Ah, what would Chinese New Year be without the perennial Bruce Lee movie screening on TV? Maybe RTM has moved beyond stuff from 4 decades ago, and started showing Chinese films that are merely a decade old. But whenever one of the Little Dragon’s flicks pops up during the festive season, I’ll stop channel surfing and dutifully watch it. It’s a CNY tradition, like firecrackers (ahem) and ang-pows.
What this demonstrates is that there’s a place for Bruce in every red-blooded, culturally-proud Chinese male’s heart. And by red-blooded I don’t mean Communist. Bruce Lee was the epitome of Chinese male power, and so many years later, he still is. If you’ve never noticed, Chinese men are never portrayed as primal, sexy beasts in Western cinema. Lee broke that barrier, even if it was for the briefest moment and even though he never really did love scenes (the pseudo sex scene in “The Big Boss” doesn’t count). When he whipped off his shirt, which was pretty often, women of all races swooned and Chinamen pumped their fists in silent emancipation.
In short, Bruce Lee is a cinematic icon in every sense of the word.
Which is why I had to have a representation of him in my range of collectibles. No other company does Bruce Lee better than Hong Kong-based Enterbay. Their resident sculptor Arnie Kim, who is actually Korean, is widely acknowledged as the master of capturing Lee’s likeness. The features are unmistakably Lee’s. A little leaner than the real person, but otherwise spot-on. Enterbay specializes mostly in 1/6-scale posable figures, so statues are a departure for them, especially at 1/4-scale (approx 17 inches tall). This is part of their HD Masterpiece Collection.
The statue captures Bruce’s most famous action pose, with hands loose and ready to strike, and legs in a wide stance for perfect balance. He looks like a coiled spring, full of potential whup-ass energy. The claw marks you see are authentic to the climatic fight scene in “Enter The Dragon”. I’ve done mostly close-ups to show the incredible detailing work Enterbay has done on the skin texture. The face has actually been sculpted with pores and pock marks, while the paintwork features a very subtle 5 o’clock shadow. The most impressive detail however, is the application of a thin layer of clear acrylic paint to simulate sweat. The effect is uncanny in its realism.
The statue’s pants are made from real fabric, further adding to the realistic feel. The base itself is the only letdown of this piece. It’s a solid wooden plate, with a laser-etched engraving of Lee’s signature in one corner. The problem is that it is too low, as you can see from the last picture. A taller base would’ve given the entire collectible much more presence. It’s a minor issue though.
This piece is currently going for almost 3 times the original price on ebay. And it’s easy to see why. It’s superb work, and a worthy way to immortalise the master.