Variant vs. Regular

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A couple weeks ago, on podcast #56, Annemarie, MC and I took a list of all the Vinylmation variants to date and discussed which ones were better, the variant or the regular version. I contend that while many of the variants make sense, the regular version is the more desirable design most of the time. I understand the variants are added to create an extended level of collectiblity. They are a figure that is even more rare than the chaser. But shouldn’t the variant also be desirable for the design as well? Here are the results.

My best count has us at 25 variants so far. The two most important questions posed as we went down the list where: 1. Does the variant make sense? and 2. Which one do you like better? By a wide margin (18 or 19 out of 25), we all agreed that most variants make sense based on the design and what the figure is. In all cases of it not making sense to one of us, the figure was and Urban design and for the most part just a color change for the sake of creating a variant.

Urban 7 Green Cyclops Variant

But the more important question is which one do you like better? Annemarie liked the regular version 14 times and the variant 7 times with 4 figures being a toss up. To date, there are only 2 variants she wants to add or keep in her collection… Alice Hedgehogs and Villains 2 Shere Kahn.

Alice Hedgehog Variant (aftimes.com)

MC liked a few more regulars than AM, 17 in all. Only 8 times he liked the variant more. In both AM’s and MC’s case, they liked the variant better less than a third of the time.

Ghost Obi-Wan was a unanimous favorite Variant

My personal results were more drastic. I liked the variant better only 4 times and the regular version 20 times. My only toss up is the Urban 8 Barricades. There are some good Urbans, but I think variants can be used extremely effectively on Disney characters… and for the most part they are… I’m just saying the variant is almost never the better version of the two. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I like that the version I like is easier to get. Out of the four I like better, I was lucky enough to pull one from a case, there are two I’m not actively seeking but that darn Shere Khan is still avoiding me.

Shere Khan Variant

What are your thoughts? Here’s the list (in no particular order):
Wet Paint Donald
WDW Road Sign (2 variants)
Texting (2 variants)
Blue Thumb / Green Thumb
Mod (Nature Cycle)
Candy Apple / Sour Apple
Bubbles
Candy
Obi-Wan
Pinocchio
Pink Elephants (3 variants)
Shere Khan
Fantasia Donald
John Henry
Christmas Ornament
Jelly Beans
Mad Hatter
Hedgehog
Barricade
Rudos
Figment
Paint Splatter
Phone
Cyclops
Alien

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About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.

15 Comments

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  • I actually agree with most of this article, stating that – there are a few variants I love. One being the green cyclops instead of the brown (I have both) I love the black phone (but it’s avoiding me) and Shere Khan has to be of the best Variants (again avoiding me). The only other one I would love to have in my collection is the H3 Ornament variant. I actually pulled both Donald variants (cool!) however they aren’t as cool as the regular Donald and it seems like this variant was way more prolific than any other to date. Though I’m with the masses one of the best variants is the star wars chaser variant Ghost Obiwan.

  • I like that they produce variants as its adds more to the chase for some collectors. However I don’t intend to collect them nor need to have all of them. So far I wouldn’t buy/trade for any of them, mainly due to the expense or the trade requires another variant/chaser/P1 or U1 which I don’t have. I make do with my similar and cheaper non variant. However if I was lucky enough to blind box a variant then I may consider keeping it, although there are exceptions and would probably sell/trade them for other vinylmations.
    I would keep…
    Wet Paint Donalds
    WDW road signs (especially Animal Kingdom)
    Sour Apple
    Pink Elephants
    Shere Khan
    Hedgehog
    Telephone

    I have to agree I prefer Ghost Obi Wan to the non-variant, but as a non star wars fan, I’d sell/trade for a more prefered vinylmation. The only other vinylmations were I think the variants are better, is WDW road sign as Animal Kingdom variant, and Shere Khan.

  • Good article… Most variants don’t really make sense (candy, bubbles, phone, jelly beans) and are just an excuse to do in a different colour!! The few variants that actually match what has gone on in a movie (Sher Khan, John Henry) or the park signs that you see around WDW are worth while & we should see more like that…

    My top 2 are Obi Wan & Alien (love sci-fi), both are sadly not in my collection (yet!), but I am looking :)

  • Also you forgot the John Henry variant! Which is one of my favorites! So 3, maybe 4 that I would actively seek out. Just to be clear. :-)

  • So i have all 30 Variants that have been issued… and i love them all… some make sense in a literal way depicting another part of a movie or storyline… and some are color variants that just look cool… for me it keeps the hunt alive after you have finished your set of 11 or 12… i look forward to new variant coming out and hope that they continue the unique designs…

    Favorite: Ghost Obi-Wan, All other Guest Area’s, & Orange Barricade
    Least Favorite: John Henry, & Texting Variants

  • I love the ghost obi, pink hedgehog, shere Khan, Pink Elephants, fantasia donald, Wet paint donald and bubbles. I only own Shere Khan , paint splatter and Fantasia Donald, Although i adore the ghost obi i must say the Shere Khan is my favourite and im lucky to have opened a box with a Mother Gothel and traded it with a friend. It means loads to me because i have happy childhood memories of my late father who is most probably is the reason i love Disney so much, it was his favourite Disney film and one of his favourite scenes so i know that one wont be going anywhere without me, Now to find those others lol, I would have loved a variant Pluto in the furries , if i had my way i would have changed his expression from Happy to that curious confused look he does so well and also done a variant on peter pegasus in a different colour maybe even as far to be blue and white as Hercules Pegasus, What variants would you have like to have seen?

  • If I get a variant while bloxing, I usually keep it unless it’s a new mold and I can trade for an old mold variant that I need. While I don’t buy variants, I do want to complete my Park series, variants and all. After I complete my Park 1 and Urban 1 series, I will go back and chase the old mold variants from Cutesters too, Star Wars, and Urban 6 & 7.

    Favorite variants – Animation 1 Elephants (because they were the most fun chasing), Also Ghost Obi Wan, Park 6 Signs and Wet Paint Donald

    Least favorite variants – any from Urban 8 or Holiday 3

    I agree that most regular issues are the best most of the time. Out of the above list, I liked the variant better 6 times.

  • The only variants I’ve been lucky to get are from animation 1. I love variants it elevates the Chase to another level. With that being said I’m STILL hunting for the solid light pink elephant! Then I can move on to the variants in another set. Anyone wanna help me out?

  • I pulled an Obi Wan Ghost chaser from a blind box at Hollywood Studios just yesterday and was over the moon excited! The variants, to me, add another level of excitement to the purchase, but yes, some are more exciting than others.

  • I actually blind boxed real boy pinnochio before I knew variants existed (i believe this was the first one). Since then I’ve pulled the texting and figment variants. I can hobestly say the only appeal variants have for me is that theyre worth more money, and therefore I can trade for better stuff (that I really want). The only one I kept was figment (cause I love figment!!) My fav variant I guess would be sour apple, least fav is all of the urban variants lol. I find it hard to favour the figure vs. the variant in most cases cause its only a color difference. My fav. colour is green… So I guess ill pick the green figure in most cases.

  • Thank you everyone for your thoughts on this. We used some of the comments in the last podcast. This is what is so great about Vinylmation, so many different things for people to collect.

  • Looking at the actual vinyl there are only two variants that I would prefer over the ‘common’ vinyl, Ghost Obi (obviously like everyone else!) and the solid elephants from Animation 1.

    That being said, there is a lot to the ‘chase’ for variants and the excitement of blind boxing something that is ‘worth’ maybe 10 times what you have just paid.

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