A Subvariant, as we define it here on hobbyDB, is an item that is VERY similar to another and that even collectors sometimes would have to look closely at to see what makes them different. The differences are small enough that the manufacturer would generally regard them as the same item. This is in contrast to Variants, which share a physical form but have easily discernible differences.
For example, these two Matchbox cars are Subvariants because their only difference is the wheel color:
Short video on Variants vs. Subvariants:
A few examples of Subvariants:
- Different wheels, baseplate materials, interior colors, etc.
- Same item with different packaging
- Same item with different stickers
- Different languages on the item or packaging
- Different sizes for shirts and other clothing
Rules of thumb for Subvariants:
- Subvariants should have a Subvariant Title that briefly explains what makes the Subvariant different from the others and a Subvariant Photo to show that difference.
- It is rare (but possible) for an item to have more than five Subvariants.
- Prototypes, autographs, customs, and errors are NOT Subvariants—they're just Variants.