Scale is almost a dirty word when it comes to Transformers fans. You’ve got show accuracy and toy accuracy scale, bot mode scale, and even alt mode scale. Should jets be the same size as cars? Should jet bots be the same size as car bots in robot mode? What if a particular type of car is smaller in real life when compared to another particular type of car, but the toys have them the same size? Should a robot that’s a whole car carrier be the same size as a robot that’s just the cab of that car carrier? Should character height matter for a show that barely cared about character height in the first place?
The answer is YES, NO, and EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN.
Depending on who you ask, of course.
I have my own preferences for scale, of course. It’s easy to say that you should completely ignore scale, and there are some people that do, but I have a few loose guidelines that I like to follow.
When depicting characters from media, I tend to go with bot mode scale. They don’t interact with each other as much as vehicles, so it’s the robots that are the real characters. In addition to that, even modern shows use mass shifting so it’s not exactly easy to get a toy that’s size accurate in both modes. And it’s not like Hasbro is going to make a special size class for retail for a character that’s in between sizes on something. They can get away with some variation in the size class between the bots in each wave, but they do it within reason.
Because of all that, loose guidelines come in handy. I won’t be upset if Robot B comes up to Robot A’s shoulders instead of its armpit.
I also tend to like how Transformers Animated handled it, with the Decepticons being huge compared to the Autobots. Not only is that cool for character interaction, but it makes sense than a tank or a jet (or both!) would make a bigger bot than a car or a motorcycle. I know it’s not always that way, whether in media or toys, but I tend to prefer that over everyone being the same size. That applies to new stuff, of course. In G1 I still want the guy who turns into the tape deck to be about the same size as the guy who turns into the jet, since those are already established.
Well, sort of. Like I’ve posted about before, the G1 cartoon didn’t exactly care that much about scale.
There were scale guides for the animators, though. Even if the cartoon didn’t follow them exactly, it’s still nice to have a baseline for what they were aiming at. And it’s those charts that Takara’s Masterpiece Transformers line is aiming at as well. It’s by no means exact, but so far they’ve been doing a good job at doing close enough.
But that’s something I think people should try to remember. The terms animation accurate get thrown around a lot, and it’s okay to say that… so long as you remember that it’s only a loose interpretation. They’re aiming for animation accuracy, but does MP10 have a giant white diaper? No? And yet sometimes Optimus had one in the cartoon.
So that’s why I try to ask myself whether a Masterpiece Transformer (or a third party bot that’s styled to go with them) is what I’d consider the definitive version, or at least close enough to the definitive version.
All of that will vary in importance from person to person, of course. Some people will debate or even flat out argue it one way or another, and others have exacting standards that they insist on while others just want a cool robot regardless of whether it scales at all. And that’s fine, so long as we remember that it’s fine to have different preferences from another person. If you make your hobby too much of a chore, it’s not as fun.
And again, can a specific kind of scale really be held as THE ONE TRUE SCALE FOR TRANSFORMERS when Transformers has no one true scale?
Since the MP line’s focus on bot mode height via the official scale chart is what Takara has decided on, I was surprised to see people suggesting that a third party Warpath be made much bigger because he’s a tank. That’s something I’d actually really like on new stuff, but the MP line has Takara’s official word of THIS IS HOW THIS LINE IS SCALED… and yet people were still suggesting otherwise.
And you know what? I understand that. It surprised me at first, but we all have our preferences. (And it would be hard to not like a huge version of Warpath.)
Besides, sometimes even official scale charts are off.
Yep. That’s an official scale chart. It’s the Autobot Leaders scale chart from Transformers: The Ark – A Complete Compendium Of Transformers Animation Models.
Is it accurate to how Ultra Magnus was depicted in the cartoon? Nope. (He was a the same height as Rodimus or a head or two taller, depending on the episode, and Rodimus was about as tall as Optimus.) But it’s still an official scale chart, and it looks like Stack fits in with that.
As for whether Citizen Stack is too tall for an MP collection, for me it’s still just fine. The official MP looks like it’s about a head shorter than Citizen Stack, so even if you consider Takara’s height choices to be the standard, it’s not that far off. How much you care about that height difference varies from person to person, of course, and that’s cool.
KFC Citizen Stack actually is scaled to MP10, just in alt mode more than bot mode. For this design, I think that was their better choice. There were people on both sides of it, so some amount would complain either way, but think about this… If you scale down this design, would it have still been able to carry the MP cars?
That’s a pretty important feature for a lot of people, and even if it’s not a big thing for some. It’s not a feature I’ll be using often, since I tend to display my TFs in bot mode, but taking out a selling point like that just doesn’t seem like a good thing to do, especially when the official version is only about a head shorter so it’s not going to get you that much more accurate to bot mode scale.
A lot of people have suggested that KFC should take this design and make it smaller for a Classics version, where scale is so all over the place it doesn’t matter. While I do like the current version of Citizen Stack, I have to say that’s a really good suggestion. There would be no competition with the MP then, and so long as it’s scaled to fit the average Classics car in alt mode, the bot mode should be sufficiently big for Ultra Magnus. And Classics Ultra Magnus should be big, as that’s how the character has been depicted in things like the current IDW comics.
Make it a bit taller than MP10 in bot mode and it should be about right for Classics, as well as any MP collectors who think the official version is too tall. That was suggested by primetime77 on TFW, and I agree.
But, that’s all just suggestions. As it is, Citizen Stack is scaled for MP10 in alt mode, and here’s some pictures to show it.
Those are all some things I wanted to say about the scale for KFC Citizen Stack. It’s good to be picky when it comes to expensive collectable transforming tiny plastic giant robots, so these kind of discussions are good. It’s all stuff you should ask yourself, if scale even matters to you. And for me, Stack fits in just fine.
Like the picture? Check out the full pictorial review here!
So, dear readers, would you want a smaller version of Citizen Stack that would fit into Classics? What’s your favorite kind of breakfast food?
Leave me a comment and let me know! And don’t forget, you can share this post with your properly scaled friends using the links below!