Mezco has a knack for making extremely detailed figures, and the ONE:12 Collective in particular puts out some of the most beautiful action figures on the market. Sure, these are more “on the high shelf where small hands can’t reach” kind of action figures than a Marvel Legends figure may be, but they are the alpha toy line for avid collectors. It’s no surprise, then, that the ONE:12 Gambit figure is a virtual MUST for hardcore fans of the ragin’ cajun X-Man.
The trademark of Mezco’s ONE:12 line is that the character’s costume is reconstructed using actual cloth materials – and while Gambit’s twill pants fit the figure and look great, the real star of the show is the faux-leather trench coat. The feel on this thing is awesome, and the inclusion of pipe cleaners in the edges of the coat allow for more exciting posing opportunities and help create the illusion of motion. The weight of the coat itself does limit that somewhat (you won’t be able to get poses like, say, his Marvel vs. Capcom idle animation), but you should be able to get a fairly cool shape in the coat while posing the figure.
This fully poseable figure comes with the usual array of goodies collectors have come to expect, though the level of variety is not all it could have been. For one, the figure’s two head builds are nearly identical, with one face looking stoic and the other having only the slightest smirk. The faces themselves are gorgeous, of course, but you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between them if they aren’t side by side.
Similarly, of the seven different interchangeable hands, five are essentially fists. Two are designed to hold the included staff, while the other three have slight gaps between the thumb and the forefinger that can be used to hold any of the included cards. Their inclusion makes sense, but more variety would be nice.
The only negative is the large card effect, which attempts to recreate Gambit throwing three charged cards crackling with his trademark pink energy, but sits awkwardly on this figure. Maybe it’s the posing limitations imposed by the trenchcoat, maybe it’s the awkward hand position, but it’s a piece that’s hard to incorporate into dynamic poses. Similarly, I enjoy that there are uncharged playing card options included with the figure, but given the hand configurations, there is no immediately appealing way to utilize them in the figure.
There’s a lot to love about this figure. Having lived with it on my shelf for the past week or so, with a Marvel Legends Gambit within card tossing distance, you can definitely see the superior quality of the Mezco figure. The figure cuts more than a passing resemblance to Jim Lee’s rendition of the character (if I had to place the ML Gambit, I’d say it’s more like Clay Mann’s), and that’s probably a key selling point for some older fans — aka the people who can afford a figure at this price point.