Monday, April 30, 2012

Further Reading... Pony Style! #2

This week I've chosen to highlight The My Little Pony Preservation Project website run by Far Dreamer. For anyone interested in restoring manky ponies to their former glory, you'll be pleased to know that Far Dreamer has done a great job compiling information and techniques for restoration into one easy to navigate website. Not only does she inform, but she actually documents her own trials and errors as she restores her own personal collection complete with before, during, and after photographs. Plus, she is a dog lover and I enjoy seeing the curious pups in the background of some of her photos. They are like unintentional website Easter eggs!

Hasbro's Design a My Little Pony Contest is Live!

Details for Hasbro's Design a My Little Pony Contest were announced a few minutes ago on the My Little Pony Facebook page.

The winner will receive a trip to Comic Con 2012.  You have now until May 16th (or when 15,000 entries have been received) to enter.

Good luck everypony!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Planning, Packing, and Playing!

I've been a little light on posting this week due to lots of really awesome My Little Pony Fair planning stuff that is going on behind the scenes. I can't wait to share the newest developments with all of you!

I'm also packing for this weekend's Maryland Pony Meet event. I'll be there selling and signing copies of all of my book titles and no doubt finding something new to add to my collection. I had a chance to go through my accessory stash over the weekend and I found a slew of extras that will be up for grabs including Big Brother brushes, Prom Sister frills, and Baby necklaces galore. I can't wait to see some familiar faces, meet new pony fans, and talk ponies.

Speaking of packing, I'm kind of in love with this cute Bow-Tie suitcase. If only Hasbro had made it in standard luggage size, then I wouldn't need my boring navy luggage.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Brony Vocabulary Lesson… I’ve Been Schooled!

(image by j-brony)

I consider myself well versed in My Little Pony. Show me a pony and in most cases I can tell you their name, country of origin, known variations, year of release, and rough current market value. Show me some of the prattle on the Brony message boards and occasionally I get stumped and have to resort to a Google search (which more often than not leads to some questionable material.)

I’ve been a My Little Pony collector for ages and over the years, we collectors have developed our own language when it involves ponies. We use SS when we are talking about So Soft Ponies, TAF to abbreviate Twice As Fancy, TE to describe Twinkle Eyed Ponies and so on (For a complete list of My Little Pony acronyms and definitions check out this helpful post on the old Arena.)

I’ve taken for granted how confusing it must be for someone new to collecting who reads a sales listing like this one:

 “Deflocked SS Truly has rubs to NDS symbol. This is not the Nirvana NSS version of this MLP. “

I think the above statements are very easy to read and understand, but to a collecting newbie I may as well be speaking in another language.

 Now that the shoe is on the other foot and I find myself muddling through the newly established Brony subculture and terminology, I find myself frequently scratching my head as I try to decode their secret Brony language.

So far I’ve learned the following terms:

PMVs- Pony Music Videos made by fans

Fimfic- Friendship is Magic fan fiction

Pony shipping (and I don’t mean the kind that involves bubble wrap and a mailer… I’m quite familiar with that kind)- derived from the word "relationship", is a general term for fans' emotional and/or intellectual involvement with the ongoing development of romance in a work of fiction (This is totally copy and pasted from Wikipedia!)

Clop- I’m just gonna say I would have been better off not knowing about this one… at all…ever.

Is my life somehow richer with this new found knowledge? Probably not, but at least I know what Bronys are chatting about so I can either check it out or avoid it like the plague. Sure, I could stick to my own Pony corner of the web that I’ve happily inhabited for the past decade, but then I’d miss out on the interesting new perspective that Bronys bring to the table.  They are rabid fans and I don’t blame them. My Little Pony is amazingly mind-blowingly awesome. I’ve just had twenty years to let it sink in.

Further Reading... Pony Style!

If you are like me, you can't get enough My Little Pony news, trivia, and information. I have a huge list of pony related websites saved in my "favorites" and I always love to discover new ones so I'm challenging myself to blog a different pony website found on my favorites list each week.

This week I'd like to give a shout out to ! With fun fan trivia, links to current My Little Pony products, collecting polls and discussions (not to mention they have my My Little Pony guides and run my blog posts.) Am I a bit biased by listing them as my first "Further Reading" recommendation? Probably, but it is good reading, good people, and caters to all generations (G1-G4).

 If you have a My Little Pony website that you'd like me to check out, feel free to email me the link. I'm always happy to hear from you!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Little Pony Brides and Grooms Throughout History

Since the My Little Pony world is all a buzz with Princess Cadence and Shinning Armor's upcoming nuptials, I thought it would be fun to view My Little Pony brides and grooms throughout history.

We must (of course) start at the beginning with G1 which had many a bride, but only one groom!

Satin 'n Lace and Tux 'n Tails (also known as Coat 'n Tails) were the original Pony wedding couple. They also appeared on the the top of my wedding cake (seriously!) They were sold through a special wedding mail order pamphlet. I wonder, does that makes Satin 'n Lace a mail order bride?!

According to this pamphlet insert, they were married in "Cinderella's Palace". I think that may trump Princess Cadence and Shining Armor's Wedding Castle.

These ponies appeared in several different pamphlets (Satin 'n Lace in different versions including Lavender, So Soft, and Magenta and Tux 'n Tails under his other alias, Coat 'n Tails). My favorite naming appears in a french pamphlet in which his name is completely disregarded and he is simply called, "Fiance."


Don't forget to add in Lucky the Stallion (Satin 'n Lace's cousin who served as a ring barer) and Baby Bridesmaid to round out the wedding party.

In the UK, they got  Wedding Bells Confetti (in a different pose than her regular US release) dressed up in a gown ready to wed.

There were also two markedly thinner pony brides later in the G1 line, Pony Bride and Bridal Beauty. I guess they choose to loose those few extra pounds before their jaunts down the aisle.

And we mustn't forget Novia, the bride sold exclusively in Argentina.

Then we come to the G2 My Little Pony, Wednesday Afternoon Bride and Dainty Dove. Curiously, neither had access to a groom and poor Dainty Dove even came with a wedding chapel.

Not to be outdone by previous generations, G3 had lovely Wysteria in all her wedding finery.

Did I mention I'm excited to see the My Little Pony Wedding this Saturday at 1:00 PM on the HUB network?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

You're Invited to the Royal Wedding!

Just a reminder to mark your calendars for the My Little Pony Royal Wedding this Saturday afternoon at one o'clock. I've been enjoying all of the pomp and circumstance leading up to the event on the Hub network and can't wait to see Tori Spelling host. I'm loving the hats in the promo banner based on attendees of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. All kinds of awesome.

It's Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie's hats.

Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy rock these.

We mustn't forget stylish Rarity!

I also love that they kept Applejack in her cowboy hat and just added a flower to "dress it up."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The MY LITTLE PONY Fair- Through the Years (San Francisco 2006)

Long before I took over running the MY LITTLE PONY Fair, I was a loyal attendee. I packed my bags and every year traveled from one coast or the other to spend a fun filled weekend full of ponies with fellow collectors. In 2006, the My Little Pony Fair traveled to San Francisco and I hopped on a plane with two of my pony collector friends (Mary and Amber) for what turned out to be a fun and crazy weekend. I had never been to San Francisco before despite spending part of my childhood living in California, so it was fun to check out the sights. We spent some time in Chinatown, had some awesome food and were treated to an impromptu jam session in our hotel room by Sebby's friend. Video exists of this trip and I really need to find it. Seriously, it is some good stuff!

It was still the early days of the Fair and attendance wasn't great, but we still found plenty of things to buy.

 I was invited to give a book talk on my original G3 book (which was later picked up, expanded, and published by Priced Nostalgia Press under the Collector's Inventory Series).

This was also the first year of Pony Jeopardy. I came in second in the competition and made it my goal to win first place the next year (which I did!)

SpottedSlug brought an adorable Bubbles costume for photos and we all enjoyed hamming it up for the cameras with a Pony.

The MY LITTLE PONY Fair sure has come a long way since the early days!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pony Memory Lane

Today I am guilty of being sidetracked. I intended to check off several items on my to do list and instead found myself searching through old disks. Over the years, I've been guilty of shoving my disks full of photos, documents, and software into a couple of storage boxes and I  keep promising myself that someday I'll sit down and view and organize them all someday. Apparently, today was someday.

I had set out to find my missing Adobe Photoshop disk so I can load it on my new laptop but instead found myself spending a couple of hours immersed in photos and documents once thought lost to antiquity.

Included in my discoveries was a disk full of photos from the first pony meet I held way back in 2002, My Little Pony Celebration: A Midwest Pony Meet. The funny thing is that several of the attendees are still active collectors today and I still run into them either at events or through trading or selling transactions. Small pony world. Anyway, I thought I'd share a few.

I'm the one sporting the pony shirt.

Always nice to have the ponies come to your house.

My Little Fakie Drive- We hit fakies with golf clubs.

We played Pin the Tail on the Pony

My boyfriend (now my husband) and I demonstrated how to make replacement flutter wings. He must of really liked me back then!

And of course, the group picture.

Ten years later, I'm organizing the My Little Pony Fair have had four My Little Pony guides published, and still going strong. Who knew?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Organized Chaos!

You know how I often lament over the shameful condition of my office and my never ending quest to have an orderly workspace...

Here is my desk in all its chaotic messiness. The funny thing is that I know exactly where to find what I'm looking for. Still, there is no excuse for this insanity and by posting it for all the world to see hopefully it will shame me into getting things looking more professional.

I find it hysterical that there are three laptops on this desk. Apparently, I am so intense that I need multiple machines to do my bidding.

Friday, April 13, 2012

BBC News: My Little Pony Collector Sarah-Bee!

Sarah, known as Sarah-Bee on the MLPArena, was interviewed by the BBC News and they made and ran a short video on her collection. It is a cute piece. I always love to see media about My Little Pony Collectors that doesn't attempt to paint them as crazy people (even if we are!) By the looks of it, Sarah may have converted her husband into being a Brony.

Check it out the video here: My Little Pony Collection Grows in South Yorkshire

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Maryland Pony Meet 2012

The deadline for registration for the 2012 Maryland Pony Meet (held April 28th) is April 21st. If you are thinking of joining other pony collectors for a day full of pony fun (and scooter races!) in the Baltimore area, head on over to MustBeJewel's website to check out all the details.

I've attended this event several times and always have a great time. Plus, Jewel is an awesome hostess and has a giant Sweetheart Sister in her pony room. I think that alone is worth the trip (in case you needed another reason to attend). I'll be there with a stack of books to sign and a few giveaway items at my table so stop by and say hello!

We Love Fine Design Contest Rating Time!

If you haven't already rated your favorite fan submitted pony t-shirts on head on over and rate away. You must register on the site to be allowed to rate the entries, but they send you a 10% code for registering. You might as well order some pony gear while you are there.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Custom Apparel Webstores Market to Brony Demographic

With so many new adult My Little Pony fans, including those who are part of the "Brony" phenomenon, there has been an increase in demand for T-shirts and apparel that sport pony images. In the past, collectors were lucky to see a handful of licensed clothing items at shops like Hot Topic, but now with custom to print online webstores like We Love Fine and Zazzle the designs and possibilities are endless. Both of these sites offer a plethora of pony designs and can slap them on shirts, bags, art prints and other things you didn't know you needed until you saw it decked out with Pinkie Pie or Rainbow Dash.

On We Love Fine, artists (professional and amateur) can submit designs for approval into the My Little Pony category. If the design is approved, the artist receives 20% of sales on items using their design for non licensed characters and 10% of the sale using licensed characters (aka MLP). Not a bad return for a graphic artist who has an idea for a My Little Pony shirt that may be popular with the "Brony" crowd. Especially considering that the artist has no overhead costs and doesn't have to deal with the hassle of contacting the property owner (in this case, Hasbro) for licensing rights to sell their design.

While this is great for those clamoring for merchandise displaying their favorite My Little Pony characters intertwined with witty remarks and memes, It leaves some of the non-Brony My Little Pony collectors feeling like the brand it morphing into something more adult themed than they would like. Images of happy ponies frolicking appear side by side with Game of Thrones parodies and robo ponies.

As an adult I can see the humor in these designs, yet something doesn't feel right about taking a My Little Pony character and dressing them up as Uma Thurman in Kill Bill while wielding a sword or placing them in other un-ponylike surroundings like this Hunger Games parody shirt.
I wonder if My Little Pony has become too accessible to customization and influence by Bronies.  Will we continue to see an increase in products and marketing geared to an older male demographic? What happens if the Bronies loose interest and trot into the sunset chasing the next popular fad?