Sixth scale, also sometimes seen as 1/6 scale or 1:6, refers to miniatures (dolls, action figures, dioramas, dollhouses, accessories) that are made to the scale of one sixth the size of real life.
Barbie is one example of a 1/6 scale doll. The Barbie doll is 11.5″ tall, while Ken is 12″ tall. (Sometimes the entire line of Barbie and Ken dolls, as well as some other 6th scale dolls and action figures, are referred to as 12″ dolls or figures, even though they are not all 12″.) At two inches in doll length for every foot of human height, Ken would be 6 feet tall if he were human, and Barbie would be 5’9″. While Barbie’s overall body proportions are not completely true to human scale, she falls into the 6th scale category.
Sometimes, when making miniatures, an exact scale model does not always look right for the dolls or figures for which the item was created. With each item we make, we begin by calculating dimensions to scale and then we make necessary adjustments so that the item looks correct to the eye. Some items vary in size in real life, also, and therefore can vary in size in miniatures as well.
Some examples of popular dolls and action figures that fit into the 6th scale category, with varying heights from 9″ (4’5″ in human size; this size doll is generally marketed as a teenager) to 12″ (6′ in human size) are: Barbie and Ken, Fashion Royalty, Poppy Parker, Monster High, Bratz, Moxie Girlz, Liv, Disney Classic Princess and Prince dolls, Disney’s High School Musical dolls, GI Joe, Power Team Elite World Peacekeepers, Blythe, Pullip, Dollfie, Jenny, Momoko, Obitsu, Hot Toys Collectible Figures, and many (but not all) celebrity dolls produced by companies like Play Along Toys and others.
These dolls and action figures can range in price from very low to very high. Some are marketed mainly to children for play and others are marketed to adults for collecting, modeling, creating, dioramas, storytelling, photography…you name it! Sixth scale dolls are also sometimes used in films (such as Brick Novax’s Diary – Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, and Episode 4 – Sundance winner 2011), documentaries and art exhibits (like that of Mark Hogancamp and Marwencol), commercials (like this one, and this one, for Progressive Insurance), music videos (such as one of Katy Perry’s, from 2008), and more!
It isn’t necessarily all about military modeling and war games, although it can be. It isn’t necessarily all about fashion and girlie-girlie stuff, although it can be. Dolls and action figures can be used as everything from art to therapy, besides being just plain fun!
Sixth scale is also often referred to as playscale, play scale, Barbie-scale, Joe-scale (for GI Joe), and Action-scale, among miniatures enthusiasts.