Alright, so I’m as much of a fan of variants as the next guy but don’t you think it’s getting a little ridiculous? I want to be fair so I’ll start off with some counter-arguments. Designer toy companies drop tons of hard earned cash into making little plastic toys for all of us boys and girls and all they ask for in return is a medium sized wad of cash in their pockets. Looking at it from a broader point of view, the amount of risk being invested on a limited edition, limited targeted toy project is significantly higher than the rewards. Therefore you figure they would need to put themselves in the best position possible to get their investment back and then some. That’s where variants come in. They give the toymakers an added advantage by being able to sell 3 “Limited Editions” (Black! White! Glow!) of a toy instead of selling 1 “Semi-Limited Edition”. You see, making these “variants” is a hell of a lot cheaper than making a brand new sculpt and it significantly increases the chances of selling out all their figures considering there is a certain amount of figures that need to be produced to make them affordable. Sounds all nice and dandy right? But what happens when the medium wad of cash they’ve been earning eventually becomes a big wad of cash? They make even more variants of course!
Ok, I may be a bit harsh here, Some companies need to keep the
variants coming in order to keep their cash flowing and be able to make
higher quality goods which in the end will help everyone involved but
sometimes they go a little overboard. If Company T (for example) built
their empire on making variant upon variant of the same toy then it
would be foolish for them to stray from their cash cow. But there gets
to be a point where “Making toys for the joy of making toys” jumps the
border into “Making toys for the joy of making dough”. There’s really
no reason for a semi established toymaker like Company T to come out
with blue, red, silver, black, yellow, white and orange versions of the
same toy just to encourage people to become completists searching for
every single variant. Smart collectors (and not too smart collectors as
well) will quickly come to the conclusion that Company T is either A)
getting heavily shafted by the artist who designed the figure or B) is
heavily shafting their consumers’ pocketbooks.
Here’s what I recommend, for every design created there should only
be one straight color variant available. If you’re talking about
special variants (glow – even though that’s not that special anymore,
clear, accessories, design alterations, things like that) then you can
venture another 2-3 versions because sometimes I like to have my
farting donkey on my shelf with my SDCC exclusive yellow flocked
non-farting version to keep each other company. One more thing, try to
have straight colorways announced beforehand, there’s nothing worse
than buying a white Michael Jackson figure then finding out a black
version is coming out the next month.
Hopefully companies will read this and at least considered toning down
their rainbow armies because your customers don’t like to be dicked
around. So remember Company T, don’t bite the hand(s) that feed you.
The opinions expressed above are solely that of Toy Pusher. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss the articles further.