When Brian first previewed these figures, he was definitely excited for the release, even after it was pushed back. From the beginning, Bruce Lee's Temple of Kung Fu (MAD x Round5 with Collect Bruce Lee) looked like a winner.
With 28 different designs, some of which are variants or mystery figures and most of them featuring extra molding and accessories, there's much fun to be had with these figures. Check out my full review based on some samples after the jump!
Bruce Lee's Temple of Kung Fu (Series 1: Blind Box figures)
Before I get into the actual figures, I suppose we should look at the box! Each blind box is predominantly yellow with, of course, Bruce Lee on one side, the figure series logo on another, then the designs and probability ratios on the other two sides, minus variants or mystery figures. These boxes are not any bigger than they need to be, which is a welcome space-saver for those who keep the trays.
I happened to get five unique figures in the five sample blind boxes I received in the mail, which is great for the purposes of my review. Even better, among those five I got a regular and variant of the same character for comparison. Seen from left to right, we've got Ninja, Mr. Han (variant), Bruce (variant), Mr. Han again, and Jim Kelly.
We'll start with Mr. Han since there are two of them. I liked getting a variant here. It isn't as simple as a re-color, rather he's got his gold claw thing on one hand, a totally different expression and some damage details painted onto his purple suit. You could also kind of see here how the head posing works - it doesn't just swivel to the sides. Their heads can tilt in various directions.
The legs don't move, but the arms do. I'm not too bothered by this though, because the payoff is a very stable base for the rest of the figure. They're all super solid/sturdy and are in no danger of falling over, which is an issue I've had with some kinds of blind box figures (particularly Funko's).
I like the use of shading and thick lines to make the face. It's flat rather than rounded, so there's no physical depth to it here. MAD's choices with the line work definitely shine in the expressions. Also note the extra molding details with Mr. Han's hair.
Next, we'll look at Ninja. I wasn't really able to identify this as a specific character, though do correct me if I'm wrong about this guy just being an "inspired by" sort of deal, or a goon.
Ninja comes with a sword accessory and rather than having a detailed expression, he's got a detailed outfit. Besides the blue lines, there's extra molding on his head for where his mask ties on and for the belt. That's another big plus I've got for this series: each figure has its own touches and extras that make them unique besides being built upon by the same mold.
Next, here's Jim Kelly. I love his fierce expression and of course, the obvious extra molding is with his hair besides the belt. There's also a little extra work there to make his shirt short-sleeved.
Jim Kelly is a little tougher to pose in terms of tilting his head because of those epic mutton chops. This isn't a complaint though, simply an observation. His face more than makes up for it.
Finally, of course, we've got Bruce Lee himself. The figure I pulled has him shirt-less and comes with a nunchuck accessory. He's also sporting a fun expression, has extra molding on his arms and torso for muscle, his belt and hair. The nunchuck itself fits snugly into either hand and has real string holding the two pieces together so you can swing it around a bit.
If you're really picky, I guess you could complain that none of the accessories really slide in too far into the fists, rather you kind of have to wedge them in a little bit. They won't easily pop out, but it was a little tough to get these on Bruce as well as the sword on Ninja. Problem? Not at all. I actually have no complaints at all about this release if these five figures are representative of the kind of quality and fun I'd get out of buying the rest of the set.
I thought it would have bothered me more that the legs aren't poseable on these figures, but really it didn't. It's nice to know that I will never have to worry about these guys falling over no matter how I pose their arms and heads and accessories. I could probably put accessories in both hands of one figure and still not worry about them tipping over.
MAD and Co. have a big winner in this set. It's made up of entirely Bruce Lee movie and -inspired characters, so any blind box would probably be a great gift for that big martial arts movie fan you know. Everyone has a friend like that, right? Or maybe you are that person, dear reader.
Thanks to MAD and Round5 for setting us up with these samples! They were a pleasure to review and make for great pictures. Readers, be sure to leave your comments and feedback below this article!
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