• Brony Appreciation Day - A Shoutout to Brony Crafters!

    My Little Pony has a 30 year history of crafty fans creating their own merchandise when Hasbro doesn't deliver exactly what they want. The unfortunate side effect of a massive company is needing to focus on pumping out mass produced figures on simple molds rather than carefully crafting super high quality collectables.

    The Brony world took this concept and expanded it beyond what anyone has ever done before. Thanks our techy audience with it's big wallets and need for pony that many a fan of this show craves, crafters in the fandom have had more than enough motivation to create amazing works of art to sell off to those that want to really pull their obsession with cartoon horses out of the 2D world and into the physical realm.

    Below, lets celebrate all the awesome people that sculpt, sew, mold, and generally make our wallets cry at stuff we wish we could all have!

    A Celebration of Brony Crafters!

    When brony crafting first kicked off, it was primarily focused on what the past generation fans used to work on - custom figures. They'd take pre-existing Hasbro ponies, strip the color, and paint/mold their own character or crossover with another franchise. A journey over to Deviant Art under "Custom Pony" will flood you with everything from Spiderman to Harry Potter.

    Hasbro eventually hopped on and started producing blank ponies, so people could skip the whole stripping process and just go straight to the creating, leading to even more of these being created.

    Working with an already existing mold wasn't nearly as exciting as what we eventually started doing though. The toy-tie-ins from Hasbro weren't as show-accurate as many people would have liked, so many a crafter just started building their own custom molds. Krowzivitch in particular has a whopping 32 pages of OC's, show ponies, pop culture icons, and other characters people have commissioned from her over the years.

    We didn't stop just at custom molds though. Many a crafter took it to the next level with full-on mini statuettes at quality levels that would make collectors anywhere swoon. You've probably run into Shuxer59 here a ton over the years. I'd honestly consider this level to be the pinnacle of figure crafting in the fandom.

    And quite a few people are doing the same with similar levels of expertise, like this masterfully crafted future Twilight Sparkle from Prototypespacemonkey.

    It doesn't stop at figures though! People like The Paper Pony have been putting together all sorts of amazing Friendship is Magic dedicated things for us to hang on our walls and display. Their shadowboxes have become a staple of conventions everywhere.

    And over in the woodworking world, Dustykatt has been popping these awesome cigar box guitars out pretty regularly, with custom burned-in art from people on the drawing side of the fandom.

    Traditional crafting materials aren't the only thing people use in ponyland though. KeenKris has put together these beautiful mosaics with LEGO of all things. I can only imagine how complicated something like that would be to pull off.

    How can we have a crafting post without the incredible works that the plushie side of the fandom regularly churns out? With the severely limited offerings coming out of Hasbro, and frankly, awful quality in some of the companies they chose to make them, the fandom saved the day on cuddly pony companion front.  WhiteDove-Creations regularly had displays at all of the early conventions. It was more of a spectacle than a shop!

    Just like the custom side of things, plushie makers have flooded us with all sorts of awesome designs, from pop culture characters ponified, to pony characters that aren't actually ponies ponified. Complete with the sweaters and socks we've all come to love from the art world.

    Some of these guys were pretty much plushified statues with the level of detail and craftsmanship that went into them.

    People wanted something a bit more realistic and interactive though. It was neat having a little plushie to display on your desk, but what about a character taking over your entire couch that you could use as a pony-shaped pillow? Thus began the rise of the lifesize plushie! I think this Trixie was one of the earliest created. The Deviant Art page it was originally hosted on is completely gone.

    Many a crafter put their unique patterns into the mix, with a host of plushie makers adopting the new giant format that people were demanding. These days, it's pretty much becoming a standard to have it as an option, and the price tag is nothing to scoff at if you want a full size version of your favorite cartoon horse.

    With year or longer lists just to get into the queue for one, the demand is ridiculous. It makes you wonder how much money Hasbro could make if they decided to get on board with the artisan crafting world. Though at this point I doubt they could ever come close to the level of detail some of these makers put into their work. QTpony in particular is one of the hardest plushie makers out there to get in line with. People have dumped the cost of a gaming computer just to enter his queue, on top of the cost of the actual plushie. 

    Crafters around the world have hopped on board to show off their talents, particularly in Russia where the demand for these is even bigger than the rest of the world, spawning all sorts of people churning out plushies left and right. Even they are inundated with commissions at this point, with LanaCraft joining QT in the year or longer queue list.

    And if you think that's impressive, check out the queue if you want an Agatrix pony! The fandom is starving for lifesize ponies!

    With that, It's time for some gratitude.

    Thank you crafters for delivering in an area where Hasbro has failed miserably.

    We saw a bit of good, show-accurate stuff from third party licensees like Funko and 4DE, but their limited lines and eventual closure meant our only shot at super high quality pony merchandise, the way we wanted it, was only provided thanks to the talent and skill of all of you!

    I know I've bought characters and items that wouldn't ever exist otherwise without your work. Thank you for being there, and continuing to make such amazing things for all of us to really embrace our beloved characters in the physical world.

    Particularly the Sweet Velvet side, cause shes the best ❤