• Interview with My Little Pony and Equestria Girls Design Teams!

    New York Toy Fair was amazing this year. There were so many new toys revealed for MLP by Hasbro, from—in Seth's own words—the greatest My Little Pony toy ever made, to the Cutie Mark Crew, to the new Line of Equestria Girls dolls.

    There was so much new stuff coming out of the trade show, and all of it looks like a ton of fun, and most of it is scheduled to be on store shelves this fall.

    Equestria Daily reached out to Hasbro and to the My Little Pony and Equestria Girls toy design teams to delve into the design process that went into these toys.

    And unsurprisingly, there is a lot to it. To which you can learn all about after the break!

    The Illustrious Q: Andrea, Loretta, thank you so much for sitting down with Equestria Daily for today's interview on designing My Little Pony toys. And specifically about what went into designing the new My Little Pony toys unveiled at New York Toy Fair.

    Before we really start diving into everything, I've got one thing to ask you. I live about an hour and a half north of Pawtucket Rhode Island. So, are you as happy as I am that we're not getting another Nor'easter today?

    Loretta MastersOh yeah!

    Andrea EhretI actually like the snow, so…

    LM: I like it but I'm a little ... It's April right? Isn't it almost April?!

    AE: No. *laughs*

    TIQ: It was just crazy. Week after week after week…

    So, would the both of you please do me the honor of telling us a little bit about yourselves and how you ended up on the My Little Pony design team?

    LM: Sure. I'll start I guess. I started my career at Hasbro as an intern, and from there I knew I wanted to work here full time. So, I just kept taking some jobs in different faculties. Eventually I got some freelance jobs on a lot of the girl toys design teams. I even started on Equestria Girls doing freelance. Finally, there was an open role on the My Little Pony team and I got it! And here I am.

    TIQ: Thank you, Loretta. And Andrea, yourself?

    AE: I actually interned here [at Hasbro] as well back in 2002. And then I started working on My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop when I first hired on full time in 2005. I worked fully on Littlest Pet Shop for six years and then moved over to My Little Pony in 2011.

    TIQ: So just when Generation 4 was just starting to kick off?

    AE: Yes!

    TIQ: That must have been an interesting change moving from Littlest Pet Shop to My Little Pony?

    AE: Yes, it was very different.

    TIQ: So over the course of your careers, has there been a particular toy that has really stood out to you as your favorite to work on? And if so, which one?

    AE: So I think as I go through my career, the best ones are yet to come. I get more and more excited about what I'm working on at the current moment, so it would have to be the new Cutie Mark Crew line.

    TIQ: Oh, I've got a lot of questions about those.

    LM: That's a great answer! We're doing a lot of really new fresh stuff, so I'm really excited about what we're doing with Pony. But, I really enjoy working on the Fan Series items. That's mostly what I've been handling. It's an opportunity to make really fun and exciting toys that capture the essence of the characters. So I really love working on them.

    TIQ: That sounds like a lot of fun! So, it's been a busy couple of years for the My Little Pony brand. In 2015, we saw the launch of the highly successful Equestria Girls Minis and the Friendship is Magic Collection. 2016 saw the launch of Guardians of Harmony, the Fan Series, and the Hasbro-produced plush toy lines. 2017 not only had the entire My Little Pony Brushables redesigned from the ground up, but also had several toy lines dedicated to My Little Pony: The Movie, an animatronic Princess Twilight Sparkle, and a redesign of the Equestria Girls dolls.

    So, before we get into most of the toys that were revealed at New York Toy Fair, could you tell us a little bit of what it was like working on the My Little Pony toys during this rapid fire time of transition?

    AE: It's super exciting! It's necessary to always keep changing, be new, and different. So change is always good. You always have to keep it fresh and keep everyone very excited for the next thing.

    LM: Yeah. It takes a lot of adaptability and flexibility, but ultimately, we're always looking for new ways to engage and stay relevant and try to excite our fans so that we're on top of our own game and giving the best that we can. So it's a little exhausting, but it's worth it!

    TIQ: It must have been an interesting challenge to work on the Guardian of Harmony toys when they were first coming out.

    LM: Oh yeah, for sure. The opportunity of offering articulation as that new way to play was new and exciting. Because the ponies, even from the beginning, were always pretty statuette, so it's exciting to offer some articulation.

    TIQ: Awesome! I know I was just as excited when I first saw them. I bought the whole set! Both waves of them!

    LM: That's great to hear.

    TIQ: Yup, love those toys!

    So, could you guide us through what the design process is for a My Little Pony toy? Just from my experience working for an engineering company, I would imagine there has to be some sort of pitch work involved for getting approvals, pre-production work involving concept art and prototyping, refinement on designs, and then finally production green-light on projects. But I have a feeling it might be a little bit different with Hasbro.

    AE: Yeah, it's pretty similar. We have lots of partners through the process with marketing, engineering, packaging, branding, quality; we all really need to work together to create something. We usually start with a pitch strategy and go from there. We brainstorm concept, build models, go through costing, packaging, and then final production.

    LM: Yeah, you really laid it out pretty well, it is pretty similar in what you expect. The one thing I think that's a little different, like the process is a bit different for segments. So I was working on Guardians of Harmony and the FiM collection, and they're a little more entertainment-focused.

    So typically, the only thing that kind of differs is you have a product that has a different focus. For those ones, it's really diving deep into the lore and the story and making sure we're delivering against our overarching theme for the brand as well as those mini-segments.

    It's kind of like "how do we tie in those across the board?" We then look at all of our character offerings, as well as the story, to make sure that it makes sense.

    TIQ: And that goes right into my next question. How does the collaboration between the My Little Pony toy design team work with the My Little Pony entertainment team? Are there ponies first designed as toys and then reinterpreted in the cartoon? Or does the show design the pony first and the toys are built off of those designs? Or does it work both way at times?

    LM: It's a very fluid process. We keep in touch with the studio and we make sure that we're bringing things to life and sometimes we have been put on the show. Typically we build off of their designs, however in the past we've given input on characters, colors, and helped adjust final designs for the show.

    There are instances where we develop things in house, like we have a coworker, and he had a pony to added to the Heartfelt Shorts, and then the studio added it.

    So things come and go. Sometimes it starts here and sometimes it starts with them but it's a very collaborative experience.

    TIQ: So both Hasbro and DHX end up working together on building brand new characters for the My Little Pony franchise. That's awesome.

    I was actually a little surprised when New York Toy Fair came around last year and there weren't any new toys specifically catering toward Season 7 of the cartoon. Everything was for My Little Pony: The Movie, which is understandable because, "hey, movie!"

    But it was still surprising when thinking about some of the guest stars that ended up appearing that season, like William Shatner and Felicia Day. Not to mention the season-long arc built up to the introduction of the Pillars of Equestria.

    So, basic question: was there any design work for toys based off of Season 7 of the show or was it just a matter of the movie just took precedence over everything else that year?

    AE: Yeah. The movie just took priority, definitely.

    LM: Being our first big major feature film it was hugely exciting for all of us. We did work closely on that as well.

    And then there is a development time. In regards to the voice actors we don't even always know who has been cast, so sometimes it's just as much a surprise for us as it is for you guys.

    TIQ: Hey, who knows, maybe that's something that could be rectified with the next Fan Series figure.

    LM: Yeah, maybe. *laughs*

    TIQ: So, this year's New York Toy Fair saw the announcement of a bunch of new My Little Pony toys, but the first one that really caught my eye was the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Meet the Main Six ponies collection. This stood out to me so much because these are brushable-sized figures, but they have molded manes and tails.

    Could you tell us what it was like developing the concept for this toy line?

    LM: Sure. I feel like this kind of came out of our Guardians of Harmony toy line and the positive response we got from having such accurate sculpts. So we wanted to take that response, apply it to our three-inch scale, and deliver kind of that same accurate same impression.

    That was it!

    And the manes capture their personalities well. So that is the opportunity to be able to include that was exciting and new.

    TIQ: That's awesome. That really is. Again, I absolutely love the amount of detailing that went into these toys. I still can't get over how accurate Rainbow Dash is with rainbow-colored hair.

    What were some of the unique challenges that came about when designing these toys?

    LM: I would say making sure you really achieve the character actor. You really can't skimp on someone like Rainbow Dash, because these characters are so iconic. So maintaining the integrity of who they are and what they look like just goes hand in hand. Pinkie Pie wouldn't be the same if she didn't have her huge voluminous hair and it just really captures them when you do them right.

    TIQ: Nice. It really shows the quality and care that Hasbro's putting into these figures and I honestly can't wait to get my hands on them. They look absolutely amazing.

    LM: Thank you!

    TIQ: Amazing. And speaking of molded figures. I noticed last year for the My Little Pony the movie, there were four figures in the Underwater Scene packs that were produced featuring Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Rainbow Dash which also all had molded manes. Were these a proof of concept for the Meet the Manes Six Pony Collection, and is it possible we might get two more scene packs featuring Rarity and Applejack?

    AE: Not sure. I think the molded hair captures the essence of the character and the scene and since those were scene packs, and that was more of the play pattern, the brushable hair is more of that play pattern.

    So it depends.

    LM: Yeah. Anything to do with molded character was definitely a purposeful execution for the play pattern like Andrea said.

    TIQ: So it's just more so a matter of "Okay this is a scene pack and we're trying to build a specific scene" as opposed to "here's a pony now go play with it however you want."

    AE: We also try to offer a mix of both because our core fans do really love the hair. So this is an opportunity to capture our characters in this new form as well as offer it with brushable.

    TIQ: So you get the best of both worlds.

    AE: Exactly!

    TIQ: Which means lots of options for play and to collect!

    So with the Meet the Mane Six collection, do you have plans to possibly expand beyond Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Fluttershy? I have a feeling that characters like Trixie and Starlight and Summer and Sunset Shimmer would really be runaway smash hits with this particular toy line.

    LM: I really love those characters. I think they could be really great in this kind of a pack. But we only have so many SKUs (stock keeping units) and a world full of characters. So you never know what you'll end up with, or where we'll end up with.

    TIQ: Makes sense. You can't put everything on toy shelves no matter how much you want to.

    LM: Exactly. A lot of the time we are looking across the board at where we're offering characters and making sure we do split it up. So yeah! Sometimes it just depends.

    TIQ: Yeah, kind of like how there's currently Trixie and Starlight are on the next Fan Series figure?

    LM: Yep.

    TIQ: Which actually that leads straight to my next question.

    What are some of the criteria that goes into the selection for a brand new My Little Pony Fan Series figurine?

    LM: I try to consider the action and what would be an awesome scene to bring to life. Another consideration is character selection of course. We started with a lot of villains and I guess you could say that I'm trying to bring some balance of power to our lineup and offering a lot of different options. I also try to bring the most dynamic versions of our characters and show different things.

    So with Trixie and Starlight, I really wanted to not only show friendship in action, but capture the humor! Up until now we never really did that with the Fan Series so it was a new opportunity and really exciting to see that.

    TIQ: I know EQD's owner, Sithesto, ended up flying straight to the moon when he saw the figure. Trixie and Starlight are his two absolute favorite characters and he has gone on record stating several times that this is the best My Little Pony toy ever produced.

    LM: *laughs* It's super flattering. Well thank him for saying that! It was really fun to work on, and I was really excited to get that one out.

    TIQ: Yeah so could we potentially see some other figures in the Fan Series that might end up featuring other characters besides ponies and villains? For instance, Dragon Lord Ember or Thorax and his brother, or I don't know maybe a couple of fun yaks smashing up the place.

    LM: *laughs* Potentially, we're always looking at the whole lineup and seeing who to offer, when to offer them. So you never really know.

    Again, there's so many ponies in this world. There's so many different great characters that we could potentially offer and it is challenging to make sure we come out strong with our selection. We want to deliver what will make you guys happy.

    TIQ: Well, I have the entire Fan Series collection so, you've made at least me very very happy.

    LM: And I'm glad.

    TIQ: Yes, I'm a big fan of molded figures and the quality that Hasbro's been producing since their Guardians of Harmony toy line came out has been astounding.

    AE: We're always trying to top ourselves.

    TIQ: Well it's working, it looks like you're really aiming to top yourselves with the toy sets specifically tying into Twilight's Magical School of Friendship.

    What were some of the challenges in translating the design of the school, and Pinkie Pie's classroom, into play sets?

    AE: That's always a challenge with any brand with entertainment. To interpret 2D storylines into a 3D toy ... for the play patters, fans, everything! So we do take some design liberties needed to create the best toy, and play experiences, and tell those stories for entertainment for at-home.

    LM: Yeah. It's hard when you're trying to bring friendship lessons to life. But the school does a great job of having little sections within it that do really cool things. A lot of the sets work with that, and tell the story about our friendship lessons. So the team has done a great job of translating that. It can be hard whenever you're working with these classrooms, but essentially we're trying to bring the character's personalities to life. So obviously you'll see a lot of that in all our sets.

    TIQ: That's awesome. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Q, read this to expand your vocabulary.]

    Now, I know you currently have a couple of friendship lesson assortments that were also announced at Toy Fair featuring Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy paired up with new characters Sandbar and Silverstream, respectively.

    Could we possibly see more of these lesson assortments? Assortment packs created featuring the rest of the Mane Six teaming up with the other four new characters that were featured in Twilight's brand new school like Oculus, the Changelings Smoulder the Dragon, Gallus the griffin and Yona the yak?

    AE: Great question. I'm not sure we I mean we only have so many skus so we're not sure yet.

    LM: Yeah I wouldn't rule anything out. Anything's possible.

    TIQ: And as long as anything's possible, that's great.

    So what was it like actually designing a toy for a hippogriff?

    LM: Are you speaking about Silverstream specifically?

    TIQ: Yes.

    LM: Well, that's one that we did work with her colors back and forth with the studio. One of the things we kept in mind was making sure that she looked really good with our Mane Six and also having a color palette that was unique to her.

    So that was really fun, tweaking that in the studio. Another thing we had to look at her in both forms because she does change from the pony to the hippogriff. Yeah, it was a cool and very unique experience working on a character who transforms innately.

    TIQ: It's not something that crops up very often in this Hasbro franchise.

    I also noticed that New York Toy Fair had a huge tower—I think it might have been at least eight feet tall—dedicated to nothing but all the plush toys Hasbro produces for My Little Pony.

    What are some of the differences that crop up when designing a plush toy versus a plastic toy? I have a gut feeling durability of materials is at the forefront of these differences.

    AE: We actually have a special dedicated team who just work on the plush toys and they're experts in their field so I can't really speak to that.

    TIQ: Well that makes things ... Well. Okay that's that question off the list. *laughs*

    So let's go to the ... So since the Equestria Girls team isn't here right now let's skip those questions and get straight to Cutie Mark Crew.

    Amanda White: Actually, the Equestria Girls Team is online right now.

    TIQ: They are?

    Angie Northrup: Yes, we're here!

    TIQ: Oh all right well-

    AN: It's Angie and Sulam on from the Burbank office. How are you?

    TIQ: Very good!

    AN: Good!

    TIQ: Could you two please introduce yourselves and tell the readers of Equestria Daily a little bit what you do for the Equestria Girls toy line?

    AN: Sure so this is Angie Northrop and I'm the Director of Design on the EG line in the Los Angeles office.

    Sulam Kang: And I'm Sulam Kang. I'm the Design Manager for EG.

    AN: So for all of the EG dolls, all fashion doll designers are based out here in Burbank.

    TIQ: Wow that's literally west coast and east coast when it comes to Hasbro.

    That's crazy. So, there were a bunch of brand new Equestria Girls dolls revealed at New York Toy Fair.

    You have the So Many Styles Assortment, the Friendship Power Assortment, the Friendship Party Pack. There was also a brand new style of three-inch minis which were also shown off at the New York Toy Fair.

    But one thing that struck me almost immediately about this year's dolls offerings is how a vast majority of the dolls no longer seem to have articulated elbows. Was there a particular reasoning for the change in the dolls this year or could we potentially be seeing more of the seven places of articulation come back in future dolls?

    AN: Well, our focus on for the first year was on the core line of the core dolls and the signature outfits. They had seven points of articulation. So we really see that's the place where you buy into the line where you can pose and dress your dolls so they have articulation in both the elbows and the knees.

    On the other assortments like the Party Pack and the Power Up, we've really focused on the features. It may change in the future, but that's how we started off.

    TIQ: Gothca, so it was moreso "this toy here can light up" versus "this toy here can move."

    AN: Yes, exactly.

    TIQ: Oh perfect. Perfect, which offers different ways of the playing with the toys?

    AN: Exactly.

    So what are some of the design elements that are different when it comes to designing human dolls as opposed to pony toys?

    AN: The difference is, it's about, we really focus on the passion opposed to the pony toys. So we love is that we put all these beautiful details and the fashion and that's what's really different about it. And also, every character has their own unique fashion and can really tell a story. So when we do Applejack or we do Rainbow Dash, we really focus on those fashions to really tell us the story with their character.

    The fact that they're in high school, what do high school teenagers wear, and how we look at it a little bit differently than we do on the core line.

    TIQ: So you could actually have a version of Applejack that's running around wearing jeans as opposed to a denim skirt.

    AN: Absolutely. You could say she was going to prom, they could be going to the dance, they could be going to the mall, they could be pony up and using their special powers. There's just so many different ways to tell the stories with their fashions.

    TIQ: And considering that there's also a couple of various styles for Equestria Girls, not just the classic dolls, but you also have the Equestria Girls minis which also came out towards the end of 2016 if I recall correctly.

    AN: Yes.

    TIQ: What was the design inspiration for that particular toyline?

    AN: For that one we really wanted to show the details on the sculpting. The poses are dynamic too, to really that kind of play with the character. So we really focused on their faces, the way they're holding their hands, the way their feet are placed, and then also you get those details on the fashions. Really wanted to show their different characters with those sculpts.

    We loved working on those!

    TIQ: What ends up going into designing a brand new Equestria Girls doll that ... I kind of get the feeling that the process for that is different than most of the other toy lines out there. Especially since you've got a couple of different Equestria Girls styles out there.

    AN: We actually looked at it from a trend and fashion lens so we looked at what are the latest trends out there and how would they trend for our Equestria Girls. So if our Applejack went to the store, what is it that she would buy or think is cool at the store and really kind of appeal to her personality as well as the character. So we did a lot of trend shopping and fashion. We also did a lot of online trend inspiration form fashion blogs and fashion sites.

    Then also we also worked with a fashion influencer and stylist who kind of helped us develop these fashions for our characters. And actually worked with the Disney Channel to help style those characters. So we really looked at if from a very different lens ... And we have a lot of legacy ... My team is majority, as opposed to the east coast, we all have fashion doll designers out here who actually come from the fashion industry. So it's a little bit of a different way of looking at how you design a toy.

    TIQ: It almost makes one wonder if there's going to be an Equestria Girls fashion show at New York Fashion Week.

    SK: Oh, good idea!

    TIQ: Hey that would be a fun way to promote the brand.

    SK: I know! I love it!

    TIQ: Now there were also the brand new style of minis that were shown off at New York Toy Fair that were smaller scale than the three inch minis, set in the set pose, but looked absolutely amazing. I wish I could send you a link to them so that way you could actually see what I was talking about.

    But, you know what's going on with those figures because I've been unable to find them anywhere.

    AN: They're sold at different outlets, so they're not sold on ... Actually Holly's on the line as well.

    SK: Yeah they're not sold at mass retailers, they're sold at certain channel retailers.

    AN: You can find them at more like a potentially grocery stores or different outlets. You won't see them at Targets or in Walmart, but you'll see them at a grocery store or a drug store. So, just different outlets. You definitely have to check that out and see if they're out there.

    You can still see representation of it out there. It's just like if you're a different store then you have a different offering there.

    Entices you to buy it because it's not at the toy store.

    TIQ: I think I'm going to have go hunting for them in more unexpected locations.

    AN: Yes, definitely.

    TIQ: So hopefully I can track those down.

    AN: Yeah, let me know!

    TIQ: Thank you!

    What were some of the main differences that you had to keep in mind when you were redesigning the dolls that were kind of lessons learned from the original Equestria Girls doll line that kind of disappeared for a little while.

    AN: We wanted to update them because it's been a few years since they launched, and to compete with what's new on the market. We looked to see what exactly does it mean to be fashion doll on the fashion aisle and how does a girl play with. So our biggest difference is that we looked at it as a different kind of aspiration.

    We look at it like these were actual teenage EG girls hanging out in high school. What would their look be? What would their proportions be? What kind of fashions would they wear and how would those fashions look on them?

    So we looked at it from the lens of today's teenager. Obviously we did a lot of trend research. We also looked to see what's on the market, to have the aesthetic that a girl looks at in the store right now. So that's the big difference of how we look at it these dolls this time around as opposed to the first time around.

    TIQ: Which I'm getting the feeling that the first time around it was like, "This is a toy. This is a character. This is how we see and feel that they would dress" as opposed to, "let's have these characters reflect girls and teenagers of today."

    AN: Yes. Definitely. We wanted to make sure that if you saw fashion on the EG girls, you would think "It's so cute! I would love to have that same outfit for myself to wear to high school." So we did the more realistic details that girls aspire to.

    TIQ: It must have been a very interesting challenge.

    AN: It was a challenge, but it's also incredibly inspiring because fashion has so much out there right. Now especially. Girls love to dress uniquely, like there's not just one different trend or one style out there. They want to be unique to themselves. Which is perfect for EG girls because they each have their own personalities that really reflect, not just who they are, but also what they love to do. It's just a great time in fashion that really kind of lent itself to our EG girls.

    And also you add inthat fantastical element. It's realistic high school teenagers, but... I mean what kind of girl wouldn't love having different colored hair, different colored skin—pink or purple—that really is different than anything on the market right now.

    TIQ: *laughs*

    AN: I'm a country girl, just FYI.

    TIQ: *laughs* So which characters have been your absolute most favorite to work on?

    AN: We love them all! I mean every one has such a unique personality that it's just fun to create that different look on them based on different trends. So I would say that they're all our favorites, we couldn't pick one.

    AN: Although I do this and I'm Applejack so… *laughs*

    TIQ: *laughs*

    SK: *laughs* For me preferably it's Pinkie Pie. I love the character. She's just so lovable and enthusiastic and so positive. I think I relate a lot to her.

    AN: And FYI, she's wearing a pink t-shirt right now.

    TIQ: *laughs*

    SK: *laughs*

    AN: She's literally Pinkie Pie today.

    TIQ: That's awesome. Wow, that really is cool.

    AN: Yeah we've had a really fun time. We really enjoyed working on it. It's just been so much fun to actually bring to life.

    TIQ: I can imagine, it's gotta be a big, big difference for working on these dolls from the previous years. So I'm really looking forward to seeing where the dolls end up going over the next few years. Especially with the Equestria Girls as the online series kind of grows, expands and changes. So, we'll see what ends up happening there.

    AN: Thank you. Yeah, we love this line!

    TIQ: You're not the only ones, so thank you so so much.

    And now to get to Cutie Mark Crew.

    AE: Yay!

    TIQ: I was absolutely blown away by seeing these brand new styles of collectible miniature My Little Pony toys. Especially since they involve the ponies as ponies, as sea ponies, and as Equestria Girls. So you basically get the best of absolutely the entire My Little Pony franchise in them.

    First question. Who came up with this brilliant idea for this new collectible?

    AE: I worked on it!

    We just want to try to create the most irresistible, cutest toyline style ever in My Little Pony!

    TIQ: *chuckles* Well… as soon as I saw them I was like "I need all of them. I can't afford all of them, but I need them!"

    AE: Yay! Me too!

    TIQ: Crazy! Now I know that there are a lot of variance for these characters. For, as I mentioned before, Twilight comes as a pony, a sea pony, and an Equestria Girl in this set. So how difficult was it designing a toy for a character, not just once, but three different times?

    AE: This is the first place you can get all six core cast members in all three forms! One world, all inclusive. Ponies, sea ponies, and Equestria Girls! The Cutie Mark Crew line is all about one world. It was very difficult to keep them all separate and create their own unique form factors.

    Ponies, I wanted to make sure Applejack still had her signature hat. And then the Sea Ponies, making sure their hair's more flowy, like they're swimming through the water. And then of course the EG girls were trickier because I wanted to get all those details on their clothes and fashions and everything.

    So it was definitely challenging for sure.

    TIQ: Yet you still had to keep all the toys accurate to the characters, while also turning them, not just into smaller versions of them, but basically chibi versions.

    AE: Yes! Definitely, yep.

    TIQ: Well you did a fantastic job if I have to say that my initial reaction and the online reaction for them has been anything to go by. So it's really, really well done!

    AE: Thank you!

    TIQ: These figures also come in a stackable case and are packaged with a collector's card and a pretty unique accessory. Like, for instance, how Equestria Girls Twilight is placed inside a package of french fries. How much fun was it to design the accessories to go with these pony characters?

    AE: Super fun! I just tried to choose themes and accessories that resonate with our consumer and fans and definitely add that humor in there.

    TIQ: Well you can't really get much more humorous than actually having Spike in a hot dog.

    AE: *laughs* Love that one!

    TIQ: I do too. It's so, so much fun!

    And then in addition to the characters with the three variants, there are also characters which are one-offs in the set like Spike, Princess Celestia, Princess Cadance, Cheerilee, Lyra, the pony known as Muffins, and Sunset Shimmer. What is it about these characters that make them different from the Mane Six character?

    AE: So they're all unique to their character. So, for example, Spike is a little smaller, and of course he's a dragon. Princess Cadence and Princess Celestia are princesses so they're all sculpted as such with their cutie marks in certain colors. The sculpt of cutie mark colors all make them different, just like in our core line.

    TIQ: I also noticed that a couple of them had glitter on them. Are these harder to find characters than the Mane Six? Like a chase variant?

    AE: Yep!

    TIQ: I can already see the online auctions and imagining the bidding for Sunset Shimmer going sky high.

    So currently, from what I remember from the plans at New York Toy Fair there are two waves of 24 figures and accessories each currently planned. Could we potentially see more characters appear in future waves of the toy line if it's a hit?

    AE: Possibly. *laughs*

    TIQ: It's been mentioned before that Hasbro has paid attention to the trends which have been going on in the My Little Pony fandoms, particularly with the fan art, over the last few years. This has been to see what's popular with the brand and how the core demographic is playing with and enjoying their characters.

    I also happen to know that's how Equestria Girls came about. So with that said and given how popular this particular variant of pony is in the fandom, especially the character of Flutterbat, what are the chances of getting a small line of My Little Pony bat pony toys?

    LM: It's true, we definitely pay attention to fan art, the forums, and what people are saying. I definitely have a soft spot for Flutterbat! I've been a big supporter so you never know. May happen, hopefully, never know.

    We're always looking for newness in our line so ... maybe! *laughs*

    TIQ: Maybe the bat ponies might be perfect to come out during the month of October because of a spooky holiday that month.

    AE: Yep! These things are all about timing too. So a big part of any time we're developing is character selection and timing.

    TIQ: Awesome. So last question. Is there anything else you would like to talk to the readers of Equestria Daily about?

    AE: We love our fans!

    LM: Yeah we know we have great fans and just know we hear you. We pay attention and we definitely read Equestria Daily. We're constantly striving to bring new experiences to life for you. Trying to bring the magic.

    TIQ: Well it looks like this year for Toy Fair it looks like you're really bringing your A-game for the magic. Here's looking forward to seeing those new toys on the shelves.

    LM: Yeah and we can't wait for you all to see more!

    TIQ: I'm really looking forward to it so thank you, thank you very much for your time and for sitting down for this interview again. It was a blast!

    AE: No problem, thank you so much!

    LM: Thank you, bye!