I must buy them from S@H NOW!
Anyhow, review time...
I first saw these guys back in October, when the illegal pictures were released, but they were vague catalogue scans only. Now we have complete CGI pics with proper backgrounds.
The Rogue Knights...what can I say apart from 'cool'? Man, both Karzon and Dracus look great. I like the grizzled, worn, hard look their armour and weapons have, in comparison with the glossy black and red of the Shadow Knights. Also, the weapons look more realistic and original, with a flail (this'll make the translation to minifig form, I hope) and broader shields. The actual animal heraldry looks much better this time around, as well. Instead of the foreign-looking monkeys of the first and second year, we've got more European (Castle is set here, after all, with the possible exception of Ninja) styled animals, with horses, bulls and dragons as some of the new seals. In fact, I think these guys are in the running for the coolest bad guys in the entire Castle theme.
The Hero Knights...not quite as impressive as the baddies, but this might be just because evil is more intriguing and impressive than good. But I definately like them. Adric has a certain Celtic feel about him, with the green colouring and the wild horse as his heraldry. I like his mace, and the helm, if done right, will be a great minifig helmet, like most of the 2006 Knights, in fact. Kentis, in contrast with Adric, feels more English, with the red colouring and the medieval-style helm. The axe looks interesting, too. So whilst they're not on the same level as the Rogue Knights, I still like them a lot.
Lord Vladek...imposing. A new cloak, and a wicked-looking sword as well. The armour is also unique, being quite dark and tarnished like the Rogue Knights, but with the same heraldry and colouring as the Shadow Knights. Whilst I'm still not pleased that Vladek's back again the second time, Lego has at least earned back some credibility with the great design.
King Jayko...incredible. I love the golden colour on his armour, and the new sword. The face is also interesting, as it appears that Jayko's changed a great deal, from a reckless young rookie to a dignified and powerful King. He's also grown a beard
. If this guy looks as great in minifig form as he does here, then I think there might be a new contender for the best king in Castle. Look out, King Richard, King Leo and King Mathias: there's a new (though a bit older) kid on the block!
So, here's to hoping that the minifigs look as great!