Yesterday, there was a little ray of sunshine beaming through the clouds, as I actually found something new and noteworthy while picking up cat supplies at Walmart. Not only is it another awesome Marvel Comic Pack from Hasbro, but its the last of the three that I needed from this 2011/2012 assortment. This time around, its an X-Men themed pack featureing that epitome of douchebaggery itself, Gambit along with one of my personal favorite geneticist shapeshifters, Mr. Sinister.
I’ve certainly droned on enough in the past about how much I love this packaging, so let me just once again remark about how I think this is just perfect presentation. Two figures, mounted on a card with a comic book reprint as the backdrop. Superb! Sure, the comics are sometimes hit and miss, but in this case it has an awesome cover, and the comic itself is pretty great too, not the least of all because it features Sinister doing some rather painful experimental surgeries on a certain cajun mutant prick. Some may take issue that Sinister isn’t on the cover, but he does play prominantly inside. I’m also stoked that I now have every figure on the cover of this issue, with the one exception of Rogue.
So first off, let’s talk Gambit. Boy, do I hate Gambit, and yet I’ve wanted him in my 3 3/4″ Marvel collection ever since I passed on the one issued in that X-Men Origins: Wolverine line. So, it may seem odd to some that I really wanted a figure of a character I hate so much. Maybe I love to hate him, but more likely its just because he is such a top-tier character that not having him in my collection feels like a very conspicuous hole. Besides, which, I’ve always liked his design and the figure turned out splendidly, even if it is mostly a repaint.
Yes, a repaint! For all intents and purposes, this is a slightly repainted re-release of the aforementioned Wolverine: Origins figure. Not that that’s a bad thing. Wolverine might have been a shite movie, but it did produce some very nice figures. Indeed, I have Wolverine to thank for my Deadpool. I’m pretty sure this figure was originally released as part of the Animated Series of the movie figures, which explains why the head sculpt is a tad stylized, but its barely noticeable to me, and he fits in just fine with my other Marvel Universe X-Men. The only difference in sculpt that I can see is the addition of the kerchief around his neck.
The sculpting on the figure is especially nice, even if it is old. The jacket is just about perfect, with a slight bellowing to the bottom to give it a dynamic look, while also allowing for his leg articulation to work. There are a lot of nice loving details in the wrinkles and buttons, especially for a figure in this scale. The body sculpt is also executed with care, and extra detail is paid to his boots and his chest piece.
The paintwork is clean and sharp, and for a repaint not all that much different from the original figure. His coat is about the same, the chestpiece looks like it might be a bit more muted, and his boots look more grey than blue.
Gambit’s articulation isn’t quite up to what we’ve seen on the other two 2011/12 comic packs, but that’s because he’s an older sculpt. You do get a ball jointed neck. Arms with ball jointed shoulders and elbows, but no wrist articulation. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and double-hinged at the knees, but no ankle articulation. He has a swivel in the torso. Its ironic, but this is exactly the level of articulation that Hasbro is coming back to in order to cut costs for the new GI JOE and Avengers figures. Either way, you can still get some decent poses out of Gambit.
Gambit comes with his staff, and yes its the same staff that he came with the first time around. He is missing his cards, which I thought odd, but considering the amount of plastic and tooling that had to go into Mr. Sinister, Hasbro was probably anxious to save production costs on this set wherever possible.
Next up is Mr. Sinister, and holy hell am I happy to have this guy in my collection. He’s another one of those figures that makes me wonder why the single-carded MU series is full of so many repainted bucks for nine dollars, when we get a figure this amazing and impressive in a $15 two-pack. But then I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s look at the figure.
Yes, Sinister is a pretty sizeable figure and when you toss in his cape, he’s all the more impressive. Sure, its pretty obvious that he’s built on a slightly resculpted Colossus body, but here’s another example of Hasbro knowing how to resuse parts, because it really does work quite well for the character. Besides the obvious paint change, Hasbro extended the boots up over his knees, added shoulder armor, and swapped out the belt buckle, and obviously gave him a brand new head. And what a great head sculpt it is! The facial structure is really well executed and the paint apps are perfectly applied. And speaking of paintwork, I really dig what Hasbro used for his armor. Its a dark blue with a slight metallic twinge to it.
The cape is a separate piece and hangs off his shoulders, mostly around his neck. It does sit a tad awkwardly, giving him a bit of a hunched expression. Also, I would have liked it if it pegged in the back to make it stay a little better, but that’s nothing a little spot of bluetack won’t fix. The individual streams coming off of it really make for a unique piece, but in the end, and while I’ll probably display him on my MU shelf with the cape on, I think I prefer the figure without it.
Sinister fares better than Gambit in the articulation department. He’s got a ball jointed neck, with that extra hinge in there that I love so much. His arms feature ball jointed shoulders, swives in the biceps and wrists, and hinged elbows. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs and ankles, double hinges in the knees, and hinges in the ankles. Not bad!
I really can’t say enough good things about the three Greatest Battles packs that Hasbro put out in this assortment, and this set is yet another grand slam! It has important characters which are executed brilliantly and should make a great addition to any Marvel Universe collection. If you already own the Origins Gambit, I suppose you could beef about having to buy him again to get Sinister, but then again, if Sinister was a single carded release I probably wouldn’t have been able to find him on the pegs anyway. On the other hand to get two great figures for $15 really feels like a fantastic deal, as opposed to buying individually carded MU figures at about $9 a pop. This set has really got me excited over MU again, and I can’t wait until the new figures start turning up.