Mezco One:12 Collective Gambit Figure ReviewJose Lopez
In The Beginning
I’m an X-Men fan, so Mezco Toyz’s announcement last year that they would be adding another X-Man to the One:12 Collective line with this Gambit figure was received very favorably by yours truly. Nothing makes me happier than being able to add Remy LeBeau to the shelf beside teammates like Cyclops, Wolverine and Cable. Gambit is one of those characters that some people love but others think is undeservedly popular. While I can see both points of view, I’d bet good money that even the naysayers would love what Mezco has done with this release.
The usual Mezco Toyz slipcover and case for this Gambit packaging is present, giving collectors a clean and efficient box to store things away securely. The large “X” on the front continues the stylistic branding that most X-Men characters have had since Wolverine was released, this time in Gambit’s classic color scheme. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies here and I couldn’t agree more. This late in the game, why bother redesigning packaging that works so perfectly?
I’m extremely happy that Mezco stuck so closely to the original design of Gambit’s original costume from the Uncanny X-Men comic book. Mezco tends to give their own unique spin to the comic characters in the One: 12 Collective line, but apart from some vinyl applications on the black bodysuit, Gambit is fairly comics accurate. I’ve mentioned the chest armor before but its worth mentioning again how well done it is and how good it looks. The aforementioned vinyl gives the solid black parts of his outfit some welcome depth and texture.
The real star of the show here is Gambit’s long coat. I don’t always like pleather coats in this scale but his works since the coat was always drawn a bit large in the comics anyway. The tailoring of this piece is top notch and there’s even a wire running along the bottom edge of the coat that allows for nice posing. The color design looks great and the effect of Gambit with the coat own just seals the deal for any X-Fan.
The two portraits that Gambit is included with here aren’t drastically different, but both are excellently done by Mezco considering the scale they’re working with. One head is serious while the other has a slight smirk which is infinitely more suitable to a character like Gambit’s personality. In the comics, he’s portrayed as quite the charmer and con man, so a stoic look doesn’t exactly convey that.
The sculptors have outdone themselves with the subtle additions like the strands in Gambit’s floppy hair or the light stubble of his facial hair. Action figures in larger scales tend to not get those additions right so it’s pretty impressive to see Mezco do so.
Gambit’s chest armor was something I was nervous about. Opting to sculpt it out of more rigid plastic is definitely the choice that gives us a better looking piece, but I do wish it allowed for torso articulation. Gambit is a character that has been shown to be pretty lithe and gymnastic, so the restriction that this armor offers is pretty disappointing. That said, it looks excellent so your mileage may vary.
Similarly, the boots capture the original design of Gambit’s footwear from the comics and manage to make them look great in real life. I don’t love the ankle rocker movement offered by them, though, and the deciding to separate the boots at the knee is an odd choice. Once again, they look great but the execution leaves a little to be desired, personally.
The paint work here is solid. There is little to no slop on any of the portraits for Gambit, nor on the sculpted pieces of his outfit or any of his accessories. It’s easy to have some slop creep in here and there at this scale and have it go unnoticed to the naked eye, yet become glaringly obvious when put under a macro lens. Not having such a problem is most welcome and I’m always amazed when Mezco manages to pull it off.
The colors used for Gambit’s outfit, particularly the bright metallic pink of his chest armor make the figure pop on the shelf and I’m glad that the designers didn’t opt to dull the loud colors in order to make it more “realistic”.
As you would expect, the chest armor completely kills any poses in the torso area of this figure. As I’ve mentioned, this is a huge disappointment with a character like Gambit, who is known for his gymnastic ability. Otherwise, the figure has a pretty good range of movement. The arms and shoulders are fairly unrestricted, even with the coat on. The legs have no issues with the bodysuit on, though the boots limit some stances due to subpar ankle rocker movement. You can get some nice lean, tilt and rotation in the head and neck, which helps alleviate some of the awkwardness you find in poses due to the chest armor. Articulation is not that bad, really, but that armor is just unacceptable.
Besides the aforementioned two portraits and the expected and standard display base/articulated arm combo, which are great and do wonders for this release, Gambit comes with several accessories that are suitably iconic for the character.
Gambit’s mutant power is the ability to charge nonorganic objects and charge them with energy, causing them to explode. He usually uses this power on playing cards, which he then tosses at his enemies. Mezco gave the figure a few variations on this display of power, all of them successful.
He comes with two swappable hands that come with sculpted-in energy effects, one flicking a single charged card, and the other tossing three charged cards at once. The pink, fiery “energy” is translucent and looks great in hand, especially against a bright light.
Speaking of playing cards, a single plain playing card as well as a set of five sculpted together are included. The paint on these is fuzzy when viewed through a macro lens, but in hand, they look surprisingly good. There’s additionally a “charged” single card and set of five, meant to allow collectors to display them before and after Gambit uses his powers on them. It’s a really nice touch.
A staff, which Gambit occasionally uses in the comics, is also included. A variety of hands packed in with the figure allow for various ways of holding the staff and playing cards.
In The End
This Gambit is an excellent release from Mezco Toyz and another great addition to their growing X-Men team. Despite the unfortunate chest armor issue, this figure hits all of the check marks for what a great Gambit action figure should be. Perfect accessories that make for an awesome display and really show off the character’s power set, a nearly comic-accurate outfit brought to life and the usual expert craftsmanship overall equal this release being one of my favorites in recent months. Grab him if you can because you will not regret it.