Even though the order status on the website is still "Not Yet Shipped" and even though I have yet to get a shipping confirmation email, the four new Order 66 ULBPs arrived on my doorstep today. I haven't had a chance to go over them completely (I did open them, however; I just haven't inspected them closely), but here's what I can say about each set:
-A NEW EMPIRE: The Royal Guard in "attack" mode has the outer robe as a separately molded piece, and the undercloak bodysuit has some kind of knives on a thigh bandolier on each leg. In other words, it doesn't look like the undercloak bodysuit of the ROTS Royal Guard action figure. Sidious and Vader are both very nicely sculpted, although the paint applications on my Sidious' face are a bit wonky. Plus the base on Vader is kind of rubbery, so I'm going to have to do some adjusting so he'll stand properly.
-JEDI MASTERS: Again, Saesee Tiin falls prey to the poorly painted face affliction, and Mace is holding his robe in a very unusual way. Kit Fisto's blade is not attached in the package (it's in a small baggie taped behind him on the cardboard backdrop), and all three figures (most notably Mace) have bases molded in clear plastic with painted applications, with Mace's having various shards of broken glass from Palpatine's office window laying on the stairs. The Royal Guard included in this set is the exact same figure as included in the "New Empire" set and is, essentially, a salt/pepper shaker on a very small scale.
I'd also like to point out that Hasbro makes a really poor attempt at explaining why Agen Kolar is not included in this set in the bio on the back. Basically, Hasbro wants us to forget the fact that Kolar rode with Fisto, Mace, and Tiin to the Chancellor's Office in that Gunship and instead believe that THEY HAD TO WAIT ON HIM IN PALPATINE'S WAITING ROOM. I guess Kolar had to visit the Midicholri-Can on the way in. Sith or not, a Jedi's gotta go when he's gotta go, I suppose.
-SHOCK TROOPER ATTACK BATALLION: Two figures are straight repaints of the Utapau Clone Troopers from the first wave of the year (the wide stance standing guy and the awkward running pose kneeling guy), with the other two being new molds. The only complaint I have is that the bases on the two new guys are not solid, and are instead hollow. The best way I can describe this shortcoming is how the Unleashed 7" bases were always solid (ala Padme, AOTC Anakin, etc) and then all of a sudden Aayla Secura and the Tusken Raider had hollow bases. Not a big deal and it doesn't affect the quality of the pose, but still it reeks of cutting corners.
-VADER'S 501st LEGION: Only one repaint in the bunch (the standing at attention Utapau Clone Trooper) and he's got an entirely new base. Great poses on the new guys, great bases (made to look like pieces of the Jedi Temple stairs and decor), and a good variety with no real stinker poses. This is one that people who collect this line (e.g. me) are going to want in multiples, and I must say that the Vader from the New Empire set looks very nice leading them all.
Overall, I'd say these sets get a 8 out of 10 overall with my only sore spot being the non-inclusion of Agen Kolar and Hasbro's rather lame attempt at explaining his non-inclusion. The 501st and Shocktrooper sets are great for army building, and the New Empire and Jedi Master sets are great for having more main and secondary characters to fill out the shelves. Of course, since I'm one of about 10 people across the country collecting these at this point, that doesn't say a whole lot, does it?