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[[quoteright:325:[[Franchise/SpiderMan http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/environment-specific-action-figure2_5633.jpg]]]]

The tendency for toylines of MerchandiseDriven (and sometimes otherwise) shows to also contain variations of the characters made up out of, er, [[{{Pun}} whole cloth]]. Most variations fall under StylishProtectionGear, and virtually every toy line has at least one of these:

* A snow version, with skis and a white winter outfit. Often called "Arctic Action Whatever."
* Desert version, usually just the regular one with a desert hat and brown or desert camo clothes.
* The underwater version, [[AtlantisIsBoring which sucks]], and in some toylines will actually be made for play involving water. (See the Marvel example below.) Fires torpedoes.
* Some sort of big backpack/shield device that fits over the shoulders that usually fires missiles.
* A rocket pack or spacesuit. It may also fire missiles.
* [[{{Thememobile}} Vehicles]] for every superhero popular enough to have their own toyline, even - no, ''especially'' ones that have no need for one. [[RunningGag Fires missiles.]]

Additionally, these extra designs will almost always go way off color scheme or character concept: it's not unusual to see Batman sporting bright [[InstantAwesomeJustAddNinja blue]], [[HighlyVisibleNinja green]], [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience red]], [[Franchise/MortalKombat orange]], [[OverlyLongGag yellow]] or [[RuleOfFunny pink]] armor covered in rocket launchers, or to see melee or magic-based characters with assault rifles.

They ''did'' do the research... ''[[SubvertedTrope market research]]''. (And, ''sometimes'', environmental research.)

Some MerchandiseDriven shows will introduce these sorts of 'gear', like the snow gear in ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' (though in this case, the villain that justified its creation and inclusion already existed in the mythos), the new ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' episode with the backpacks, or just about any ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' episode with the new bike or SuperMode.

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!!Examples:

* The ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' GI Joe line all had a standard assortment of GI. Joe weaponry such as rifles, handguns, knives, etc. The ''Film/StreetFighter'' line had an Arctic Action Guile and a Swamp Guile. At no point does the movie ever leave a tropical climate.
* ''Franchise/GIJoe'' does this all the time for their regular characters. Average soldiers get jungle uniforms, space uniforms, toxic waste uniforms...despite the large number of characters who are specifically trained to deal with these environments. In many ways this is justifiable--when they wanted to go into space, Creator/{{Hasbro}} hadn't really produced ''any'' astronaut types. When they have too few such characters and have to go up against entire armies of Vipers encroaching on the Amazon, you gotta expect that Snake-Eyes (and Duke, and Scarlett, etc.) are going to end up fighting them right alongside specialists like Recondo or Tunnel Rat. The real justification problem comes from why Cobra, a terrorist organization, even ''goes to these remote, non-urban environments'' in the first place when they already have excellent hidden bases of operation.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' toys have so many technicolor backpacks that shoot missiles that it's surprising to find a toy ''without'' one. Not to mention the fact that he has a costume for every single biome on this planet and a few others. [[CrazyPrepared Perhaps the only justified example of this trope on record]]--[[MemeticBadass according to the Internet, anyway]]. [[BatmanCanBreatheInSpace For some reason]].
** Annoyingly, this makes it ''very'' hard to find a Batman that ''actually looks like Batman.'' Removing the snap-on armor and missile backpacks and such usually just left you with a white Batman or Batman with yellow stripes or metal waffle armor. Yes, metal waffle armor. Additionally, many of the accessories replace the cape, so you're missing that too if you remove them.
** ''[[VideoGame/LegoAdaptationGame LEGO Batman]]: The Video Game'' even acknowledged this when the game forced you to at least once per level change your suit to one of Glassbreaking-Batman or Thermosuit-Batman and Magneticfeet-Robin. The LEGO toyline the game was based off only had Batman in his standard grey/black, grey/blue and all black costumes.
** To give you an idea of how bad this is: "Combat Belt Batman" is the ONLY regularly-colored Batman from [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries the 90's animated series]], released in the first of around twenty waves. A ''low'' bid for one on ebay is $80.00!
** Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' where Bat-Mite gives Batman a Neon Talking Super Street Bat-Luge, along with a red and yellow outfit, and a blue and white Alpine Ice Climber Batman outfit.
-->'''Bat-Mite:''' Let's see how you like the Dark Knight in another one of those hideous variant Batman costumes you only find on store shelves!
* You can buy toys of ''TheFlash'' on ''[[http://speedforce.org/2010/02/batman-brave-and-the-bold-flash-action-figure/ a motorcycle]]''. [[SanitySlippage Buh.]] Let's not get started on Franchise/{{Superman}}'s ''flying car,'' ([[SanitySlippage Muh?]]) which has grabbing arms extending from the sides that clearly have about a billionth of his strength. Like the Spider-Car mentioned below, this ''originates in the comics'' in defiance of all logic.
** Superman's Supermobile only appeared marginally earlier in the comics at best and was obviously put there for merchandising purposes. The comics tried to explain it away as best as possible; basically, he could use the car to shield himself from dangerous things and it didn't actually have an engine; he just powered it himself, including the flying and the fists.
** The Flash in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' bought a van at one point. Franchise/GreenLantern John Stewart wanted to [[LampshadeHanging know why the world's fastest man would need]] a van. [[HandsomeLech To pick up chicks, of course.]]
*** Let us not forget the [[http://www.kennersuperpowers.com/spvehicandplaysets/justicjogger.html Justice Jogger]]...
* Also, ''Comicbook/IncredibleHulk'' on ''ATV Trikes''
* The ''Comicbook/IronMan'' toylines (1990s, Movie and the recent Animated one) do this, with the caveat that some of the armors actually do appear in the comics, especially the Hydro, Space and Stealth models. In fact, a great many of the comic and cartoon armors do ''not'' have toys yet. Some of them would be nightmares even to adventurous toymakers.
** Also a bit justifiable, in that it's somewhat in-character for Tony Stark to make ARC reactor-powered, gold-titanium alloy racecars and jetskis for himself.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' had this completely ridiculous line of non-canon animal armors that showed up at one of the toy conventions, but it probably never got released. They did have the missile-shooting backpack type, as well as a non-canon ice outfit for the main character, though - and for extra silliness, released most of the variants instead of releasing ''any'' [[TheSmurfettePrinciple female action figures]], despite the female characters having equal participation in all fight scenes.
** Fun fact: [[AllThereInTheManual According to the art book,]] the show's TakeThat at ScaryImpracticalArmor was in part a shot at toymakers' requests for armored variants.
* Semi-averted with ''Franchise/StarWars'', where although there are a ridiculous number of versions of each character, most actually are from one of the movies or ExpandedUniverse. But we say "most": there's a Han Solo figure with a back-mounted... ''thing''... called the [[http://rebelscum.com/POTF2dlxhan.asp Smuggler Flight Pack]]. It resembles Ripley's [[Film/{{Aliens}} Power Loader]] that is [[AwesomeButImpractical too heavy for his weight to support]] and has a hair trigger that will make its limbs deploy at the lightest touch. Also looks dumber than hell.
** While, again, it's true to the universe, ''Franchise/StarWars'' produces a number of figures that use the same basic mold and look very similar to each other, but are in fact different characters and have different specialties. For instance, it's hard to tell the differences between the regular Clone Trooper and a "Coruscant Landing Platform" Clone Trooper. (The answer: unit colors, amounting to a couple of small stripes, and an antenna on the backpack.) See also ''{{Transformers}}'' below.
* ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' has more toylines than one would consider to be strictly necessary, so they had to fill them up somehow... The first cartoon's toylines, in particular, absolutely reveled in this sort of thing. Never mind noncanonical armors, the turtles were out there getting every conceivable job, from Green Beret to stage magician to, yes, [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Star_Trek_Turtles_copy_1656.jpg Starfleet officer]]. (Fans would probably be concerned that Raphael is the medic.) There were movie monster Turtles, dinosaur Turtles, even ''clown'' Turtles. They're probably the TropeCodifier for this one. Interestingly, it took toymakers until about 2009 or so to actually make toys based on the 1st comic book incarnation of the Turtles...and they're all overpriced figurines marketed to the enthusiast collector market rather than kids, which makes sense if you consider [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids just how those versions were written]].
* While ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' has begun integrating some of the armors from the toyline into the show, some of them are bizarre powerups and vehicles that never appear anywhere -- and thankfully don't. (''Skateboards? '''Seriously?''''') Really, if you think [[Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder some of the armors that were used]] were insane, swing by the toy aisle next time you're at Target.
** The series took it a step further for ''Series/PowerRangersJungleFury'', creating whole new Rangers for the toyline and producing them with every armor variation that the canon Rangers get - that is, the male canon Rangers. [[TheSmurfettePrinciple The female Rangers aren't so lucky.]] And there's even a handful of Red and Sixth ranger only powerups, too. (The new Rangers have made a handful of appearances on the show to justify the toys' existence. ''RPM'' had its own toy-exclusive Rangers, but no variants for them and no TV appearances.)
** In 1993, ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' had a toyline of relatively sensible weapons, villain figures and Rangers. Fast forward to 2010's reversioning and Bandai gives you cycles, playsets, dragons and [[http://www.bandai.com/powerrangers/mmpr/products things that would give Tony Oliver nightmares.]]
*** Then again, both [[http://www.rangercentral.com/toy-mmpr1.htm the 1993 toyline]] and [[http://www.rangercentral.com/toy-mmpr2010-1.htm the 2010 toyline]] have roughly the same stuff - basic figures, play weapons, zords, and mini figurines. Yeah, the 2010 line has more vehicles and figures that transform into [[DinosaursAreDragons dragons(?)]] and stuff, but it's hard to get that worked up when the 1990s version had [[http://www.rangercentral.com/toy-mmpr4.htm a girl's fashion assortment]].
** For ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'', the "Mega Mode" armor variant is given priority over the regular suit in the merchandising. In the show, it's special armor for ''piloting the Megazord''. Later on when the proper {{Super Mode}}s started coming out, each of ''those'' got its own Mega Mode variant as well.
* For a hero who primarily swings around urban cities, ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' gets an unusual amount of themed outfits that don't quite fit in with his usual antics, including desert camo (''over his regular oufit''), an entire line of [[http://www.i-mockery.com/shorts/spiderman-splashers/ water themed toys]], and several Spider-Cars and ATVs for...when he's not in the city? Ceremonial occasions? But it doesn't stop there. His [[http://www.thesneeze.com/2004/spiderman-3-the-quest-for-dignity.php "Adventure hero"]] line puts in a strong running for most hilarious toys ever, featuring him as, among other things, a baseball player (Worse, it's not ''quite'' the stupidest outfit on that page), a lifeguard, a golfer, a boxer, [[http://www.amazon.com/Artic-Spider-Man-Adventure-Hero/dp/B0064UD16U/ref=sr_1_24?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1341289756&sr=1-24&keywords=spiderman+adventure+hero a snowboarder]], [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/andertoons-cartoons/sets/72157594198457695/detail/ a fisherman, and even an archer]]. Even crazier is the fact that someone [[http://www.collectiondx.com/toy_review/spiderman_adventure_hero made bootlegs of an already crazy toy line]], and they're just as hilarious.
* Speaking of which, Marvel put out an ''entire toyline'' that consisted of nothing but The Underwater Version of their characters, which were also designed to be played with in water. Included a green-veined Venom toy with webbed parts and fins that actually was really cool.
* Similar to the billion stormtrooper/clonetrooper variants mentioned above, sort-of a reversal in ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'': characters that are completely different from one other can be the same toy with a different colour scheme/minor gimmick/face sculpt.
** Played straight with the ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie and ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' lines, in which toys that might have been presented as new characters in years past instead became "Nightwatch Optimus Prime" or "Bandit Lockdown" so as to preserve the relative uniqueness of the main characters, though they do sneak in a few new-character redecoes (for instance, both lines' Bumblebees have been turned into Cliffjumper).
** ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' turned an (originally) smallish couple of toylines into LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters through repaints, sticking new heads on otherwise identical figures, and occasionally putting the same parts in a slightly different configuration. Later lines follow suit, even if the character the new paintjob represents isn't actually in the show or comic. (For example, ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' had a white Optimus Prime called Ultra Magnus. ''Anime/TransformersArmada'' doesn't, but one of ''Armada'' Optimus Prime's toys got rereleased in white with the name Ultra Magnus anyway.) Therefore, where there's a Starscream, you can bet a Skywarp (black repaint) and Thundercracker (blue repaint) won't be far behind, on the shelves if not in the show. Lately, the radioactive berserker Sunstorm from DreamwaveComics has been added. [[note]]''Anime/TransformersCybertron'' has a twofer: since the original Starscream and Thundercracker looked alike but the ''Cybertron'' versions are dissimilar, there are Skywarp and Starscream repaints of Thundercracker ''and'' Skywarp and Thundercracker repaints of Starscream.[[/note]] (Strangely, though, there are not nearly as many cases of this as there ''could'' be. Prowls don't get repainted into Bluestreaks, or Red Alerts into Sideswipes. In fact, ''Anime/TransformersArmada'' has a Sideswipe and a Red Alert who look nothing alike, though both of them have gotten repainted into other folks.) Oh, before anyone says it, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker are ''not'' a case of this. The twins both turn into the same kind of car, but are not based on the same toy. The same actually goes for ''all'' Transformers who are considered twins (Save for [[WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated Jetfire and Jetstorm]] and [[WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime Skyquake and Dreadwing]]).
*** Interestingly, members of the Hasbro Transformers team have repeatedly pointed out that they never expected anyone to actually ''buy'' all the redecos made. Aaron Archer (former lead Transformers designer) was apparently baffled by the premise. They were just as surprised as anyone that it became such a cash-cow.
** Similarly, any construction vehicle will be painted green and purple and called a Constructicon.
** It extends to different toylines than the one the original design was created for, leading to some interesting questions, like "What is the significance of a [[Anime/TransformersArmada Mini-con]] in the [[Film/{{Transformers}} Movieverse]]?"
** A more literal example of this would be Movieverse Brawl; both the Deluxe figure and the Leader sized one got a Desert Cameo style repaint.
** This also one of usual causes of shelfwarmers/pegwarmers (toys don't sell well and take up space). Bumblebee has become a huge offender of this as of late. [[FanNickname Fans have dubbed the phenomena]] [[JustForPun "The Hive"]].
** The weaponry of the Transformers has also seen more variation; as recent toylines have built themselves on unified accessories. Notable examples include the Mech-Tech line of ''Transformers: Dark of the Moon'' and the Weaponizer line of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime."
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has a similar semi-aversion as ''Star Wars'' above: if a variation of a given character exists in the show, Character Options has made a toy of it. This is quite logical for monsters such as the Daleks and the Cybermen who have existed for [[LongRunners over 50 years]] and thus have had many designs as time passed, but then you get such toys as [[Recap/DoctorWhS28E1NewEarth the corpse of Lady Cassandra]] (read: ''[[http://i.imgur.com/57UVVf0.jpg an empty steel frame]]'') and, [[http://i.imgur.com/GhzEG.jpg to represent the cliffhanger of]] [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E5TheRebelFlesh "The Rebel Flesh"]], ''dismembered Creator/MattSmith body parts lodged in a mass of sticky white goo''.
* Though this trope happens in most ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' lines (as noted above), it was somewhat averted for the [[Film/SpiderMan first]] [[Film/SpiderMan2 two]] Spider-Man movie lines. Every Spider-Man figure had a different action feature or gimmick (yes, that includes "web shot" missiles and firing nets and all that), but they all had the same regular costume. By contrast, the villains only got one or two figures for their lines, making it hard to find someone for the various Spider-Men to fight. Somewhat played straight in the ''Film/SpiderMan3'' line, which added different variations of "black suit" and "sand damage" and such, but justified (in the same ''Star Wars''/''Doctor Who'' way above) in that they were all actually in the movie.
* Mocked thoroughly in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}''. Night Owl (who is a both a GadgeteerGenius and a complete and total dork with a costume fetish) is shown to have a closet full of different-themed Owl costumes, and is thus [[CrazyPrepared prepared for anything]]. Like underwater work or protection from radiation. Like having to visit the Arctic circle, for which he has a snow owl outfit and matching snow scooters. Which still work perfectly twenty years after he's stopped fighting crime. Of course, he ''does'' mention doing routine checks and maintenance on all his equipment. His PoweredArmor never actually worked, though.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'' had this when their toyline was big. The first season gave them their standard uniforms; later iterations featured different costumes and "fearful" expressions, different equipment (often bordering on the implausible), color-change paint, and glow in the dark features.
* ''[[Manga/MobileSuitGundamSeedAstray Gundam SEED Astray]]'' is an amusing example of this trope occurring within canon. The Astray series Gundams of the title have, between the 6 or so of them, literally dozens of {{Midseason Upgrade}}s, {{Mecha Expansion Pack}}s & MetaMecha. This is justified by saying that Blue Frame's computer contained the blueprints for all this gear and its [[PrivateMilitaryContractors mercenary]] owner recognized how valuable they were. As for Red Frame, well, its owner is an [[{{Keet}} overly energetic and creative]] GadgeteerGenius who'll take any opportunity to build something new and cool.
** Heck, ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' in general has this in spades, especially in the Universal Century. They even have a term for it: "Mobile Suit Variation" is a model line specifically for environment- or mission-specific variants and {{Super Prototype}}s that don't appear in the series, such as "Aqua GM", "Desert Zaku", "Gelgoog High Mobility". Many of them even become {{Canon Immigrant}}s and appear in a sequel.
* The figure line for ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures'' didn't even ''have'' "regular" versions of the characters. You could get Race as a skydiver, Johnny as an astronaut or Jessie as a [[BadassCape cape-wearing]], [[SpyCatsuit catsuit-sporting]] {{ninja}}, but good luck finding them in anything they actually ''wore on the show''. The closest to being [[ShowAccuracyToyAccuracy vaguely accurate]] were the [[CyberSpace Quest World]] figures, but these featured [[WTHCostumingDepartment candy-colored paint jobs]] that were in stark contrast with the dark-colored suits on the show, and featured a toy of the motorcycle from one sequence with ''giant yellow training wheels''.
* The ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' toy line has an "invisible" (transparent purple) Espio, a [[VideoGame/SonicColors Sonic with Wisps]], a [[VideoGame/SonicStorybookSeries Sonic with Caliburn the Talking Sword]], and a Shadow who comes with [[VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog his bike]]. Plus more [[VideoGame/SonicUnleashed Werehog]] merchandise than is really justifiable. That's not even getting into the plush line...
** The Archie [[ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog comics]] provide an in-universe example, strangely enough. One issue involved Sonic racing across the world with a chaos emerald in order to reverse a time paradox. At first Sonic goes into his usual super forms, but he starts changing based on what environment he's in, with Solar Sonic for deserts, Eco Sonic for forests, and Polar Sonic for the arctic. Sadly we don't get to see what any of them can do.
** For ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'', there is a load of figures from all the characters from their incarnations from TheNineties, TurnOfTheMillennium, and TheNewTens, including a few designs that weren't present. Justified in that it's a MilestoneCelebration and a fair number of characters were hard to find in toy form.
* Though not action figures, ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' has become infamous for a merchandising empire built, largely, on figures of Rei and Asuka doing...well, ''anything''. Yes, [[RuleThirtyFour even that.]]
** For those who prefer outies, there's Shinji and Kaoru. If your interest is less prurient, there are even {{moe}} versions of the angels. Yes, even [[http://www.e-life.youthinks.com/picture/eva/lel02.jpg Leliel]].
* ''Series/SuperhumanSamuraiSyberSquad'' was particularly horrible with this, considering all the variants of Servo were mere {{Palette Swap}}s of one another, with no different gimmicks. They even tried to pass off some alternate paint jobs as superhero versions of the supporting cast - including a pink and purple one as the girl (despite the figure having a very male HeroicBuild).
* When Hasbro had the license to make ''{{Franchise/Pokemon}}'' toys, the waves for Kanto consisted of little more than importing Tomy's Monster Collection figures and plushes. When Johto came around, battle action Pokémon and Deluxe Trainers with the obligatory backpacks ensued. It went even further when the reins were handed to Jakks-Pacific; as their lines for the Unova region include dozens of figures, ranging from basic Pokémon, Deluxe Pokémon, battle action Pokémon, and at least two different lines of Pokémon packaged with toy Poké Balls. Target locations also carry Ash figures packaged with several of the region's Pokémon; and similar Deluxe Trainer figures of Iris and Cilan have yet to see the light of day.
* Even pro wrestling action figures weren't immune to this trope. Wrestling/{{WWE}} had the S.T.O.M.P (Special Tactics Operations Military Police) series. It started out fairly normal, with wrestlers in their out of ring gear, but including snap on bulletproof vests and assault rifles. By the end of the series, wrestlers were sold in combat SCUBA suits with laser guns and snap on robot exoskeletons. Wrestling/{{WCW}} had [[http://www.wrestlecrap.com/sbt/someone-bought-this-wcw-ring-masters-figures-wrestlers-get-wacky-jobs/ a similar line]] where they took wrestler's gimmicks literally. This led to [[Wrestling/BretHart Bret "Hitman" Hart]] being sold with a pin striped singlet with Tommy Guns and and fedora, "Lion Heart" Wrestling/ChrisJericho being sold with a house cat sized lion and whip, Wrestling/{{Goldberg}} being sold as a shirtless construction worker (including a hard hat) with a jackhammer accessory, Hollywood Wrestling/HulkHogan as a full on movie director with director chair and movie camera, Wrestling/LexLuger as an executioner (with hood, axe, and torture rack), and Rick Steiner with an actual dog faced gremlin. This doesn't take into account the multiple, multiple vehicle based figures released by both major companies.
* Pretty much the entire second series of ''WesternAnimation/StoneProtectors'' figures.
* A ''Magazine/DisneyAdventures'' [[http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v149/dynamite_xi/DA%20Apr%2097/p95.jpg comic]] spoof of this concept.
* This was intended to be done with the action figure tie-in with the [[WesternAnimation/MegaMan Mega Man]] animated series. The second season of the show put Mega Man in an assortment of suits and vehicles with the intent of introducing them into the toy line. However, a falling out between Capcom and Bandai led to the TV series and the toy line being cancelled, so this never saw the light of day.

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