Last time I promised y’all crawdads and gumbo, and here we are zipping back to the Caliban Wave with a look at you know who. “Who? To my friends, de name’s Remy LeBeau. To my enemies, it’s Gambit!” Yes, the ever quotable Gambit. He’s a character I love to hate. Or is that hate to love? Maybe it’s both. Alls I know is he frequently made me want to punch my TV screen whenever he appeared in the X-Men cartoon. Whatever the case, he’s a staple of my X-Men stable and it’s about time we got him in the modern Legends line!
Gambit is the fourth figure I’ve opened in this most solid of waves, and he’s definitely one of my more anticipated figures. It’s been a long time since I owned the Toybiz Legends version, and I still have some fond memories of that figure, especially that they had the balls to do a soft-goods jacket in that scale. Hasbro has shied away from any soft-goods in Marvel Legends and they even use it frustratingly sparingly in the Star Wars Black Series. Anyway… Can Hasbro’s modern version outmatch my fondness for the old figure? Let’s find out right now.
Well, still no soft-goods here, and I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing, even if the coat here is instantly familiar. We saw it all the way back in 2012 on Fantomex and since then Hasbro has recycled this jacket so often that if it wasn’t made of plastic, it’d be threadbare by now. But it works, and it works very well for this figure. With its stylish high collar and the segmented lapels, this jacket looks great in brown, and the sculpted sleeves on the arms fill in the holes to make the illusion that it’s all one garment work almost perfectly. And there’s some amazingly subtle detail in it, from the creases and texture of the fabric to the sculpted rumples and stitch lines. Some of these details didn’t show up quite as well when cast in black or white, but it sure does now.
Under that coat there are some great colors and a surprising amount of new sculpting going on. The boots, the collar piece and the piping running along his belt line are all sculpted details, which could have probably been phoned in with simple paint detail. And speaking of paint, I really love the metallic purple and blue they used for his suit. When contrasted with the brown matte of the jacket, it pops beautifully. The body’s articulation is standard stuff except for two surprises. The elbows don’t have the usual double-hinges, but instead are rotating hinges. Aesthetically, I guess it works better for the sculpted sleeves, but it does inhibit the range of the elbows over what I’m used to seeing.
With the costume portrayed so well, it was up to the head sculpt to make or break this figure, and I’m happy to say that the portrait succeeds on all fronts. From the way his shock of hair protrudes from the top of his cowl to the very subtle traces of his beard and mustache, Hasbro did Gambit proud here. The jutting chin, prominent nose, and black and red eyes are all quite unmistakable. And while it may sound like a joke, I think these are some of the best ear sculpts Hasbro has done yet. Seriously!
Gambit comes with a few accessories to round out the package. Obviously, he comes with his Bo staff. It’s nothing special, just a gray segmented staff, which can be gripped in his right hand and cradled in his left.
Next up, he comes with a little energized playing card effect part, which can be laced around his hand and works exceptionally well on his left hand with the two pointing fingers. I actually dropped this goddamn thing while I was shooting and it took me ten minutes of crawling on the floor to find the thing. Happily I eventually did, otherwise the cats would have claimed it as their own and I never would have seen it again.
The second effect part is connected to an alternate left hand, which has him throwing three charged cards. This one looks pretty great too and it should be a lot harder to lose since it’s attached to a hand.
I hope y’all aren’t tired of X-Men yet, because I’m going to keep this Mutant ball rolling along next week. The last couple years has been like an X-Men Renaissance within the modern Marvel Legends line. It’s like Hasbro has been working overtime to pack as many X-Men into the lineup as they possibly can, and I’ve got no problems with that! 2019 even upped the ante with some superb multi-pack box sets in addition to stacking the decks with excellent waves like this one. I won’t give away who I’ll be opening next week. You’ll just have to read my mind!