Pros: likeness, playability
Cons: reply hazy--ask again later
"No growth without resistance. No action without reaction. No desire without restraint."
A noble knight walking the Earth for good, Li Mu Bai is a master warrior of the Wuxia tradition whose talents transcend gravity and belief. But after much meditation, he has chosen to give up his life of fighting--until he is pulled back in to find the stolen sword "Green Destiny."
I've got a friend who is absolutely in love with Chow Yun Fat, so when I told her that a figure based on his Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon character was coming out, she was quite excited. To intrigue a non-action figure fan, this line must be something special. Fortunately for her (and all the other fans out there) this figure of Li Mu Bai looks eerily like Chow--the facial structure is perfect, and that odd, inscrutable expression is straight from the screen.
Clad in his white robes and standing 7" tall, Li is articulated at the neck, shoulders, left bicep, wrists, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. The head and ankles feature ball-in-socket joints for a greater range of motion, and the figure's hands are interchangeable: two designed for holding weapons, one flat, and one pointing. Large sections of the figure's costume are molded from soft pvc to allow plenty of movement while still looking like hanging cloth. Li's topknot and braid are also pvc, which makes them seem like actual hair.
Li Mu Bai comes with a diorama base that recreates the treetops of the bamboo forest in which he and Jen face off. Each leaf has been meticulously sculpted, and the stalks of bamboo seem as if they're swaying in the breeze or bending beneath the weight of the figure. There is some assembly required for this base, as it comes in 24 pieces--the large base, 2 long branches that must be put together, 2 shorter boughs, and 16 sets of leaves to connect as you choose. There are even two pegs that fit into the bottom of Li's feet, to make him a bit more stable on those thin reeds.
Li Mu Bai comes with two weapons: a Wudan sword and a switch of fresh green bamboo. The joint in his left arm allows him to hold the sword behind his back, and the right hand is crafted in such a way that he points the tip of the branch at his opponent.
In general, a McFarlane Toy will be a snapshot of a specific moment in a film. Art Asylum has done that with Li, but they've gone a step beyond by making sure their toy could actually be played with. With this series of figures, I think Art Asylum has raised the bar above even McToys' level, giving that company something toward which to strive for the first time in its career. Good job, guys!