Super Powers … Bruce Lee
January 22, 2012

Yes, you read that right. Apparently, I’m not the only nerd who thinks Bruce Lee and, in particular, Bruce Lee’s appearance in Game of Death is the coolest thing ever. Whoever is behind the Industrial Toy Werks Super Powers bootlegs is obviously a fan, too. Oh, for more about this kooky series of customs, please see Julius Marx’s blog about his ITW Mirror Master. I’m not a Super Powers collector but I do love weird kitschy stuff, and so these things have caught my eye on several occasions. I know you’re squirming, Chip. Well, seeing as how I’ve done everything but dress up as Bruce Lee in the yellow track suit, it was only a matter of time before I finally picked up one of these customs.

I say the Industrial Toy Werks man-behind-the-curtain is a big Bruce fan because, out of all the characters he or she chose for the custom series, only Bruce Lee (“The Dragon”) is not a DC Comics character. That’s quite an honor. Deal with that, Chuck Norris.

But, like me, once he saw this shizz he was a disciple. I wanted to mimic this clip with my new Super Powers Bruce, but the only Kareem Abdul Jabbar figure I have is the 1988 Starting Lineup version.

All things considered, I got the ITW Bruce for a decent price but it still was a bit of a splurge. It was one of those items that from the second you PayPal the moolah you are counting the days for the box to arrive. When it did come I think my whole office heard the audible groan from my cube. Yup, one of Bruce’s arms came off in the package. Knowing this is a custom and assuming it wasn’t like this when the eBay seller shipped it out I figured I didn’t have much recourse. But I did contact the seller and, to my surprise, she agreed to send me a new one free of charge! (How many does she have???) I’ve yet to receive it but she did send a tracking number. Way cool.

So, since this one was broken and I will be getting a replacement, I decided to open it. This also gives all of us an opportunity to see how these customs are constructed. The torso is solid with just a hole straight through from shoulder to shoulder and another hole in the neck that goes straight down and intersects with the shoulder tunnel. The neck and arms have little metal i-rings that attach to a rubber band which holds these extremities to the torso.

The body for the ITW Bruce Lee is sampled from the Super Power Dr. Fate body. That was easy to identify thanks to the big ‘ol collar that is so out of place on the yellow track suit. You can also see the remnants of Fate’s Amulet of Anubis. And karate chop hand.

If Bruce Lee can take out Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Chuck Norris, Darkseid barely posed a challenge.

That victory earned Bruce an emerald fist bump and honorary Justice League membership.

Bing bang boom.



Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann
Action figure anthropologist, Professor Cantina Dan Neumann has been a scholastic contributor to the online community studying the complex world of parumplasticus populus {little plastic people} since the turn of this millenium. His primary focus is the visual cataloging of species exhibits through photo-journalism.
Read other articles by Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann.





  • Vader says:

    Bruce Lee to Darkseid:
    “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

  • Danny Cantina-Dan says:

    OK, so upon watching that fight scene anew I realize its maybe not as awesome as I recall. However, the move Bruce does at 2:03 is k-razy! Trust me 🙂

  • Chip Cataldo says:

    I love the blog, but I still hate these things with a passion. Someone needs to shut them down.

  • demoncat says:

    always figured given how popular super powers was that no doubt some one would have made bootlegs but never expected that bruce lee would be one of them or the company would use a doctor fate body. plus love his card showing darksides fotress and the hall of justice as it looked from the old cartoon as toys.

  • Jason Geyer says:

    I also hate these things, but I love the concept. I wouldn’t have a problem if they were obviously customs. And can we please get the mention of them off the wiki page?!?

    Also, Flash legs.

  • Hourman says:

    Like everybody else, I see those things practically every time I go on eBay, and I assumed they were awful, but its nice of Dan to show us one up close so we can confirm that they are, indeed, awful. That face looks like it was sculpted with a toenail clipper!

  • Daniel Pickett JuliusMarx says:

    I love it. Such an important, rich part of Super Powers history. Now I need to get on the ball and do my blog on my new ITW Braniac!

  • Clutch says:

    That Fate collar on Bruce is just wrong, but your pics of Bruce interacting with the DC characters do make him look cool.

  • The movie would have been better if Bruce Lee filmed the whole thing, and possibly the fight scene too.

    I still like Chuck Norris vs Bruce lee the best although the funniest fight would have been Bruce lee vs Burt Ward for real, lol.

  • ed case says:

    Never thought about using the Mego-style rubber band method to attach the limbs on customs. Hmmmm…

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