Tuesday, March 14, 2017

BRUCE LEE The Martial Artist Series No. 1 by Storm Collectibles

Storm Collectibles released the first in their line of Bruce Lee statues in June of 2016. Dubbed "The Martial Artist Series No. 1," it depicts Bruce Lee flexing his muscles in a pose taken directly from a scene in "Way of the Dragon." Storm's website lists this item in their "1/12 scale" category, but unfortunately this figure is absolutely not in 1/12 scale. Nevertheless, it's a terrific piece, and a fitting tribute to Bruce Lee. No. 2 is due out some time in Q2 of 2017, and I'll be picking that one up, as well.

Right off the bat, know that this is a plastic statue. There is no articulation, save what you may be able to achieve with the alternate heads. There are two included, each with a magnet inside, and they attach securely to the neck, which has another magnet embedded in its top. The standard head features a shaved face and eyes staring straight ahead, while the alternate has a bearded chin and eyes which are shifted off to the figure's right. Both are beautifully sculpted, but I prefer the clean-shaven look, which has a better paint application on mine. The paint is actually quite good. The skin his a lifelike texture, and the eyes have a slight glassy appearance. Fine details like the eyebrows and faint stubble are excellent and understated, though they do much to add to the realism. I feel like the eyes on my bearded head are a little askew, but the beard itself is great. Both feature a slight blush to the cheekbones and the excellent detailed sculpting of the hair complete the package.

The body is just as well-done. The muscles, textures and paint all work together seamlessly to create an illusion of realism, even coming complete with sculpted veins popping in strategic places. The sculpt captures Lee's physique very well, and looks just about exactly as it did in all of the prototype promo pictures. I will mention a couple of things that are bugging me about the sculpt, though. First, the promo pictures seemed to imply a sleeker, glossier skin tone - almost like sweat, which would be entirely appropriate for the scene the pose is taken from. I find the matte, dappled paint they used doesn't bring out the muscle sculpt as much as the glossier finish would have. That said, he's still incredibly life-like. My other quibbles have to do with the proportions of the sculpt itself. This statue has incredibly long forearms. Either that, or they are thin that they give the figure an almost bird-like appearance. The more significant issue has to do with his proportions at the lower torso and legs. The cloth pants (which are done nicely, and are glued into place - not adjustable) do a lot to hide this, but the figure's legs are ridiculously long in comparison to the upper torso. The distance from his belly button down to the base of the crotch is the same as the distance from the belly button up to the chin. Like I said, it's mostly hidden by the pants, but it's there.

The last thing to note is the size. I bought this because it was advertised as 1/12 scale, and I thought it would be awesome to have a Bruce Lee to display among my NECA Street Fighters and Storm Collectibles Street Fighters and Mortal Kombat participants. It's not 1/12 scale. The figure measures 7 & 5/8" tall (and there is no base). If my math is correct, that puts this figure at between 1/8 and 1/9 scale in comparison to the 5' 7" Bruce Lee. I don't have many figures on my shelves in a 1/8.6 scale, so he looks woefully out-of-place beside just about anything. That said, Bruce Lee probably deserves his own shelf. If Storm Collectibles manages to get No. 2 as right as this one is, and can continue the line through track-suit versions and more, I'll happily built a Bruce Lee 1/8.6 scale shelf all its own. In the mean time, I'm happy to have this one, and continue to be impressed by the level of quality Storm Collectibles exhibits.

Alongside Storm Collectibles MK 1/12 Scorpion