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Sideshow Collectibles Premium Format
Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee premium format statue by Sideshow Collectibles

If you know a guy who grew up in the 60's and 70's, ask him to name his top 5 action movie heroes - I'll guarantee Bruce Lee is in there. A pioneer in martial arts action films and a crusader for Asians in Hollywood cinema, Lee's effects on the industry and on a generation of boys is still felt today.

It's no surprise that he's been done many times in action figure form, and almost always well done. The latest rendition is from Sideshow, as part of their Premium Format line of mixed media statues.

If you buy him directly from Sideshow, Mr. Lee will run you $250, but some online retailers (mentioned at the end of the review) have him a bit cheaper. Unlike most Sideshow products, there is no exclusive version of this one. It is, however, a limited edition of just 1000.

Packaging - ***
The Sideshow PF's come in large boxes with well designed Styrofoam inserts to keep things safe inside. The graphics are decent, and the box will certainly accomplish job one. Since this PF doesn't have a lot of small parts, it's also quite easy to pull him out, display him, and return him to the package later for storage or sale.
Bruce Lee premium format statue by Sideshow Collectibles

Bruce Lee premium format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Bruce Lee premium format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Bruce Lee premium format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Bruce Lee premium format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Bruce Lee premium format statue by Sideshow Collectibles

Sculpting - ***
If I were grading this on the likeness alone, it would score much higher. The head sculpt is very accurate, from the eyes to the nose to the lips and even to the shape of the head and chin, they've captured Lee almost perfectly.

The hair line is a bit more broken up than his usually was, but that might be a good aesthetic choice. Lee usually had more of a Moe thing going on, with less forehead exposed and more solid bangs. However, that may not translate well into a statue, so going with the slightly thinner coverage with the bangs was probably a good idea.

The slight drop in score here is more due to the hands and the stance they've chosen. I like the idea of going with very specific, very character accurate poses to the hands, but they didn't manage to make them look as realistic as the head sculpt.  The fingers are large and fat, and they are splayed much to wide, especially the back left hand. It's almost like they did a caricature of his hands, rather than real hands in these classic poses.

The stance is also a classic Lee look, but while it's accurate, I'm not sure it translates into a static three dimensional figure particularly well. While it might seem simple, in reality it's a pose that's very, very difficult to capture. It looks better from the side than from the front, but in either case there is still something off about it to the eye. It might be that his center of gravity doesn't seem to make visual sense with the position of the feet and legs...it might be that the front leg and torso are too straight...but it's hard to put your finger on exactly what it is. I do think that tilting his upper body back slightly would have helped - the last photo was taken with the camera tilted slightly, and I think it looks more natural. They went for a tough stance, and missed it by *that* much.

The sculpted base is very basic and simple, with the painted dragon adding most of the visual interest. Lee stands about 19" tall including the base.

Paint - **
My biggest issue with the quality of the PF is not the sculpt, but the paint. This is a very expensive statue, particularly considering the simplicity of the sculpt. You should expect perfect paint at this price, but it falls short.

The skin tone is consistent and clean, but the other details all have minor issues. The hair line along both the bangs and the sides is sloppy, with too much skin riding up onto the sculpted hair.  The eyebrows aren't quite as clean as I'd expect, the lips have a slight discoloration to the paint at the deepest point, and the eyes have bleed from the skin, particularly in the corners.

The pupils also have a very good point, and a bad one. They painted them so he's looking through his upper eyelids, staring you down. This was his classic look, and it works perfectly for this character.

Unfortunately, that's balanced off by one eye being slightly lazy. It's only slightly off center with respect to the other eye - we're talking millimeters here - but again, at this price point, I expect a PF to look as close to perfect as humanly possible.

Articulation - Bupkis
I won't be holding the score against this statue, since that's what it's supposed to be.  However, as regular collectors of Sideshow PF's know, occasionally they do have a point or two of articulation, so it's worth mentioning that this one does not.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is very basic, but it looks fine. The tailoring is good on both the upper and lower half of his classic Kung Fu uniform, and you can adjust the clothes slightly to get the look you want. The buttons are in scale, the stitching is solid, and the elastic around the waist and ankles works well. The pants are a bit baggy in the crotch, but that's actually fairly accurate.

Value - **
Sideshow's Premium Format statues are not cheap, hence the 'premium' title. Two hundred and fifty dollars is a lot of cash for anyone in the current economic climate, and this is not a particularly complex creation. The edition size is actually fairly large for a PF as well, and with the minor issues around the paint, it's a tough sell at this price.

Things To Watch Out For
Always be careful when attaching a PF to it's base, as the metal rod can damage the resin. His is also very close to the front of his foot, and with other PF's like that, I've managed to break the thin front section of his foot when attaching it.  I didn't have that problem here, but there's always that potential if you rush things.

Overall - **1/2
I like this PF a bit better than the overall actually indicates, but I can't ignore the issues particularly at this price point.

If you're looking for a display statue for your home theater or movie room, I haven't seen a better one than this. Sure, the Enterbay figures are about the nicest Lee collectibles out there (with the price tag to match), but they are sixth scale, not quarter scale like this.

This isn't a terrible statue by any means, but Sideshow needed to tighten up the paint, as well as give us something a bit more substantial for this much green.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - **
Articulation - Bupkis
Outfit - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
Sideshow was the place to pick this up originally, where he is $250. Other options:

- Dark Shadow Collectibles has him at $225.

- CornerStoreComics has him at $225.

- Alter Ego also has him at $225.

- if you're in the UK, Forbidden Planet has him at 160 GBP.

.  Your other choice is to search ebay, and you can do that using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
I have several other Bruce Lee collectible reviews:

- Enterbay has made some of the nicest sixth scale Lee figures, including one based on Way of the Dragon and Game of Death.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!


Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.13

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Bruce Lee premium format statue by Sideshow Collectibles



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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