Marvel Universe Two-Packs:
Gambit vs Mr. Sinister Review

Now onto the primary reason I picked up this two-pack: Gambit. I don’t want to be too harsh on the figure because, with a Wolverine: Origin base figure, I knew what I was getting, but I’m still a little bit disappointed.

First, the good: the sculpt. There’s no real buck use here. Gambit’s W:O body features all-new pieces that are character specific and the figure looks great. The coat, jumpsuit, and boots are all nicely done. The trench coat flaring out takes a bit of getting used to in a static pose, but this way works better than if it was simply draped over the figure and blocking the leg articulation.

The two new pieces, the new head sculpt and the scarf, actually make Gambit less “90s” than the original figure, but this head sculpt is superior to the original so you won’t get any complaints from me. The paint on the figure is pretty sharp other than the face being a little gloopy.

Where Gambit completely falls apart for me is the articulation. Again, this is the articulation I knew he was going to have, but I was hoping I’d be able to tolerate it more than I do. There are ball-joints at the head, shoulders, elbows, and hips, the mid-torso joint, thigh swivels, and double-hinged knees. The lack of ankles is always a disappointment this many years into action figure collecting, but the real frustration is the arms. Those ball-jointed shoulders and elbows? Those are great, but that’s all there is. Gambit includes his bo, but it’s a pain to pose him with it because the lack of wrist swivels (or even ball-joints) mean that there’s a very limited amount of poseability where Gambit can hold the bow with both hands. It drives me a little more nuts than I thought it would. If Hasbro could’ve spent a little more here for Gambit to get some better articulation, it would’ve gone a long way.

Overall, I’m not as thrilled with this two-pack as I was the Thanos & Adam Warlock 2pk. In that pack, Hasbro put some great work into Adam Warlock, made Thanos totally worth buying twice, and included the cool, clip-on Infinity Gauntlet. This 2pk? Not so much. The Mr. Sinister figure is nice, but I can’t completely back it knowing that he’s a decent amount out-of-scale. I do think he’s a lot of fun though. Gambit did get a fantastic new head sculpt, but some problems with the previous figure went unaddressed and I find myself more or less back where I started, wishing I had a great Gambit figure to mix into my MU shelf.

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31 thoughts on “Marvel Universe Two-Packs:
Gambit vs Mr. Sinister Review

  1. gotta say that i passed up on this 2pk because of gambit. i would have left it MOC anyway cause i already have a XMO version, but if i didnt i probably still would have passed on it lol. sinister is gud but not solid enough a buy to hold this pack up alone. gambit is a must have for the jim lee xmen team, but hasbro could have really gave him the new body mold. great review as always by the way

    1. Thanks! I don’t mind the Gambit, but I’m definitely still in for a better, single-packed one from Hasbro at some point.

  2. I passed on this pack as well. When Sinister first showed up in the comics I kept waiting for a blood connection between him and Colossus kinda like Nightcrawler and Mystique’s on account of them looking so much alike. Sinister is basically a pasty-looking, shredded caped version of Colossus from a designer’s point of view. As for Gambit, I would have preferred a soft goods coat or something similar to the very first Gambit figure produced by Toy Biz back in the early 90’s.

  3. That looks like a pretty nice 2 pack. My issue is the scale of these toys seems to be a little wonky. Based on the last pic, should Cyke really be that tall? And they really need to re-do that Jean Gray? If they could be more consistent as far as sculpt and scale, I would be able to get into this line a lot easier.

    1. They really need to do something about Jean. She’s just a bad figure.

      Cyclops is pretty good on height, the problem with that picture is that all the other guys are from W:O and are all shorter. I should look into replacing them with some MU proper versions.

      1. Cyclops is the tallest X-Man. I think his official height is something like 6′ 3,” whereas Wolverine is 5′ 2.” Iceman’s 5′ 8,” so he might be a little undersized.

    2. Wolverine SHOULD be short. The XMO Wolverine figures were all very tiny. It’s a shame because I like the Colossus, Iceman and Gambit from that line. Iceman might be able to pass, since he’s 5’8′. But Gambit is 6’2″. MU 90’s Jean Grey has a terrible head sculpt.

      The biggest crime is Magneto from the Secret Wars packs. He’s Wolverine tiny.

  4. I would likely have enjoyed Mister Siníster more as a villain if Marvel had allowed Chris Claremont to use his original backstory/character concept for him (the “Evil Billy Batson” idea).

    And yeah, Sinister is 6’5″, he should be about a head shorter.

    1. you got me curious now. what was this “original backstory” you speak of?

      1. I don’t recall all the details, but I think it had something to do with Sinister being one of the kids that was in the orphanage with Cyclops as a child, and that sinister was basically a little kid in an incredibly powerful adult body who’d become obsessed with Cyclops and the Summers family. The Summers obsession stuck, the rest got tossed out.

        I just wish that Claremont’s original plan for Nightcrawler’s parentage had been followed.

      2. JamesLynch is right. Claremont’s plan was that Sinister was a boy who tormented Cyclops at the orphanage, but whose own mutant power prevented him from growing up. He did gain the power to form seemingly adult bodies for himself (like the Fawcett Captain Marvel), but was doomed to always remain an immature little brat. Which would have been the reason he was murderously obsessed with Cyclops and why his appearance and name looked like something a little kid would design when they wanted to be “badass”.

        Claremont was off the X-titles before any of that could be implemented, though, and Marvel went a completely different direction.

        I can kind of understand that 80’s Marvel were reluctant to let Claremont do the Mystique story, though.

        1. ok, I vaguely remember a story (Classic X-Men back-up?) where they showed Scott at the orphanage and a kid named “Nathan” seemed to be interested in him, with it strongly suggested it was Sinister in disguise. I wasn’t aware that they wanted to go that direction with him at one point.

          What was Kurt’s alternate origin? I know most disregard that whole “Azazel” arc, even if it was touched upon in the X-Men:First Class movie. I do know they wanted Rogue to be the daughter of Mystique and Destiny, so she and Kurt would have been half-siblings. For Kurt, I’m sticking with the classic son of Baron Wagner version.

          1. You already mentioned it there. Kurt was going to be the son of Mystique and Destiny, but Marvel was really not ready to reveal that Mystique would be a sex-changer who “swung both ways”, so to speak. Claremont would later revisit his idea that Mystique was originally a man who could shapeshift into either sex during his brief run on New Exiles, where he introduced an alternate-earth Mystique who maintained his original male form and was a debonair victorian adventurer.

            I am all in favor of ignoring the Azazel story as well though, mostly because of the added idea that Azazel is an ACTUAL demon, not just a mutant who looks demonic. That Kurt would be half-demon/half-mutant was a lot to swallow, even for me.

            1. so was it ever confirmed that Rogue was their daughter? I seemed to have missed where they started calling her Anna after the movie.

              Azazel – plus that whole subplot with Iceman. o.0….

              1. Rogue was their adopted daughter.

                And I’ve never heard Claremont say that Mystique was originally a man, just that Destiny and Mystique were a couple, and that Mystique’s shapeshifting ability allowed her to, at will, possess the necessary biology to “father” a child. The fact that Mystique and Destiny were a couple is pretty evident in the books, but you have to figure that if Mystique was originally a man who presented himself to Destiny as a man, it would be odd for her to then switch to living as a woman with Destiny.

                1. @Brainlock: Yeah, I think they went with “Anna Marie” as her real name after the movies came out. Shame as well, I liked Rogue as a flying “brick” type character with a special weapon (her power absorption), but they went with the more subdued movie-styled Rogue for a long time. Damn that media tie-in factor!

                  @JamesLynch: I do believe Claremont changed his mind on this matter, but in recent years he’s claimed that his original plan for Mystique was to have “Eric Raven” to be “her” original form. But yeah, in the old interviews it just sounds like he wanted Mystique to be able to “work” both ways…

                  Funnily enough, Destiny meeting and getting to know Mystique while the latter was living as a guy IS canon in the Marvel Universe. It was even referenced recently. Irene Adler basically met Mystique (under her then-alias of Eric) in the Victorian era and they had some adventures together which led to them falling in love and “Eric” revealing his true nature.

                  Yeah. Comics are weird, weird things.

  5. thanks to you and that last photo, i now have the voice of gambit being supplied by swamp people’s troy landry… thank you for ruining gambit for me.

  6. I remember watching the 1990s X-Men cartoon and thinking Mr. Sinister seemes pretty dang cool. Is it just me, or does this figure look like Rondo Hatton has joined KISS?

    1. I could see a young Rondo in there a little bit (it’s the nose I think), but I’m sticking with him looking like the One-Armed Man!

      1. Yes! Definitely getting an Andreas Katsulas vibe, now that you mention it! Good ol’ Andreas.

        And yet . . . now I can’t stop thinking “Evil Liberace.”

  7. 11 or 12 when X:TAS was on? [feels old…er]

    “I would certainly understand if some Sinister fans few this figure with as much disdain as I have for… say, the Club Infinite Earth’s Rocket Red.”

    or they could VIEW this character. 😉 (I’m letting other typos slide, but his is the wrong word!)
    but YES, many have long viewed Sinister as “evil Colossus” when comparing their designs, esp after it was revealed that was basically his flesh, not armor. Altho, I don’t think he does much body morphing like Mr. Fantastic, the past decade or so? I do agree that the Colossus body is too bulky for Sinister, tho. I do see a slight resemblance to Andreas, who I did get to meet once, by chance, for a B5 exhibition at one of the malls in StL. (then the pics didn’t turn out! $^@^!@!!! camera!!)
    RIP Andreas.

    Gambit – I’m…not caring for this sculpt at all.
    He looks a bit more like the Exiles’ version than the 616, or somewhere between the two? He may look like this is recent X-books, I haven’t read them since first year of Legacy, and I don’t think he was wearing his “classic” look then?

    I guess it doesn’t matter, really, as the local stores carrying MU 2pks are overstocked with previous waves, so I won’t see these anytime soon. :/

    1. I’ve often thought about adding a “3am” tag so that folks know when to expect typos. 🙂

      The WMs got these in even if they had a chunk of backstock, so it might be worth making the rounds for ’em.

  8. I may pick up this pack just to hang on my wall, because I did get the Gambit from W:O. I’m a HUGE Gambit fan, and the backstory between him and Sinister is enough for me to want the two. I’m disappointed in the articulation here and even more disappointed that it has leaked into the new Avengers Movie figures in MU scale. the sculpt looks great to me, it may not be precisely Jim Lee Gambit, but it is unmistakably Gambit.

    1. Well, I’m a huge Gambit fan, too, and that’s why I won’t buy him. I’m still waiting for a figure of his (and Deadpool) which I could call “decent enough”.
      But then, I’m pampered by Japanese action toys, so, well, the only Marvel – the only Western, even – action figure I’ve got so far is Danger. Not because it’s that awesome (actually, it’s waiting to be customized, especially that godawful face). Because I highly doubt they will make another one, and I like the character a lot.
      Here’s to hoping that one day Western action figures will be more pretty and with better articulation…

  9. I’ve seen this pack alot and passed every time. Sinister needed a new body (I could be wrong but I think that is the “classic” colossus upper thighs from the giant sized x-men pack, thus makeing him almost a full repaint of Colossus).

    Gambit is tolerable but could be better, wrists at least man.

    To me, Claremount was X-men until he left. When he came back I think he pissed off lots of people because he didn’t toss away all the crap that had been done to them like everyone did to his work previously.

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