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What Is A Variant Figure ?

New to collecting or have been collecting for a while?

Not sure what these terms mean? Whether your new to collecting or been you have been collecting for some time it's important to know which figures are the Chase figures, Variants or Exclusives in any series because these are generally rarer and more valuable.

So if you don't know what you are looking for you may miss out on a special rare figure at the local market or even worse you may "swap" one without realising it..

Most seasoned collectors will probably known what these terms mean but just in case..

If you're new to the hobby let me explain what it all means for you:

A Regular Figure

A regular figure is your bog basic standard figure. This will be the same as the figure pictured on the box, shown in magazines or seen on the TV ads. These figures are generally mass produced and usually there is no way of knowing how many have been produced.

A Limited Figure or Series

A limited figure or Series is one that has been produced to a limited quantity or production run. A limited release series of figures may have both regular and chase figures available within the production run but the availability and quantities is generally known.

A Chase Figure

A Chase figure is a different version of one or more of the regular figures.

This variation maybe something as small as the color of the eyes, as in Tiffany from Spawn Series 30, or Sarah O'Connor from T3: Rise of the Machines where the chase figure had no cap and windswept hair, or a different color uniform, shirt etc.

With a chase figure this difference is normally intentional and publicised before it's release. Usually there will be a set ratio to it's rarity, eg a case of figures will normally contain 12 or 24 figures with maybe one chase figure in each case ( a ratio of 1:24).

The greater the ratio the higher the rarity and therefore it's value will usually vary accordingly.

The term "chase" comes from the fact that diehard collectors will search out these figures to add to their collections, therefore literally "chasing" them out.

A Variant Figure

A variant figure is similar to a chase figure but hasn't been publicised previous to it's release.

A variant figure is generally a lot rarer due to the fact that the variation is usually due to an unplanned change during production.

This maybe caused by a decision to change the look or colour of part of the figure by the production team or because of licensing issues.

The biggest difference between a chase figure and a variant figure is that a chase figure is a planned and intentional variation whereas a variant figure is unintentional and unplanned.

Another example of this is the McFarlane's Baseball Series 18 set that has two versions of Mariano Rivera. The first figure, produced in very small quantities, has the full version of the glass players entrance door.

This figure though was found to be to big and bulky for the packaging and so the final regular figure released only has part the door section included.

Despite this McFarlanes decided to package and release the full door figures that had already been produced.

This article is a summary of the main variations that can be found, but there are more!

Submitted by:

Colin Dorman

Colin Dorman

For more information on the full range of McFarlanes figures: http://www.mcfarlanes-figures.com

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