Variant collecting surely started early on at the start of the hobby with the Vinyl Cape Jawa and Blue Snaggletooth, both very early releases in the toy line and clear as day variants.
Im a variant collector myself and after collecting a full loose set, I thought it would be fun to collect an 'alternate' loose set comprising the most noticeable and interesting variants. Really enjoyed collecting them, and learning much more about the global aspect of the hobby, perhaps the most fun collecting-wise I've had in the hobby!
Dannywhiteley wrote:It's got ridiculous in the last few years with the Facebook groups imo
However, this above is true too. Variant collecting has diminishing returns. The deeper you go into it, the less obvious the variant and it becomes a little bit like grasping at straws. The latest Vintage Rebellion exposed the ridiculousness of getting excited about all the different hair shades of Luke. Facebook sellers have also cottoned on to the fact that you can declare practically any loose figure a variant and charge a premium for it.