Star Wars action figures are 3 ¾ inches tall.
This has been the standard for 30+ years. Sure, there have been action figures produced in many different sizes over the years, but Star Wars set the 3 ¾ inch, or 1:18 scale, standard way back in 1977 when an American toy company named Kenner Products started producing action figures for what became the biggest merchandising franchise in history.
The term “action figure” was coined in 1964 by the Hasbro corporation with it’s 12 inch, or 1:6 scale, G.I. Joe line that was targeted at boys and sprang from how popular dolls like Barbie were for girls. G.I. Joe eventually ended up becoming much more popular after a move to the 3 ¾ inch scale. Many other companies and other movie, comic, cartoon, and video game properties have followed in this model, producing action figures in this scale.
Hasbro is about to place their newest line of Star Wars figures on the market. The new “Black Series” is the first realistic line that Star Wars has had in the 6 inch, or 1:10 scale. The 6 inch action figure has had some recent popularity with Marvel Legends, begun by the Toy Biz company, and continued by Hasbro, based on the Marvel Comics catalog of superheroes. Hasbro proceeded to follow this with a line of figures based on those same Marvel characters in… you guessed it… the 3 ¾ inch scale.
This news has been out there on the Internet for awhile now, so I’m sure I haven’t shocked anyone. The question is… are you excited, surprised, bummed, or indifferent to this news? The smaller figures are not going away. In fact, there will be two lines, similar to the way Marvel is represented, with characters in each of the 1:10 and 1:18 scales. There will also be Star Wars figures produced with the classic 5 points of articulation in the 1:18 scale aimed at kids for a lower price. Did I mention the larger figures will be selling for $20 each?
I believe that this puts people in one of 5 different categories:
- Old-school collectors that have everything in the small scale and don’t want the change to 6 inch figures.
- Collectors that collect everything they can and are excited about something new.
- New collectors that can’t wait to get a chance to collect the whole line… which is virtually impossible with all that has been produced in the smaller scale.
- Kids that will see the variety of figures, want the more expensive figures, and either have the money to get them or have to settle for the cheaper ones.
- And those who have stopped collecting anything except their particular niche due to either collector fatigue, the fact that you really can’t collect everything anymore, or the cost of plastic driving prices up.
I’ve heard a very vocal group placing themselves in the first or last category, stating they won’t be buying the new larger figures. It is difficult to predict if the higher cost will stop new collectors from entering the arena, but it appears that Hasbro is appealing to those new collectors and to kids in order to keep this incredible run of toys alive.
Hasbro vice president of boys marketing, Darryl DePriest said, “Our focus here is the adult collector, the dad. We know they have their own generation of youngsters they like to share the adventure with. It can be something for dad, and the 3¾ world can be something for the kids to share.”
I won’t say where I am on the issue, but I can say that the image at the top of this article has me pretty intrigued to see these in person. Pictures will be flowing in from San Diego Comic Con and it won’t be long before these are on the shelves. Will this marketing and new scale of figures be successful? Time will tell.
Tell me where you are in this debate. Will you be buying these new 6 inch figures?
~kknight - is a lifelong Star Wars fanatic that is incredibly excited to be working with T-bone. I’m a toy fanatic and have a pretty impressive collection of Star Wars “stuff”. Maybe one day I’ll be able to share it with everyone, but for now it is packed away. Will I add 6″ figures to my collection? … probably a few.