I waited for over a year, but finally I got a somewhat pleasing companion for my Sideshow Collectibles Gambit Exclusive!

I remember waiting for the pre-order to go live even though it’s been over a year now. She went live on Thursday 17 februari 2011 at around 23:30:27 (time stamp on my order email). Mind you, this is my local time (GMT+1) so that means we had to stay up for this one. Lucky that we did because she sold out really, really fast. Nobody could wait to get their hands on this beauty! Especially after being revealed on last years SDCC. She looked so stunning.
And exactly 4 months later, we gave our first deposit for our exclusive Gambit. We dreamed sweet dreams of how good those two would look together. Or to quote myself:

The main reason why Gambit’s price started to rise was because, about a half year ago, SideShow launched the pre-orders for the Rogue Premium Format. And if you know a bit about Marvel, X-Men and/or Gambit, you probably know a bit about their troubled past. What’s also cool is that they (SSC) included something extra with the Rogue Exclusive: a Gambit Art Print! They are going to look so cool next to each other!

Oh, in how many pieces a sweet dream can crumble! If you dwell in the statue collecting world yourself, you might know what went wrong with this almost certain grail (yeah, like holy grail) piece. I’ll first tackle the bad stuff before going to the good stuff. So if you’d wish to stay ignorant, ignore the first paragraph and the last pictures in the album (after the original sculpt images).

I remember the horror I felt when looking at the first in hand pictures of this statue. Breakages, paint misses, fractures, see-through paint, missing buttons, folded prints, missing prints, sticky prints, googly eyes, hooker make-up, enormous gaps between neck and body and maybe worst yet, a diminished behind! Yes, almost everything you can imagine that can go wrong, did in fact went wrong. She looked absolutely nothing like the statue we all ordered that night (or morning) and what’s worse, she looked nothing like the piece shown on SDCC. They made a drastic change in the sculpt (yes, I consider that drastic) without notifying the buyers. And on top of that, they let a complete sub-par product ship. And to add something even on top of that, they acted like nothing was wrong and that people were whining. They even changed the pictures on the product page after the product was shipped and long after it was completely sold out!
These actions made Sideshow Collectibles really, really unpopular amongst us collectors. They even insulted us by offering a partial refund of 40$, which is 10$ less then I got for a busted box and partially damaged foam stuff (that stuff under the base). Of course, even if it was only the bad paint on the heads, we still couldn’t take that refund because our base had a chip of red lacquer or whatever it’s called missing. And our box is severely beat up.
So, we opted for a full replacement at first since the only thing somewhat decent was the body itself.  But they wanted us to destroy the heads as well. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but some of the replacement heads I saw weren’t that good either. And, and this is a big and, people who got them weren’t asked to destroy anything! So why should we? We even never considered to sell the duplicates on Ebay while a lot of the others did. Anyhow, long story short. We got our replacement base and heads a good three months after we opened her up.

Now on to the review now that I finally have the replacements.

Her base isn’t as huge as the one from Gambit. Which is a darn good thing! Can you imagine trying to fit more of those big ass bases into a display cabinet? Even so, her base is really heavy! I’m really glad they made the base smaller, it’s just the perfect size for Rogue, like Gambit his base was the perfect size for him. However the design of the base is in complete unison with Gambit’s which is on of the main reasons I love this line. That, and the Jim Lee style heads.
While the exclusive part of Gambit was his exchangeable hand with charged cards, the exclusive part with Rogue was the Jim Lee style portrait and two, yes two, art prints. One of Rogue herself  and one of Gambit which makes it really nice to also own Gambit. I always preferred the exclusive head over the regular but in person (and with the replacements) I’m starting to like them both. Still, we’ll probably display her with the exclusive head.

Like with Gambit, the mixed media part on this statue is limited to her jacket and belt. Which is perfectly fine with me because it prevented another pyjama debacle (yes Wolfie, I’m talking about you). Although it’s a shame you can’t really display her without her jacket because she looks real weird then, as you can see on the two pictures before the base in the gallery. Her head looks huge when her jacket isn’t on. Also her arms look really thin and you can obviously see the seam of her arms. But displaying her with the jacket also poses some problems, especially with the regular head. When she’s wearing the jacket, the regular head won’t go in completely, thus causing a gap to appear between her neck and body. Luckily, this is only visible on certain angles. You can see it a tiny bit on the last picture of the regular head. Also, as you can see on the original sculpt pictures, her neck was supposed to be shorter then she turned out. I suspect that they increased it to prevent that gap but the neck was extremely long on my original heads and still that gap appeared. Luckily they fixed this a bit on the replacements. Their necks are a good while shorter.

Even though there are still some paint misses on the replacement heads, they’re a good deal less then on the originals. Also the paint is better applied and I don’t have any colors bleeding through anymore like I had on the regular head. Also the eyes are better positioned and almost not cross eyed. They still are a bit but it’s more noticeable on camera then it is in real life. Overall, I’m fairly pleased to have her.

Conclusion
If you really want her, I’d recommend that you get her cheap locally and pay someone to repaint her. Or if you really want the exclusive, buy one from someone that got the replacements. The only reason I’m keeping her is to display her with the other released or announced X-Men; Gambit, Psylocke and Colossus.
It’s so sad that this amazing statue that would become a grail piece for certain, went completely wrong. I still don’t know what to think of her. She’s okay but she’ll never come close the expectations I had of her. But if I really had to make a decision, I’m glad I kept her. Maybe someday, if I have money to spare, I’ll let someone repaint my original heads to match the prototype more.

Pictures

Item reviewed: Rogue exclusive
Type: mixed media (resin with cloth)
Manufacturer: Sideshow Collectibles
Variations: regular edition (without the extra portrait and without the prints)
Rarity: Easy to find because of the bad portrait(s). Regular is still available at the SSC website. 750 (ex) and 1500 (reg) made worldwide