In a moment of weakness during the fantastic My Little Pony sale at Toys R Us online, I went ahead and picked up the "Friendship is Magic Favorite Collection" set that was marked down to $27.99 from $36.99. With the free shipping on top of the price discount, it was a great deal. And since I didn't want all of the ponies, I figured I'd resell the ones I didn't want to help pay for the ones I did. ;) (On that note, the ponies from this set I'm not keeping will be listed on eBay this Saturday.) :)
Here's the set in the box. The ponies included are (clockwise from the top) Lyra Heartstrings, Princess Cadance, Ditzy Doo/Derpy/Whatever You Want to Call Her, Lyrica Lilac, Queen Chrysalis, Diamond Tiara, and Shining Armor.
Box details from the front:
The back of the box...
...and a closer look at the details:
The box opens easily from the side and the inner box slides right out.
The ponies are held in place by a clear plastic insert...
...and getting the ponies out of said insert is brutal! Their bodies came out nicely, but I had to cut the thick plastic to remove their manes.
Here is my battle scar from the ordeal. :}
The worst thing about the way they are held in place is that this is what their hair looks like when you get them out. Diamond Tiara (I just can't quite bring myself to call her Diamond "Dazzle" Tiara like she's called on the box) looks like Cindy-Lou Who. I was only able to get it to stay down by slightly wetting it down with water and wrapping it around her front leg.
And Queen Chrysallis looks like she is either standing in a wind tunnel or has had a terrible shock. ;)
Even after taking her hair out of the plastic, it was still pretty wild. I had to wet her hair down as well.
Here's the whole group deboxed. I thought I'd show pictures of each pony individually so you all can enjoy a closer look. :)
First up is Princess Cadance, one of the ponies I've been wanting to add to my pony family for a while. I'm a little disappointed that Hasbro always decides to make her such a bright pink instead of the pastel pink she is in the show, but I still love her character and wanted to add her to the group. :)
More views of the overly-pink princess:
And here is Cadance's hubby, Shining Armor (also known as Twilight Sparkle's BBBFF...that's "Big Brother Best Friend Forever", for those of you who are new to the series). ;) I was really excited to get him since the only other time he's been released was with the ginormous castle set I didn't have room for. ;)
I really love Shining Armor as a character and his relationships with Twilight and Cadance. Actually, I pretty much loved everything about "A Canterlot Wedding", which introduced both Shining Armor and Cadance to the show.
I must say, I do prefer the blind bag version of Shining Armor because his mane and tail look much better, but this guy is still fun to have on my shelf. :)
"My love will make you strong!" ;)
And here is...well...the slightly controversial pony from MLP. I usually call her Ditzy Doo.
In one of the first MLP Friendship is Magic episodes, this particular pony was spotted in the background with her eyes going in different directions. She was affectionately named "Derpy" by the MLP fans. Unfortunately, this caused a controversy as many found the name offensive. I know there's a lot more to this whole thing, but that's about the extent of my knowledge. She is also referred to as "Ditzy Doo" and other names that I can't remember at the moment. Hasbro's solution is to label her with a muffin logo instead of an actual name. You'll notice they did so on this package. I'm actually not sure where the whole muffin thing came from, but I think it's something that was referenced in the TV show. According to the information on her MLP Wiki page, she is referred to as "Muffins" in some merchandise. Feel free to add to this or correct me if I'm wrong, readers.
I was never a huge fan of Ditzy Doo when I started watching the show. I mean, it's not like I wasn't a fan, but she was just another fun background pony...no big deal Then I discovered this video on YouTube, detailing the adventures of "Doctor Whooves" and Ditzy Doo, and she became a special character for me. :) I mean, what's not to like? It's combining two of my favorite fandoms! ;)
I have not listened to all of the Doctor Whooves and Assistant programs (you can find the originals HERE...I linked to the other one because I liked the fact that it was animated), but I've listened to several and they were fine. There was one that was really annoying because Ditzy Doo and the Doctor were pretty much calling each other rude names the whole time. I know that some people find this sort of insulting banter entertaining, but it's not my cup of tea.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I haven't heard all of the episodes, so proceed with caution. The ones I have heard have overall been really fun. The thing I love about these is that it's kind of a "behind the scenes" idea. The writers found places where Doctor Whooves (or Time Turner, as he is also known) appeared as a background pony and came up with a whole backstory of what was going on during the regular TV episodes. :)
Oh, and if you're browsing YouTube, I would recommend avoiding the "Lovestruck Derpy" stuff. The one I watched wasn't appropriate, especially for younger audiences. They might not all be that way, but better safe than sorry. As I said, you do have to be really careful when browsing My Little Pony themed videos.
Here are some additional views of Ditzy Doo:
Her eyes are going in different directions, the way she is normally drawn.
And of course, I had to take a picture of Dizty Doo and Doctor Whooves together. ;)
Doctor Whooves is one of the Funko Pop figures.
"Doctor, you've grown!"
Pardon me while I get sidetracked and take pics of the pony that is NOT included in this set. ;)
Just to give you a little more information, one of the regularly used background ponies in the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series was affectionately named "Doctor Whooves" by the fans because of his spiky, David Tennant-like hair and his hourglass cutie mark. His other name, as I mentioned before, is Time Turner. I always assumed this was his original name, but according to his MLP Wiki page, that is not the case. (You can read about it HERE.) Many MLP fans refer to him as Doctor Whooves, and even Funko has referred to him as such in some of their merchandise. :) However, I've noticed in the more recent releases that the Doctor Whooves stuff sold in stores has had the spelling changed to "Doctor Hooves". I'm wondering if they ran into copyright issues from the BBC? I still call him Doctor Whooves because I think it looks better. ;)
His hair does remind one of the Tenth Doctor. ;)
Okay, back to the actual review. ;) Here is Lyrica Lilac, another commonly used background pony. Since I didn't remember anything about this character, I decided I'd just link to her character page on the MLP FIM wiki HERE.
I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed by the paper accessories in this set. It would have been nice if Hasbro would have included plastic accessories. Most younger children playing with this set will have lost or broken Lyrica's headband before they're done with their first play session.
I do love her painted on pearl necklace and yellow swag/scarf thing. :)
I've seen this on other ponies. Sometimes Hasbro uses an eye decal that doesn't match the original mold. It's not too noticeable from a distance, but up close you can definitely see it.
More views of Lyrica:
And now on to Lyra Heartstrings, another popular background pony. I honestly don't know much about her except that she was one of Princess Cadance's bridesmaids. So once again, I'll just link you to her Wiki page HERE if you're interested in more info. :)
More views of Lyra:
Sadly, my Lyra had these paint rubs on her eyes that I couldn't fix. She's really pretty other than that, though.
And here's Diamond Tiara, also known as the bratty little bully. :} Don't let her sweet, wide-eyed look fool you. ;) She's actually really cute in pony form, and if I could keep from thinking of her character every time I saw her, I might enjoy her more. As I mentioned with Lyrica Lilac, I wish Hasbro had made her a plastic tiara instead of going the cardstock route.
I really detest this filly, partially because I knew kids like her in my school (and Oldest Gal has dealt with similar kids in her class, too). Let's just say this one will not be staying long in my house. ;)
She's more of a minor character than a background pony, but since I've linked to everyone else, I might as well link to her Wiki page too. ;) You can see it HERE.
Additional views of Diamond Tiara:
And now we move on to Queen Chrysalis, another pony who will not be staying with us long. ;) Little Gal had nightmares for a month after watching "A Canterlot Wedding" (in which Queen Chrysalis was the main villain), and even now, a year later, she gets scared just looking at the plastic version of her. :}
Overall, I think they did a great job with Queen Chrysalis. There are a few things I would have liked to see Hasbro do differently, but her colors and design are quite striking. This is the first time she has been released in pony form.
A view from the other side...
...and the back.
A closer look at her eye decal.
So, the first thing I wish they would have added to this pony is her fangs. Just little white painted on ones would have been perfect. Of course, maybe they were trying to keep her from being too scary...but if they're going for accuracy, she did have little fangs in the TV show. This isn't a deal breaker for me, but I have to admit it's one of the first things I noticed when I deboxed her. I'm kind of obsessive like that. ;)
Okay, I can't believe that I just wished a toy company had added fangs to a toy. That's not a norm for me. :}
And again, I wish they'd made her an actual plastic tiara instead of this paper one.
Here's a view from the front with a look at the "hole" in her horn...
...which brings me to the next thing I think would have been neat. I get that it would have been difficult, but I think it would have been really cool if they would have made her with actual holes in her legs like she had in the show (her legs looked like they were made of Swiss cheese). I'm sure they wanted to keep her as stable as possible (and it was easier to reuse the Princess Celestia mold), but it would have been interesting to see a more accurate design. I will say that against my white backdrop, the painted on holes are quite effective. ;)
A closer look at Queen Chrysalis' wings.
Nightmare Moon is already with her new owner via eBay, but before I shipped her off, I took some pictures of Nightmare Moon and Queen Chrysalis together. I thought it would be interesting to compare the two.
Both have striking colors.
I think Nightmare Moon is a little more majestic than Chrysalis.
Comparisons from the side:
After all the Wiki links I did on the other characters, I feel it's only right to link to Queen Chrysalis, Nightmare Moon, Shining Armor, and Princess Cadance...they might feel left out. ;) (Click on the characters' names to go to their Wiki pages.)
My overall thoughts on the set? It's a great collection of unique ponies, especially for big fans of the show. It features previously unreleased ponies (Queen Chrysalis, Lyrica Lilac, Diamond Tiara and Ditzy Doo). It's also nice to have Shining Armor released in another set besides the castle playset. At the sale price ($27.99), it works out to around $4 a pony, which is a great price. At the regular price ($36.99), it works out to almost $6 a pony, which still isn't bad. It just depends on whether you want to spend that much on ponies in one sitting or not. ;) For me, buying sets, keeping the ponies I like and reselling the ponies I don't need or want (for a reasonable amount) has worked out as a very nice way to get unique ponies I want at a price I can afford. ;)
The ponies in this set would be good for playtime aside from the paper/cardstock accessories. I know in my house those would be lost or ruined within minutes (especially with Little Gal on the loose). ;) The ponies themselves should be great for most ages.
Okay, I got waaayyy too wordy with this review. Would you believe I've been typing on this off and on for most of the day? :} Hope you enjoyed it anyway.
Stay tuned for more MLP and Lalaloopsy fun to come! And probably some other stuff, too...non-themed post opportunities keep coming up. ;)
P.S. I can't believe it...290 followers?!? You guys are awesome! ;)