Leon the Professional
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
|Jeff is checking up on one of
the latest releases from Enterbay - take it away, Jeff!
Way back in early 2006 I reviewed my first Enterbay figure, in fact it
was THE first Enterbay figure. Back then they were starting from the
ground up and building their reputation on the coveted Bruce Lee
license, so their initial release was of course the legendary martial
artist and depicted him as he appeared in the classic movie Game of
Death. For the time it was pretty ground breaking, and managed to
re-invent ‘eagle-eyes’ for a new grown up generation of collectors, and
of course It goes without saying that Bruce had a Kung-Fu grip!
However, things move amazingly fast in the modern 1/6th world, so what
was impressive in 2006, may not be quite as impressive by 2011.
Then fast forward to the present, my last review on a product from
Enterbay was just a week or so ago, and it was the amazing ¼ scale T800
from Terminator 2.
It showed that the company are still very much contenders, and though
they are branching out into fully articulated ¼ scale figures, they
also remain committed to my old love, the classic 1/6th.
And so here we are with Luc Besson’s ‘Léon’ or if you are in North
America you will know it as ‘The Professional’. Besson has made a lot
of movies as writer, producer or director, some great, some good… and
some pretty darned bad… but Léon was one of his best, up there with
Subway and the Big Blue.
It told the story of a loner who befriends a twelve year old girl
‘Mathilda’ from an abusive home, and after the gang-land slaughter of
her entire family he rescues her and takes her under his wing. The only
problem being that Léon is no ordinary loner, he has a child like
naiveté that seems to make him vulnerable on a personal level… but far
from ‘actually’ being vulnerable he is a one man army. You see Léon is
in fact the most dedicated hit man operating in New York City, under
the local mafia hood ‘Tony’ (who also “manages” his financial affairs).
Because of his unusual choice of profession Mathilda soon becomes
fixated with her new guardian, and the line of carer, instructor and
padawan soon becomes very messy.
Like Léon’s character I’ve often found many of Besson’s movies have a
degree naiveté running through them, sometimes it has charm and works
but other times it can become hackneyed and obvious. It’s why some of
his movies maintain a classic status, while others loose there edge and
don’t withstand repeated viewings. But I’m getting all ‘movie critical
on yo ass’ and we are here to talk toys!
I can honestly say that if I could have only one figure from a Besson
movie then this would probably be it. Of course if you were offering
I’d also have Christophe Lambert as Fred from Subway (I’ve always had a
thing for Isabelle Adjani) and Milla Jovovich as Leeloo from the Fifth
Element. But quite frankly I am just so happy to have Jean Reno (a
longtime Besson collaborator) as the titular hit-man fully realised in
his 1/6th glory, that I can live with it if this is all we see!
I hope Enterbay can continue to bring us figures from the slightly more
leftfield and art-house cinema because it’s a much overlooked area.
However I also hope it’s an area that can prove profitable for them,
because a few fan-boys do not a fortune make!
I don’t ask for a lot from a box. I just need it to be visually
interesting, well-constructed and robust enough to protect the contents
in transit. This box manages all that with ease.
The cover uses the iconic graffiti stencil style illustration utilised
on the recent special edition DVD and Blu-Ray packaging which makes for
a striking front of box image. This image and the accompanying
typography are all slightly embossed in stark white against a deep
black back ground. The left side panel is magnetic meaning it unwinds
to the right showing the figure nestled within black foam on the left,
his arsenal of weapons is displayed against the wide centre spine and
his other numerous accessories are housed in a vac-formed tray to the
right. The whole shebang is fabricated from thick hard-board and the
construction is faultless. All in all a great piece of packaging!
Sculpting - ****
Like with the recent T800 we have Enterbays artist in residence YJ Park
on portrait duties, and he has done a fantastic job! Reno is a
brilliant character actor who has made a career out of playing
interesting and ‘unusual’ roles. He can tell a thousand stories with
his expressive face alone can, and his hangdog sense of pathos endears
him to the audience in so many of his subtlety observed roles.
Luckily YJ has captured some of that Gallic magic, meaning I defy
anyone but the most obtuse of trolls not to see the actor in this
stunning sculpt. The expression is reasonably neutral, but with a
focused and determined edge. The detailing on the peripheral features
like the hair and light beard is crisp and distinct, but it’s the
general likeness that is so outstanding.
Just look at that nose and even the ears here,
but the nose, that all important nose, by Darwin it is perfection… even
front on, look at this.
So, if you loved the movie, or are just a general Jean Reno fan (like
my wife, who has commandeered this for her shelf)
then it’s a must buy.
He also has a good selection of hands to interact with his various
accessories, we get
2 gun grip
2 relaxed/general grip (handy for milk glass)
1 right hand tight/knife grip
1 right hand wide grip (good for the milk
1 left hand gun carry-case handle grip
All work well and swapped over fine. I would recommend warming the gun
case hand before wrapping around the handle of the actual case as I
found it made the job much easier, but with the guns etc they all work
Enterbay have a good tradition of producing solid paint apps and it
continues here. The hair and beard are convincing with super subtle
graduations where they but up to the skin. The flesh tones are all warm
and convincing exhibiting a deft hand has been at work in controlling
this application. It was overseen by YJ Park again, and the subtle
veins on his temples and that trade mark wandering left eye are all
reproduced note perfectly. Some might think it’s an inaccurate
representation, but in a rather brave and bold move Enterbay decided to
show Reno just as he looks. It is a fact that his right eye has a
tendency to wander in ever so slightly towards his nose, just check out
pics like this
for the proof. The eyes are both painted crisply and even feature super
fine thread veins within the white of the eye. It’s a great job, as
good as any you will get from a high-end manufacturer, I guess some
folks might have preferred the eyes to have just been looking
straightforward, but I’m really liking what they have done… but
ironically I display him with his shades on anyway. But whichever way
you look at it, it is definitely a four star paint app!
- *** 3/4
Literally everything you need to know about this figures articulation I
already wrote here.
That was a complete breakdown of the RM4-02 base-body that I previously
covered as a separate review, and this is essentially the same
base-body that is utilised at the core of this figure too. Well I say
that, this uses the RM4-01, but as far as I can ascertain the only
difference is the ankle extenders that make this version a little
taller, and as Jean Reno is 6’ 2” I guess that makes sense.
The only slight negative I will deliver is the lack of neck mobility. I
mentioned it in the previous breakdown for the RM4-02, but somehow it
annoys me even more here. We need good neck articulation to inject
personality to our poses, and here it is way too limited!
The frustrating thing is that it is such an easy fix; all we need is a
bigger neck hole in the shoulders. If I wasn’t so anal about keeping my
figures ‘museum archive- box fresh’ I’d be tempted to take a dremel to
the shoulders and make it work better. I really hope Enterbay
alter this very soon, because it is the ONLY sticking point on an
otherwise winning base body! Hence it is this fact alone that robs the
figure of a ¼ star! Otherwise it is virtually faultless.
- *** 3/4
Léon is by trade a wetwork specialist, and by that measure he has
certain tools he deems necessary for his existence. And even though we
get no SGW Multi-Match AR-15 snipers rifle (which would have been nice)
what we do get is a pretty comprehensive list of everything else. You
can check out his arsenal over on the ever reliable IMFDB here.
- Compensated Beretta 92FS
- Beretta 92FS Inox
- Customised Smith & Wesson Model 586
- Smith & Wesson Model 41
- Ruger SP101
- Springfield M1911-A2 SASS
- 2 suppressors
- Flick knife
- Industrial cable cutters
- Round sunglasses
- Potted plant
- Beanie hat
- 10 alternate hands
- Extra black T-shirt
- 3 x milk cartons
- Milk glass (with removable milk)
- Metal figure stand
So, that means you have pretty much everything you need to pack out his
custom carry case and a good deal more!
In the past I have been let down by some of Enterbay’s accessories,
most notably their firearms for 1/6th figures (I think we all remember
Jack Bauer’s sorry excuse for a gun). But this time around there is a
far greater attention to detail. I was literally blown away by the work
they managed at ¼ scale for the T800, and I’m glad to report some of
that quality has crossed over here. So now you can expect removable
magazines, sliding cocking mechanisms, attachable suppressors, rotating
cyliners, moving hammers and even an opening flick knife (though it
isn’t spring loaded). All the weapons are well observed, but it’s some
of the quirkier pieces that make this figure so iconic.
The potted plant was a nice (and let’s face it essential) touch, it’s
all made of molded plastic, but on the whole works well. Then there is
the cool leather case that Léon uses to transport his mini arsenal.
It’s well detailed, but I warn you to use it with caution. If you want
to open it up for a display I’d advise a blast with a hairdryer to
soften it all up. And even then you may need to re-glue the bottom
seams as they can come unstuck when you fold the front flap down (at
least they did on mine). I have to admit it is an annoyance, but the
bigger irony is that even with all the heat he is packing, my figure
will be displayed with the case firmly shut and held in his left hand,
whilst the other hand nestles his beloved plant.
The other essential part of his look are his round sun glasses. Getting
glasses to look right at 1/6th can be quite a challenge. When it goes
right, like on the HT T-800 it enhances the figure no end, but when it
goes wrong like on the HT Barney Ross figure… well, let’s just say they
stay in the box! And here they actually work pretty darned well, not
100 perfect, but close enough for me. The scale is well handled and the
final look when placed onto the figure with care is very convincing,
remember the pics you look at here are blown up a few 100 percent, but
at 1/6th, in hand, It’s all good.
The Milk cartons and glass were also a nifty addition, the glass is
self-explanatory and the ‘tube’ of white milk can be removed. The
cartons (of which I got three) are flat-packed and need to be folded
and glued, there are small slots and tabs that push in but a small
amount of glue will keep it all in place.
He’s also equipped with a pair of heavy-duty cable cutters, these have
an opening action and can be stored in the large ‘holster’ on the right
hand side of his vest/harness.
I already covered the hands and the extra T-shirt above, so that just
leaves us with the stand, we all know how I feel about stands, but
should you be of the camp that actually likes them, you’ll be pleased
with its all metal robust construction. There is absolutely no denying
it is well made, but mine will of course be staying in its cardboard
Had I been awarding my score on quantity alone then this would have
walked it. However, taking the final build quality into account I feel
the gun-case does leave a little to be desired, pulling it back just a
micron from a full score.
- *** 3/4
When it comes to characters like this it’s all about the layering. If
you can manage to make the garments hang convincingly, you are already
The figure comes with an extra black shirt, but in all honesty I will
be keeping mine in the more iconic white button up long sleeved T-shirt
with the customised weapons vest over the top. The rest of the outfit
consists of black trousers (worn short) with accurate black braces
(suspenders to US readers) grey socks, weathered brown shoes, long grey
wool coat and lastly his knitted beanie hat.
The tailoring is solid on all the garments, with the best pieces being
his coat and weapons harness (well, in my opinion anyway). All the
pockets on the trousers and coat are fully working and the whole outfit
comes together well.
My only real problem was getting the hat to look just right… in fact
I’m not entirely convinced I have got it to look just right at all. You
see it kind of sits on top of the head with a little bit of a roll
around the edge like this
and indeed this.
You’ll have no problem achieving a good approximation of how it looked
on screen, but it will take some heavy futzing to get it just right.
In all I’m impressed with the outfit, and had his hat been just a
little easier to get perfect it would have been a full score!
Factor - *** 1/2
Because of the nature of the movie this is obviously no children’s
play-thing! But if you are an adult collector (and let’s face it, if
you hope to be able to afford one I pray for your sake you are) then
this is a great representation of an über cool character from a cult
classic of a movie.
He poses well (apart from the neck) and comes with a fine haul of
accessories. But even though he has some awesome guns in his arsenal I
bet I’m not alone in the fact that it will be the carry-case and plant
that get the biggest use in displays all over the world… you just cant
beat that pose!
for money - ***1/2
This comes in at a hefty $235… that is a big ol price tag for a figure
that doesn’t really have any special features. No moving eyes, no ‘two
head sculpts’, no ‘light-up feature’… OK, OK I know he doesn’t need to
light up, I’m just saying. However, that is the price direct from
Enterbay, so like with the T-800 that price includes the complete
shipping to wherever you happen to be on the planet. And that inclusion
could potentially detract quite a bit to Enterbay’s profit margin.
So for me being UK based, a better rule of thumb was to check out One
Sixth Bruce’s price, where he can be had for £155. Then this checking
against his prices for various HT figures it looks to be a kind of high
end of average price. But of course Enterbay is a smaller company, so
prices are invariably going to reflect that.
At the end of the day, just like with all high-end 1/6th it’s not a
poor mans hobby, and the more cult the status of the subject matter the
higher the risk you have on a good return. I seriously hope this sells
well though, because the one thing I would love to see (but knowing
Gary Oldman’s feelings about licensing I probably never will) is a
figure of Stansfield to go with him.
It’s one of those cool figures that has a lot of impact. Being a
one-sixth collector you are expected to have numerous superheroes,
soldiers, robots, aliens and all manner of fantasy creations in our
geeked out collections. But it’s the figures like this that earn you
the cool points.
There is very little here to be too distracted by, unless you are an
anal ‘Leon’ aficionado obsessed by every last detail on his button up
shirt or sticker on his carry case. If you do fall into that crowd I’m
sure you’ll find this a worthy base to build your ‘ultimate’ figure
around. But if you are more of a general fan you will love it, I know I
Where to buy
He’s pretty thin on the ground from US suppliers, so your best bet is
to go direct from Enterbay,
where he is $235 inc shipping. But I’ve been informed that they are
getting very low on stock, with no plans for another batch.
I did find it with some of Mike’s sponsors… but do you really wanna
know the prices?
it for a reasonable $229.99
Boy have him for $249.99
Collector had him up for $279.99… but they claim to have sold
And remember to check out the shipping rates from all the above on top
of those quoted prices… direct from Enterbay might well be your best
and most sensible option!
Or you can hit up the Bay
where he’s between $225 and $290. No women, no children!
Did you enjoy
the review? Plus 1 it!
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.