Stan Lee Mini-bust

Tonight's guest review is from Lestor Wong, who usually writes Transformer reviews.  This time though he's steppin' out and doing a mini-bust review of the king himself, Stan Lee.  It's all your's, Lestor!

Bowen Designs have always been synonymous with quality Marvel Comics-related statues and busts. Recent news on their renewal of licensing with Marvel was greeted with much fanfare. But before Bowen and his team embarked on a series of new products under the Marvel franchise, we were first given mini-busts of the legendary Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. This review covers Stan Lee mini-bust, which has a really limited run of 1,500 pieces worldwide. The bust reviewed over here is numbered 752.

Packaging - ***1/2
The packaging for this Stan Lee mini-bust is really classy. The box itself is compact, due to the relatively smaller-sized of the bust, but it's still very attractive with its a maroon background, and images of Lee on the front and back. The side of the box also has a detailed tribute to Stan "The Man", which provides a good introduction to the works that Lee has done over the years in bringing us the various superheroes that we've all came so attached to. Overall, this is a very nice packaging that oozes much presence. 

Sculpting - ****
The bust is sculpted by Randy Bowen himself. As we're talking about a sculpture of a real-life person here, the details must be really good to provide a fitting tribute. On this point, Bowen manages to maintain his usual high standards, capturing the gist of Lee brilliantly. We see Lee's trademark shades, moustache and smirky grin, sculpted to perfection. The lines on his hair and face are also expertly done, with no over-emphasis, which is very common on some other similar products from competitors. 

Lee is rested on a nicely crafted classic base, which is ivory in color, with shades of gray. His name is sculpted onto a golden plate on the base. The base itself blends in pretty well with the bust, providing a simple and cozy appearance. Despite standing only at 5" tall, Lee easily stands out very well on my shelf of statues and busts. I guess this is understandable, since he created all those guys!

In a nutshell, you know this is a well-sculpted product when a non-fan like my wife can identify that "hey, isn't this Stan Lee?" when she saw the bust in store. 

Paint - ***1/2
While the sculpt on the bust looks great, the paintwork is slightly off-balance on some areas. There're some evidences of bleeding on the area joining his shades and forehead, as well as some starchy patches on his hair. Still, nothing major here to cry foul over, since paint consistency, at times, does vary from set to set. I'm impressed by the overall effort, which has Lee in colors that look and feel pretty "70s". 

Quality/Design - ***1/2
The Stan Lee mini-bust is simplicity at its best. We saw no exaggerating poses or facial expression. Basically we've Lee facing the front, albeit with a sly grin which is crying out to be included in the design. The design reminded me of Lee talking to the cameras in those interviews he did recently for superheroes movies DVDs. The use of a classic base also adds a nice feel to the overall design. On another note, some people may not like "no-hands" busts like this, but personally I feel including his arms would actually spoil the feel of the sculpt. 

Overall - ***
The Stan Lee mini-bust is a great homage to a man who has brought much joy to many people in the world. Without him, we probably won't see the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men, to name a few. Bowen manages to capture Lee at his best, and we've here a product that would make a central attraction on any statues collectors' shelf. Highly recommended. A+.


Figures from the collection of Lestor Wong.

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