9471 Urak-Hai Army
As mentioned below, I've been loaned the LotR sets for photography purposes by the good people at Gizmocom and ToyAddict, which is just as well because it's going to be a couple of months until they are available to buy in Europe. I understand several shops in the USA (including TRU) are selling at least some of them now: I guess it's only fair that you get something early given Europe had Star Wars and Marvel a few weeks before you earlier in the year :-)
Anyway, I'll be creating a full minifig gallery in due course but for now I'm going to post photos of the sets, which were sent to me assembled, so I won't be able to tell you what the build is like.
First up, then, is 9471 Urak-Hai Army. This costs $35 in the USA and consists of a section of wall, 6 minifigs and a siege machine. The great thing about this is that not only is it a great 'army builder' it's also designed to be a 'castle extender': the wall section can be connected to 9474, The Batle of Helm's Deep, and I guess you could buy as many of these as you liked to build a massive castle wall. The back of the box shows how they can be combined.
The six minifigs are Eomer, a Rohan soldier and four Urak-hai. The latter all have the same legs, torso and head printing, but the addidion of helmets and armour to some of them has created three variations.
This is the only set that Eomer comes in, and one criticism is that, given the set is likely to be bought in multiples by those that want to stage large battles, it would perhaps have been better to have another generic Rohan soldier instead: after all, you only need one Eomer, right?
The horse is of the new articulated-back-legs type so it's possible to pose it in new ways. Unfortunately, however, the saddle prevents the minifig from bending forwards to be upright, which I'm sure he'd try and do in order to stay on the horse :-)
The seige machine is perhaps a little disappointing in that it looks big, heavy and fearsome, but it fires only small projectiles that don't look as if they'd have much of an impact on the castle walls. They do, however, launch at quite a speed.
So to conclude then, it's a neat set and one that will be worth picking up multiples of. $35 doesn't seem too bad for it, although it'll probably be £35 in the UK which will make it a bit on the expensive side.
Next up, probably tomorrow: 9476 The Orc Forge.