What Are Anime Scale Figures: Size, Types, and Comparisons

What Are Anime Scale Figures: Size, Types, and Comparisons

Explore anime scale figures, learn about different scales, and get valuable tips for collecting. Find out why actual size measurements matter.

Last updated: 2023-12-22
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© Kyoto Animation
TL;DR
Anime figures can come in various scales, but the scale doesn't always accurately determine the figure's size compared to the original character. Manufacturers may have different interpretations of the same scale, resulting in variations in size. Most popular scale sizes include 1/6, 1/7, and 1/8. The best scale for you depends on personal preference and available space. It's recommended to start with popular scales like 1/8, 1/7 or smaller.
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11923 min read

Scale figures are usually highly detailed and strive to accurately represent the characters from anime, manga, and video games. And as the name suggest they are almost always produced in different scale than the original character. This is indicated in the denomination of 1/x - and means that the figure is 1/x th the size of the original character. A quick example is a 1/2 scale figure, which means it is two times smaller than the original character.

What scales are there?

Scales can vary from as little as 1/100000 - to as much as 1/0.5 or 2/1. The 1/0.5 or 2/1 may look a bit confusing because it goes beyond the 1/1 scale (figure is the same size as the real character). Only few figures exist with this scale because it means the figure is twice as big as the original character size.

What scales are most popular?

Here is the top 20 scales statistics of figures we could find. These bars show how many figures have been released with a certain scale. We see that 1/6, 1/8, 1/7 are clear leaders. The data is from MyFigureCollection where data is human collected so there might be discrepancies, but should still give a rough approximation of the situation.

Existing figure count by scale measurement graph
© Bit of Culture

Is 1/2 scale bigger than 1/6 scale figure?

When comparing different scales, such as 1/2 and 1/6, it's important to remember that the scale only shows the size in relation to the original character. This can be seen especially when we compare different character figures, for example:

  • Figure A character is 1 meter tall in real life, a 1/2 scale figure of that character would be 50 centimeters (or ~19.5 inches) tall.
  • Figure B character is 4 meters tall in real life, a 1/6 scale figure would be approximately 66 centimeters (or 26.2 inches) tall.

We can see that even though figure A had a larger scale, figure B outsized it because the original character was much bigger. Scales can be more reliably used for size comparison when comparing figures of the same character (although there are some considerations we will discuss later).

How accurate are the scales?

So here is the catch we wanted to mention when we said you can use figure scales to compare figures of the same character in terms of size.

well yes but actually no
© Sony

The problem is that manufacturers are not required to agree on what the accurate 1/x scale figure size should be. Here is a photo of two Misaka Mikoto figures, both labeled as 1/8 scale but from different manufacturers.:

Two Misaka Mikoto figure scale comparison
Agent_J / MyFigureCollection

Granted, the photo was uploaded 11 years ago, but even today we can find cases where we compare Rem figures of the same 1/7 scale from different manufacturers, with the same outfit and position, and notice differences in size. The figure on the left is reported to have a height of 210mm (8.26in), while the one on the right measures 225mm (8.85in) in height.

Two 1/7 scale Rem figure comparison
© Wing / Kadokawa
You can find the Rem skirt holding figure here Animota and cookie tray version here Solaris Japan | Amazon JP (#ad).

How big is 1/7 scale figure?

As previously mentioned, the scale itself is a purely relative measurement, so the size of a 1/7 scale figure will depend solely on the size of the original character. However, here are some average height sizes for popular scales:

  • 1/3 - ~610.7mm - (~24in)
  • 1/4 - ~453.22mm - (~17.84in)
  • 1/6 - ~269.07mm - (~10.59in)
  • 1/7 - ~224.7mm - (~8.84in)
  • 1/8 - ~198.5mm - (~7.81in)
  • 1/12 - ~151.2mm - (~5.95in)

What is the best scale for anime figure?

The best scale will purely depend on what you want. Size-wise if you manage to grab a 1/4 or larger scale figure, it may require more room to place it. Maybe your favorite character is less popular and you want it in a specific type, for example: an action figure (poseable) in that case your choice of scale will be narrower. If you're not sure which scale you want our recommendation is to start small or to stick with the smaller popular ones 1/8 or 1/7 and keep an eye on the actual figure size. Not too big, not too small.

Perfectly balanced
© Marvel
Sum Up

In conclusion, while scale should provide an estimate of the figure's size in relation to the original character, it is important to remember that scales can vary and are not always standardized across manufacturers. Therefore, it is crucial for buyers to pay attention to the actual size measurements provided by the manufacturer. Scale figures can be used as a general guideline rather than an exact representation of the figure's size. By keeping an eye on the actual figure measurements and doing research on trusted sources, collectors can ensure they make informed decisions when purchasing anime figures and avoid being misled by inaccurate scales. Happy collecting!

what are scale anime figures ending gif
© Hiro Mashima/Kodansha/Fairy Tail Production Committee/TV Tokyo
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