Thursday, October 14th, 2010...10:11 pm

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Gift Set

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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Gift Set
Manufacturer: Hasbro
MSRP: $19.99
Availability: Mass retail, now
Website:, Hubworld: Friendship is Magic

Before I begin this quasi-review, I have a confession to make.

Applejack is my favorite.

Applejack, for those of you unfamiliar with the name, is a My Little Pony. She is what is often referred to as an Earth pony – neither unicorn nor pegasus nor sea-pony, she is a regular old salt-of-the-earth pony. Although I’m fairly certain that I watched the My Little Pony movies and TV show as a child, my main memory of Applejack is of her original toy; an orange pony with white freckles and a shy expression, turning her head away bashfully. In my household, her default costume was a pristine white tennis outfit (despite Applejack’s tragic inability to hold the accompanying tennis racket).

I was surprised and delighted when Toy Fair 2010 brought us the news that Applejack would be in the My Little Pony relaunch in Fall 2010. My favorite pony! In a new My Little Pony cartoon and toy line, developed by Lauren Faust! As more information about the new “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” series was revealed on the official website for the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon, I was amazed to see that she would be a regular cast member.

Although I was disappointed to see that the Friendship is Magic ponies that debuted at Toy Fair 2010 had plastic hair, I read on Lauren Faust’s DeviantArt website that there would be ponies with rooted hair, as well. Since I prefer my toys to have poseability and combable hair, I thought I might wait for the rooted hair version of Applejack… but when I saw this giftset today, I just had to get it. It’s Applejack! Plus my first ever unicorn-pegasus pony! And Spike the Baby Dragon!


The ponies are tied firmly to the packaging using Hasbro’s new environmentally-friendly paper twist-ties, in a lovely shade of pink. Spike the Dragon was wedged into the plastic and a bit trickier to remove.

I found it interesting to compare this gift set with the hand-painted prototypes shown at Toy Fair 2010. My husband was the first to note that Applejack was missing her freckles. She had freckles at Toy Fair 2010, and I remain hopeful that a rooted-hair version of her might have the freckles, but… it seems odd that they left off her freckles, but DID give her orange eyebrows in this final retail version.

Upon consulting ASM’s photos, I see that Princess Celestia had glittery wings and horn, as well as a necklace and colored hoof-guards at Toy Fair. On closer examination, it looks like the hoof-guards may have been separate pieces at Toy Fair. The original prototype of Princess Celestia also had much larger eyes, and her mane and tail are sculpted with fuller, more dynamic movement… as though they’re whipping around in the wind. (Click here to see another picture of Princess Celestia, from ASM’s Toy Fair 2010 gallery.) The animated footage of the Friendship is Magic show seems to suggest that the fluid waving hair is part of Princess Celestia’s character design, so it’s a pity that it had to be toned down a bit in this form.


While the other ponies have plastic hair firmly moulded to their heads, Princess Celestia’s hair has a hole to let her ear poke through.


Likewise, Princess Celestia’s hair parts around her horn, whilst Twilight Sparkle’s horn is part of her hair. Twilight Sparkle’s horn is painted to distinguish it from her hair, and sometimes the paint application is a bit on the sloppy side, so it’s a good idea to check your ponies before you get to the register.


The Friendship is Magic ponies continue the G3 tradition of having a cutie-mark on only one side of the body.


As an Applejack Acolyte, I had to do some detailed comparisons of Applejack (Friendship is Magic) and her previous incarnations.

From Left to Right: G3 Baby Pony (Ocean Dreamer), Friendship is Magic Pony (Applejack), G1 Baby Pony (Applejack), G1 Pony (Applejack).

Friendship is Magic ponies are TINY! I almost wish I had some G3 Breezies fairy ponies on hand to compare their size and shape to Friendship is Magic Applejack. Her height is somewhere between the G1 Baby Pony and the G3 Baby Pony, but she’s much slimmer than either.

One thing I noticed was that Friendship is Magic ponies are made of a very different plastic compared to previous ponies. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a material that I associate with action figures more than girls’ toys. The new plastic feels heavier and denser. The ponies’ legs still flex a little, so it’s not a completely solid brick by any means, but it feels very different from previous My Little Ponies.

(A note to Pony fans: I don’t have any G2 ponies, so I have no basis of comparison with them. Sorry!)

Side view:

Front view:

Other side view:


While the G3 ponies had magnets in one hoof, the Friendship is Magic ponies (except for Princess Celestia) have hexagonal peg-holes in one hoof. Again, this is something I associate with action figures more than girls’ toys. It seems to hint at upcoming stands. Or perhaps we’ll see play sets of Princess Celestia’s castle? Pinkie Pie’s favorite sweets shop in Ponyville? Fluttershy’s country cottage, or (dare I hope) Applejack’s family apple farm?

The giftset comes with a storybook which may or may not describe events from the show. Without spoiling too much, I must say that I hope we’ll see more than the core cast members of Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. There’s a wonderful world of ponies and pony mythology available; it would be a pity not to explore more of it in toy form.

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