Sunday, August 18, 2013

Equestria Girls Are Here! Full Initial Release Photo Review!

First off, the brushes: I LOVE them! Yes, it is a bit strange to be so ecstatic over brushes, but... they remind me of the cute, colorful brushes that came with 80s toys like Sweetie Pups, Fashion Star Fillies, and of course G1 MLP. :)
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls hairbrushes.

The dolls also come packaged with "ID Cards", stickers, and a small pamphlet listing other Equestria Girls products:
MLP: Equestria Girls bonuses: ID cards, sticker sheets, and pamphlets

The first thing you may glean from the photo below is that these dolls actually stand on their own. Their boots are heavy and large enough to keep them up on a flat surface. Don't get too excited, though. They don't stand particularly solidly, and I think bumping into this table would have easily dominoed them all. They also have to be posed just so or they'll fall (in the photo below, they're all tilted a little forwards). I'll probably still buy some doll stands when I get a chance. :/
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls first release dolls.
The initial release contained six single-packed dolls and one two-pack.
Deluxe dolls (which have jointed elbows and knees, larger detachable wings than the basic dolls (for pegusi/alicorns), and come with lots of accessories) are Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. Each doll comes with wings, a hair clip-in, a pair of earrings, a bag, an extra dress and an extra pair of boots.
MLP: Equestria Girls deluxe dolls of Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash.

Basic dolls (which have no elbow or knee articulation and feature partially painted-on clothing) are Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Applejack. Basic dolls come with one accessory each (Twilight: wings, Pinkie: headband, Rarity: sunglasses, Applejack: hat).
MLP: Equestria Girls basic Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Applejack.

The two-pack dolls (Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer) seem to fall somewhere between deluxe and basic. They have all fabric clothing and lots of accessories (two pairs of earrings, a handbag, a waistbag on a belt, and a crown), but they both lack knee articulation and only Sunset Shimmer has elbow joints. This two-pack is the only doll or set to come with Twilight's Element of Harmony crown (which is, of course, the catalyst of the Equestria Girls film).
MLP: Equestria Girls two pack of Sunset Shimmer and Twilight. Includes Twilight's crown.

Interestingly, none of these dolls have clothing that is strictly accurate to the Equestria Girls film. The closest would be Sunset Shimmer, but even she has major differences with her animated counterpart (boots in particular). Some of the other fashions are obviously inspired by the movie, but fall far short of "screen-accurate".

This may or may not be an issue for you. I myself am not too troubled with it. Oddly, the artworks on their individual boxes show their movie outfits--not what the given doll is actually wearing.
MLP: Equestria Girls Applejack basic doll with box.

The hair has a nice fiber quality. I can't be certain, but it feels like the same hair used on the normal G4 MLP toys. Styling is generally pretty nice, as well. The problem is that it can be a little unruly. Rainbow Dash's bangs, in particular, wouldn't stop falling in her face when I was trying to get these photos. Strands tend to hang in front of Rarity's face as well, and it can be difficult to get the hair to remain where you comb it.
MLP: Equestria Girls Rainbow Dash earrings and hair.

Another point of interest would be their feet... or lack thereof. Equestria Girls utilize a feature similar to Bratz dolls for changing their shoes: peg-feet. Admittedly, it would be a pain to cram plastic doll feet in and out of tall boots (which seem to be the only footwear available at Canterlot High), so I can't really complain. Shoe changes are pretty smooth, and I'm sure this makes things a lot easier for kids. Also, they get to have awesome looking knee-boots without the giant slits in back that most other fashion dolls necessitate. ;)
MLP Equestria Girls feet and boots.

Head sculpts are nice, though there doesn't seem to be a lot of variety. This is pretty common in fashion doll lines with a large cast of characters. The wildly varying skin tones, cutie marks, and eye colors/shapes go a long way towards giving them individuality. One cool detail is that each doll has little designs in her eyes modeled after her cutie mark. :)
My Little Pony Equestria Girls details.
And that's the waaay they became the Pony Bunch...

As for their body sculpts and jointing, both are good but not exceptional. As always is with fashion dolls, these are pretty skinny, but isn't that a given? Arms are a softer plastic, giving some flexibility to the fingers (so as to avoid breakage). And of course, arms and legs on all dolls can be rotated in their sockets.

The wings DO fall out. A lot. Hasbro should have employed a better mechanism for keeping them in, as this would be a huge frustration to a child. If you're a collector, it's not a big issue. They'll stay in place if the doll is still, but so much as picking them up often causes the wings to slip out of their socket.

Here's an interesting bit, though: ALL of the dolls have a slot in their back to insert wings--whether or not the character actually has wings. So you can let Rarity borrow Fluttershy's butterfly wings for a "Sonic Rainboom" look, or turn Pinkie Pie into a pegasus like her G1 counterpart, Surprise. 
MLP: Equestria Girls wings.

Overall: I'm very satisfied with these dolls. They're cute, colorful, and have fun little accessories. They're also pretty distinct from most of what's on the fashion doll market ATM (while Equestria Girls are obviously an attempt to compete with Mattel's popular Monster High brand, I can't think of these as "copycats". The only real similarities are unusual skin colors and the fact that they're dolls). Their hair can be a little hard to keep in order, and their wings fall out unrelentingly, but these are minor annoyances, especially if you're a collector who intends to put them on display and be done with it.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Toy Review: MLP Talking Nightmare Moon TRU Exclusive

This is an item I've been anticipating since the prototype photos popped up. She's more than worth the wait. I'm still in disbelief that this toy ever went into production...  I mean, let's face it: My Little Pony villains don't get much merchandising. In fact, prior to G4, MLP villains were never made into ANY toys. In any generation. Ever. So although we're still waiting on a Discord figure, we should count ourselves lucky that Hasbro's been willing to manufacture as many Equestria evildoers as they have. Now, on with the review!
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Talking Nightmare Moon.
Here's the Talking Nightmare Moon with the normal-sized one from the Favorite's Collection. Apart from size, they're extremely similar. Talking's primary body color has a faint purplish hue, so it's more of a near-black as opposed to FC Nightmare's pitch-black.
MLP: FiM Talking Nightmare Moon and Favorites Collection Nightmare Moon.
The other main difference is the wings. FC Nightmare has black wings that match the rest of her body, while her larger counterpart features translucent purple wings infused with silver glitter. FC Nightmare gets the points for show accuracy here, though the glitter reminds me of Nightmare Moon's "smoke" form from the pilot episodes.  They also light up and move when her talk button is pressed (see my video at the end of the review).
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Talking Nightmare Moon wings.
Her paint apps are great, very similar to the FC toy.
MLP: FiM Talking Nightmare Moon close up.
Her "armor" is all painted on and looks very nice. The only issue is that this leaves the battery compartment in her chest more visible than on Celestia or Cadance. Not a huge thing for me, but worth noting.

MLP: FiM Talking Nightmare Moon close up.

MLP: FiM Talking Nightmare Moon hooves.
Here's the talk button. Oddly, her pre-release photos show the button in the purple portion of her cutie mark, while the actual product has it in the center of the crescent moon.
MLP: FiM Talking Nightmare Moon cutie mark.
She looks awesome side-by-side with Celestia, here's some photos of the two. :)
MLP: FiM Talking Princess Celestia and Nightmare Moon.

MLP: FiM Talking Princess Celestia and Nightmare Moon.

MLP: FiM Talking Princess Celestia and Nightmare Moon.
Finally, here's a quick video I made of all of her phrases. Most of them are fairly villainous (I particularly love her evil laugh), but (like Celestia) she couldn't resist commenting on her beautiful barrettes or how she likes having her mane styled. ;)

That's the review, thanks for reading!