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?


Friday, 6 October 2017

Cataloguing continues - G1s are looking dapper

I took a week off from work in September for no reason other than to relax at home.  Which, of course, meant spending a lot of time playing in the Geek Cave.
Active Applejacks in Pony Workout
Heart Throb wearing Hearts and Candy
I had great fun dressing up the G1s in ponywear to take pictures of what I have.  Half the fun was deciding which pony would wear which outfit.  Most of them were chosen so that their personality matched the outfit, although a few were throw backs to the images from the old 1980s pamphlets.
Party Time wearing Party Time, of course
Glory liked roller skating in Rescue at Midnight Castle
I've also recently gotten around to photographing the G1 playsets.  Were I to get rid of any playsets (and this seems unlikely), these would not be on the table.  Like the G1 ponies, the playsets are my absolute favourites.

Luckily (space-wise) there is only one more G1 playset that I want to add to the collection - the Waterfall.  As this was a water toy, I've been particularly picky about the condition of that particular set.


Friday, 22 September 2017

Cataloguing continues - Generation 4

As much as I hate to see the weather begin to turn toward colder temperatures, it does mean that I can spend more time in the Geek Cave, and more time on my cataloguing project.  The project is closer to completion than it's ever been before!
I love this set.
I've finished all the photos for the G4 collection now (ignores giant pile of unopened G4 ponies for the moment).  Having done this, I'm going to start reorganizing the accessories by type.  For the other generations, I've always stored my accessories by set.  In the case of the G4s, however, the ponies are displayed completely within their playsets, rather than in rows on shelves.  This being the case, I prefer to use several accessories to enhance the "scenes" displayed, and not always within the sets they came with.
Shouldn't Rarity's Boutique have more clothing?
Those accessories that aren't used on the shelves will be stored by type (food, clothing, combs, etc.)  Without ten+ years of familiarity with the sets, I find it easier to locate the various bits and pieces that I'm looking for this way, and easier to put them away again later.  After all, if I ever need to put the sets back together, I have my photo catalogue to refer to.
I couldn't wait to open all the new sets!
I've mentioned the giant pile of unopened G4s a few times in the last months.  Of course, I've still been buying ponies as new ones come out (and as stores have sales!), but I've been leaving them in their packages until I have all the existing accessories and ponies sorted.  Roomy is looking forward to the great G4 opening party that will happen shortly, maybe more than I have been!
These don't seem to match any of my sets. Could they be extra bits left over from ponies bought for custom projects?  I don't remember!
The G4s have been the most frustrating to catalogue.  They should have been the easiest, since they were all bought new in package.  And yet, as I reviewed the photos I did have and the accessories that were piling up, I found that I was missing photos of several sets.  I'm glad the project is nearing completion, and I can just go back to enjoying the ponies again.


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Back to School in Dream Valley

It's the first day of school in Dream Valley!
Painting Time is dropping off Baby Pictures for the first day of school.  The rest of the class is already there, playing outside the schoolhouse.
Starlight comes out to ring the bell.  It's time for school to begin!
Everyone take your seats! Baby Schoolbag has an apple for the teacher.
The first lesson of the new school year! Let's get to know each other.
The next lesson of the day is on the History of Ponyland, given by guest teacher Wind Whistler.  She knows all about history.  And geography.  And...well everything, really.
After that it's lunch time. The students go out into the yard to eat and get in some playtime before the afternoon classes.  Starlight keeps an eye on everyone.
Baby Alphabet is more interested in reading her book than lunch.  I hope she remembers to eat before lunch time is over.
After lunch the students have free time to do what they like, and it comes as no surprise what each one chooses.  Baby Pictures is painting, Baby Count-A-Lot is doing sums, Baby Alphabet is determined to finish that book.  Baby Schoolbag can't decide what to do, so Starlight asks her to help out tidying up the classroom. Baby Schoolbag likes that, she wants to be a teacher when she grows up, too.
The last class of the day is a music class with Music Time.  It looks like most of the students are enjoying the class, but one of them seems to be distracted.
Finally school is out for the day.
Baby Pictures shows her mom what she's done at school that day. Painting Time is happy that she had a good first day of school.
Baby Alphabet is borrowing a couple of books for the evening.  Starlight is happy she's enjoying her books, but hopes she'll remember to have dinner tonight, as well.


Saturday, 19 August 2017

Castles, Castles, and More Castles

Hasbro, we need to talk.

It's about the castles.  I don't know if you're keeping track, but there are a lot of castles in the world of MLP, and the number seems to be increasing exponentially.
Now, I like a good castle as much as the next unicorn, but this is becoming problematic because I, personally, do not live in a castle.  I'm running out of space.  Where am I supposed to keep all these (increasingly giant) castles?
The Dream Castle was the first MLP castle, and still the best in my mind.  It made a huge impression on my childhood self, so much so that I still have anger issues from the (original) MLP Movie when the ponies gave up Dream Castle to live in Paradise Estate (which they then spent a lot of time complaining about and repairing - that'll teach you ponies to move out of the perfect home!)
The G2s may not have had much in the way of backstory, but they knew a good living arrangement when they saw one.  Their castle (which I pined for for years) has a fireplace, a grand staircase, and a candelabra, although it was missing a resident dragon.
The G3s also knew a good castle when they saw one (with the possible exception of the beach-loving pegasi).  Castles were getting larger by this time, with elevator technology, three storeys, hot air balloons, and plenty of space for tea parties!  They were larger, but at least they still collapsed down for storage.
The G4s though.  The G4s have taken castles to a new level (a three-foot level)!  There's a castle for every princess, queen, or visiting dignitary in Ponyville!  The ponies themselves may have gotten smaller, but the castles have more rooms, more stairs, more elevators, more tea sets, more libraries, more balconies, more width, more length, more height, and less ability to collapse.  They're beautiful, and creative, and freakin' enormous.
And this is the problem.  I love the castles, but I'm out of real estate.  I do not have space for another giant castle, or a medium-sized castle (maybe a small castle).  So what I need is either a moratorium on castle construction, or to join Castles Anonymous.

So what do you say?  How about next year we take a castle break?


Saturday, 22 July 2017

New Additions

Summer always means a slow down on Geek Cave development, since it gets hot in there.  I have SOOOOOOO many G4 accessories to go through and organize, but I am nearly done with photographing the G4s (at least the ones that are out of their packages).
I have also added some new G1s over the last few months, so of course they get cleaned and photographed and added to the collection.  I'm most excited by my Macau Jenny - the first addition to the Snuzzle/Peachy army in a different colour scheme - and my Argentina pink Pretty Parlour.

Much of the work that needs to be done right now involves organizing and figuring out where things will go in the new(er) Cave.  It's not the most exciting stuff to be doing with a collection, but it will lead to having more room to play in there later on.