I’ll admit it. I wasn’t an X-men fan until the cartoon. When I was a kid I never really cared for the big team books that arc across several issues. That said the animated X-men had some cool characters with some interesting powers.
My favorite of the band of animated mutants was Gambit. I’ve always associated with the loner rogue types. Part thief, part hero. Falls for the wrong girl. Dude has it all.
When the last X-men film came out, rumors were out that Josh Holloway (Sawyer on Lost) was in the running to play the Ragin’ Cajun. Personally, he’d be my pick.
In the upcoming Wolverine film Gambit is being played by here.)t’s good to see Remy Lebeau finally making it to the big screen. Now, this should mean new Gambit figures heading to the shelves. (You can check out the first series
But, before looking forward, I thought it would be cool to look back.
Let’s just get it out of the way. Monsieur LeBeau is known for his trench coat. It’s to him what a vest is to Han Solo. In this case it falls a bit short. Instead of a sculpted or soft goods coat like we would see today, Gambit came with a vinyl semi coat shaped thing. The material is more like the foil bags electronics come in versus vintage Star Wars figure capes. Sadly, the coat is a bit of a let down. The seams are starting to come undone on mine, and he’s virtually un-played with.
To get the high collar on the coat, Toy Biz sculpted the collar onto the figure. Thus, without his coat, Remy has permanent brown bowl behind his head.
Past the coat, Gambit looks pretty much like his comic book incarnation. The techno collar, belt andboots are all there. The patterns on his legs are there, as well. In the comic books, it’s not possible to tell if the patterns are raised or not, so we’ll go with not.
Remy’s got his fingerless gloves that let him charge the objects of his choice. The right hand is closed to hold his staff and the left is open in a vaguely “I’m using the Force” kind of pose.
Overall, there isn’t much detail sculpting. The hair is flat and his face is generic. The figure is in a fairly neutral pose. Really, for the early to mid nineties that would be all I would expect. Mr. LeBeau is a bit shorter that the current Marvel Legends and a quite a bit taller than the throngs of 3 3/4″ figures out there.
There are two other details to point out on Gambit. The first being his eyes. Remy is know for having deep red eyes that give him that bad boy mutant look. This figure has white eyes. I’m really surprised they missed that.
The second thing to take note of is the rivets at the elbow and knees. These are metal rivets clearly seen inside and out. They are a clear indicator this line of figures was intended for kids and not the, ahem, serious collectors of the modern world. With his coat on they mostly hidden, but are definitely noticeable with out the coat.
The aforementioned coat isn’t much of an accessory, but a necessary one. Gambit also comes with some sort of staff thingee. It has a vaguely technological look to it and is designed to fit in his closed right hand. The years have not been kind to mine. The staff has a permanent bend to it. The silver has held up well, though.
The essential thing that is missing? Cards. Remy’s favorite weapon of choice was charged playing cards. Probably deemed to difficult to produce, they weren’t included. I would have much rather seen a left hand sculpted in mid throw with a couple cards coming out of it.
Of course back in the day, action features were a must for superhero figures. Remy gets the standard push a button on his back and he kicks. Not the greatest feature, but not the most obtrusive, either. I almost didn’t realize he had it until I took his coat off.
Is this Gambit going to come close to ML standards? No. But that wasn’t the intention. The intention was to produce X-men figures that kids would want to play with. This figure does accomplish that. To that point, if you look at the breadth of the early Toy Biz line, you can see a vast array of characters that kids could get their hands on and have fun with.
Looking at this version of Remy LeBeau, I have to ask myself have collectors snobbed up the action figure market. We’ve wanted more articulation and more detailed sculpting for years. But do kids need it? I don’t think any of us “collectors” ever would have noticed there’s no ball jointed chest or articulated ankles on this figure when we were kids. Just food for thought people.
Now, I’m off to watch some vintage animated X-men on VHS. (Yes, the ones Burger King gave out.)
Engineernerd Score: 83/100