Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lala-Pony-Palooza Month: My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Favorite Collection Playset

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.

Additional views:
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 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. ;)

Back view

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! ;)


Jessica M. said...

I was just having a conversation with my brother (AKA Brony) about them needing to come out with a Derpy (I just LOVE that name. Can't imagine calling her anything else)! I wish they would release her as a single though. I'm not sure I can justify spending the price for the set right now. Aargh! What's a pony fan to do? lol Thanks for sharing. I LOVE your reviews! :)

beastsbelle said...

Oh, I know. That was my dilemma as well. Since I really wanted three of the ponies and since my extra ponies from the last set had sold so well, I decided to go for it, but it's hard to spend that much when you only want one. :} Hopefully they'll come out with some singles later!

So glad you're enjoying the reviews!! :)

Momo said...

Oooh the Ditzy Doo pony is so adorable! She is my favorite background pony, I love spotting her in the crowd. =) I wish so badly, like Jessica said above, that Ditzy was released as a single!

Lyra Heartstrings is a really popular background pony, in one episode (I don't remember which one) she was sitting on a bench like a human, so she is considered to be studying humans and to be a fan of humans like we are of ponies =)

I agree about Diamond Tiara, she is just so annoying in the show, but her toy pony form looks really cute =)
They did a pretty good job on Queen Chrysalis! =) She always sort of creeps me out haha.

I wonder if they are going to be releasing toys for King Sombra and Discord now that they have toys of Chrysalis and Nightmare Moon? I think they'd work as blind bag figures.

Anonymous said...

Lyra Heartstrings is obsessed with humans and wants to learn everything about them and be one! Also she looks more like Rainbow Dash than Twilight even though you already know that.

AJ said...

Ahhh, the Ditzy Doo/Bubblecup issue. I call her The Grey Lady more often than not. I tend to err firmly on the "That is ableist language and that's not cool," side of things myself. But it's just been such a kettle of fish to the point that I had to legit ban discussion of the issue on my MLP community on LiveJournal because without fail it always turned into a fight. And I work full-time and just do not need that headache when I get home! She's a cute little pony though, glad to have her in my collection!

A head's up! Diamond Tiara's cutie mark appears to be really easy to rub off. I discovered today that her cutie mark is hardly even there anymore. I might have to pick up one on Ebay and then spray her with Testors Dullcote or something to keep it in place. I was really dismayed when I discovered that.

Nice review, beastsbelle! Hope your ponies find good homes!

beastsbelle said...

Hi Momo and Anonymous! I didn't even know about that aspect of Lyra's personality, so thanks for letting me know. ;)

Hopefully a lot of these ponies will be released individually or in smaller sets at a later date. It would be really nice for those collectors that aren't interested in the whole package.

Hi AJ...thanks for stopping by again. Bubblecup! I knew there was a name I was forgetting! Isn't that the name of a G3 pony as well?

Not being a mainstream Internet person, I hadn't even heard the term "Derpy" until it was used for the pony, so I was really out of the loop as far as the controversy. Because there have been some issues, I've decided to stick with Ditzy Doo. ;) I'm sorry that it's been such an issue on your LiveJournal. Breaking up online arguments is never fun! :{

Thanks for letting me know about Diamond Tiara. I'll be sure to be really careful with her.

I'm glad you enjoyed the review! :) I hope my ponies find nice homes, too. ;)

AJ said...

Yes, Bubblecup was a G3 pony. Really cute one actually, and you can find some similarities to the G4 one too! Mostly the hair, but I think it's such an adorable name. Here's the G3 one. I think your choice to stick with Ditzy Doo is a good one. Yay!

I'm still vexed over Diamond Tiara's cutie mark. If my hands weren't so shaky, I'd try and fix it myself, but in addition to shaky hands, I don't have a little enough paint brush. Woe.

Samantha L said...

The "derpy" controversy was stirred up after Ditzy Doo was given a speaking part in the show. Having watched the show you'll probably remeber this scence:
In the scene Rainbow Dash is working on fixing pony town hall. Ditsy is around with her famous wonky eyes. She was clumsy and caused a big mess. When she spoke her speaking was slow. Even though she was causing a mess she was very sweet and enthusiastic to help, and complimentary of Rainbow Dash. Dash however gets frustrated at her for the mess she's causing and and asks her to stay out of the way until done.

This scene was what sparked the outrage. Parents felt that the portrayal was making fun of mentally handicapped individuals. The way she was portrayed along with the name "Derpy" upset parents with special needs children. Hasbro, not wanting to cause problems, edited the scene to make her ditsy (changing her voice and name). You can find the before and after scenes on youtube.

The bronies were outraged by the changes and claimed that derpy was in no way associated with special needs. That association may or may-not be valid, but I prefer Ditsy because I'm not so attached to "Derpy" that I'm willing to make people feel hurt over it.

Because there is disagreement between parents and bronies Hasbro has avoided picking a name for by labeling her with a muffin. This is because she loves muffins and I think in one scene her mail-carrier bag was full of muffins.

Sorry for the super long explanation, hope I didn't repeat a bunch of info you knew! >.<

Samantha L said...

It wasn't just parents with disabilities who were upset. They say few people were actually offended and way more liked it. However the many who responded favorable were mostly older. Since the target audience, kids, don't always have a way to voice what they feel I'm not sure how accurate the against versus in-favor numbers are.

There is an article from the person who wrote the scene featuring Ditzy and how the decision to change it came about. She herself has a son who is severely disabled. She was given the choice to decide what would happen. She decided that even if only a few people were hurt by the term "derpy" and the way she was portrayed, that she would change it. As a special needs accurate she did not want to promote anything even somewhat associated with putting down the handicapped.

Sorry for all the extra info. I'm sure it's way more than you want. :P I've just found the whole controversy very interesting. Feel free to not post this if it's too much. :)

beastsbelle said...

Hi AJ. I feel really silly. No wonder Bubblecup sounded familiar...I just sold a Bubblecup I found secondhand on eBay! :}

I wanted to stick with Ditzy Doo because I didn't want to go with a name that might offend others. It also helps that in the beginning episodes of "Doctor Whooves and Assistant", she goes by Ditzy Doo. However, as a warning to anyone who is offended by the name, the Doctor does end up referring to her as Derpy after a while.

I'm sorry you can't fix your Diamond Tiara! I have pretty steady hands, but not that great with a paintbrush (markers, pencils and the like are my preferred medium). ;)

Oh, and a rather random question: how did you get an actual link in the comments? I've never figured out how to do that!

Hi Samantha. Thank you so much for stopping by and explaining the whole situation. I did publish it because it was much more info than I had and I thought some of my readers might find it interesting. Thank you for taking the time to explain things and for doing it so clearly and respectfully. :) While I can understand how some of the bronies would have been disappointed, especially if they didn't associate "Derpy" with mental disabilities, I do respect the person who wrote the scene's decision that it was better to change things than to cause controversy or offense.

I actually have watched the original scene (while unaware of the controversy) and did not associate it with mental disability...I just thought of her as a really clutzy pony. I can understand that not everyone would feel that way, though.

AJ said...

- The "the grey lady" issue wasn't just parents of children with disabilities. I don't have any disabilities, but I was sure offended by it. Years and years of being bullied and called that word will do that. But no, wasn't just parents. It was a lot of people. The bronies largely got upset because that pony is, in a lot of ways, the brony side of the fandom's representational child *eyeroll* and so they continue to use that name. They actually made death threats to an artist on deviantArt for "killing" that pony. Because she had a differing opinion on the "shoutout" and dared to speak up. I wish I was kidding, I really do. All this over a grey pegasus with bubbles on her butt.

Hee. Links in comments are just <*a href=*"URLHERE"*>link text here<*/a*> without the asterisks!

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone!

I am a fairly new MLP fan (and to this blog:), and so when I watched the series the first time around, I didn't pay much attention to the background ponies. I forgot how, but over the summer I learned about Dr. Whooves/ Time Turner, then Doctor Whooves and Assistant, and finally Derpy. I became curious about her and then learned about the whole conflict. Like Beastsbelle, I did not even know "Derpy" was a word (probably because it is an internet term not used in the"real" world). I did a lot of research on this term and the conflict and not one source (even the many definitions that I found on urban dictionary) said that "Derpy" or the original term that the name comes from, is a negative word used at the mentally disabled ("Derpy" is just a term used for goggly eyes or for when a person has a blond moment) . On the other hand, I have watch the original clip, and I do understand that the way that the way Derpy/ Ditzy Doo was shown was a bit stereotypical of a mentally disabled person.

The reason why I got so interested in this topic is because I am a person with a "learning disability" (that's all I fell like saying on the web:). Like I said in the beginning, I watched the whole series without even noticing this pony. So never once did I ever feel like the show was being stereotypical towards people like me. Like many fans of the show, I have a personal view of this special pony. I actually do like to picture her as a differently abled pony but despite this difference she is still able to do everything the mane 6 does (thats why she is always in the background:). Derpy/ Ditzy Doo, in this way, has helped me threw some hard times so thats why she is special to me.

I hope I did not offend anyone with my view on this matter. I just thought it would be nice for someone who actually had a learning disability to voice their option.

Candy Corn

P.S. I just wanted to let you know that when I learned about Doctor Whooves and Assistant, I got a bit confused because there are a few Doctor Who/ MLP fan fictions. Instead of posting a long, complex question, I asked a simple one. I think it was something along the lines of "If this show is about a the 12th Doctor, why do you have some of the other fan fiction stuff on your website about the 10th?" I got some really rude replies, so I don't think the website is child friendly. Hope this helps (I did not want to share the whole story).

P.P.S Muffins, I think, is used by companies so they wouldn't not to start a conflict because I have noticed this in a lot on places like Hot Topic as well. Muffins are part of Derpy/ Ditzy Doo personality because in the third episode of season one, Derpy/ Ditzy Doo is with the crowd of hungry ponies waiting for Pinkie Pie's and Applejack's muffins. If you pay attention you hear her and two other ponies say "Mmm muffins," but Derpy/ Ditzy Doo stands out the most because she is flying over the rest of the ponies. So technically, this was the first time she spoke.

beastsbelle said...

Hi AJ. Wow, I never realized how bad the whole situation was. It's so sad that such a huge deal was made over a pony on a kids' show. :( I can understand the feelings on both sides, but the death threat thing is completely crazy! :(

On a lighter note, thanks very much for the tip on links. It's amazing how much I still don't know even after three years of blogging. ;)

Candy Corn, thank you for your comment. I appreciated hearing your thoughts on the topic.

I mentioned in an earlier comment that I didn't see Ditzy Doo's revamped scene as specifically portraying someone with a mental disability, which is still true. I guess my mind just doesn't go that way. Still, I think it was a wise decision to change the scene, especially since the essence of the scene is still there without the possible offensive stereotyping.

I think it's so neat that Ditzy Doo's character helped you through some of your own struggles. :)

Thank you for the heads up about the Doctor Whooves and Assistant site, too. I've only discovered the YouTube channel, myself. Because there is so much weird stuff out there, I don't tend to get into the fan fictions as much. I stumbled across the Doctor Whooves video by accident. :}

Thanks for giving us more information on the "muffin" thing, too. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you liked my comment. Like you I think that the original scene was just supports to be about a clumsy pony. But looking back on it a bit more open-minded, I can understand how it could have been stereotypical. On the other hand, I once talked to my therapist once about all this (she works with people like me) and she to did not think that this was offensive to the mentally disabled. I'm a very open-minded person and I do understand both sides of the conflict. I just think it is important to remember that technically Derpy/ Ditzy Doo spoke in Applebuck Season, and was called Ditzy Doo in Winter Wrap (is it just me, or does the Winter Wrap Up song get stuck in your head when you mention Winter Wrap Up:).

I also try to stay away from fan fictions because, like with what happen with Doctor Whooves and Assistant, I get confused when there is not one single universal story. An example you might understand is after I watch one of the Marvel movies with my dad, I ask him how accurate it was from the comic books (which I learned was not a good question because there are many different versions of the comic books). There are some random fan made videos l like to watch that is based off of MLP, but you do have to be careful though because some of them are not meant for kids. A kid friendly one that I really enjoy is called Derpy's Toy. It's such a sweet video about Derpy/ Ditzy Doo as a filly.

-Candy Corn

P.S. After I learned from here that you could make a custom Monster High doll, I have really been wanting to do a custom Derpy/ Ditzy Doo from Equestria Girls:)

beastsbelle said...

Hi Candy Corn.

The Ditzy Doo situation is much more involved than I ever imagined. It's sad to see how crazy things can get over a children's cartoon. I'm sticking with calling her Ditzy Doo because the name suits her and I wouldn't want to offend any of my readers. Like you, though, I see the points on both sides (except for those extreme enough to be cruel or send death threats to screenwriters!).

I totally agree with you about "Winter Wrap Up" I'm singing it in my head. ;)

I completely understand about the whole Marvel thing, too. After watching some of the movies, I tried to see how close they were to the comic books. I got so confused, I just decided that I'd stick to the movies. ;)

Have a great day. :)