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Let's Discuss: Marvel Legends '97 X-Men Two in One Review: Gambit and Bishop

It's been a while, so I figured it was time for another Marvel 2 in 1 review! This time around we are looking at the Marvel Legends '97 X-Men series: Bishop and Gambit action figures.

Accessories: 6/10

Bishop comes with multiple interchangeable hands; one fist, a pair of trigger finger hands, a semi-open/item grasping hand, and a futuristic blaster. The inclusion of additional energy effects could have elevated this score.

Accessories: 7/10 Gambit comes with the same accessories we've seen previously; an energized card throwing hand, a hand for holding the single energized card, and a staff. The inclusion of an energy effect for the staff would have elevated this score even further.

Appearance: 6.5/10

I actually struggled with this rating. The figure itself is a decent representation of the character, but the lack of any painted detail other than the yellow stripes on his left side, give the figure a very flat look. At least, the yellow is clean and the lines are straight. Unfortunately, because it's painted over the blue plastic, the yellow is just a shade darker than the rest of the accoutrements to his costume. The X symbol is also applied nicely, but really, to be honest, the best feature on the figure is the head. The sculpt is excellent and the facial features are very well done. The "M" tattoo is applied cleanly and looks good. I really wish that the rest of the body had some kind of wash applied to it. I'd be happy even if his holster had some more painted detail. The scarf is generally supposed to be red, but on mine is so faded that it almost looks orange. The sculpt is decent, but that doesn't really make up for the odd color choice. I get that this is based on an animated look, but even the Rogue and Wolverine figures looked just a tad more three dimensional than Bishop does.

Appearance: 8/10 The sculpt captures Gambit's lithe and agile physique flawlessly. The paint applications are outstanding, especially on the intricate details of his costume and the iconic red eyes. The facial expression exudes Gambit's trademark confidence and charm. The fact that he is smirking makes the facial detail that much better. Though I know this is a repaint of an earlier Gambit figure, I can understand the reason behind the faded, more pastel looking colors. Again, based on the animated series, the designers are going for a more cartoon-esque look, but for me, it works. Perhaps the only thing that I'd improve on would be the hair. I like the sculpt but adding a little wash to give it shadow and depth would have really been nice. I do like the blue tint to his staff and even though we've seen them before, I appreciate the energy effects on his playing cards. Of course, the same problem with the previous figure plagues this one... the card throwing effect just looks odd the way it's designed coming from his fingertips. The extra bit of energy that juts sideways from his index finger makes it difficult to determine the trajectory of his throw. If that piece were removed, I feel like we'd have a better-looking representation of this power.

Articulation: 8.5/10

Bishop boasts a good range of articulation, allowing for dynamic poses. The joints are sturdy, ensuring stability during posing. Starting up top... his head turns easily and can look down, but there is no upward range at all. The shoulders aren't inhibited by the yellow shoulder pieces and can raise to a nice T pose and fully rotate. The bicep swivel works fine, and the double-jointed elbows bend in fully, bringing his hand directly to his biceps. The wrists all swivel and hinge, regardless of which hand you have plugged in. He has the older style torso, with the upper abdomen hinge and a waist swivel. The crunch is terribly deep forward or backward, but it works. The swivel at the waist works fine and isn't hindered in any way, because his belt is affixed to the upper torso. What is nice is the range of splits that Bishop can do. His hips allow for a pretty amazing range out to the sides as well as a decent kick forward. The upper thigh swivel works fine, with no issues and the double-jointed knees have excellent range for bending. There is a boot cut for swivel that doesn't look terrible when used. His ankles hinge and pivot easy enough with decent range of motion.

Articulation: 7/10 Gambit showcases decent articulation, allowing for a wide range of dynamic poses. The biggest challenge is, of course, the inflexibility of his trench coat. Bending Gambit forward causes the coat to stick out behind him like a tail, which makes for an awkward appearance. The coat itself also hinders leg movement for splits, which we'll discuss momentarily. Otherwise, his range of motion is fairly solid. His head can turn side to side and can look both up and down very nicely. The shoulders can raise to just beyond a T pose and will rotate 360 degrees with no issues. The bicep swivel works fairly well, with just a bit of hindrance due to the sculpt of the sleeves. He has a single jointed elbow which also has a swivel built in. The elbow will bend just about 90 degrees. The hands are on pegs which allow for hinge and swivel motion. Gambit is also built on the older buck, with the upper abdomen hinge and waist swivel. The jacket prevents him from bending backward, but his forward crunch is very good. The waist swivels with ease and isn't obstructed at all by his coat. Now... if you bend the crunch forward, that will bring his hips and legs outside of the range of the coat. Unfortunately, even with that, the legs will only split about 45 degrees. They do kick forward very high, and the thigh cuts work just fine. His knees are double-jointed and can actually bend in fairly well, though not enough to bring heel to backside. Gambit has a boot cut for swivel, which looks odd when used and his ankles have great range of hinge and pivot motion.

Affordability: 6/10

Both figures retail for $25.99 at my local Walmart. Given that this is the nominal price for Marvel Legends, they get the pretty much standard pricing grade.

The Marvel Legends X-Men '97 series impresses with its attention to detail, capturing the essence of these iconic characters. Both Bishop and Gambit contribute to a well-rounded collection, offering fans a glimpse into the vibrant world of X-Men Animated Series action figures. That being said, there is always room for improvement, which earns both figures:

7 out of 10 ToyBoxes

Both figures are decent and if you're putting together a '97 X-Men series, definitely must haves. However, if you are a casual collector or have other versions, these aren't necessarily screaming to be added to your collection. Thanks for checking us out and until next time... GEEK OUT!!!

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