Chapter 8, Part 4: Pony Toys

(Please note that any images used in this post are by the artists listed. They are placeholders and I hope to have art expressly drawn for this book to replace these images. If you are interested in submitting something, please see this post.)

SPOILER WARNING! THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS CONTENT THAT IS IN THE SERIES.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, WATCH THE SERIES NOW!

…Continued from Static Art

Part IV: PONY TOYS

All these hobbies Bronies share give them reason to love the show and express their creativity.  It is incredible how much art is out there, and much of it is for sale.  Thankfully, Hasbro has not put an end to the sale of fan made pony merchandise, as it has been around for decades.

Decades you say?

Why yes, since the original toys came out, people have made their own ponies.  Even though there was no Internet back in those dark ages of the eighties, there were these things called mail groups, where people wrote letters and could send things to each other.  Avid fans would create or modify My Little Pony figurine bases and trade them with one another via post.  These original pony action figures had doll clothing that was made to fit  them.  Some were re-painted another color and given different cutie marks.  Custom ponies, as they were called, could be of OCs, and many were also fan copies of other popular characters such as movie icons or comic characters.  In addition to painting these figures, pony doll making can include taking out old hair and putting in new doll hair, in the colors and patterns desired.  This delicate threading can increase the price of custom ponies, and some look incredibly authentic.  Other doll makers use clay, sculpey or the like to create plastic hair and items for the custom ponies, as well as custom accessories that character-based ponies may have.

Currently, both the old and new generations of pony dolls are being recreated into the characters shown in the show, as well as OCs.  By combining painting, re-threading hair, and gluing on outfits, these My Little Pony fans could make physical original pony characters out of the released My Little Pony dolls.  These home-made fan ponies became so popular that conventions were founded in order to share such My Little Pony art wares.  The My Little Pony Fair and Convention began in 2003, and My Little Pony Con comes in close second, having collectors that have met every year since 2005.  To this day, Hasbro releases a yearly custom collector pony (that is mass produced) to recognize the older fans of the Ponies.  Therefore, it seems hopeful that Hasbro will continue to support fan creations based on the My Little Pony line of toys.

Miss 2011!

The most recent merchandise released by Hasbro is generally highly supported by the Bronies, although they do disapprove of some of the marketing techniques, which were made for the target audience of little girls.  For example, many characters’ toys don’t look like their animated counterparts.  A drastic example is that the Princess Celestia doll is pink.  She isn’t just colored light pink, but a vibrant pink, whereas in the cartoon she is such a light pink it looks white to the naked eye.  Due to this dramatic discrepancy, many fans have repainted their Celestias so that they look like she does on the show. In addition, some repaint their Celestia doll to look like her sister, Night Mare Moon / Princess Luna, because a figure with the same stature as Celestia, and the proper coloring of Night Mare Moon does not  yet exist(44).  Princess Luna has been released, but she is generally a smaller pony than the Celestia figure is.

One surprising spin on the new generation of toys is that the Merchandising team in charge of the new generation of My Little Pony has created a lot of toys that have little or no relation to the show.  If you were to walk down the pony toy aisle of a store , you would find many characters such as Lily Blossom, Diamond Rose and Honeybuzz, who are not in the show.

Smaller things that are wrong with the newest Generation of Hasbro toys include the expressions on characters like Rainbow Dash, where her smile does not show her moody eyes or daredevil side at all.  The ponies are also packaged with random animals and vehicles that don’t exist in the show.   The packaged gala dresses don’t look like the dresses that were worn to the Grand Galloping Gala, and they are also not very pretty.  Perhaps most important of all, these ponies have hair that is not at all the right length or style as the show ponies.  Thankfully, some dedicated doll fans have created tutorials for the hair problem.  Scarmouche Fandando created a wonderful tutorial, in which she describes how hair must be cut, heated, tied and rolled to achieve that ‘show look’ that Bronies desire.

Riftwing’s Fan Projects: Pony Hairstyling
To continue the Riftwing fan experience, I bought myself a Rarity doll and tried my hand at styling her hair.  The first thing I noticed was that even though her hair  was neatly tied back and well curled, when I compared the ‘set’ curls to how Rarity looks in the show, it was indeed completely off.  Her mane was twice as long as it should be, and the front lock of the animated Rarity has a signature single curl to it, while the doll had no bangs whatsoever.  While the doll’s tail twirled around a bit, it was a fat, loose curl – not the packaged, tight curl seen in the show.  It was time to rectify these discrepancies.

Following Scaramouche Fandango’s instructions, I first gently combed and wet her mane, then hesitantly cut off an inch from her mane.  As pony hair doesn’t grow back, I was scared to death of messing her up.  Even though ponies were cheap, it was still nerve wrecking.  After cutting off even more for her forelock, I then tied up mane and tail as listed in the tutorial.  I took a bubble tea straw and bobby pinned the hair sections to it.  It was so delicate, and I was worried about getting that tight curl right.  It was frustrating, delicate, and took many repetitions to get the hair correctly pinned and taped up.  She looked like a disaster.

How dare I be photographed like this?

Thankfully after her hair dried (12 hours later) it turned out well.   She at least looks mostly like the show Rarity, even if the fall of her tail curl is a bit too far down the tail.

Much better! ❤

Next up, pony arts and crafts!

Footnotes:

44.) Hasbro has recently begun to listen to the brony voice, and figures of White Celestia, Night Mare Moon, Zecora and others are scheduled for a 2012 release.

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About isaunter

I'm 30 years old and I have been living in the District for six years now. I love all things geek: from tabletop to video gaming; from computers to manga. I am a brony. I wear glasses, have short hair and sport a dragon tattoo (gasp!). I enjoy wearing tall socks and short skirts, and tend to dress more goth and Lolita than chic. It's just a fun thing.

Posted on February 24, 2012, in Chapters and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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