Review – Medicom 12″ Bruce Lee (Enter The Dragon)

31 05 2007

The last Review for May sees Medicom’s Bruce Lee put under the spotlight here at SWFToys. I must say that this figure is one of those rare figures I have that exudes a certain tractor beam-like draw to immediately break it out the very day that I buy it. And break out Medicom Bruce Lee I did and it was certainly an enjoyable review experience!

Bruce Lee was probably the most iconic and legendary martial arts persona in movies. For an American Asian actor in his time, his fame was phenomenal. It was a major loss when he died suddenly on July 20 1973. The circumstances surrounding his death are still controversial to this day. However, most of us remember him in the movie images as well as his philosophy in JKD that he left behind.

Enter The Dragon was Bruce Lee’s last completed movie before his death. In fact, he died before it was released. Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung were stuntmen on this film as well although they were uncredited. It’s certainly interesting how mega movie stars of today are connected to the celebrities of yesteryear through minor roles before the start of their stardom.

Bolo Yeung was also a very memorable villain in this movie when I watched it as a kid. In fact, he was terrifying. With a bodybuilder’s built and a menacing face, he was a villain you would not want to fight at arms length. You know this guy will break you with a bear hug or backbreaker if you are every caught by him! As a kid, that was a worry for me that Bruce would suffer such a fate in Enter The Dragon! It’s amazing how kids get sucked into the effects of a movie!

Another notable fact in Enter The Dragon is the nanchaku scene which was most memorable. The world was in awe when they saw Bruce Lee flailing the ‘nanchucks’ with such speed and elegance. It was certainly one of the most memorable martial arts scenes ever. I remembered making myself a pair of nanchaku soon after watching it!

Anyway, this is a pic heavy review. Enjoy it!

 

 

Bottomline:

Medicom’s Bruce Lee is a really superb product. It scores well in every department in this review. The sculpt is great, the body is extremely poseable and stable. Collectors can decide what pose to have this figure in when displayed with the fantastic range of hands provided! And finally, the Medicom scale is right. The box art is top notch as well. Flaws on this figure are rather minor. If you have always wanted a Bruce Lee figure but is put off by the price of an Enterbay, Medicom’s Bruce Lee is a must buy.

What’s good:

  • It’s Bruce Lee!
  • Excellent sculpt!
  • Superb poseability and stability.
  • Good scale… finally.
  • Excellent range of hands provided!
  • Good box art.
  • Cost less than an Enterbay.

What could be better:

  • Head pops out easily when turned.
  • Buttons on white shirt are glued onto the fabric. Not very secure.
  • Display stand is still crap.

Review Details

Packaging

This is one department that Medicom seems to be improving… at least with regards to the box art. The artwork on the Medicom Bruce Lee box is well conceived. I absolutely loved it when I picked it up at the local store. Check out the Incoming post for a view of it.

I believe inspiration for the box art came from the movie banners of the past. Unlike movie banners of today which are generated through computers, banners of the past are painted painstakingly on large canvas sheets by anonymous artists. And they have to replicate each painting for every cinema that wants to display the banners on the exterior!

The product shots on the inner flap of the box is a Bruce Lee face that is touched-up. The eyebrows are visibly darker and the lips more colour defined. It looks so fantastic! Why can’t they do the same for the product itself?

Headsculpt/Resemblance

Medicom seems to be improving in the area of sculpting a figure’s face as well. Their sculpt of the X3 Movie Wolverine was excellent. Now, this Enter The Dragon Bruce Lee is bearing the same excellent accuracy trademark! Good news for us buyers!

There’s no doubt that the sculpt is spot-on. In fact, it is one of a rather youthful Bruce. The expression is one of quiet determination which is something very familiar in Bruce Lee’s movies where he will step up to any opponent in the same quietness and confidence.

It’s really a shame that an open-mouthed sculpt could not be included. It would have been great as I would have plonked it on a muscular body and slap some claw-like scars on his chest! Maybe such a figure is planned in another Medicom product at a later time.

Quality of Product

This Bruce Lee figure is very well conceived. The clothes are well-tailored. However, I noticed that there were no seams at the shoulders’ edge. I wonder if this was accurate with Chinese tailoring of that time. Without seams, the shirt tends to have some bulges at the shoulders. Not too noticeable if you press them in.

A more pertinent gripe I have here is that the head pops out very frequently when I gently turn it for poses. Read… gently. I lost count how many times I’ve had to pick up Bruce’s head off the workbench to fit it onto the body again. However, I must say that once it’s fitted, the head if a firm fit onto the head joint. The problem occurs only when the head is turned. The main culprit of the problem I believe should be the hair at the back of the neck which gets in the way of the shirt collar during the turning motion.

The smaller Medicom scale is finally accurate. Medicom Bruce Lee is about slightly more than half a head shorter than my other 12″ figures. At least they are not seeing eye to eye which will be way out in terms of realism. Bruce was really a small built, compact and lean martial arts practitioner in his physical prime.

While it is true that Medicom’s Bruce Lee scores well in almost area, in retrospect, there isn’t really anything new in terms of its construction. It’s really a figure with a great sculpt, fantastic array of hands, good body underneath, well-tailored clothes and generous offering of accessories. It underlines the importance of how paying attention to details at each step can reap rave reviews of a product.

Stability

Medicom’s Bruce Lee is very stable even with poses with bended knees. Most figures are stable in standing poses but stability drops a notch when the knees are bended. This Bruce Lee figure is very comfortable in most poses I put it to. I believe this is due to the lightweight nature of the figure. No big clothes, no body of alien proportions and not even boots! Essentially, it’s harnessing the poseability of the naked body underneath. And the sandals/shoes that comes with it enhances the stability from the ‘naked’ feet. But figures like these will require care to their joints to prevent them from becoming loose. Avoid stressing them unnecessarily.

I was able to leave Medicom Bruce Lee standing in a nanchaku flinging pose to have 30 mins break to have my lunch and be back to find it still standing. Good enough considering that my study room has an opened window with a slight breeze blowing in.

Accessories

Found in the accessories tray of this Bruce Lee package from Medicom are the following items:

  • Nanchaku
  • 2 batons
  • 1 white shirt (figure is already wearing a navy blue shirt)
  • 1 pair of shoes (figure is already wearing a pair of sandals)
  • 1 open palm left hand
  • 3 pairs of hands (figure is already fitted with a pair of clenched fists)
  • 2 ankle wraps

Weapons included are the nanchaku and the pair of batons. The black nanchaku is sure to be a fan favourite as it is one of the iconic weapons of Bruce Lee. Both sticks of the nanchaku are connected via a metal chain.

One of the highlights of this Bruce Lee package is the wonderful arsenal of hands available. It’s really an example of the epitome of excellence in providing hands for 12″ figures. The only limit to the number of poses you can make with these hands on the figure is the buyer’s imagination.

Each hand is also definitive and concretely different from the others. You can be sure that the hands will take on a different purpose for your figure should you use them interchangeably. A fully clenched fist is different from a hand grasping the nanchaku. The hole in the hand matters in this case! It’s amazing how each hand can be used.

For example, the pair of closed palm hands can be used as suggested in picture on the inside of the box flap to hold the nanchaku horizontally straight. However, it is also suitable for striking taiji poses.

Both shirts in this package use velcro to secure to button-up. There is need to take note when handling the buttons on the white shirt. They looked sewed onto the shirt but they are really glued to it. I caused one button to fall off while I was fiddling the shirt as I try to put it onto Bruce Lee. Take caution here.

The default figure comes with sandals shod on the feet. A pair of shoes are also included. I preferred the sandals tremendously as it is the popular footwear for Chinese pugilist in martial arts movies. But it is a good accessory for those who want an alternative.

The display stand is really a curiosity. While Medicom’s figures have changed and improved over time, the display stand remains as backward since the Season 4 Jack Bauer. Even the body used in that Jack Bauer figure has been replaced with better ones seen in this Bruce Lee figure. Why not do something about the display stand?

 

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9 responses

8 06 2007
Wing Tang

Hi,

Great review! I also have mine but does not have the head loose problem you described. I have to really pull the head to get it off the body.

I do have only one complaint about the figure. It is the tip of the nose. The tip of the nose seems to be scratched or have some sort of dent. I beleive this is due to the packaging. Can you see this problem in your figure. I saw two figures and both of them have this noise tip scratched/dented problem.

thanks, Wing

8 06 2007
swftoys

Hi Wing,
Thanks for your input on your Bruce! So the loose head is an ‘intermittent’ issue.

My Bruce’s nose is fine. Most likely cause of nose dents/scratches is due to the figure falling forward. Happened to my Sideshow Luke. But I’m not too sure if this is the case for those pieces that you saw.

Nevertheless, I’m sure you love it too. 😛

25 07 2007
Jay Hernandez

Gd am, sir- is this action figure widely available in HK? If not; where in HK can i get one and how much does it cost? Thanks.:)

25 07 2007
swftoys

Hi Jay,
I’m not a HK local so I can’t advise on the extent of availability. But I’m sure it is still available at CTMA centre. My estimate is that it should retail from 130USD onwards. You’ve got to scout around to find the best price.

10 09 2007
ian

Thanks for the detailed review on this Bruce Lee. I have already got mine before reading it and i can say with confidence that I have purchased the right thing!! It’s really cheap compared to enterbay and the quality is immaculate!! This is definitely a must have for 12″ collectors. I will put Bruce side by side with Jackie Chan.

10 09 2007
ian

Hey Jay I got it in Spore ebay for USD120 only.

14 05 2010
Pbody

Nice review and great figure. Has anyone ever done a review of the 7″ Medicom Miracle Bruce Lee figures? I

16 03 2011
chey

does this figure have good articulation?

31 05 2014
Johna541

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