• Making Dinner With Diamond Select, A Toy Review



    WeAreBorg here with another fun toy review by yours truly. Diamond Select Toys sent me their current lineup of large My Little Pony bank figures and I've had a blast with them. While they're designed to hold your coinage, I've explored some other uses for them as well and while you may see the word "bank" to describe these products, they're so much more than that.

    Join me after the break for ponies, monies, steaks, technically-cupcakes, turtles, cows, and as usual, hot peppers.






    Bam! There they are! Straight to it. No boxes, no suspense. Just a bit of plastic to keep the dust off. So, I know what you're thinking: Twilight looks awfully brown. Well, it's not Twilight, it's Doctor Whooves according to the label and he's here to replace Ms. Sparkle, just like Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer. Actually, I'd kind of expect Trixie, which is a bank made by Diamond Select, though it looks like it's been ready to pre-order for over a year? Though this site says you can get it after Christmas this year. Who knows? I'll ask them. Also not featured is the newer DJ-PON3 bank, which is also really cool. Anyway, back to the ones I do have. These guys feature a base of some sort which doubles as the coin storage and a pony in show-accurate glory. I'll dive into that here in a bit. They are also a bit bigger than you'd think, so I've got a comparison for you down below. If you were wondering why your page was loading slower than the realization of the American president-elect, it's because of the outrageous number of animations I have for you. Let's check 'em out...


    So here's Rainbow Dash on her cloud. The first thing I noticed were the cutie marks on both sides of Dashie, unlike a lot of other pony toys. That's a big thing for me and this makes these toys great for viewing at all angles. No need to hide it on a shelf. Put it on a table or nightstand and toss some coins into it. Looking good! Let's look at Pink Party horse...



    Pinkie Pie would absolutely bake a cupcake that big. That gives me an idea...we'll revisit that in a bit. The model is rather unique because the lines inside Pinkie's hair you see on the show are reproduced here. You also might not yet have noticed the coin slots yet. They're placed naturally and colored the same, allowing them to blend in naturally and thus making the figures more like figures and less like banks.



    You may have noticed that the ponies are always looking to the side or slightly behind them.  This helps enforce the design that let's them be viewed from any direction. Applejack here looks like she's ready to buck something. A number of times, I had to take a few still shots with the ponies rotated at different angles to find which one looked best. There actually is a best angle to view them at and we'll let Fluttershy point this out.



    It's very noticeable on Flutters here, but each of the figures leans a little to one side, this lets that nightstand position I mentioned earlier work out better since you'd be looking down at it and it'll look back up at you, your little pony, smiling, waiting for your pennies, dimes, euros, or lose washers.



    I always sort of dread a Rarity or Celestia figure, and that's because the color white easily shows molding lines or imperfections, but here the whole thing seems rather well done. They do have a seam at the necks of each of these ponies and while Fluttershy's does cut through her hair, the rest of the figures such as Rarity here hide it very well and it's unobtrusive. Let's check out the new Mane6 member...



    There is something freaky going on with those gears in this image. Doctor Whooves here sports everything I've covered: leaning to one side, head turned and looking behind him, blended in coin slot, a neck seem that almost invisible with the neck tie. It's a great figure and a must have for anyone into the timey-wimey stallion. Let's take a look underneath...



    Not like that...Anyway, right over the coin release plug is a sticker that contains everything the non-existent package would have. This is also how we know the pony from above is "Doctor Whooves". The glue on this sticker is a little too good and trying to remove the sticker will likely end in tearing it and peeling of the remnants from the figure. Let's rip it off...



    A simple twist lock plug is what keeps your dosh from spilling out. There's also a small hole in the center of the plug for what ever reason. Keep that in mind for later. For now, I wanted to enlighten you to a neat bit of info and what took me a while to realize about these banks. They aren't neat banks, they're amazing show accurate models. Take a look at a comparison...

    They don't look like it by themselves but these figures are huge compared to other pony toys. That small Applejack right there isn't a blind bag size, that's the cake topper AJ that's slightly bigger than the brushable size. You may recognize the Funko vinyl figures of Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Applejack and as you notice, they're a bit smaller even if you don't count the base.  Even the brand new Guardians of Harmony Fan Series figures of Celestia and Nightmare Moon aren't quite as tall (though the Chrysalis might be). The Diamond Select figures are also less shiny and don't have the puffy cheeks of the Funkos. Cost wise, they're only a dollar or two more than Funko's vinyls. There's no reason not to pick these up. If you want a large show accurate, high quality figure of your favorite Mane 6 pony, who isn't Twilight, then the Diamond Select Toys banks are what you need. 

    If, however, you are interested in knowing how they do bank wise, well, I had this great idea of shoving coins into them. But first I need to get some coins...



    So also on the market, in stores like Walmart , you can find some larger 10 inch or so pony ceramic banks next to versions of Toothless and Pikachu. While they have the nice feel and weight of ceramic and generally a decent paint job, they don't really have the show accuracy. I like them because they are large enough to be really good for the coin hoarder like myself. I have several banks like this that are full. Unfortunately, if I want coins a full bank makes enough downward pressure that the coins don't just fall out. Therefore, there is only one way to get the coins the out. And that's with a finger. Cynder helped me take this picture of me unceremoniously fingering Twilight for cash and she waited until after I was done and started counting coins to slap me and made me lose count. I probably deserved it. Anyway, several pony banks, fingers, and slaps later, I had enough of one coin to test...



    $95 in United States quarters. For our non-US readers, this is the coin we used in arcades games before they came out with game cards and children lost all sense of value for money. Not sure what irritates me more: the fact that I have almost $100 stuck inside ponies or the fact it's almost $100. Regardless, I have 380 quarters that need to be deposited in each of these ponies. Let us begin...



    So if you wanted to know just how stuffed they are... really stuffed. I bottom loaded them and filled them until you couldn't hear the coins rattle anymore. It took forever and a lot more fingering and shaking went into these tests so I hope you enjoy the results...



    So, I started by depositing inside Rainbow Dash, or rather her cloud, and she holds only $47.50 in quarters which is the least held by any of the banks. For those at home following along, that's exactly half of the coins I have. I guess clouds can only hold so much. Imagine coins raining down on ponies. Utter madness! Let's move on to RD's favorite pranking buddy...



    Pinkie, being Pinkie, doesn't keep her money in her base, but in a cupcake. $49.75 to be exact. I can see it now on the show, stashing her bits in baked goods. I'm not sure how she saves any money with all the parties she spends her bits on. Her IRA must look like mine; non-existent. She should spend more time in the bakery earning a living as a responsible adult. Speaking of time...



    The sole dude of the bunch carries an amazing $52.50. If you're wondering how, it's because the bank is bigger on the inside. You honestly shouldn't be surprised at that joke. Speaking of honesty...



    Applejack just spilled her apples and $51.75 in bits everywhere. That's why she looks a little cross. Actually, her face is determination. Let's check out a face of generosity...



     Rarity is apparently very generous as she only stores $48.75 in her diamond base. While I was I writing this article someone came over and referred to Rarity here as a "piggy bank". First, I thought this was an odd term, but it turns out, Pygg was a type of clay commonly used in the Middle Ages. The kind of clay people used to make pots to store their coins. From then, the term "pig jar" turned to "piggy banks" which I'm sure is a fun lesson in etymology. Speaking of the study of words the Indonesian term "cèlèngan", translated as "likeness of a wild boar", also means "savings" and as such ancient 15th century boar banks exist. Second, I though she was more of a cash cow...


     Have some Raricow. Isn't she just so cute with her bell and nose ring? Speaking of animals...



    Wow! Fluttershy is the winner with $63.25 in 253 quarters. She doesn't really have a defined job in the show. She's really just an animal caretaker, trainer, and groomer. Not even a vet because we saw one of those in an episode. She must be a trust fund baby with all that cash. Her brother already spent all his. Her father makin' a little extra on the side at that weather factory. Might be hush money for the Rainbow Factory.

    "Rainbows" gives me an idea though. What if I try to put something other than currency into these things? Sounds legit. I only have so many coins, so let's try some things not part of the product description. Back to "Rainbows", that reminds me of Pinkie Pie and Pinkie loves cupcakes. Let's see if we can't decorate some cupcakes using the Pinkie Pie bank to sprinkle on some sprinkles. This would be great if I had cupcakes, so I decided to make some. Unfortunately, halfway through pulling out all the ingredients I needed, I discovered a disturbing lack of sugar and eggs in my kitchen. You guys come first so I dug around and found some cupcake mix that would work for our purposes...

     But you're going, "that's not cupcake mix." Well, it is if I bake them in a cupcake tray, ice them with...um, a buttery, seasoned...icing, and put sprinkles on them. Just you wait. While those are baking let's grab a few more ponies into this soon to be madness. Let's add some protein to my carbs via some steak. I'll let the countriest of ponies help me with that...



    I use a homemade blend of spices to season my steaks, a little smoked paprika, garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper, fresh ground green peppercorns, and about a dozen dried ground Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers. It's the kind of skin melting heat that makes you regret wearing contacts. This is all in the prep of the steaks, so let's see how AJ does.



    Seems to work okay. I'd like to point out though, these banks are not considered food safe, but with the number of times I touched this raw beef and then my camera, I guess I'm not really foodsafe in general. After a generous dosing from AJ's haystack, I'll pat the seasoning into the Texas wildflower honey coating and let these finish raising to room temp while the coals reach grilling temp. Gas is for ovens, not grills. While I've got that prepping and the "cupcakes" baking, let's try out one last pony. We'll grab Flutters because I've got another food related job for her, just not people food.



     Fluttershy is going to hold these little orange sticks of processed mystery so that I can feed...



    ...these guys. Or rather two guys, and this front and center majestic leviathan known as Elegans. As in Trachemys scripta elegans - the Red Eared Slider? Anyway, Elegans here is a 12" mother of a turtle and she gets really cranky if she's not fed before anyone else is. She's not above having your fingers for a snack. Good luck Fluttershy....



    Elegans is pleased with the sticks. Seemed to work okay really, not too much pours out at once and the turtles are happy. I actually took these photos a few days ago and have since left some food in Yellow Quiet and I've just been grabbing her by the head and giving her a little shake to dispense offering to these reptile gods. Once they were fed, I put the meat on the grill, left the back door open so I could keep an eye on it and took the cupcakes out of the oven...



    Un-iced cupcakes are just muffins right? Would Derpy get mad at me for that thought process? I hope not. Let's butter these up with "icing" and test out the sprinkles...



    So, this may look like it's working but two things happened that revolved around this interesting dispenser. One, I ended up eating like all of these, because sprinkles are too weird for people apparently. Plenty of desserts have cheese in them. I don't get what the issue was. Second, remember that door I left open to watch the grill, well it had rained and the dogs ran back and forth and tracked muddy paw prints literally everywhere. I noticed this about the time I noticed that little hole in the bottom of stopper plug. Unlike seasoning and turtle food, sprinkles easily fit through this hole and I dumped hundreds of sprinkles onto muddy paw prints...


    This was my floor everywhere....mud, water, dog hair and melting sprinkles. Cynder walked in, looked around, and then slowly backed away into the bedroom and shut the door. After cleaning the dogs' paws, taping up the hole on Pinkie, snapping the previous picture, grabbing my steaks off the grill and turning on the Roomba, then turning off the Roomba who had wandered outside of the still open door to start vacuuming the lawn, and cracking open a bottle of friendship lubricant...I was ready to eat...



    That is some damn tasty looking Rarity. So, using Diamond Select Toys My Little Pony banks as coin boxes? Great idea. Getting them just for being show accurate, expertly made, high-quality figurines? Best idea. Using them to make dinner? You should probably pass on that. The steak was amazing, though. I eventually abandoned the use of the flatware and used my hands and dug into it like a pig. I later touched my eyes. All of my regrets.

    I hope you've enjoyed my review, so comment below if you liked it to encourage me to do more of them. While sometimes I am given things to review, most of the time I'm spending my own money on this merch for you guys. If you'd like to buy any of these Diamond Select banks and support me, buy them here. If you'd like to get them straight from the source, check 'em out here.




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