Of course, this outfit, this scene from GAME OF DEATH is also made famous by the appearance of one Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I'm tempted to do a duo, as I did with the
RUSH HOUR figures of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.  In fact, I could even use the same type of body as I did in constructing the Michael Jordan custom figure... hmmm.
Again, the head is not cast in resin, but in a material which yields a more life-like skin texture.  This also means any attempt to make a latex mold for casting/duplicating this headsculpt will most likely result in damage to the hand-painted facial details of the original.  So be warned!

Oh, one last thing, I designed and built this figure before I acquired the DVD "Warrior's Journey", and instead used a lousy VHS of Game of Death as reference.  (If you call yourself a Bruce Lee fan, you MUST SEE THE DVD!  It features an edited, 35 minute version of all the footage Bruce himself originally shot for Game of Death, presented in widescreen no less.  The 1978 version only used 11 minutes of this footage.)

Anyways, in watching this new footage, I realized there was a missing stripe on his shoe (on my prototype, not here), and that his fencing stick is supposed to be bamboo and green, not straight and blue!

Maybe in a future version, I'll make a "banged up" Bruce, add some blood and bruises, and put a giant footprint across his chest!  (If you've seen the footage, you know what I'm talking about!)
Don't feel bad for Kareem.  He would survive this encounter with Bruce (also his teacher) and dominate the NBA for the next twenty or so years!
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Bruce Lee in GAME OF DEATH, 1978

Okay, so Game of Death wasn't exactly an Oscar contender.  Now that I come to think of it, it was beyong bad:  watching this movie actually made me angry (it's not even Bruce for the first 95% of the movie for Pete's sake).  But then again, none of Bruce's movies were that good.  What makes them at all watchable, of course, is the man himself.

All in all, to me, Game of Death will probably have the distinction as worst movie ever to produce a character worth immortalizing in action figure form.
Of course, now they've released a DVD called "Bruce Lee:  A Warrior's Journey", which restores all the footage in the way Bruce himself intended it.  For a die-hard fan like me, it was all the excuse I needed to have friends over for a viewing party!

As far as the figure goes, the Enter the Dragon head works well (as seen on the left), but I thought, well, since this is another figure, it should feature a different headsculpt as well. 



So, I dremeled out the bottom of his face, modified some features, and sculpted in an open mouth.  This suits him, of course, because Bruce is always making weird sounds and faces as he fights in his films.

Unfortunately, this sequence in the film doesn't really lend itself to a figure with a lot of accessories that I could customize this doll with, beyond the yellow nunchuks, his bracelet and the blue fighting stick. 
The most time-consuming aspect about
making this doll is the yellow jumpsuit.
I'm not much of a seamster so that black stripe
on his outfit is a real hassle.  I considered doing the
outfit in yellow and painting on or ironing on some
kind of black stripe, but decided actually sewing in the
stripes would look best.  And as long as I was doing that,
I also put real elastic sleeve cuffs on his suit as well.

His bracelet is made from plastic-insulated electrical wire, and the nunchuks are made from 3/16" wooden dowels.  The blue fighting
stick (is there an actual word for that thing?) is made of bamboo, coated in Elmer's for a smooth finish, and topcoated in Blue acrylic.  But by far the biggest challenge were his shoes.

Most customizers out there use found parts.  As a result, they stick to characters (mostly military figures) in which there are an abundance of available ways to achieve the final product through kit-bashing.
But for this figure, trust me, there are no pre-made yellow shoes (or jumpsuits for that matter) that I could have used for Bruce here.  I wanted the shoes to have a leather look, and real working laces.  In the end, I sculpted tiny shoes out of Super Sculpey, made a liquid latex mold of them, and them cast them in a flexible and durable material..  An acrylic paintjob and scale laces later, I had the shoes I wanted.  The soles of the shoes even have that 3-D zigzag pattern!  And although you can't see them, there's black Lycra-blend socks under those shoes.
When you watch the movie, you'll notice the imposter Bruce wearing the wrong kind of shoes:  Bruce's shoes do not have white rubber toes!  When the footage of the double is cut into the original footage, it's a pretty bad match. But that's the least of the 1978 film's problems...

With this figure completed, I'll probably do a couple of more Bruces (and headsculpts):  Chinese Connection (aka. Fist of
Fury) and Return of the Dragon
(aka. Way of the Dragon)...

...when I have time...
...for now though, I'm a little Bruce'd
out!
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