I've become one of those collectors.
You know them. Maybe you are one. The collectors who see what the rest don't. The ones who compare eye colour, hair length, and hoof stamps. The ones who have two of each pony - or more!
The Variant Collectors!
But then I began collecting my army ponies. At first, I planned only to get those ponies who looked significantly different than the 'regular' release - Italian Polly and Macau Jenny, for example. Why did I need an Italian Pesca when she had the same colour scheme as North American Peachy? There's not enough difference between them - they're essentially the same.
Then I actually *saw* an Italian Pesca in person. Yes, she does bear a strong resemblance to her North American cousin, but there are also subtle differences. Her symbol is a little different in colour and shape. The shade of her body and hair is slightly changed. Her eyes (I have the stamped version) and her lack of forelock give her a different expression.
It was at this point that I knew I was in trouble.
So now I'm the proud owner of Italian, Greek, Brazilian, and a Factory Sample Peachy, all somewhat similar looking. But there are subtle differences, and they're none of them the same version. OK, I thought, I'm into Nirvana ponies, but that doesn't mean I need to have multiples of the same version of the same pony. I'm happy with my stamped-eye Pesca, I don't need an airbrushed-eye Pesca too. One of each version for me.
She was a second of a pony I already had, so she went into the sales box. But I kept looking at her. Something's different about this one, I thought. Is she foreign? No, regular Hong Kong version. Is she altered in some way? No, looks factory. Hmm.
Finally I drove myself far enough to distraction to actually put her side by side with my collection Peachy (I don't know why I hadn't done this in the first place, it's usually my first move). Then, to my everlasting shock, I discovered that my collection Peachy was terribly discoloured. I mean really. She's practically orange! Her hearts are almost white! Her hair is pale! How did I not see this before?!?! Well, time to do a switch, obviously.
Then I found another Peachy in a thrift store. Got her home, cleaned her up, checked her against my collection Peachy. They have different symbol paint (one is pink, one is peach). Checked the feet, one is stamped in 4 feet, one is stamped in only 2. Ah, that explains it, different factories. But which one to keep? They're both cute. They're both in excellent shape. They're both...