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Battle Damaged Wolverine/Gambit

by yo go re

When X-Men Origins: Wolverine was in theatres, Toys Я Us had several sets of exclusives bsed on the film, including Agent Zero and Silver Fox. Now that the movie is about to release on DVD, they have several more.

Wolverine's super-human healing factor ensured his survival of the experimental Adamantium-bonding procedure and allowed the mutant to survive injuries that would be fatal to ordinary human beings.

And hey, speaking of Silver Fox, the Wolverine in this set is almost indistinguishable from the one who was paired in the package with her. "Weapon X Wolverine" was wearing civilian clothes - tank top, dark jeans, eye-catching belt buckle, all that. Normal casual outfit for Logan. This figure is wearing the same thing, using the same molds (the belt, claws and hair) and even all the same paint apps.

Lest you think you're getting cheated, though, this isn't a strait re-release: befitting his title of "Battle Damaged Wolverine," the figure has new apps creating cuts on his arms, plus slashes on his legs, chest and back. Clearly this is meant to show the aftermath of one of his fights with Victor. It's a subtle difference, but it works. Like almost all Wolverine Minimates, he has extra, un-clawed hands.

Logan's hair may be the same piece seen on the previous figure, but his face is different. For one thing, his mouth is open - the black line in between his upper and lower teeth says he's talking to someone. Or, knowing Wolverine, shouting at someone. He looks typically angry, but the biggest surprise is his facial hair: while Weapon X Wolverine had thick, bushy sideburns, this one is patchier than a highschooler's first beard. What the heck happened there?

Having escaped from William Stryker's top secret lab, the mutant known as Gambit eventually helped Wolverine find the hidden compund located on Three Mile Island, his mutant powers include mastery of kinetic energy and the ability to explode objecs with a touch.

Gambit was meant to have a cameo in X2, but it was eventually cut (his name still showed up on a computer screen); he was in early drafts of X-Men 3, where we would have been played by Channing Tatum, but again, that got dropped.

Fortunately, with XMO:W's "no costumes" style, Remy isn't wearing anything even remotely similar to what he wears in the comics. However, the movie outfit does have some definite parallels, with its fancy purple vest, blue shirt and long trenchcoat. We don't get any exploding playing cards, but he does have his staff - it's the same that came with Deathstroke, but done in gold rather than silver. He can not use it to inexplicably climb buildings, though.

Gambit was played by Taylor Kitsch, an actor best known for... well, for playing Gambit. He's some no-name actor given a break by playing a popular mutant. Hey, that's nothing to be ashamed of: the exact same thing could be said about Hugh Jackman. He did a good job (other than forgetting he was meant to have an accent), and the Minimate does a decent job of duplicating his scruffy good looks. The hair is seemingly a new piece, though it looks like it could have been used for one of the BSG Baltars.

All Minimates share the same body with different paint decos, and they all move at the same 14 points: neck, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles - lots of motion for something so tiny! Gambit's coat flares out at the bottom, so it doesn't really restrict him at all.

As far as exclusives go, this set isn't very exciting. Wolverine is fundamentally the same as one we had before, and Gambit just looks like a plain dude in a coat. But sometimes civilian figures can be fun, and if you're collecting the movie Minimates, you'll definitely want the guy who pulls off the last-minute save. The figures are well-made, but it's up to you whether this one is worth hunting down.

-- 09/14/09

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