FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What is a variant or variation?
A variant is a different figure mould for a figure of the same name. For example Bespin Security Guard was released twice under that name, once with white skin and once with black skin.
A variation is a difference in the appearance of one character's action figure when comparing it to another sample of the same character's action figure. The R2-D2 with a sensorscope is not a variation of the R2-D2 with a pop-up lightsaber but Luke Skywalker with yellow hair is a variation of Luke Skywalker with brown hair.
Each character was originally designed to only be released in one format but things happen. It might be discovered that a part is unsafe, a likeness isn't good enough, the customer isn't getting value for money or simply a mistake was made in the design - these would all be reasons for a new variation or variant to be made by the manufacturer (for example, Boba Fett, Han Solo, Jawa or Snaggletooth).
A manufacturer uses different moulds in different factories, different plastics, different paints - all these can lead to unintentional variations but ones that consumers like to discover and collect. Manufacturers do not tend to recognise variations but they do recognise new characters and variants.
It is up to you as the collector as to what level of variation you want to collect. You might be happy just collecting every character or you might, for example, only want to collect the figures from The Empire Strikes Back. Use the filters to set what you are happy with and see what you can collect.
What is a major variation?
A major variation is one that is immediately obvious to the collector without requiring detailed examination of the figure. For example, the original Han Solo action figure with a small head or a large head. This should be a change in the figure that is immediately obvious at arms length.
What is a minor variation?
A minor variation is one that requires the collector to examine the figure in detail to notice the difference. For example, an action figure with painted arms instead of moulded in plastic of a similar colour.
You have <insert figure name here> listed as a variation but you cannot get it in that variation
Please check your filters, it is likely that they are too broad.
For example, say you are only interested in Popy figures because they have such cool packaging and have only chosen to display them. Flipping to the cardback will show Boba Fett as one of the figures and in the variation list that Boba Fett can be found with a loose rocket, obviously this Fett was not a Popy figure but the filter is correct. Boba Fett was available as a Popy figure. We have made the design decision to display every variation that character has.
You are missing this character
Please contact us with any details you have and we will credit you on Palitoy.com for your discovery.
You are missing this variation
Please click on the figure name in the list on the card back to get the currently known details of the figure. At the bottom of the details click on the grey flag to file your new variation report. We will credit you on Palitoy.com for your discovery. Alternatively you can use this link to contact us.
I have some information or images for you
Please contact us and we will credit you on Palitoy.com for your discovery. Thank-you for wanting to help us out!
That figure isn't a variation
First of all, it is all subjective, what one person calls a variation is not what someone else does and we have had to make a judgement call here. We know of some collectors who only collect figures that were manufactured in a specific factory in Asia. We don't even get into that level of variation collecting as it is so niche and this website isn't for them, maybe you fit into that category?
We know there are some unusual entries on the list (Ball droid and R2-D2 X-wing immediately spring to mind), that are extremely borderline but our judgement here was to include them. If a variation isn't for you just ignore it or filter it out, it is impossible to please everyone and that is exactly what the filter options are for.
What's with all the name differences?
The figures were released around the world and each market can call the same figure something different. We try to collect all these names and find them useful when trying to find them online where different languages might be used.
In our database, the character is assigned the name that is first used on packaging (usually in the USA) be this a cardback, box or on an insert. Additional names are then added when they are discovered being used elsewhere for the same character. We do not use the Star Wars universe canonical names for characters as these were not used when the vintage figures were released (for instance Hammerhead is now sometimes referred to as Momaw Nadon but this name was never used back in 1978 for this figure so will not be used here).
Why isn't <insert name here> listed as a name?
We didn't know about it! Please contact us with a picture of the name being used on the packaging and we will include it in our data and credit you for your discovery.
Where are the Hasbro figures?
We are only interested in the figures of our childhood, those released between 1977 and 1985 (-ish, we make some artibitrary exceptions). There are simply too many "new" figures to keep up with, especially as we are not interested in collecting them and do not have the funds to pursue this.
Where do you get your images?
The images we use are from figures from our own collection. We also use ebay and other websites to collect images of unusual figures (something we have been doing for decades now); collected images are used with "fair use" in mind. They are always edited and cleaned up before we use them but copyright markings are never removed. We no longer publish high resolution images after dealers started selling print outs and CD/DVD/Blurays of our collection.
What about carded figure variations?
We are only documenting loose variations. Most of the variations should be available in their packaging if you are prepared to look hard enough and you have deep enough pockets.
What about accessory or weapon variations?
Sadly there are too many counterfeit or reproduction weapons and accessories freely available on the market (to be frank we are surprised there are not more reproduction figures). This makes it impossible to keep a track of them but Imperial Gunnery makes a good attempt at this if you are interested in this rabbit hole.
Where are the Palitoy (or PBP or Clipper or Tsukuda or any other manufacturer) variations?
The vast majority of figures were manufactured by a small number of factories in Asia and then repackaged for the local market. Unless a different mould was used specifically by a manufacturer it will not be mentioned here. For instance a Palitoy Chewbacca will not be considered a variation as it is the same as a Kenner variation but a Top Toys Chewbacca would be as it is smaller than the Kenner version and has no peg holes.
The majority of PBP variations are due to poor manufacturing and, in our opinion, poor manufacturing alone does not warrant a variation label.
What about those Lili Ledy and Top Toys figures?
Lili Ledy and Top Toys decided not to use some moulds from Kenner and produce their own. This resulted in genuine figure variations but also sadly a reduction in quality. If you see a figure with a lower quality finish it is likely to be from one of these factories.
As with PBP figures, just because a figure was from Lili Ledy or Top Toys does not automatically make it a variation.
Where is the information on COO marks?
You may have heard the COO - country of origin - term used in collecting. This refers to the information placed on a figure that indentifies where the item was produced. You might think that this information alone would be enough to identify a variation but this is rarely the case which is why we don't consider two figures that are identical in every other way apart from different COO markings to be variations of each other. Your opinion may be different and we respect that. Collecting and cataloguing variations in COO is beyond what our budget can support.
That being said, we do collate COO markings and use them in our filters. We would welcome any images of COO's on figures and we hope to continue adding images of these to our site.
A big problem in the hobby. As plastics get older they begin to degrade, this can lead to their colours changing. Think about that glossy white iPod you bought back in the 2000's, why is it now a horrible yellowy brown colour? Plastic degradation.
Some plastics degrade immediately (the batch may not have been made perfectly) and some take longer but they will all eventually degrade in some way.
The same thing applies to paints and inks - given time the colour will fade and alter. You know how your favourite T-shirt is now faded because you have worn, and hopefully washed, it so much? It is a similar problem with your action figures, as they are exposed to the light the paints and inks used in them discolour.
Degradation is especially problematic when it comes to hair colours on figures, unless the colour is dramatically different (yellow versus brown) we would question whether this was as the manufacturer intended or just the figure degrading. Only colour changes that the manufacturer intended should be considered a variation.
With this in mind new colour variations of a figure should be carefully contemplated and probably always considered degradation unless there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
That being said, it is not wrong to collect some of the more fun degradants, like a purple apron Ugnaught, but personally I would draw the line at a yellow limbed Princess Leia.
Why should I donate?
You don't have to but we appreciate every donation, no matter how small or large.
It takes a lot of time and effort to compile all the information which we hope you find useful. You might otherwise have to spend several minutes on many different websites to track down what you are looking for.
Finding new variations and cataloguing them is becoming more and more expensive, any money donated after paying for our web design and hosting costs is ploughed back into our collections.
If you make a donation we will be happy to add your name as a donor to the character of your choice.
Can I advertise on Palitoy.com?
We do not carry adverts like those seen all over the web from Google or Facebook. We have a small number of advertising opportunities on the cardback section of the site which are sold on a first-come-first-served basis. If you would like to be added to the waiting list for these positions then please contact us.
We also offer the opportunity to sponsor a figure whereby your logo will be placed on the action figure details of your choice. Again, please contact us for further details.