Magic Johnson is my favorite basketball player, but Kobe Bryant is my all-time favorite Lakers player…if that makes sense. It was pretty cool being able to see his start and ascension to one of the all-time greats.
His tragic death kicked off the hellstorm that’s been 2020 and there’s something poetic about the Lakers winning the NBA title again this year of all years. Edit: This is what I get for writing this before Game 6 actually ended and Jimmy Butler losing his mind to keep the Heat alive in the Finals.
Enterbay has produced some amazing looking NBA figures. I was tempted by that Shaquille O’Neal two-pack, but really just wanted him in his Lakers gear and didn’t want to be bothered trying to offload an Orlando Magic Shaq.
That’s not a problem with Kobe as Enterbay released a two-pack of the Black Mamba featuring his early championship days and his final season.
I’m a little worried this could open up a whole new can of figure worms, but let’s see how this first set does or if I’m out.
Packaging: The packaging is really special. It’s set up sorta like a locker with a narrow width and taller than the average 12-inch scale height. The sides feature a metallic Lakers purple with the gold on the front with Kobe’s 24 on the front and his last name on the back like a jersey.
There’s a small, but strong magnet keeping the box together. Upon opening the box, there is a really classy looking gold foil plaque-like sticker with Kobe’s Lakers career and a beautiful art piece depicting Kobe doing a reverse jam.
Raising the soft black foam insert reveals the base instructions and a plastic sleeve with Kobe’s purple #24 jersey attire and a gold #8 attire. The gear is laid out nicely like a Hall of Fame display case.
When you lift the second black foam insert you’ll see the first figure for the younger Kobe — identified by the lack of tattoos. This section also contains the two head sculpts, two pairs of sneakers, a basketball and the NBA All-Star Game trophy. I’ll break these accessories own further in that category.
Taking that section up you’ll see the second figure with appropriate tattoos and alternate hand sculpts and stand. That’s not all.
One final layer has the No. 8 and #24 stands. The initial sticker shock for this set starts to fade out after seeing how much is incorporated into it.
Likeness: Enterbay is at Hot Toys level with their sculpts. The likeness is incredible and it passes the Michael Crawford test of being able to just take the head sculpt and know immediately who it is, which is even more impressive with the younger and older sculpts.
The younger sculpt captures Kobe’s youthful intensity of showing dudes up that dare to challenge him. With the second, it captures more of the wily veteran who doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone, but is fully capable of owning any and all opponents.
Again for not seeing any of the other Masterpiece figures it’s hard to say for sure how this matches up, but this frame seems to be a good fit for Kobe with just the right amount of muscles without looking superheroic.
Scale: Well this is a tricky one. At a 12” scale, Kobe is fine for me since I don’t have any of the other Masterpiece figures. I’m curious to see how he scales next to Shaq though.
I did a longer than expected Google search and saw one picture that shows he is scaled correctly next to the Diesel, which is very cool.
Paint: The paintjob is outstanding, rivaling Hot Toys with the incredibly lifelike work with the skin details, specifically with the head sculpt.
Check out the very subtle fade, which is amazing.
Just as impressive is the work on the tattoos. They really reflect the ink on skin appearance better than a lot of figures I’ve seen in any scale.
This is really nice work and the larger scale allows you to make out the details like his daughters’ names. And that just made me sad all over again.
Outfit: The jerseys and shorts have a nice baggy look to them without looking oversized.
That gets tricky at this scale and it’s important that Kobe’s jerseys and shorts don’t look like he stepped out of 1985 either.
I found the bigger trick is trying to maintain the loose appearance of the jersey without making it look too sloppy.
My biggest issue was getting the high top sneakers on. There is a tiny peg to slot the foot post in, but due to the construction of the shoe it’s impossible to see it while you’re lining it up and it becomes more of an exercise of guessing.
Articulation: The Enterbay body allows creative posers to get most of Kobe’s signature shots off and the stand helps with anything that needs a little assistance.
I appreciated the ease of the body’s movement to pull off a number of Kobe signature shots and iconic moments.
I really wish I’d gotten the Shaq figure before it became a billion dollars as I was posing Kobe in a behind the back pass.
Another problem due to me not paying close enough attention while doing my early posing round was mistaking the hands with the magnets.
The included ball has one as well and lining it up can be…challenging, but once you’ve locked it in, it’s easy to get convincing action shots.
Kobe Bryant has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Kobe has a nice variety of swappable hand sculpts. They earn several points with me for being far easier to swap in and out than the standard Hot Toys figure.
There’s a layup set, three point celebration set, pointing right hand, shot finisher right hand, closed hands and the magnet hands.
Even the basketball is officially licensed with the Spalding logo and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s signature.
The No. 8 jersey is the official 1997 home uniform and the No. 24 is the official 2015/2016 away jersey.
For variety, there’s a yellow and purple elbow band for the 97 era uniform set.
There’s a black arm sleeve and purple knee band for the older Kobe. You likely won’t see this in posing, but there are a purple and black set of basketball tights, which I assume help keep the baggier shorts in place.
Also, there’s a purple and black official NBA socks.
My cousin is the sneaker head, but I was really impressed with the detail with the sneakers.
Next up is the All-Star MVP Trophy. It’s a very nice accessory and fitting with this year’s All-Star game being renamed in Kobe’s honor.
The figure stands are very useful for posing and can be contorted in just about every conceivable angle to make for better action shots. They’ feature a wooden top with Kobe’s jerseys printed on them.
Finally, there’s a Mamba Day T-shirt. The shirt fits nicely and while I didn’t try it with the jersey on, you probably could make it work.
Worth it? This two pack is gonna run you about $400 and change after tax. That sounds expensive, but it’s right in line and actually cheaper than buying two current Hot Toys figures. Granted the outfit is less intricate, but it’s well done and the accessories add a lot in this case to the value.
Maybe the biggest issue is the lack of companion pieces like a Shaq, which is virtually non-existent even on the secondary market. Seems like everyone just wanted the Lakers version. Who would have seen that coming?
Rating: 10 out of 10
Yeah, I’m biased here, but this is going to make for a nice centerpiece for my Lakers figure display. Another company has a 12-Inch scale Magic Johnson coming and it looks like it’ll pair with this Kobe nicely.
Where to get it? You’ll need to move fast on this as Entertainment Earth has one in stock with free shipping. Big Bad Toy Store also has him, but without the benefit of free shipping. It’s also available at affiliate Amazon for a moderate markup at this rate.