Bruce Lee - Enter the Dragon
Quarter scale statue by Enterbay
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
|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 ¼ 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 ¼ 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 ¼ 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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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 ¼ scale Jack
Bauer would be a most desirable and sweet way to kick off.
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.
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 ¼ scale paint apps ever to see the light of day.
this is how you do it. This should be standard issue as reference in
any factory where paint is being applied to ¼ 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!
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.
Well because the rest is so bloody amazing, that’s why.
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 ¼ scale benchmark… who’s gonna meet it?
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.
At this scale and at this price this is a 100% bona fide bargain!
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
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.
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 -
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.
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!
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.
to Buy -You could originally buy this direct from Enterbay for a great price here but as you will see it has sold out.
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.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.