Prototype: (n.) An original or model after which anything is copied; the pattern of anything to be engraved, or otherwise copied, cast, or the like; a primary form; exemplar; archetype
meaning something like the plush we have photos of for this post are prototypes! consider that what is also PROBABLY a prototype could be an item that was never released for actual sale, and that we have seen only a very small number of. i only say "probably" because unless its unpainted/or colored funny, we cannot be sure if it was a model or something used in a showcase, or whatnot. but if only a handful are known to exist? yeah, probably prototypes, maybe used in toy exhibitions!
so what prototypes do you know of? i have some examples below the cut, and i want more, for references! and people's want lists???
there is these of course. prototypes of plush that were never actually made for public sale, rejected during a slow time in pokemon's history when sales were a bit down. a handful of each of these oddly colored fellows were produced for various distributors to consider. we only have images of the "finished example" prototype plush for the rest, seen here.
these are also prototypes of plush that HAVE been made! the specific, funny colored ones in these boxes are, anyway.
these were on ebay last week, called prototypes and being sold by someone who claimed to be in the toy industry. what do you think? did anybody here win them? leafeon almost looks custom, but that stitch under his chin is used by companies for store-made plush, not custom artists, so hmmm.
AND OF COURSE! our superstars!!
what else is a prototype? these of course! by these i mean the unpainted models we see so often in previews of pokemon toys coming up!
EDIT: more! these photos includes many unreleased hasbros that were only ever seen in toy shows (and not stores).
this zukan set was never released at all. the images shown in the pamphlet are real figures, proving they did sculpt them, but canceled the set for some reason.
EDIT: more! prototype entei who was otherwise an un-released thinkchip figure.
EDIT: MORE!! WOW!!! american releases of bell plush!! the charms and "finger puppets" have confirmed sightings, but we don't know if the plush were actually made or not.
keep in mind! if you have an item that was never actually sold in stores, even if others also have one, it's probably still a prototype-class item. some companies produce multiple examples (like i know there is around 3 of the snaptoys venusaur in existence!) so just because someone else owns one doesn't mean it does not count! prototypes are often not one of a kind.