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Bruce Lee - Enter the Dragon
Quarter scale statue by Enterbay

Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by 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."

Enterbay is best known for their sixth scale action figures, but tonight Jeff Parker is looking at their new 1/4th scale statue of the legendary Bruce Lee - tell us all about it, Jeff!

OK, in the world of toy reviews Mr Michael Crawford could certainly be classed as an ‘icon’, but very few people are actually deserving of that title. However in the world of movies, and indeed martial arts, if ever there was one man that does deserve that status, then it is this man, Mr Bruce Lee.

He’s credited with appearances in over 25 movies, but many of those parts were in a minor or supporting roles, he only ever truly starred in a handful. But those few starring roles he did have were enough to cement him as super-star of the highest order. Even today there are few places on this planet that you couldn’t show someone a photo of Lee without them knowing who he was. And the fact that many of the movies he made were non-English speaking, and yet he’s still up there with Monroe, Dean and Elvis… all as American as apple pie, again speaks of how his talent shone through, regardless of race or language, he truly was am international star!

Of course Lee was actually an American citizen, born in San Francisco to parents who hailed from Hong Kong. And it was in Hong Kong Lee was to spend his formative years, not moving back to the US until his late teens to receive his higher education and claim his US citizenship. During this time he supplemented his income by teaching martial arts, where his ability was soon picked up on and he was quickly signed up for guest roles in many TV shows and as a supporting cast member in numerous movies. But it was the five starring roles he had in the movies The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972); Way of the Dragon (1972), Enter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death (1978) that remain the cornerstone of his enduring popularity.

This statues top half originally got released as a scale bust based on his look in Enter the Dragon it was a hugely impressive piece that came mounted on a laser etched, solid wood plinth, and sold out faster than one of his trademark kicks.

However, about the time it was released photos started coming to light on Arnie Kim’s blog of a scale pair of legs that might just fit the bust. At first I thought this was just a tease, perhaps for Kim’s own collection, or even a super rare edition for a competition. But then Enterbay announced that they would indeed be releasing a limited edition full scale statue in a strictly limited run or 2500. The main difference here is that apart from the obvious addition of the legs, this statue has the cuts and scaring received at the hands (or metal claws) of Han in the final battle from Enter the Dragon.

Although Fist of Fury is regarded by many as Lee’s finest movie, it’s this image of the great man, poised and ready to strike, blood running down his face and chest, that remains just about the most iconic single image of the actor and martial artist to date. So much so, that the large bronze statue that was erected in Hong Kong to commemorate his death is based on this classic pose. It is rumoured that an even bigger statue is planned for Kowloon harbour, one that could rival the Statue of Liberty but only time will tell if that ever gets the green light.

This isn’t the first large format statue of Lee either, there was the hugely expensive Cinamaquette which looked OK from some angles, but simply wasn’t him at the end of the day, and also the Sideshow Premium Format, that I’m sorry to say bore even less of a resemblance to the man.

So, if you passed on those, or as is more likely just didn’t feel they did the man justice, could this be the statue you have been waiting for. Well, it is sculpted by Arnie Kim… so what do you think?
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay


Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay

Packaging - ***1/4
I guess it goes without saying, and indeed is a ‘statement of the freakin obvious’, that a big statue requires a big box. The bust came in some very luxurious packaging that can be seen here, featuring a full colour sleeve, a matte black hard-board box and die-cut foam. But that was all part and parcel of a piece of merchandise that cost $130, here however the full figure manages to come in at a mere $170, that’s a full $80 less than the Sideshow one, admittedly this doesn’t come with the jacket, but it has infinitely superior work on the sculpt and paint, making this a far more ‘premium’ figure all round.

So to save a little money the packaging isn’t quite as grand as it was for the bust, but if that means we can save a few hard earned $’s on the overall price, then that’s something I think most of us can live with. Mine came in a brown corrugated-card shipping box, inside of which was the full colour cardboard box, this is a brushed metallic silver and has a psychedelic photo-shopped image of Lee on the front, all swirling colours and filter-effects. The back has a list of credits and care instructions; the top face opens like a door by releasing the paper-engineered tab on the side.
Inside there are two formed polystyrene trays that hold the statue secure while in transit, the wooden base is held on the exterior of one of these panels in a shallow tray with a polystyrene cover to protect it, you’ll also find a metal peg to add strength to the figure when posed on the wooden base.

So nothing too exciting in terms of inventive design, especially when you consider this is an Enterbay item, and them being famous for sumptuous, and sometimes quite frankly over the top packaging. But it did do it’s job of getting Bruce to me without a scratch on him… well, other than the ones he’s meant to have.

Sculpting - ****
This is the third Bruce Lee release I have reviewed from Enterbay, and all were sculpted by the master Arnie Kim, it really isn’t going too far to say that amongst the collecting community his work is considered legendary when it come to the portraits he produces of Bruce Lee. I’ve certainly seen his work improve vastly since that very first Game of Death figure they released back in 2006.

So not only has his work improved in that time, but also he is given a much bigger canvas to work with here, and although my first love will always be articulated 1/6th figures, this has shown me a level of finish I simply haven’t seen at this scale before.

If Enterbay were to decide to specialise at this scale I’d be tempted to make it part of my collecting field. And if I was Sideshow I’d be worried. If paint apps this phenomenal could have been applied to things like their Indy statue then it would have definitely been in my collection. It shows that if Enterbay can get the licenses people want, I can see this being a whole new and very popular arena for them. And even with Arnie’s departure from the company, the thought of YJ Parks work being produced at this scale would be pretty awesome… and a scale Jack Bauer would be a most desirable and sweet way to kick off.

Here we have Lee in an action pose, arms and legs positioned to react to anything that might be thrown at him (quote-“A good martial artist does not become tense… but ready”), the face has the classic Lee concentrated expression, eyes narrowed, lips pursed and head erect. This statue deftly manages to capture the feeling that Lee is delicately balanced, as he leans his weight back onto his left leg and although this is a rigid statue, the limbs manage to suggest and express the fluidity of motion that he was famous for, after all he did say, and I quote- “Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.  Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

The sculpting is as you would expect at the very top of its game, and again conveys both the hardness but also the suppleness of Lee’s physique. Arnie has studied the reference available long and hard, so we get every taught muscle and vein replicated as near to perfection as it would be possible without making a full body cast of Lee himself. The hands are a refined facsimile of the position in the pose linked to above, and each finger and finger nail is carried out faultlessly, the pose is somewhere between the Spider Man web firing position and the international sign for ‘rock’ but with a more fluid relaxed poise.

The face is however always going to be the make-or-break area for any figural statue, but you need not concern yourself as this is a 100%, ball knocked clean out of the park master-class in how it should be done. I did read some people were worried about visible cast lines, but I think what people mistook for defects were actually the fine veins that traverse his arms. The only joins I could find were where the head joins the neck at the jaw-line and also at the elbow of the left arm, these are joins necessitated by the way the figure was cast and constructed, and to be fair they are only visible from some angles, and only noticeable if you are looking for them.
The mouth expression is spot on and it seems to be sculpted into a hole inside the mouth, and I think I’m right in believing both the interior of the mouth and the eye-balls are inserted from inside, but I have looked at the eyes with a linen tester and I can’t see the join. The hair is done in a similar style to the 1/6th figures, so it’s moulded from a separate piece of vinyl, it’s technique that works very well for capturing the look of glossy black hair, and Arnie’s finely detailed work shines through without the need for any paint in this area at all. Which brings me nicely onto the paint… ahhh, the paint.

When a sculpt turns out as awe inspiringly good as this, you had better not screw it up with a bad paint app… but luckily Enterbay don’t do bad paint apps.

In fact we have here what could well be one of the finest mass produced scale paint apps ever to see the light of day.

Paint - ****+
Put simply, this is how you do it. This should be standard issue as reference in any factory where paint is being applied to scale figures. Well, I say that, obviously I don’t expect Neca, Hasbro or Diamond Select to achieve this quality at the price-point they work at… but to all other hi-end manufacturers of so called ‘premium’ figures, this is what we want, nay DEMAND!

Enterbay have shown it can be done, there is no longer any excuse for lifeless flat colours and sloppy division lines… let alone eyes that are looking in different directions!
But, lets be realistic and kick off with the bad. Well, I say bad, what I mean is just not brain numbingly good!

So the only, and I mean ONLY area I can find any fault with (and you will have to look closely to find it) is the feet. Or to be more precise his karate slippers. The colours are all nice and dense, but the division line between slipper and sock isn’t quite as ultra crisp as I would have expected… there, that’s it, that is the single bad thing I can bring myself to say.

Why?

Well because the rest is so bloody amazing, that’s why.
The whole of the upper body is painted with super subtle airbrushing to help give definition to the form, but it’s the gentle mottling and paternation on the flesh tone that that brings it so much to life. Then the veins are picked out as are his nipples, and they even remembered his underarm hair, but all this is applied with a gentle and feathered edge. The actual cuts on his face, chest and back may look a little too perfect to the layman, but that is just how they looked in the movie, so it’s an accurate portrayal of the way they appeared. They are quite graphic and evenly spaced to show the nature of the mechanical claw that Han uses to inflict them. Then over all of this there is a finely applied misting of sweat. I would imagine its just clear varnish, but the way it is beaded on the surface of the skin with occasional areas running down is hugely effective. The face carries on the same effect with sweat beading over its surface, but on the face the work is even finer with more detail picked out on his implied beard growth and the eyebrows. As I said above, the eyes are inserted inside the head, butting up to the edge of the external eyelids perfectly. The eyes are glossy enough to look wet and have super fine blood vessels and details in the iris all painted super accurately.

This paint app deserves 5 stars… but rules is rules, so I’ll just give it a ****+

But we officially have a new scale benchmark… who’s gonna meet it?

Outfit - ****
Lee is just wearing his karate pants here with a sash belt. The pants are made of a synthetic blue material that feels very silky and hangs and creases well at this scale. They have a pleated waistband that is held shut by press studs, but these studs are hidden beneath the black cotton sash he wears tied around his waist. This is tied at the back with an elaborate bow, I did think of removing it to get a good look at the legs (which are fully sculpted incidentally), but I thought better of it, I just know I’ll never re-tie it to lay as well as it does now. The ankle cuffs have a press-stud fastened wrap, which you simply bind and press shut.
So, a simple garment, but one that is tailored very well to the statue and hangs elegantly, a little futzing is required to get the creases all looking their best, but it don’t take too much work to make this thing look fantastic.

Accessories - N/A

Articulation - N/A

Value - ****
At this scale and at this price this is a 100% bona fide bargain!

Everything is virtually perfect, sure there are a few miniscule points that when scrutinised with a magnifying glass show that nothing is ever truly perfect… but again taking into account that price then they are rendered irrelevant.

Your only problem now will be finding one for retail, I just checked eBay and one was available for $190, all the others were much further south of $200, some traders are already asking for $300, but do search around, as $300 is too high, especially this soon after release.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
It’s a statue, statues are never fun ‘per se’, but it is however an absolutely freaking AMAZING piece of work. When I first opened this up I was literally knocked sideways… that doesn’t happen often to a cynical old hack like me. But if you get a chance to look at this thing close up, with the texturing, sweat and blood you will see what I mean.

So, statues might not actually be fun… but they can be incredibly AWESOME!

Things to Watch Out For -
I had no issues with mine whatsoever, but do take care when attaching him to the wooden base. The pegs are designed to be a tight fit, so I’d seriously warm the feet with a hair-dryer before inserting the metal peg and pushing the plastic pegs into the pre-drilled holes. And then when you move it about hold the figure with one hand and the base with the other. It’s just common sense really but worth taking care over. The construction of the main figure is vinyl, so it should be able to weather a few more knocks than poly-stone, but I’d still advise caution, as this guy is pretty heavy.

Overall - ****
This statue quite simply demanded a full score, and quite frankly if I hadn’t given it one I would worry it might have come to life and kick my ass!

But right here, Enterbay have single-handedly and with their first foray into this medium redefined just how it NEEDS to be done. From the laser etched solid wood base, right up to the highly detailed sculpt for his hair, and not forgetting all the awesomeness that lies between. This just cries out for a full score, and it sure is nice to be getting something this immaculate for a price that feels like its in the ball park area of a bargain… all kinds of awesome, and about as highly recommended as a statue can get. This is destined to be a much sought after piece for years to come, mark my words.

Where to Buy -

You could originally buy this direct from Enterbay for a great price here but as you will see it has sold out.

If in Europe or the UK get in contact with onesixthbruce.co.uk, they’re the official importer of Enterbay goods, check his website for availability and drop him a line. If anyone can get it, he can!

If in the US then Mike’s sponsor Alter Ego has him for $189.99 and Urban Collector has it for $224.99, but I seriously doubt he will be around for long.

Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay


Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon quarter scale statue by Enterbay


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

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