X-MEN: CLASSIC (TOY BIZ)
The ‘90s were quite good to the X-Men. They several top selling comics, a few video games, and a cartoon. But, most importantly, they had an awesome, hugely expansive line of action figures, courtesy of Toy Biz. Earlier figures in the line were fairly straightforward versions of the X-Men, but as the line continued, Toy Biz started experimenting with a number of different gimmicks to keep things interesting. The very first “gimmick series” gave each figure a light-up feature. Though light-up features weren’t new to the line, these figures were different in that, rather than lighting up themselves, they used a two-part light-up feature that allowed them to light up their accessories. Mostly, the series was just an excuse to release new versions of a few outdated figures. Today, I’ll be looking at Gambit from that series.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Gambit was released in the X-Men: Classic “Light-Up Weapons Series,” which was the 13th series of figures in Toy Biz’s 5-inch X-Men line. This was Gambit’s second figure in the line, after getting his first back in Series 3. The figure stands about 5 ½ inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. His articulation isn’t terrible, but the light-up feature’s inner workings are in his chest and right arm, which reduces the posablilty of the right shoulder quite a bit and also necessitates removing the usual elbow joints. Though the X-Men line was meant as a tie-in for the cartoon running at the same time, the figures tended to be more directly based on their comics appearances. Gambit actually looks to take a lot of influence from his Capcom game appearances, since he’s rather beefy and stylized. The overall look isn’t too bad, though it does seem like Gambit’s been juicing just a bit, since he’s usually more slender than he’s depicted here. He’s about to burst out of his sleeves for Pete’s sake! Also, his hands are absolutely huge, and if I’m honest the right one barely even looks like a hand at this point. The head exhibits the best sculpted work, and does quite a nice job of capturing Gambit’s smarmy personality. Gambit’s paint is fairly decent, if not fantastic. There’s a bit of slop here and there, especially on the fingers, and the pink lines on the sides of his pants are way more subtle than they should be. The color scheme they picked is once again pretty game-inspired, but it has a nice degree of pop, so no complaints here. Gambit included his usual staff, as well as a piece showing a fan of playing cards being kinetically charged, as if Gambit has just thrown them. The latter piece is the source of the light up feature. When plugged into Gambit’s right hand, the cards would light up at the push of the button on Gambit’s back.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This is another ‘90s X-Men figure that I’ve owned two of. The first was bought for me by my grandparents on my Mom’s side, I believe as a reward for finishing kindergarten. I got him and Juggernaut, but I think I mostly got Gambit because my grandparents felt I needed to get a “good guy” figure to go with the villain. Somewhere along the way, I lost that figure, so I picked up this replacement from a dealer at Balticon this year. He’s not a terrible figure, but he definitely shows his age.