A very dedicated Brony has recently dropped in our inbox a review of all three versions of the normal sized, pink, Celestia toys released by Hasbro. For you custom creators and collectors out there I'd definitely recommend giving it a read! He goes into quite a fair bit of detail describing each version's unique characteristics which could make picking the right Celestia for your custom project or collection a little easier!
Thanks to Richfiles for the review!
You can find his full review and picture comparisons after the break.
Well, I have all three of the major releases of the standard size Celestia toy. This is a detailed review of the differences between the three versions of the toys.
The oldest is the Friendship is Magic 5 Piece Gift Set (Right most toy). She has a solid color tiara with gold (yellow) color, a purple multifaceted gem, and a dark gold trim and back. It fits tightly against the forehead. The hair is 4 toned, and the wings are made of the same plastic as the main body. Head is fixed, and mane and tail are molded.
The middle image is the version of Celestia that came bundled with the 3" standard version Princess Luna toy. Her tiara is the same mold, but is now unpainted, and uses a translucent yellow plastic. The body is identical, and uses the same mold as the gift set version. Her hair is now only 3 tones of color however, eliminating pink. Her wings are now made of a translucent plastic... I'd call it magenta, or close to it.
Both of these versions of the toy featured molded manes and tails. The wings are individually set into recesses in the body, one for each wing. There is a "peg" that can't be seen on the rear left leg and the right side of the neck on both of these. There is also a deep "Y" shaped trench in the top of the head, and a deep hole in the back. These are all mounting/anchor points for the molded mane and tail.
Finally, we get to the newest version of the toy, seen on the left. This toy comes with a posed leg variant of Twilight Sparkle, with a tiara that ACTUALLY looks similar to the "Big Crown Thingy", aka her Element of Harmony. It even has the purple 6 pointed star on it. The set also comes with Spike... Same old Quadrupedal Spike the Dragon that has come in every Spike pack in. Props for finally releasing a posed leg variant of Twi. Another check mark off my "Gotta collect 'em all" Pony checklist... Yes, I carry a detailed checklist covering pony toys in my wallet. Twi would be so proud. :D
Sadly, Twi would not be proud of the Princess Celestia toy that comes in this set. I honestly can't say everything about it is good.
The newest version of the Celestia toy is more of less defined by the fact that it has a brushable mane and tail. Due to these changes, there are no longer any "pegs" on the neck or legs for the molded hair to mount to. Fact is, the ENTIRE body and head mold are new. The head is noticeably larger, larger eye decals are used, and the horn was slightly bent out of the box. It's also angled more upward than forward. I will admit that the forward view of the face looks more natural on the new Celestia. The old toys looked derped a bit when looking at them head on. The brushable hair is fitted to a very large number of plugs... With the light blue colored hair being fitted three plugs wide in the forelock position. The purple strands are mounted 2 plugs wide. The hair only has 3 shades, with there being 2 shades of purple. Last head detail to point out... The head can be rotated. That's nice.
The tiara on the new toy is made from yellow plastic, and only has the purple gem painted, but the gem, and overall crown design is much simpler. The gem no longer has complex facets. One nice addition is the neck piece. It does NOT fit the older toys, unless you break the bond between the neck peg and the mane. Both the neck piece and the tiara are loose fitting, unfortunately. One new addition to the body is a hole in the bottom of the fore hoof. The old toys did not have this hole. This means the new toy can be pressed onto the pegs on many of the toy playsets now.
The wings have returned to the overall color of the body, but now feature a gradient shading from body color toward a very deep pink near the wing tips. They are notably thinner than the wings of the old toys, and are extraordinarily flexible. I was able to bend them all the way down to the legs, and did not fear they would break. I suspect these would be good for custom poses, by applying a little heat to make the deformation permanent. Sadly, the thinner wings come with a big negative. The body no longer has two individual slots for the wings to insert into, but instead has a massive rectangular pit on the back. One wing has a large "block" of plastic, and the other wing is thin. It leaves an ugly looking asymmetrical back with deep seams and is simply not as nice as the old wing plugs. It kinda reminds me of the plastic chunk on the back of the new Glimmerwing ponies.
The most notable difference stood out to me the second I placed the toys side by side. The new Princess Celestia with brushable mane and tail is fatter... Yes... Celestia appears to have been partying too hard at Sugarcube corner with Pinkie Pie. All the well defined, trim features of our favorite sun raising, prank loving Princess... are gone. You can clearly make out the lines of old Celestia's legs as they meet her body. The old toy has her flanks clearly defined as an extension of her leg into her torso. No any longer... All leg definition ends the moment the leg meets the body. The new body is physically larger, filling in all those fine details, and the forelegs are spaced slightly wider apart at the point where they meet the body. In addition, other details, like the hoof shoes are less defined, and are overall, thinner and less defined. The seams between mold segments are in more visible spaces, and it certainly appears they sacrificed overall quality to simplify the overall mold structure. (I speak with a degree of experience on the subject, as I've worked with a friend who does injection molding for a fishing lure business).
Overall, I'd say that the new Celestia is probably cheaper to make than the other two Celestia toys (not considering the mane and tail... I'm uncertain whether molded is cheaper or costlier than brushables). Thinner wings, less complex molds, more obviously visible seams, fatter body with less detail, cheaper tiara and neck piece (though it's nice they added the neck piece), and overall... I feel the whole product is cheaper. It's still pink, though a SLIGHTLY lighter pink. I emphasize the slight part.
Also... Still pink...