Saturday, March 17, 2012

A collecting moral dilemma

If you frequent Ebay and search "My Little Pony" with any regularity (which I do) or if you read about the latest pony news on one of the myriad of My Little Pony message boards (which I also do.) You may have noticed unreleased My Little Pony toys being offered for sale from a certain Asian website. Resellers in the US have begun to purchase these desirable items from said website and then turn a hefty profit. Or  maybe you have noticed fellow collectors who bulk order from this Asian site and then sell to members at cost.

Just to be clear, the purpose of writing this is not to chide resellers or to point fingers at bulk ordering collectors. To the resellers that can snag a bargain and then make a profit- more power to you, and I think it is great that collectors are willing to help each other out when tracking down pony items. It is just one of the qualities that make the Pony community so great. Where I'm finding issue (if there truly is one) is the origin of these ponies. Are they legally obtained?

I think it is strange that there are multiple unreleased pony items being sold sans packaging. While some of these items/designs may find their way to store shelves in the future, there are others that are clearly the product of factory mess-ups that were never intended for sale. An example of this is this Rainbow Dash:

Clearly, this was an "oops" moment. Rainbow Dash is supposed to have wings and she doesn't! Or this one:

Rarity ended up with Princess Celestia's hair colors. Oops!

Curious minds (mine included) are finding themselves wondering. Were people in China given these ponies to do what they please straight from the factory which is resulting in sellers trying to make a buck on online websites. Or are these items the product of factory workers sneaking product out the back door?

As a collector, I'll admit these oddities are a pretty awesome addition to any collection. At the same time, I find myself wondering if by buying these items I'm supporting illegal activity (a.k.a. stealing ponies.) The moral dilemma perpetuates.

If you have any thoughts or insight on this issue I'd love to hear it!


The Mommy said...

I may have a bias, I collect Rainbow Dash and would LOVE to have that one. If these are ponies that were taken out the back door I personally don't see a problem with that. They were probably going to end up in the trash anyway. These people are probably poor people that have found an opportunity to make some extra money. I'd rather pay (or know someone is paying) for these ponies and helping each other out (the collector gets a rarity and the seller gets some extra cash) then to know these would have been trashed and further filling land fills because they are less than perfect. The company isn't loosing money if they were just going to be trashed anyway. Just my thoughts.

Usagi said...

I believe these maybe items that were mistakes or not up to standards that were thrown out but taken. I collect vinylmations and it's the same thing. The workers take them and they get sold on ebay. Sometimes sellers will let you know what may be wrong or pass them off as legit items until you get them.

LeSans Ramsey said...

To be honest I actually like Rarity with Princess Celstia's hair, it looks more interesting and gives her more character like the old Princess Rarity. I don't mind the plain purple hair with tints and hits of a fab fuchsia. But something new makes things interesting. Maybe this can start something new within the show and even for future reference :). Btw where is Rainbow's cutie mark???