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Bruce Lee Way of the Dragon - Masterpiece HD
Enterbay

Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay


Bruce Lee didn't have a long career in film, but he had one that impacted the industry for years to come. He had acted for a number of years, but Way of the Dragon was his first shot at directing as well. The film was released in the States in 1972 under the title Return of the Dragon.

The film itself wasn't ground breaking, but it did offer the world one of the most famous battles of all time - Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris. Bruce won of course, but being the hero and the director kind of made that outcome obvious. Still, seeing their distinct styles together is a real treat for any martial artist aficionado.

Enterbay has been producing a number of large quarter scale figures under their Masterpiece HD series. These are not statues, but articulated action figures with accessories and outfits.

The Way of the Dragon Lee should be shipping shortly - think of this as an early review. He runs around $400, depending on the retailer.

Packaging - ***1/2
I love the solid foam box with the intricate design. It is very light weight, keeps the figure quite safe, and looks great doing it.

There's several layers inside - one for the figure, which is soft foam, one for the accessories that is a familiar plastic tray, and one for the stand at the very bottom.

My only complaint, and the only thing that holds it back from 4 stars, is the use of a large sticky plastic sheet over the accessories inside the plastic tray. Rather than using a couple small pieces of tape for the littlest extras (the darts), they covered the whole thing. You'll have to tear it off, and won't be able to replace it, making this one a bit less collector friendly than their usual package.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay

Sculpting - ***1/2
Obviously, the main sculpting feature is the two portraits. Yes, that's right - two! One is stern but not excessive, while the other is ticked off. And Lee wasn't a man you wanted to tick off.

These are both fantastic head sculpts, with amazing realism and tremendous accuracy to the man himself. Big fans of Lee are going to appreciate the time and effort that was put into creating both portraits. The head sculpts alone are going to make this figure a holy grail for many of them.

There's one issue though, at least for me, that holds them back from four stars. It's not aesthetic, but rather practical. The sculpts are beautiful, true art, but both have the eyes looking off to his right. While I realize this was one of his trademark expressions, it means that you can't do any poses with a straight forward look, like the one right on the front of the box. It's a shame that they included two heads, and yet made them less useful by choosing such a similar eye position.

All the hands are nicely sculpted, but even with five sets there's some critical poses missing. Most notable is any sort of fully splayed hand, which you can also see in the pose right on the front of the box.

If you weren't aware, this is a very large figure. He's quarter scale, and for Lee that means he's about 17" tall in a standard stance.

Paint - ****
There's no doubt that the paint work is outstanding - Hot Toys no longer has the market completely cornered on exceptional production paint. It's still not quite as realistic as some of the best Hot Toys work, but it's certainly as good as most, and good enough to rate a full score.

The consistent rubbery skin color is also critical, since a lot of people will be posing this figure without the gray shirt.

Articulation - ***
This is the most articulated quarter scale body currently on the market. That doesn't mean it has the same fluidity or range of movement of the smaller sixth scale Enterbay body, but it is has a reasonable number of joints.

The neck is a double ball joint - triple, really. You can get a ton of tilt and lean action, giving any pose that perfect Lee attitude.

Ball joints (pin and disc style) at the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles allow for some decent poses, but don't quite have the range of movement that you might expect. For example, the elbows can't bend at extreme angles, and the arms can't cross the body as far as I'd like.

There's a waist joint and an ab-crunch too, but these are a bit restricted by the rubber skin covering the torso.

You're not going to find a better articulated 18" figure these days, but there's still a little room for improvement.

Accessories - ***1/2
The big accessory here is the hands, with a total of five sets. He comes wearing a pair of relaxed hands, and comes with a set of fists, gripping hands, slightly posed gripping hands, and a tight gripping right hand and flat palm left hand. Some of these are too similar, and I would have liked them to get a bit more specific with some of the poses.

The hands swap easily - a little too easily, actually. I found they popped off when I was posing, but at least they are easy to replace.

Mr. Lee was a master of weapons as well, and he has his bo staff, made of real wood (yea, it's a dowel rod that's stained a dark color, but it's still wood), two nunchucks (both with a metal chain and wooden handles), and two of the small wooden darts he employs in the film. Scale looks good across the board, and it's always terrific when you get real materials rather than simply plastic.

Also included is his TWA airline ticket, and his blue folded cloth 'bag' that works as his carry on. There's a piece of foam inside to make it appear full. These aren't mentioned in the advertising for the figure, but appear to be a late add by Enterbay.

The big extra here is the additional 'grouchy' (hey, their words, not mine) head sculpt. I already discussed it in the sculpting section, but suffice to say it keeps this score in this category at ***1/2. Without it, the high price tag would have caused this score to drop a half star.

Finally, there's a display stand. The base is fairly basic - it's hollow, with an aluminum top and his name in both Chinese characters and English. I love the post and clamp, because the post can be adjusted to multiple heights, and is extremely high quality.

Outfit - ***
The costume includes the 'kung fu' shirt, pants, and shoes, all done with great care and nice tailoring. The traditional knot and loop closures work well, and the shoes have solid soles that help in deep stances.

There's also black socks and the white tank t-shirt underneath, as well as a tight black cloth belt. The jacket is easy to remove, but the belt is tightly tied, and I'd suggest not stripping him down any further than that because of it.

The costume is well done, but it's not exceptionally complex or detailed. It's certainly not as expensive or difficult to produce as the Masterpiece HD T-800 or Batman suits.

Fun Factor - ****
Most of the time (we're talking 99% here), high end collectibles are fragile to some degree. Some are a bit less breakable than others, but it's rare to find one just as sturdy (or even more sturdy) than the average kid's toy at the local Toys R Us.

But that's actually what you have here. The underlying body is extremely sturdy and solid, with great joints. The heads and hands are hard to scratch or damage, and the clothing is made from a high quality material with tight stitching. Even the accessories, made from metal and wood, could stand up to normal play.

That doesn't mean I'd hand over this $400 figure to the average 4 year old to bang against the concrete. But this is the sort of figure that collectors can pose and handle without any real fear of damage.

Value - *1/2
I'm going to take a bunch of flack for this one, and I know it, but this is my first Masterpiece HD and I have to say I'm a bit underwhelmed with what you're getting for the $400 price tag.

It doesn't help that I just had the Iron Monger in my hands, another 18" figure that's about the same price. That figure has some amazing engineering, lots of moving parts and complex joints, and even a light up feature!

With it's more basic uniform, straight forward accessories, and a couple obvious issues, it's tough to see this figure being worth a comparable amount.

Things to Watch Out For -
I noticed that you can scratch or scape the soft rubber on the front of the shoulders against the inside of the shoulder joint on the torso. I'm betting it would also be possible to damage the front of the soft neck by twisting the head with the chin against it. With a little care, you can avoid both issues.

Overall - ***
If this figure were n the $200 - $250 range, he'd easily pick up another half star overall. The lack of a forward looking portrait, and the rather basic nature of the accessories and outfit make it tough to pull a full four, but at a more reasonable price I can easily see another half star.

But $400 is a lot of green, and he is no less expensive than the price of the other much more complex Masterpiece HD figures, like Batman, Joker and T-800

To be fair, I'm going to be reviewing the Dark Knight Joker within the next couple weeks, and from what I've seen so far, I suspect he'll do much better when it comes to Value.

The big question is...will Enterbay give us a quarter scale Norris, complete with hairy back, to go with this Lee?

Be sure to scroll all the way down - I took quite a few photos of this guy and his accessories.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - *1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
You can pick up the figure directly from Enterbay for just $375, or try these other online options:

- Fanboy Collectibles has him for $400.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $430

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $430 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Bruce Lee products include:

- Enterbay has done a lot with the man, including this 1/4 scale statue, this Kato version, the Fist of Fury version, the Game of Death version, and the Way of the Dragon version.

- Hot Toys has also done several sixth scale versions, including the Casual Outfit, and DX04.

- Sideshow also did a 14 scale statue in their Premium Format series.

Discussion:
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Bruce Lee Masterpiece HD figure by Enterbay


This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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