Friday, 12 January 2018

2017 - A Ponified Year in Review

2017 was a bit of a different year for me, as far as my collection.

For one thing, there was no Pony Fair this year.  Although Roomy and I initially planned to attend Hascon, the price of the tickets forced us to change our minds.  We did, however, make the drive to Ohio for a smaller Pony Meet, which allowed us to visit with many (but not all) of our international collector friends.
The vintage section of the Geek Cave
Although I worked on a few customs, only three of them were completed.  As these three were all Christmas gifts, you'll be seeing them in a few weeks now that they've been delivered to their new owners.  Several others remain works in progress.  Apparently, without the Fair to motivate me (read: the panic of con preparation), I do not do well with finishing customs.
The SSC collection, all new over the last year.
At the end of 2016 I finished paying my student loans, which meant that this was the first year that I had more fun money to spend on ponies.  And Strawberry Shortcakes, as it turns out. There was also the giant bag of ponies, which I'm still nowhere near finished sorting through.  The end result was that my collection grew by quite a lot, especially on the vintage side.
New G1 additions in 2018.
I'm looking forward to 2018 and seeing my international collector friends again at two events this year: the Pony Fair and the new Canadian Pony Collectors Extravaganza, both happening this summer.  As much as I've enjoyed adding to my collection (and believe me, I've enjoyed it), I've really missed the chance to spend time with my fellow collectors.  Bring on the summer of 2018.


Friday, 22 December 2017

Holiday Display at Elfpony's, 2017

Every year the Ponies gather at the Dream Castle for the Holidays.  The early arrivals are already beginning preparations for the celebration a few days before the festivities really get under way.
Ponies and friends from all across the lands are beginning to arrive.  Lots of sleighs and hot air balloons will be arriving over the next several days.

The decorating committee is already hard at work making the Castle look festive.  But how do the lights always get so tangled up every year?
Inside the decorating is coming along well. Pinkie Pie is running the show, of course.
Fluttershy and Sky Skimmer have hung the garlands and are now discussing butterflies they have known.
The food committee is already hard at work as well, getting snacks ready so the decorating committee can keep their energy up.  They'll have more than enough to keep them busy, preparing for all the meals, snacks, and of course the feast.
Supervising everything are Majesty and Celestia (as they also compare notes on ruling), while others also renew their friendships.

Here is the full display.  This year's theme is based around ponies who have alternate versions across generations, either directly or those sharing similarities.  I would have liked to include more of these, but the table is only so big.

I hope you've enjoyed the display, and that you have a lovely holiday season.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Holidays at Elfpony's, 2017 (Teaser)

Welcome to the Holidays at Elfpony's house.  The Ponies will be making their appearance next week, but in the meantime...
The Strawberry Kids are all on their way through the snowy woods to the Berry Bake Shop, where Strawberry Shortcake is hosting a Yule party.

There's plenty of baking going on already at the Bake Shop, and the Kids who are already there can't wait to dig in.  After lunch there will be hours yet of snacking on sweets and opening gifts.

Here's the inaugural SSC holiday display.  It's quick and dirty, but it's cute and I get to show off some of my favourite characters.
I hope you'll come back next week to see the Pony display.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Curating - am I doing it wrong? - part 3

Baby Northstar and Baby Nightsong.
Are they the same pony, just different versions?  Or are they different ponies?  It depends on which collector you ask.  They have the same symbols and pose, but they were released in different markets and look markedly different.  Do I keep them both or do I chose one over the other?

(Spoiler alert: right now they are both on my shelves.  In all honesty, that stunning pink hair is the reason I decided to keep Baby Northstar, who was never on my want list to begin with.  I may yet change my mind.)

What about Baby Gusty and Baby Explorer?

They're the same two sets, but in this case they look very similar - almost to the point of being identical.  Do I use the same criteria to decide whether I keep one or both?

I tend to think of think of these sets as different individual ponies, but similar enough that I originally chose the European releases over the North American releases.  But when I bought that bag of ponies in the summer I ended up with 3 of the 4 North American releases too.

The fact that they're in my house is not reason enough to keep them, but it's reason enough to reconsider (after all, it makes more sense than changing my mind in a year and buying them again).  I've also never been a set completer, so I may keep some but not others.  And I can always change my mind again.

This is part of the fun, and frustration, of collecting: actively deciding what you do and don't want to add to your collection.  There's no wrong way to do it, no set of rules, except what you set for yourself.  And it's good to reevaluate from time to time.

Happy collecting, and curating.


Friday, 17 November 2017

Curating - am I doing it wrong? - part 2

I have always been the collector who, when faced with a choice between two versions of a character, chose one to keep and that was that.

Then I became an army collector, basically because I couldn't decide on a single version of Princess Twilight Sparkle.

Now I find myself having a difficult time deciding on which version of a pony I want to keep.
If you were to look at my want list, you would clearly see that green-haired Napper was on it.  However, I found purple-haired Napper second hand a few months ago and figured I would keep her as a placeholder.  Well, that worked well until I had both in hand and decided that I actually liked them both.

This is something I've noticed about my pony collecting. Often I'll change my mind about a pony when I see her in person.  I attribute this to the small differences on individual ponies - the way the hair sits, the slight differences in paint application, the way they've worn over the years.  It gives them a personality.

And now I have two Nappers in my collection.  I suppose they're twins.


Friday, 3 November 2017

Curating - am I doing it wrong?

Recently, I came into possession of this:
A big bag of ponies, almost 100, nearly all of them G1s.  Of those ponies, about a third were ponies I didn't already own, another third potential upgrades, and all of them in very good to mint condition.  It's the kind of local pickup lot that collectors dream of.
Original curl and near-perfect symbols that still change?  Yes please!
I'm still sorting through the lot, but I naturally started by cleaning the ponies that were on my want list. As curating goes, adding these ponies to the collection was easy - they were added to my want list because I spent time at some point deciding that I wanted to own them, the mental work had already been done.  Seeing them in person only confirmed my previous decision.
She's pretty, she's mint, but she's not on my want list.
There were also ponies that I didn't own, but who weren't on my want list.  What to do with them?  Some were easily "rejected" - nope, I'm still not interested in you, sorry.  Some were harder to dismiss.  Happy Glow (above) is one.  She was, in fact, the only pony of her set that wasn't on my want list.  Probably this goes back to when I detested this pose combined with my preference for the other ponies in this set over her.  But now, here she is in my house, clean, mint condition, and paid for.  If I'm going to keep her, now is the time.  But is the fact that she's here and in perfect shape reason enough to keep her?
Different pony, same problem.
I don't think there's a right answer here - only a collector can decide what is right for her collection.  The point is to make a decision, not to collect blindly, or by habit but to say "I want that!" and know the reason why you want it.


Friday, 20 October 2017

That's not a Pony

Not a pony?
Well, yeah.

Last year I began collecting Strawberry Shortcake dolls.  This began somewhat by accident when several dolls, both vintage and anniversary reproductions showed up at the local thrift store. Since they were complete, I picked them up with the intention of reselling them.  Before I did manage to sell them, however, a few more ended up in my possession as part of a lot of Ponies that I bought at a local geek sale.  As I spent more and more time researching these, I eventually came to remember how much I'd enjoyed playing with them as a child.
Crepe Suzette (with her crepe hat!) and Eclair Poodle
I'd been considering collecting just the pets for some time beforehand, as an addition to my MLP collection.  They would have fit in well with the G1s' other pets.  But now I've made the jump fully into SSC collector instead.
Hasbro's Plum Pudding
Luckily, the SSC vintage line is not huge, and I have little interest in the myriad of later generations that followed (only in the Hasbro dolls, and there are only 7 characters there) so this won't take up a lot of space (that SSC house though...).
Vintage North American SSC dolls with their not-so-vintage Brazilian counterparts
However, much like in MLP Brazil had it's own line of vintage and not-so-vintage SSC dolls that I've fallen in love with.  The attention to detail in design and manufacture of these dolls is such that I could see myself becoming a completist in regard to the Brazil dolls, at least.  It's still a much more limited number of figures than MLP, at least.
Bonus points to you if you can spot the Brazilian MLP with the Brazilian SSC
Is there always something else to collect?