Showcased here is an unpainted Mantis first shot. Mantis is cast in nonproduction colors lending it vast eye appeal. First shots, sometimes referred to as test shots, are used to test the steel molds prior to mass production. The color of the injection molded plastic was irrelevant since the figure served only test purposes. Typically nonproduction color first shots are more desireable to collectors.
This view reveals a lack of copyright info on the inner thigh. The copyright information and foot holes are etched into the steel production mold upon completion of its testing. The Mantis shown here does exhibit foot holes, so the steel production mold was certainly tested again after the holes were added.
Above is a comparison with the fully painted production figure. I think the visual differences between the two is strikingly obvious. This piece compliments my Mantis hardcopy nicely. Prototype collectors often attempt to acquire a series for a particular figure showing as many different production phases as possible. These series often begin to take shape by sheer luck. From there it becomes possible to dilligently search out complimentary pieces. It also exposes one to the plethora of work involved in bringing a toy from initial design to toy store shelves.