On the topic of deciding what to include in a collection, unless you’re only collecting one-of-a-kind (OOAK) items the question of doubles will eventually come up. I’ve never been hugely interested in collecting doubles of the same character (even my Snuzzle/Peachy army doesn’t admit just any old pony – there has to be some significant difference between ponies for me to keep both). This decision was made partly as a concession to space, or the lack thereof, that doubles take up. I have enough ponies with individual characters to fill the Geek Cave, never mind adding 300 Peachys. There are many collectors who collect armies of the same pony (by which I mean same version of the same character) and they can be really cool collection pieces, but it’s not something that works for me.
Naturally, for every rule there’s an exception. When I started collecting Nirvana versions of Peachy and Snuzzle, I thought I’d focus on the ponies that looked significantly different from the original Hasbro versions. That hasn’t actually been the case so far, although I still want to add more of these different versions to the herd. But the majority of my army are the Nirvana versions that look pretty much like the Hasbro versions. The thing is though, they do have their differences. The eyes, the hair, the way the symbol is placed, these subtle differences make collecting these different versions interesting.
|Back row: Lily Ledy Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Greece, 2 Italy;|
Front row: Factory Sample, Flat Foot, 2 Concave Foots, 2 Macaus.
The Nirvana ponies are also an exception in that I view them very much as different characters from the Hasbro originals. With G2-4, Hasbro started to rerelease characters much more frequently than they’d done in G1. If I didn’t need both the short and curly haired versions of Bow Tie in my collection, then I certainly didn’t need 300 Pinkie Pies in different poses. I made two exceptions in G3 – Cheerilee and Cherry Blossom and Minty and Christmas Minty. In both cases the design was different enough that I was able to look at them as separate characters.
G4 might be considered the generation of the rerelease. That was fine for awhile, I only needed one of each Mane 6 character. Then Twilight Sparkle became a princess. OK, I’ll keep an original and a princess version, no problem. Except they’ve put out about 10 different versions of Princess Twilight and I like them all and how do I choose which one to keep? This is when Roomy suggested I could consider keeping more than one version and the G4 Princess army was born (because once the dam was breached, there were several versions of Celestia, Cadence, and a few of Luna that I also really liked).
The dam was indeed breached. I have the original Mane 6 figures. But these pearlized versions would look great on the Crystal Empire part of the display. And obviously I’ll need the sea pony versions for the Seaquestria display. And I really like this particular version of Pinkie Pie…the list goes on. And, as usual, the way I looked at a later generation changed how I looked at my G1s as well. I’m not quite at the point of needing that second version of Bow Tie, but I have made room for a couple of doubles under specific circumstances. BBE Tiddley Winks came from an old friend when I bought her childhood ponies. I already had NBBE Tiddley Winks, but the BBE version was so nice, and I had her nursery playset now, I felt I just had to keep her and I’ll have a set of twins (I need to come up with a second name though).
|I chose to have the same version of Spike that I'd had as a child, but when the MO and Lavender Castle versions arrived, they stayed.|
Am I more open to collecting doubles now that my want list is getting a little smaller, with mainly more expensive items on it? Probably. I know many collectors who are now looking for both Hong Kong and China versions of common ponies. I’m not there (yet) but who knows what will happen.