Fist of Fury Bruce Lee by Enterbay

Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure from Enterbay

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Jeff Parker is back tonight with a look at the super cool Fist of Fury Bruce Lee(s) from Enterbay - take it away, Jeff!

Back at the end of December 07 I reviewed the first ground-breaking figure that Enterbay had released, it was of their now signature license, of the ‘icon’ Bruce Lee from Game of Death (GoD), if not his best movie, it’s certainly one of his most famous, if only for that yellow jumpsuit!

I was hugely impressed by the whole package last time, and what a package it was, it weighed in at 3kg and guess what, so does this new one, I just weighed them. There have been a few different versions of Bruce from Enterbay in the interim and a slight diversion courtesy of Jet Li.

So far in their ‘Real Masterpiece’ selection we’ve had-
RM-0001 Bruce Lee - Game of Death
RM-0002 Bruce Lee - Way of the Dragon
RM-0003 Jet Li - Fearless
RM-0004 Bruce Lee - Enter the Dragon Version A
RM-0005 Bruce Lee - Enter the Dragon Version B
RM-1006 Bruce Lee - Fist of Fury  

And soon we’ll have Mr Bean and 24’s Jack Bauer to contend with, now if that isn’t a disparate choice I don’t know what is, not to mention the up coming battle of the Godfathers when they go head to head, or Marlon to Marlon with Hot Toys in just about the most anticipated 1/6 title fight of the year!

But back to Bruce, this figure depicts him as the character Chen Zhen in Jing wu men or Fist of Fury to the unenlightened (in fact the movie was titled The Chinese Connection for its initial release in the US to cash in on the popularity of Friedkin’s The French Connection).

It was made in 1972, just a year before his tragic death, and told the story of a man seeking vengeance for the death of his master (but don’t they just always do that!). It’s a movie that is as famous for its Chinese/Japanese racial tension as it is for the martial arts on show, in fact Bruce refused to work with the writer and director Wei Lo again!  But tensions aside it’s still loved by Lee’s fans, and is another important cog in the tragically short list of movies he stared in.
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay

Packaging: *** 1/2
If I were awarding merit on terms of sheer scale this would demand 4 stars, if I were taking ‘Eco-Friendliness’ into account it’d struggle to get more than one! However I’m not really taking either of these as ‘significant’ areas for concern, nope, I’m just looking at how cool it is… and it is very cool.

Anyone selling a product will tell you how the whole retail experience can be make or break because of the packaging, and this has a very classy big box with its own carry handle, but it’s a box that hides its contents. The fun starts when you start to unpackage the goodies. The front has a large b/w image of Bruce. You lift the top flap open and you’re welcomed by another large glossy photo with care instructions underneath in very small print. Opposite is a full colour printed sheet showing the various head, hair and dress options alongside images of the accessories and diorama. Under this are a protective sheet of cardboard and then the reverse of the wooden diorama. This lifts out to show two brown cardboard boxes lying side by side. One contains Bruce lovingly swaddled in both tissue and foam while the other contains a wooden framed banner, his alternative hands, head, hair (yes… hair) Nunchaku, alternate outfit, figure stand and certificate of authenticity. All are held securely in place inside a vac-formed plastic tray.

So all in all this is a handsome package with lots of flourishes to show you where your money has gone… reassuringly expensive, as the saying goes.

Sculpt: ****
Just what is it that they put in the water in Korea, they don’t just routinely turn out good 1/6 sculptors, they turn out the very best 1/6 sculptors. Sculptors whose work consistently makes your draw drop.
I was hugely impressed by Arnie Kim’s work on the Game of Death Bruce, but things have moved on significantly since that premier figure. The subtlety of casting Mr Kim’s prototypes seems much more controlled and the texturing of the skin adds far more realism, but other aspects of their production have been enhanced too.

The size of both the new heads are in far better scale than the earlier figure and the famous moving eyes are far more positionable and realistic as well. Where as the first figure had two fixed sets of interchangeable eyes, the new heads have permanently attached eyes that can be moved independently (so yes he can be as cross-eyed as Ben Turpin should you like) You simply lift off the hair and you’ll see two small stems/arms sticking out of the backs of the eye balls, you simply use these to swivel the eyes to the desired position, easy! 

It’s worth mentioning here that the heads are held on by means of magnets. One is concealed in the underside of the hair and the other is counter sunk into the top of the neck, these do a great job of holding the head in position and are plenty strong enough for posing, but DON’T try and pick him up by the head as it’s no way strong enough to do this, and you could end up with a lot of broken limbs on your hands.

Both the heads are sublime sculpts, one shows Bruce with a more relaxed, but still steely expression whilst he other shows one of his familiar ‘fight’ expressions, chin jutting forward, utterly focussed. So, two completely different faces but both undeniably Bruce Lee down to a tee! Arnie has spent so much time capturing Lee’s likeness over the last few years it seems to come as second nature. Both these sculpts look unfussy but capture the curve of his lip, his high cheek bones and sharp jaw line

The world of 1/6 collectables has come so far in last few years it’s easy to become complacent to the quality we have now come to expect as commonplace, but companies like Hot Toys and Enterbay have raised the bar so much with their exceptional work it’s important we don’t lose sight of just how much things have improved… and I’m sure will continue to do so. Along with the extra head I just described, we also get a third hairstyle, it’s in the brushed straight back style we see briefly in the movie, the relaxed head has the classic tidy left parting, the ‘fight’ face also has the left parting but is more mussed up. So between the two heads and three hairstyles you in effect have six ways of displaying your figure, and when you take into account the two outfits, and if you mix and match the outfits… well, you get the idea, I don’t want to do the math!

But as always with the Bruce Lee figures from Enterbay the sculpting doesn’t stop with two great head sculpts, the other thing these figures are held in such high regard for is the Bruce Lee body sculpt

As I said in my last review, Lee was perhaps as famous for his physique as he was for anything else, so to highlight this Enterbay invented the ‘BL’ body. Now available in three individual versions, to buy as a separates. There’s the BL 2 which is for the earlier figures, then the BL 2.5 that is the same basic body but with a neck adaptor for the later figures and lastly the BL 3, this is the one you get with the FoF figure, the torso and neck are more upright and straighter on this version. 

If you have the inclination and indeed the cash, I’d advise also buying a BL 2.5 when you pick this figure up, as for an extra $30 you get all you need to have two complete figures.

He also comes with no fewer than 7 hands. In the box he has two fists fitted, but you also have the option of 2 extra left hands, one relaxed the other with splayed fingers and three right hands, one relaxed, one pointing and the last to grip the Nunchaku. All are delicately carved and swap over very easily. A very nice selection.

Paint: ****
Compared to the GoD figure this is a quantum leap in terms of quality.

One of my gripes last time was the lack of detail and feathering on the eyebrows, no such problems this time. Look closely now and you can see every hair. The tonal work on the skin is far more subtle as well, there’s far more variation in the colour and the shading to intone the facial hair growth is much more realistic. Even though ‘positionable’ the eyes are nice and glossy and catch the light convincingly without the accursed ‘doll dot’. The hair, like last time, lets the sculpt and glossy nature of the pliable material used do all the work. And as it’s a genetic biological fact that virtually (please note the use of ‘virtually’) every Chinese person has dense black hair this is probably the best way to capture the look. 

I find it can appear very different under various types of light, natural daylight can make it look a little flat, which is a shame as there is a ton of work in the sculpted detail, every strand can be picked out. Where as under electric light I find it to be hugely convincing. So I guess he’s gonna look a lot more realistic displayed in your Ikea Detolf in the evening. 

So to sum up it’s a great paint job, and fans of Bruce, who like me, so far only had the GoD figure will be very, very happy in the leap in quality!

Articualtion - ***1/2
This is on the BL 3 body as stated above. It’s a beautiful bit of design just as, if not more concerned with the finished aesthetic as it is with articulation. So don’t come to this expecting the same degree of mobility as you would get from the True-Type or RAH, the two best 1/6 bodies available at the moment in terms of extreme articulation and build quality, perhaps the Prometheus is worth a mention in despatches but a few things still need to be ironed out before it can be articulated shoulder to articulated shoulder with the big boys.

No, the BL doesn’t have the same range of mobility, but it more than makes up for it in giving us a 1/6 figure that looks good bare chested and naked armed. This body expertly shows off his muscle definition and is as seamless between the shoulders and elbows as it can be without using a rubber suit to cover them. I’m going to be very interested to see the body used on the up coming Enterbay Mr Bean and 24 figures, as it will showcase yet another 1/6 body in the arena of high end collectable figures, and it’s one of the areas I have always found most interesting, as the interpretation of the human body and the way it can be designed and engineered is something I have made designs on myself.

The basic functionality hasn’t changed much since my last Enterbay review so I’d advise a re-read but I’d still be tempted to say this body is literally crying out for a cut joint in the lower shin, however at least the hip ball joint can now be rotated on the new BL 3 so the feet don’t always have to be pointing straight forward. It looked like the hip should rotate on the BL 1 but I tried, and quite frankly I gave up for fear of breakage. But even this one small modification on the new body makes for far more realistic posing. So while I feel I still can’t award a full mark in this category, it certainly deserves more than last time, and the fact it can be posed without clothes and still look good is virtually unheard of at this scale without a rubber muscle body! 

So a breakdown of just how poseable this figure is, the ankles can rock from side to side and swivel to point forwards, we have double knees that can bend right back on themselves, the hips have a good range and are a ratcheted ball-joint. The waist can turn and depending on what direction its pointed can bend between 5 to 10 degrees, the shoulders have a swivel and hinged joint and after familiarising yourself with them can achieve most positions. The elbow is a hinged joint on a ball-peg, so it can turn freely and bend to just over 90 degrees, the wrists/forearms have a cut/peg joint to swap over the hands and lastly the neck has no movement at the base, but where it joins the head it can tilt and sway by means of a post with a magnet one end that holds the head in place.
So as I said not up there with the best hi-end 1/6 base bodies in terms of ‘extreme’ articulation, but it doesn’t claim to be, no, this body has other fish to fry, and considering how well concealed many of the joints are its still most impressive. 

It’s worth mentioning that if you pick up an extra BL body, you get an extra selection of hands. I went for the BL 2.5 and got two fists fitted plus three extra gesturing hands, one right and two left. On the extra body the ankle on the left foot was slightly weaker, the side to side rocking mechanism is tight enough, but the forward pointing is a little loose, he still stands fine, and I suppose if that’s the only gripe between these two bodies then it ain’t so bad!

Outfit - ****
Bruce comes with two expertly tailored outfits, one is the white dress uniform which comprises of a white high collar shirt bearing tiny glued on buttons, a white Nehru style jacket with working pockets but no lining (this means the internal seams are exposed on the inside but the bulk is cut down significantly) and white trousers, again with working pockets, all of these garments are fastened with small press studs. He also has a pair of white patent leather shoes and a pair of black socks… I was so relieved the socks were black… the only colour socks should ever ‘truly’ be. A gentleman NEVER wears white socks unless partaking of sport!

Outfit two is a traditional Chinese ‘Kung-Fu’ suit made up of white socks (I’ll live with it) Kung-Fu slippers these were quite tough to get on, but I used a cocktail stick to lever the back panels over the heel and they slipped on fine, then we have  trousers with a sash tie waist, and a traditional knot buttoned top with working buttons, again these are fiddle-some to do-up but work very well. Unsurprisingly this second outfit, though not quite as visibly striking, is a far more iconic ‘Bruce’ look than the white suit, and this is part of the reason for me recommending getting a spare BL 2.5 body, as then you don’t have to choose which mode to go for, just have both!

Accessories: ****
This is an expensive package… there is NO getting away from that fact!

But, there is also no way of denying that this is packed to the rafters with extremely high quality extras. 

Everything is numbered, the box, the base, the certificate and his ass! We get a wooden display base, we get an extra outfit, we get an extra head and even an extra hairstyle, we get 5 extra hands, we get a set of Nunchaku with a metal chain, we get a framed banner of Chinese calligraphy saying ‘The Sick Man of Asia’ (a derogatory term used by the Japanese to humiliate the Chinese during the WWII occupation), the phrase was also used in Jet Li’s Fearless. Then lastly we get a top class stand, this is a stand that is designed with ‘action’ in mind. It has metal parts and is designed to have an adjustable ratcheted height mechanism and the frame that grips the figures waist can be spun and tilted for Kung-Fu poses, a very nice piece of kit that can again be bought as a separate, handy for all you budding figure photographers!

That display base is also worth an extra mention, the use of solid wood is a rare occurrence these days, and like the pagoda style one that came with the GoD figure it does add an element of class to the proceedings, and also like that last one it comes laser etched on the back, and its manufacture is faultless, showing some lovely grain in the struts and very crisp screen printing on the large Chinese symbol.

Fun factor:  *** 1/2
The wooden diorama base makes for a most impressive backdrop but it’s the simple addition of the spinning hip articulation that has made the world of difference to me in the ‘fun’ I can have posing this guy. It’s a small detail but it makes him look all the more realistic and human for it (now we just need a well concealed cut joint in the lower shin). There’s no denying this is an expensive item aiming itself squarely at high-end collectors and hard-core fans of the phenomenon that was Mr Bruce Lee, but if you find yourself ticking either box then you might well find yourself falling in love with this figure. I know I have!

Value:  **
You get quite a lot of kit for your money, but there again you are spending A LOT of your money… so it’s only fair you should expect a lot in return! 

This figure is in an individually numbered edition size of 5000 with a RRP of $320 when purchased direct from the Enterbay site, however if you check out some of their stockists in the US you’ll find it priced as high as $399… cheez, don’t you just love the state of the economy these days! So as nice as this package is, there is no way it could ever be considered a bargain!

But when you buy a Rolex ‘Oyster’ or a Ferrari ‘Spider’ you don’t expect a bargain, and this is how Enterbay seems to be marketing itself. Exclusivity is everything; so if that’s important to you then hey, knock yourself out. If it isn’t then search out the Enter the Dragon figures, they were far more affordable at… ‘ahem’ $200. But keep watching the Enterbay site; I’m sure more Brucie bonuses will be on the way soon!

Overall: ***3/4
This is such a nice overall package you will love every moment of unwrapping it, but it’s not for those on a tight budget, in fact it’s very, very far from it!

If the price weren’t so extremely high we would all have one in our collection, but in trying to keep their product a ‘luxury’ purchase, most will sadly have to be content with ‘wanting’ instead.

However things seem to be changing slightly at team Enterbay. The prices on the upcoming Mr Bean and 24 figures are much more in line with Hot Toys and Medicom, so while the ‘Bruces’ are being kept as the ‘platinum’ standard, soon the ‘gold’ will be far more available and affordable. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.
However when it comes to quality this piece isn’t wanting in any area, though sitting squarely in the hi-end 1/6 category, and though a far more realistic sculpt than the earlier GoD figure, it still has a different look and feel to Medicom, Sideshow, Hot Toys and the other major players, which I think is important. I don’t want all my 1/6 figures to look like they come from one stable, diversity is the spice of life and Enterbay are showing why more serious collectors will want to have a few of their pieces in their collections. So the only area keeping the score down is price, and only price.

Packaging: ***1/2
Sculpt: ****
Paint: ****
Articulation: ***1/2
Outfit - ****
Accessories -****
Fun factor: ***1/2
Value: **
Overall: ***3/4

Where to Buy -
Enterbay seem to be pretty strict on just who they’ll award a dealer status to, I guess in their quest to keep the ‘exclusivity’ they need to keep a tight grip on the prices the dealers and ‘grey’ market traders are asking. You’ll find the list of approved dealers all around the globe in this link nonetheless if you Google them, I found another US store advertising them, but the price was even higher, and the selection very limited, however you can still shop around and save a few $’s if you’re savvy enough.

One of Michael’s sponsors did make the grade, but it’s only of use to UK buyers-

Forbidden Planet- 239.99 Pre-order

Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay

Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay
Fist of Fury Bruce Lee action figure by Enterbay

Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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