San Diego Comic con begins today, and as with every year, expect an absolute deluge of news concerning the event. The Illustrious Q wrote up a guide on the entire convention for those attending or interested in what times news might flood out. Needless to say, it's a big year for pony!
The new big toy line this year is Guardians of harmony, and Hasbro came out swinging with an SDCC exclusive. Fluttershy and Discord should be available on the floor if you can brave the massive booth lines, or eventually online. We will get updates posted as they appear on their Hasbro Toy Shop site.
Anyway, time to dive in! Expect pictures of just about every angle. I kinda went a little crazy there this time.
The ...box? Yes, I'm reviewing a box
It has been a long time since I last actually reviewed something. When Funko and 4DE stopped releasing regular ponies, my interest waned. I'm not much of a "Collect em all!" type, so I really only buy things I think look awesome. This is no exception to that rule.
For the first time ever, I'm going to review the box. From the ground up they went all out on this one. The front, as you can see above, has completely custom vectors with the Everfree on one side and a peaceful looking Fluttershy style forest on the other. They definitely have a Good Vs. Evil vibe going here. It's by far some of the most detailed official pony vector art I've seen yet. The front isn't where it ends though!
On the back we get the mosaic of Discord from his initial appearance, with Fluttershy added on the side, again, continuing the theme of Good Vs. Evil on the sides.There isn't an texture here, but it's colored over with a translucent ink that looks really cool.
And to top it off, if you press a button in the middle four LED's light up the entire thing for a few seconds, similar to the DJ-Pon3 toy they released a few years ago.
As someone who really doesn't care about resale value and has never been the type to keep boxes laying around, I'm pretty sure this will be the first I actually hold on to. I opened it up immediately obviously, but the box isn't going to be taking a trip to the recycle bin anytime soon.
Enough reviewing colorful cardboard, time for DISCORD. We Are Borg did his take on the regular version of this one a few days ago, but this one has a bit more detail. This is my first time holding something from the Guardians lineup, and I walked in not really knowing what to expect. I wasn't always a huge fan of blindbags and brushables, so I was most worried about what kind of quality he would be. Fortunately, he doesn't disappoint at all there. A lot of tiny parts go into his overall frame. You can see the connections pretty clearly on each separate piece. There isn't an incredible amount of detail, but they are basing it off a flash show.
Every piece is well sculpted without the huge amount of blemishes that you'd usually find for any mass produced toy (see any of my old Funko reviews for those) . There are a few stray paint marks, but overall he's really well made, much better than what we usually see.
The only thing that is a little cheap is the throne with the hollow backing. It's obvious that the character himself is the focus, and it's a really minor detail, but it's worth mentioning. They still managed to give it a cool wood engraving regardless, along with horns. I like the horns. More thrones need horns.
Discord himself can't be moved around too much. His wings are removable and swappable, and you can take him off his throne by unsnapping a hole in his back, but the arms and pose are stuck on there pretty tight so there really isn't a reason to. He's definitely more of a display piece than something you'd give your kids to play with. Think of one of those high end anime figures instead of an action figure. On that front though, he excels.
For another perspective, check WeAreBorgs review on the non-special edition one.
While Discord is the obvious focus here, Fluttershy is actually my favorite part, and probably more representative of what we will see coming up as the Guardians of Harmony lineup trickles out. I've never been a huge fan of articulated figures in general, preferring more specifically designed display pieces without hinges, but I think butterquiet here has converted me.
The ability to pose her into different forms is actually a lot of fun. You can take her from rearing up like above, to the classic pony stance below:
Complete with that cute curious pony back hoof raise thing. We need more cute curious pony back hoof raise thing in the show.
She has 12 joins total, with two on each front leg, one for the neck moving up and down, another for side to side, two for the back legs, and three detachable ball sockets for the wings and tail. This gives her a fairly wide range of movement. The front legs in particular provide pretty much any pose you can fit with her mane out of the way.
If you want to roleplay an episode where Fluttershy becomes an earth pony, the wings are actually removable. Maybe some day we will get some bat wings for her? If anyone at Hasbro is reading this, I'd pay good money for bat wings!
The general quality is really good here too. Fluttershy is much heavier than your traditional pony figure. The entire thing is composed of seemingly solid chunks of interlocking plastic.
Unlike Discord I can't really think of anything to complain about with her other than how visible the joints are. Having seen many a posable anime figure, I don't think there is a way to do it without running into those though.
Even the nose is an improvement over traditional pony brushables. It's slightly longer and the eyes are more front facing. One thing that bothered me on the usual design is how humongous the foreheads are, and Fluttershy here is does a good job of correcting the majority of that, via a more oblong bird head shape like the show instead of the round egg style the toys have always used. (More on that below!).
The articulation is a lot of fun to play with. I used to have pony figures on top of my monitor, but when I got a newer one with a slimmer top, I couldn't do that anymore. Fluttershy fits perfectly thanks to her posey legs.
Hanging her on things is a lot of fun, especially Discord. I kinda wish she was available during Ponies Around the World so we could see her really chillin in random places. If anything, she is the perfect desk toy. I think I blew at least an hour worth of time today while procrastinating various EQD tasks just posing her.
For a quick size comparison, We have, in order:
Brushable Size (I actually gave away all the brushable ones, woops),
So basically slightly taller than a brushable size pony.
I mentioned earlier that they changed the bridge of the nose and lowered the forehead, something that that has always bugged me in previous toys, and here is a comparison on what I mean. Fluttershy's overall head design is much pointier, removing that giant cranium up above and shortening the distance between the eyes.While not 100% perfect, (we can't all be 2snacks I guess) it's a big improvement for me.
I'm honestly really surprised at how much I like these two. I've never been a massive Discord episode fan, so I didn't go in loving the character. This is actually my first piece of Discord merchandise ever. I really wasn't a fan of the Funko one, and the We Love Fine version was way out of my price range. This one is just perfect though.
I just got done listening to some of my friends that attended Anime Expo complaining about how expensive everything is over there from licensees that make plastic replicas with pose-able joints, and it honestly feels like a bargain that we, over in ponyland, can get something like this for 50 bucks. Everything from the box to the figures themselves is just quality.
I realize that this is one of the big ticket promo items that they pour all their manufacturing prowess into, but if Guardians of Harmony is even half as good overall, I'll be happy. Based on We Are Borg's review of the normal version of this one, it's looking like this is the standard.
Grab her at SDCC for $50, or follow us for a heads up on when she is available on the Hasbro Toy Shop site!