Friday, November 21, 2014

"My Little Pony Express" Interview, Review, and GIVEAWAY! :D

I think by now most of you know of my soft spot for My Little Ponies, especially G1 and G4. :}

While browsing through Facebook several weeks ago, I noticed that someone called "My Little Pony Express" had liked one of my posts.  I was curious, so I clicked on the name and...to make a long story short...made a great new friend AND discovered something else to add to my Christmas wishlist. ;)

My Little Pony Express is an Etsy shop that combines the fun of getting a package in the mail with the mystery of a blind bag/grab bag and the awesomeness of G1 My Little Ponies (MLPs produced between 1982 and 1992).  Customers can order surprise boxes of G1 ponies for themselves or other MLP fans.  There are different types of boxes to choose from, such as "Play" boxes, which contain two ponies in nice play condition, or "Classic" boxes, which contain one pony in display condition.  The most exciting thing about MLP Express is that there is always a chance to get a super rare pony in with the others. :)  

I had the privilege to interview Ruth of My Little Pony Express last week:

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
   I would describe myself as a woman with many interests.  I am a writer by profession, a licensed paralegal, a blogger, mom to a beautiful little girl and wife to a very supportive husband.  I love reading, collecting vintage cookbooks and cooking from them, Mid-Century Americana, photography and toys.  I spend most of my days playing with my daughter, and then trying to "work from home" while she is sleeping.  I own the blogs No Pattern Required, Mid-Century Menu, I Ate the 80s, and I am working on my first novel.

2. When did you first get interested in My Little Ponies?  Did you collect them as a girl?
   I did have Ponies as a girl!  We didn't have much money when I was growing up, so I wasn't able to collect them, but I did get a few Ponies for holidays and Christmas presents and I loved them very much.  Firefly was my first Pony and my favorite, followed by Parasol and Newborn Baby Yo-Yo.  I have since given those to my daughter and she LOVES to play with them!

3. Do you have an all-time favorite My Little Pony?
   I would have to say Parasol is my favorite.  She is really a gorgeous pink and her rainbow hair is just the best - the colors are great and it is short enough so that it doesn't get tangled or frizzy!
   But I go through phases where I get obsessed with other Ponies as well.  Right now I am in love with Blueberry Baskets and the Baby Sea Ponies, even though they are hard to display!

4. How did you get the idea for My Little Pony Express?
   My niece, Piper, kept asking me if I had "Mommy's Ponies".  Her mom is my older sister, Sarah, and I kept all of our childhood Ponies.  And Piper kept asking me if I would send them to her.  At the same time, my sister told me that Piper was very interested in getting mail and disappointed that nothing ever came for her.  So for her birthday, I decided to give her a monthly subscription to a My Little Pony subscription service.  The problem was, such a thing didn't exist!
   So I decided I would make something up for her.  I bought all the Ponies and the supplies, and while I was getting prepped to send her a year's worth of Ponies, it dawned on me that other people might be looking for this service, too.  I know a lot of people have fond memories of their childhood Ponies, but had given them away or didn't remember their names, making searching on eBay a pain (there were over 160 different Ponies available!).  I thought it would be fun to offer a specialized, customizable monthly subscription box for Generation One My Little Ponies to others and see what came of it!

5. Could you explain how My Little Pony Express works?
   Sure!  It's actually a really fun process.  You can either visit my Etsy shop or get in touch with me through my Facebook page and decide which box you would like and the length of time you would like to subscribe for.  Right now you can purchase one month at a time, three months at a time, or six months at a time.  Once your purchase is made, you can send me a list of Ponies you would prefer or Ponies you have been looking for.  I will try my hardest to fulfill your requests, and since my stock is constantly changing I usually have pretty good luck!

If you are new to the world of My Little Pony or really don't have preferences, then that is just as fun!  I have customers whose only requests are for babies, or pink ponies, or sea ponies or for ponies with white hair.  Or if you would like to be completely surprised, I can do that, too!

MLP Express boxes are all mailed out around the 15th of every month.

6. How did you learn to fix up well-loved ponies?
   The Internet!  There are a lot of great resources out there, like My Little Wiki and MLP Arena.  People have written some great tutorials about restoration and replacing cut Pony hair.
   A lot of it has also been trial and error.  I hate to admit it, but I've ruined a few Ponies with small mistakes while trying to clean them.  For Example, Magic Message Ponies will lose their entire symbol if you run them under hot water!  It was a shock when I was washing a lovely pony and her whole symbol peeled off like a sticker.

7. What was the hardest fix-up issue you've run into with the MLPs?
   Pony cancer is the saddest thing to have happen to Ponies, because it is unfixable.  What we call "cancer" is actually plastic breakdown, and can happen to any pony.
   Fading pen marks is a pet peeve of mine, because it just takes so darn long to remove them.  Another horrible thing is when a Pony smells like mildew and mold.  Sometimes no matter what you do that smell will just stick with them!

8. What is your favorite thing about doing My Little Pony Express?
   My absolute favorite thing is being able to give someone a Pony they have been looking for.  It sounds so simple, but I really do enjoy it.  And I enjoy it just as much if it is a common Pony like Glory, or an uncommon Pony like, like a Pony from another country.  And because I send out so many boxes, I am able to give it to them for an affordable price!

9. Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
   Thank you so much for letting me do this interview!  It is always a blast to share My Little Pony Express with others.
   As thanks to you and your readers, anyone who mentions the Never Grow Up blog when placing their next order will receive a free baby pony!

To find out more about My Little Pony Express, be sure to check out the following links:

-My Little Pony Express Shop on Etsy

-My Little Pony Express Facebook Page


In addition to doing an interview, Ruth also very graciously donated a couple of boxes for me to review here on the blog.  I just received them in the mail today, and highly entertained my husband with my "oh my goodnesses" and hyperventilated excitement. ;)

Here are the two boxes she sent. :)

I love how she included My Little Pony Express stickers to seal the boxes. :)

And here was my first look at my box of happiness. :D

Bonus points for multi-colored shredded paper! :D

There was another My Little Pony Express sticker on the inside of the box.

This box was one of Ruth's 2 for $22 Play Boxes.  It came with this personalized card (I pixelated my name). ;) 

Each pony was wrapped carefully in a sealed bubble wrap package.  This one is Fizzy!  :D

And here's Tabby. :)

Ruth also included a couple extra goodies. 

Here's everything all together.

We'll take a look at Fizzy first.  When Ruth asked me to give her a list of some of the ponies that were on my wishlist, Fizzy was one of them. :)  I always loved Fizzy in "My Little Pony The Movie" for her perky, talkative personality.  It was fun going back and watching the movie again in later years and discovering that she was voiced by Katie Leigh, who voices one of my favorite characters from Adventures in Odyssey, Connie Kendall.  I have to admit, though, that even though the movie will always bring back happy childhood memories, it hasn't exactly stood the test of time...at least in my opinion. :}  I definitely prefer the G4 TV show. ;)

Fizzy is a "Twinkle Eyed" pony, which is why she has pretty pink jewels for pupils.

Fizzy from the other side...

...and the back.  I love that Ruth even included her tail bow.  All of the ponies used to come with one. :)

Fizzy's cutie mark is a bunch of fizzy drinks of some kind...maybe root beer floats?

A closer look at Fizzy's pretty face and one of her sparkly eyes.


The second pony in my box, Tabby, was a special surprise.  This is a pony I used to have when I was younger.  I think my original one had curly hair, though, if I remember correctly.  [Note: Ruth let me know that Tabby did indeed originally have curly hair, but this particular Tabby's hair was so frizzy that she needed to straighten it to fix it.  Once the curl was removed, she liked it so much that she decided to keep it that way.  I think she looks sweet with straight hair, too.] :)

Tabby from the front...

...the other side...

...and the back.

Her cutie mark is two Tabby kittens.

Tabby's sweet face.

 
You probably noticed that Tabby's bow is in her mane instead of around her tail.  That's because she's what's called a "Happy Tails" pony.  When you squeeze her just behind her front legs...

...her tail wags back and forth, like a happy puppy. ;) 

This box also came with a purple saddle.  After doing some research, I'm pretty sure this was from the Pretty Parlor playset.  (Coincidentally, I also discovered that I have Twinkles the Cat from this set in my 80s and 90s collection.) :)

The saddle from the other side.

The last item in the box was this vintage sticker of Blossom, who just happens to be one of the original ponies I kept from my childhood. :) 


Ruth also sent me one of her Classic Subscription Boxes.  This is when I got super excited and really entertained my husband. :}

My pony for this box was Wedding Bells Confetti from the UK!! :D  The Classic boxes include a print out of the original "Backcard Story" that came with the pony.

Here she is in her sealed bubble wrap. ;)

Ruth sent extras in this box, too.

Here she is free from her packaging.  Since Confetti was a "display" pony instead of a play pony, she had paper towel carefully wrapped around her neck to keep her mane in place.  Her tail was also carefully tucked around her hind leg to preserve her tail curl. 

Here's everything that came in my Classic box.

A vintage Sunbeam sticker....

...a pretty floral brush...

...and, of course, beautiful Confetti.  Isn't she gorgeous? :D   This version of Confetti was only available in the UK, so she is more rare than some of the other ponies out there (especially for those of us in the US).  

There's a bit of a funny story about this pony.  I'd actually never heard of her before last week.  Ruth likes to post pictures on the My Little Pony Express Facebook page of the ponies she's shipping out.  She posted a beautiful picture of Confetti, and I instantly fell in love with her.  Little did I know that she was going to be shipped to me!! :D

Confetti from the back.  I love her pretty rainbow colored mane and tail.  She has her tail bow just like Fizzy.

Side view...

and front view.

Her cutie mark is beautiful and sparkly.

Her sweet little face.  I love how she still has her factory blush on her cheeks. :)

Confetti has what is called the "shy pose", which happens to be one of my very favorite G1 MLP poses (can you tell from the picture?).  Sundance, Bow Tie, and Applejack are the other shy pose ponies in my current collection.  They're all thrift store rescues, and are feeling rather drab next to Confetti in all her minty glory. ;)

Beautiful ponies! :)  

As I was finding places for my new ponies on my G1 shelf, I noticed that Fizzy would make the perfect mommy for little Wiggles, my favorite Newborn Pony from my childhood collection. 

Aren't they adorable together? :) 

I give My Little Pony Express my 100% seal of approval. :)  Ruth was an absolute joy to work with.  She communicated with me every step of the way and was always pleasant and kind.  She has a love for ponies and a desire to connect people with ponies they remember from their childhood.  She also has excellent customer service, from the care and detail she puts into each box, to the fact that she offers free shipping on every order.  A box subscription from My Little Pony Express would be a great gift idea for any MLP fan or any little one who loves ponies. :)


And now, for the exciting part!  Ruth is donating one "2 for $22 Play Box" for one of my US readers! :D  Here are the details:

1. This giveaway is for readers in the USA only. 

2.  As always, if you are under 18 years of age, please get a parent or guardian's permission before entering.  I'll need to get your shipping address if you are the winner, and I need to make sure your parent/guardian is okay with that. ;)

3. To enter, leave a comment on this post with your name or username and your email address.  Comments containing email addresses will NOT be published, and will only be seen by me.  [As a side note, if you want to leave a general comment about My Little Pony Express or this review, I'd love it if you could leave it in a separate comment from your email address.  It's always such a shame to not be able to share your thoughts with the other readers.]

4. You can receive extra entries for:
    -Liking the My Little Pony Express Facebook Page
    -"Favoriting" the My Little Express Etsy Shop
   One extra entry for each.  Be sure to let me know in the comments if you did one or both of these so I can count your extra entries.

5. The giveaway will be open for entries until Friday, November 28th.  On Saturday, November 29th,  I will choose a winning name at random (all entries will be printed out and put in a bowl).  I will notify the winner by email, and they will have one week to get back to me.  If I have not heard from them by Saturday, December 6th, a new winner will be chosen.

6. Once I have heard from the winner, I will contact Ruth with the winner's email address.  She will then get in touch with the winner, get their address, and ship them the Play Box.

Any questions or concerns?  Leave them in the comments! :) 

In the meantime, be sure to stop by My Little Pony Express and do some browsing.  If you choose to purchase a box, don't forget to mention Never Grow Up so you can get your free baby pony! :)

Happy shopping and Happy Entering! :D




I received these items as a donation from My Little Pony Express.  All opinions and ideas expressed are my own (aside from Ruth's answers in the interview). ;)

"Magical" Friday Sale at Disneystore.com

Hey guys!  Disneystore.com is having a "Magical Friday Sale", which is basically an early Black Friday sale.  (They even said "Magic is the new black".) ;)

They have ten pages of items for up to 40% off, including dolls, toys, plush, clothing, and more.  You can see everything HERE.

Happy Shopping! :D

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Post in Progress...

I'm working on a really fun post that should be up either tomorrow or Saturday.  I'm still working out a few of the last-minute details, but I thought I'd give you a little sneak peek:

What are in my boxes?  You'll just have to stay tuned to find out. ;)

Talk to all of you soon! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Disney and Madame Alexander Dolls on Costco.com

Okay, I know I just did a "heads up" post this morning, but after visiting Costo.com, I thought I'd do one more quick one. ;)

I noticed that the adorable Madame Alexander 18" dolls from Costco are on the website:

Original image HERE.



Original image HERE.


Original image HERE.

Original image HERE

 Be sure to click the links below each doll to see them closer and get more details.  These dolls have the same face mold as the "My Life As" dolls from Walmart before their face mold change this year.  They also do NOT have those (in my opinion) annoying bendable arms and legs, so they'll be a lot sturdier and easier to play with.

If you have a Costco in your area, you might want to check there first, because these dolls are on sale for $19.99 at my local Costco, but they cost $24.99 online (plus $7.99 shipping).

I also noticed that Costco.com has a line of Disney Princess and Me dolls available for a really great price.  For $38.99 (plus $8.99 shipping), you get a doll in her traditional outfit, plus an extra outfit and (in some cases) accessories.  These haven't made an appearance at my local store yet, but I wish they would. ;)

Here are the four dolls:
Rapunzel with an extra Ballet Oufit
Original image HERE.
(Interestingly enough, on Costo.com it lists this as Rapunzel with an "Ice Skating Outfit". ;)

Ariel and Sleepover Accessories
Original image HERE.


Cinderella and Tea Party Accessories
Original image HERE

Belle and Picnic Accessories
Original image HERE.

My favorites are Cinderella and Belle because of the fun accessories included with them. :)  I have not seen these sets in person, so I don't know about the quality or anything.  I have had both a DP&M Belle and a DP&M Rapunzel in the past, though, and thought the dolls were sweet.  Their hair isn't the greatest quality (I would DEFINITELY recommend braiding Rapunzel's hair right away!), but with careful maintenance should do okay. ;)  Their faces are really sweet, too.  They don't fit AG clothing, but they can share clothing with BFC Ink dolls.  You can see my earlier review of the DP&M Rapunzel doll HERE

I hope this helps some of you with your Christmas lists. ;)  Happy Shopping!