1:6th scaleThere’s an upcoming toy show in Industry, CA called One Sixth Xpo that aims to “re-introduce 1/6 Scale Figures to the World!” It sounds strange to me since I’ve been collecting such toys for over a decade now, starting with a 1998 Jackie Chan figure by Dragon Models, then known mainly for military figure recreations.

Actually, 12″ tall figures began with Barbies and G.I.Joes back in the ’60s. Interest waned and waxed through the years, especially around the time that tiny figures from Star Wars usurped kids’ attention. But one of the earliest toys I can remember playing a lot with was a 12″ Mego Batman with strong magnets in the hands and feet. It was such fun to let Batman stand sideways on the metal kitchen appliances, though the packaging warned against that due to the possibility of scratching the appliance enamel! It’s lost to time now, as is a Mattel 12″ Bionic Steve Austin and Mego Superman resembling Christopher Reeve.

The expo website features imagery of recent fare by companies such as Sideshow Collectibles and Hot Toys, whose products feature complex bodies and remarkably detailed costumes that by nature have high price tags. That’s probably the downer that keeps this avenue of collecting within a narrow market. It’s about the expense weighed against how much enjoyment you get out of a toy. The consuming public would rather buy a $30 figure than spend on one priced four times that.

Captain Spock by Playmates Toys
Products that are mass produced purely as toys for the youth market by major companies like Playmates Toys tend to lack in one aspect or another like sculpting or poseablility, which detracts from the presentation for collectors. But when you see the possibilities of plastic resembling a real-life counterpart with high accuracy, you may feel compelled to open up your wallet for them.

It’s a trap!

So I applaud the event promoters for boldly proclaiming that the world is missing out on the joys of big action figures/dolls from the more dedicated companies and independents. Maybe it would get regular toy companies to increase their efforts at making quality 12″figures for the masses.