Some collectibles – like Hot Wheels cars – can have hundreds of variants (sometimes known as variations). Let’s look at the Dairy Delivery for example.
This happens because not only do manufacturers make lots of different versions of an item to get mileage out of the tooling, they can also make small changes during production runs so some items that appear to be the same at a glance are actually different! On hobbyDB, that can lead to epic confusion as tiny differences are difficult to see at a glance and there can be dozens of items listed which look to be exactly the same. This can happen for a variety of reasons including different baseplate countries, different cards, and wheel variations. See for example these 5 known variations of the First Edition Dairy Delivery –
But we’ve been working hard on a solution! What we’re planning to do is introduce a new concept – sub-variants! Where items are obviously intended by the maker to be different – for example, if one is blue and one is green, we’ll be calling those variants, just like we always have. But if both look exactly the same save for one small difference, for example, if both are white with purple and aquamarine stripes but one is made in Malaysia and the other in China, those will now be considered sub-variants (so the five variations above will all be sub-variants). Now, you’ll be able to see easily which variant looks like the item you have – and then drill down easily into the sub-variants (if there are any) to determine exactly which one you’ve got!
The sub-variant group would have a main image that identifies the full package like in this example. But the sub-variant photo that shows when opening the group could now be focused on what makes this particular sub-variant different from the others, say the last one of them, the “USA Blue Car Card / Malaysia Baseplate” could show a combination of the card and the baseplate, making it really easy to spot the difference –
As this problem currently exists not just for Hot Wheels, but also for Funko Shared Exclusives, Hard Rock Cafe pins with different back patterns and many other collectibles this should make it much easier to identify what you have and what you still miss!