received a plethora of excellent new figures and Hasbro promises more are on the way. But not right away it seems. The beginning of 2012 is all about Episode I and this is the product that will be taking over store shelves for quite some time. As a result, Hasbro only has 19 figures planned at the moment for the beginning of 2012 (and most of them are straight repacks). But there is a strong possibility that The Clone Wars line will return hot and heavy by Comic Con 2012 after the hoopla of Episode I has dissipated some. Of course, we'll have to wait until Hasbro announces this themselves to be certain.

Click any thumbnail below to be taken to our Research Droids Reviews of these figures.

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 1 (Wave 14)


The hair on our backs stood up when we found out that out of the 19 figures released in waves 1 and 1.5 of the new line look, that only four were all-new figures. But classics like Aurra Sing and Pre Vizsla alleviated some of our earliest fears. Hasbro packed a ton of articulation especially into Pre Vizsla and as a result he still remains a collector favorite. And Aurra Sing encouraged us of what was possible for a realistic style figure eventually. Despite the 15 immediate reissues, we waited patiently to see what was next on Hasbro's The Clone Wars agenda and we were excited for them.

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 2 (Wave 15)


The first two phases of The Clone Wars line brought us some of our favorite Prequel Trilogy characters to the line in animated form, but they were significantly limited in articulation of authenticity. Both 2009's Kit Fisto and Mace Windu figures were too lanky and awkward and we wanted better versions of them. That happened in the second wave of the "Shadow Of The Dark Side" line and Hasbro really impressed us with incredible updates to these characters. We also got long-awaited The Clone Wars film characters including the Battle Droid Commander and the Jungle Camo ARF Trooper which were wonderful additions to the wave as well. Hasbro also carried forward 2009's Commander Gree into this wave to help meet demand.

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 3 (Wave 16)


One things that fans of The Clone Wars line were dying to get from Hasbro were the many characters from the awesome Landing At Point Rain episode. That happened in the third wave of The Clone Wars line, but many more characters would come later. Clone Pilot Goji was also released in this wave and became an instant hit with the Godzilla insignia on his helmet, although we immediately noticed that his articulation was less than the other clone pilots we received. Another carried forward figure, R2-D2 was also part of this wave. You can never have enough R2-D2 action figures on the market, right?

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 4 (Wave 17)


We were quickly enlightened to the fact that a new philosophy had seemingly been applied to the way Hasbro were bringing collectors The Clone Wars basic action figures. The fourth wave brought jaw-dropping iterations of young Boba Fett, Shaak Ti and the hugely popular Embo. Super-duper articulation, incredible use of soft-goods (Shaak Ti anyone?) and stunning paint jobs brought these characters to life. And who doesn't mind the inclusion of an obligatory atromech droid like R4-P17 either? To help pad the wave, Hasbro included a Mandalorian Warrior with a different paint job. But probably two of the greatest figures from The Clone Wars line are from this wave (Boba Fett and Embo) and will remain timeless examples of what Hasbro is capable of bringing to the basic figure line.

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 5 (Wave 18)


The goodness from wave 4 trickled right into wave 5 as we got some incredible The Clone Wars figures here as well. The Undead Geonosian was a first for Hasbro. We never received a zombie Geonosian (or any other character for that matter) before and they did a standout job with it. Cata Parasitti and Quinlan Vos just reinforced the fact that Hasbro has no limits when it comes to fine action figure engineering. One figure that we feel didn't get its due credit was Clone Trooper Draa. He comes with a cool weapon, a backpack and Pac-Man on his helmet, so what more would you want? The paint jobs were expecially wonderful on this wave of figures too.

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 6 (Wave 19)


We wondered how long it would take to get an awesome update to the first version of Cad Bane. That came about in 2011 with the first wave of the year in the "Shadow Of The Dark Side" line. Hasbro fixed his height and his proportions and made what we can consider a definitive version of the fan favorite bounty hunter. Hasbro only satisfied 25% of us with one member of the Domino Squad. And what collection would be complete without Ahsoka Tano's astromech droid R7-A7? The Clone Wars line showed no signs of stopping and collectors of the line couldn't wait to see what was next. (But what about Clone Commander Jet and our second chance at Hondo Ohnaka? Hasbro skipped right over them, didn't they?)

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 7 (Wave 20)


Characters from The Clone Wars began transitioning closer to their Episode III appearances. We got an update to Obi-Wan Kenobi in the previous wave and now wave 7 brought us a cool update to Anakin Skywalker and what we suppose would be an Episode III version of Ahsoka Tano had she appeared in the film. But the standout figures in this wave were Clone Commander Wolffe, El-Les and the Aqua Droid which the latter Hasbro managed to squeeze a ton of articulation into its sculpt. Clone Commander Wolffe may just have the best head sculpt of any clone in the entire The Clone Wars line and El-Les is just too cool for words and a perfect companion to the mail-away Sergeant Bric.

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 8 (Wave 21)


It was satisfying news to us all that one of the ARC Troopers in the ARC Troopers Battle Packs set was going to be accurately repainted and sold as a basic figure. Clone Commander Colt received an awesome update and came out so much better than the Battle Packs version. But two "neglected" figures that we were infinitely more impressed with were Barriss Offee and Eeth Koth. Many criticized Barriss Offee because she lacked any of the quality articulation seen on so many other figures, but we appreciated the amazing sculpt and she ultimately ranks as one of our favorites. Eeth Koth is just at a disadvantage because so few people know much about him, but Hasbro did him justice and we wish more people bought him.

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 9 (Wave 22)


Wave 22, 23 and 24 came without any real warning or order for collectors. In fact, they arrived at retail in an almost reverse order. Most prevalently found at TARGET, wave 22 included the long lost Clone Commander Jet and Hondo Ohnaka figures. But it also included one of the most sought after figures: Savage Opress. You better believe that demand won't be satisfied for this figure and will be carried figure for quite some time. He's the "Darth Maul" for the younger Star Wars generation. Also of note, the Expanded Universe version of Plo Koon and the cool Kamino inspired ARF Trooper are also two figures you should not overlook either.

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 10 (Wave 23)


Primarily found at Toys R Us and TARGET, wave 23 of The Clone Wars line definitely contained some hot figures. The generic version of the Stealth Operations Clone Trooper was packed in the same case as the totally awesome Saesee Tiin in addition to the cold weather version of Kit Fisto. But Seripas is another knock it out of the park action figure by Hasbro as well. We feel however that Captain Rex is the best figure from this mix of figures. Unfortunately many collectors are ignoring him because he doesn't have ball-jointed ankles. This is a travesty because it is the best version of Captain Rex ever and he even includes the (small detachable) jetpack seen in The Clone Wars film available for the first time in the basic figure line.

The Clone Wars "Shadow Of The Dark Side" Wave 11 (Wave 24)


Wave 24 should have been the last wave showing up at retail in 2011, but it ended up being the first. (Hopefully another batch will be arriving before the end of 2011 because this wave certainly did not meet demand in any way at all.) There are some cool figures in this wave including the adorable Even Piell and the armored version of Savage Opress. They are probably the best here. Chewbacca is better than average and R7-D4 is confusing many collectors because it's the first Build A Droid figure in the animated line. What could this possibly mean for the future? We don't know. Hasbro also made Jar Jar Binks available again for those who missed him in 2009.


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