A change of scale

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    Damn it. Damn it.

    Anyone who’s stuck with me through my adventures in action figure collecting down through the years knows that Playmates, the makers of the otherwise awesome Star Trek figures throughout the ’90s, lost me forever when they changed the scale of the figures by over an inch starting with Star Trek: First Contact. Twice – when I went from cassette to CD and from VHS to DVD – I’ve fallen for the “okay, gotta buy everything all over again!” okeydoke. I flatly refuse to do it with toy collecting. And apparently I wasn’t alone – despite Playmates’ attempt to start issuing DS9 figures in the six-inch “First Contact scale”, sales plummeted.

    Character Options has announced that it is changing the scale of the Doctor Who figures next year, from the current five-inch scale to the 3.75 inch “Star Wars scale.”

    The only thing preventing me from getting completely pissed off here is that Underground Toys, who’s been handling the exclusive limited edition figures, will continue to support the 5″ scale with occasion limited edition sets in the future, but only covering Doctors 1-10. This pleases me; most of my new purchases in recent years have been classic series, but I’m a little honked off that I don’t get the new sidekick in the 5″ scale. Ah well.

    Thank you, UT. And CO? Thanks for everything up ’till now, but… this is where we part ways.


    Prototypes of the first figures in the new scale:


    Interesting things may yet be afoot. After putting in a vote for one more 5″ figure – namely this guy in that outfit – I got a somewhat cryptic response from one of the higher-ups at Character:

    I don’t know what, or how much, or if I even should, read anything into that to give us hope that maybe the 5″ range isn’t dead or retro-only, but it’s an interesting response. I’d be happy to even have one or two “current series” box sets per year mixed in with the retro sets at the 5″ scale.


    Here’s the new “Star Wars scale” Ice Warrior… for those of you who have always wanted to pit Ice Warriors against Stormtroopers.

    The good news is that there’s already a 5″ Ice Warrior from the classic series… and to be honest, they didn’t change the design THAT much. The same is also true of the Zygons.


    So here’s the initial assortment:

    That Marvin-the-paranoid-android-esque Cyberman looks… like crap. Reminds me of the comically bad Dapol 3.75″ Cyberman from the late ’80s:

    I’ll pass.

    Steve W
    Steve W
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    I think the Cyberman’s body looks fine and well detailed, it’s the face that’s a little off. Pretty much like the Doctor and Clara, neither look in the least like the actors.

    There is a place in Japan that will make an action figure of yourself for whatever reason, they digitally map your face and make a shockingly accurate model on a 3D printer. Maybe these guys need to take a cue from them and do the same thing, but use the 3D printed version as the template for their line of figures. I would think that this would be the only way to do a decent replica at that scale. http://www.dannychoo.com/post/en/26119/Human+Cloning+in+Japan.html


    For the 5″ scale figures, they actually rented some 3-D scanning tool from Russia to scan Matt Smith (and I’m presuming Karen Gillan as well); it was shown in an episode of Doctor Who Confidential if I recall correctly. I don’t know if they’re still using scan data for the 3.75″ figures, or if they hired whoever sculpted the Kenner Star Wars figures in the ’70s. 😆

    The Dalek is a Dalek – it’s hard to get a Dalek wrong. The Ice Warrior is halfway decent – again, Dapol didn’t set the bar terribly high in the ’80s:

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