It took three years to get a Marvel Legends Gambit to pair with Hasbro’s Rogue figure and it was exciting to also finally complete the Blue Team. After upgrading Rogue for the Retro line, they decided not to wait nearly as long and released Gambit alongside her.
Of the Blue team, Gambit was just about due for another version as the first figure had at least one area ripe for improvement. Let’s see if this Retro Gambit has all the cards for the definitive version of the X-Men’s favorite Cajun.
Packaging: Like all the Vintage/Retro figures, the packaging is the bold and colorful style reminiscent of the old school Toy Biz packaging with art provided by David Nakayama.
Gambit’s notable power feature is “battle staff!” And like Rogue, Remy’s bio is very solid explaining his powers and his team affiliation.
Likeness: Hasbro’s first crack at Gambit was very solid. The sculpted elements of his outfit from his unique shirt piece to the belt and layered boots was exceptional.
Just as important, Hasbro managed to give his trench coat a flow that wasn’t restrictive while retaining a little style.
So why bother with the upgrade? Simple. The hair. Gambit’s hair was weirdly sculpted like it was catching a seriously gusty wind.
For most of this era’s X-Men, Jim Lee is the definitive artist and he styled Gambit’s hair with a lot of body while having a tousled appearance along the edges to give him a somewhat disheveled look. Other artists would go sloppier with the hair, but Lee had it down just right.
Scale: Lee drew Gambit just slightly shorter than Cyclops. Gambit is a little taller than Cyke, but not by a big amount. He matches up better with Rogue now thanks to her higher hair.
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Paint: The new Gambit features a much brighter color palette with a lighter trench coat, shirt and no stubble. His base outfit is now purple instead of black.
More of the paint work was sloppier than I expected as that’s not the norm for this line. That’s one downfall of ordering online and not being able to choose between the best paint job.
Having them both in hand for a direct comparison, I definitely prefer the darker color scheme of the Caliban Gambit. And the stubble really is far more in line with Gambit’s more…(ahem) roughish persona than a clean shaven look.
Articulation: There’s no changes to the original Gambit mold even though like Rogue, Gambit would have benefited from some improvements on this front.
Double-jointed elbows being the main omission. The single-joint has a decent range of motion, but double-jointed elbows are always the way to go.
Hasbro’s engineering on Gambit’s jacket was very well executed so it doesn’t hinder any of his poseability.
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Hasbro didn’t make too many changes from the original Gambit figure. One very welcome change is they painted the cards he’s flinging now as opposed to the first version that just had card-shaped projectiles.
We knew what they were clearly, but it’s nice to actually get that extra attention to detail. The translucent pink is a little lighter as well.
Gambit also has his battle staff(!) and a single flicking left hand to hold the charged up painted ace card. In a very cool touch, all four suites are represented.
Worth it? Gambit was $23. That’s expensive for a figure that didn’t improve as much on the original version compared to Rogue. The accessories are a definite improvement and the hair sculpt is much better, but is that worth double dipping? I hated the hair sculpt enough over the years that it was an easy choice for me.
Rating: 9 out of 10
The overall brighter paintjob isn’t a visual improvement over the original, but it’s definitely a matter of preference. If you don’t have the first one, this Gambit is a great addition to the collection and you can raise the points more. I’m switching out the accessories and the hair piece to improve on the original version.
Where to get it? Gambit was a Target exclusive, but you can easily grab him on Target.com.