Friday, 27 February 2015

Damaged Goods Part 1: Discolouration and Fading

Ah, the First World problems of a Collector.  Those of us who collect vintage (and modern) toys tend to get a little obsessive about flaws, problems, and wear.  What can we live with, what won't we allow across the threshold of the Pony Room?

The unfortunate truth about vintage Ponies is that very few of these 30+ year old toys has made it this far without sustaining some kind of damage.  The even more unfortunate truth is that we're only going to see more damage coming out on these beloved friends as time passes.  In the next few weeks, I'm going to explore some of the more common problems that we see in vintage ponies, with an eye toward educating new collectors and warning FIM fans about what they might expect from their Ponies in the coming years.

This week's episode is on Discolouration and Fading.  These are probably the most common problems collectors encounter.


 MLPs are subject to numerous types of discolouration, and many of the problems discussed in later posts will cover these.  This week, I want to talk in more general terms.

Hasbro has, unfortunately, long used different types of plastic in manufacture of the head and body of individual MLPs.  Although the toys often look fine right out of the package, time will often show the difference as the dye used to colour the pony leeches faster out of one part of the pony.
Twilight and Feathermay will, unfortunately, someday resemble Wingsong
Head/body mismatch is one of the least popular flaws among collectors.  Unfortunately, it's something we've had to learn to live with.  G2 and G4 ponies are particularly prone to mismatch and I suspect this has something to do with the fact that their plastic is a bit more firm than G1 and G3.  However, you will see the same flaws in G1 and G3 ponies, but it's easier to avoid.  The unfortunate truth is, that certain ponies (Twilight Sparkle, Wingsong, Feathermay) are more prone to this flaw and it's quite difficult to find one without.
The two Peachys on the right are the same release, but the middle one is sun damaged.  The Peachy on the left is the Italian varient.
It's also possible for a pony to become discoloured rather than faded through  prolonged sun exposure.  Some ponies become darker rather than lighter with the sun, and are prone to "sun burn" and often discolour evenly across their bodies.  Some collectors may mistake these subtle changes in colour for a variant version of a pony, but really it only shows that a pony enjoyed outdoor playtime with a child.


It doesn't take much exposure to light to cause the bright colours of MLP to begin to fade.  Certain colours can begin to lose their vibrancy with only a few minutes of sun exposure.  Camera flashes and indirect light can also hurry fading along.

The most notorious colour for fading on MLP is a hair colour that collectors refer to as "fading pink."  Fading pink begins life as a bright, vibrant, almost florescent shade but if exposed to sunlight it quickly fades away and can turn completely white in a very short time.  In fact, it fades so quickly that often collectors discover that a pony whom they've always thought was made with white hair was actually rooted with fading pink.  UK Mountain Boy Tornado and Argentina Baby Ribbs are two such ponies, who are often so often seen with completely faded hair that they are thought to originally have had white hair.
Believe it or not, all of these ponies started life with the same bright pink hair that you see on the left
Although fading pink is (obviously) known for it's lack of colour-fastness, any colour can fade or yellow over time.  Red hues (including pinks, and purples) are known to leach out faster than other pigments.  This can cause pink or red paint to become white or disappear completely and purples to become blue.  These changes in colour can also be mistaken for variants.


Saturday, 21 February 2015

A Baking Party

Just for fun, a pony display inspired by my own baking party that's taking place this weekend:

Some Pony Friends decided one day to have a baking party.  They met in the kitchen on a sunny morning and got right down to business.  They were making pies, cakes, and cookies.
Cherry Sweet kept an eye on the pie in the oven so that it wouldn't burn.  It was her favourite flavour: cherry, of course!
Vanilla Treat and Cupcake were deciding what to make next.  They looked over the ingredients and considered what kind of cookies would taste the best.
Meanwhile, Bon Bon stole a taste of the batter already in the bowl.  Mmm...those cookies would be yummy whatever other flavours they added!
Looks like the friends are going to have even more help shortly.  Li'l Sweetcake and Li'l Cupcake are wondering if any of the baking is ready to taste yet.


Current Customs Progress:
Commissions: 0
Personal: 7
Swaps: 1
Planning Stage: 1
Gifts: 2

Sales Ponies to Clean: done!  MLP Fair here we come!

Collection photos added to album (recently): over 200 moved to new Flickr account

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Nigh 2

I've been busy with pen and ink as well as the paintbrush lately.  Part one of Roomy's serialized novel, Nigh, is now available for purchase on e-readers, and Roomy has revealed the cover for the second part.  Here is the art I've done for that cover.
Once again, you can see the finished cover on Roomy's blog here.  And if you're looking for a good fantasy-horror read, consider buying part one.


Friday, 6 February 2015

Guest Artist: Roomy's Mom!

Trying to blog weekly about your art projects when most of the art projects you're working on need to stay secret for the time being does make things difficult.  Time to ride the coat tails of another artist!
 Roomy's Mom retired a few years ago and got bored.  She decided that she would try to find a hobby, took some art classes, and absolutely astounded all of us with her hidden talent.
She has been painting with water colours for a few years now, and we've been lucky enough to claim several paintings that are displayed around our home.  This past Christmas we were hopeful that we'd be receiving another painting as a gift, but even better, we got 4.  Personally, I think mine are the best of the bunch. ;)  I love the backgrounds, the subtle switch between colours in Greek Sunbeam's tail, and Snuzzle's expression.



Current Customs Progress:
Commissions: 0
Personal: 7
Swaps: 1
Planning Stage: 1

Sales Ponies to Clean: still far too many

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Curating Your Collection - When to Update Your Wishlist

A few days ago a friend of Roomy's contacted her saying he had some G1 ponies for sale and asking if I was interested.  Naturally, I took a look, and then asked for prices and better pictures of a few.  Roomy, looking over my shoulder, says, "so...seaponies, eh?"

Roomy doesn't usually question my buying habits (unless it's "why aren't you buying this?"), but in this case she had a point.  I have gone on record several times that I did not want sea ponies in my herd.  So why am I looking at sea ponies now?  What make a collector change her mind?
I learned long ago that building a collection is an ever-changing project.  You start out thinking "I really don't like the look of 3-D symbols" and you go along for years avoiding ponies with them.  But then, one day, you see one in person and there's something about that particular pony that makes you change your mind.  Maybe it's the way her hair is styled, maybe it's the way the eye paint was applied that makes it look like she's looking over her shoulder, maybe it's something that another collector says about her.  Whatever it is, it makes you look at that pony, and maybe that set, differently.
I've done this several times.  3-D symbols, see-through ponies, "Shady pose," perfume puffs, all were banned from my herd at one time, and all have since found their way in through that one pony with something to recommend them (although I'm still not totally convinced on the perfume puffs).
That's not to say there aren't still things I don't like and don't want (Princess ponies, eyelash princess ponies, ballerina ponies).  I still have no intention of becoming a completest collector.  I'm still curating my collection.  It only means my collecting tastes, like other tastes, have changed over the years.  And that means, it might be time to update my wishlist.



Current Customs Progress:
Commissions: 0
Personal: 7
Swaps: 1
Planning Stage: 1

Sales Ponies to Clean: far too many

Collection photos added to album (recently): 51