I’m a total blind bagged collectible addict and a sucker for anything with the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic characters on it. So the My Little Blind Bags that have just started to hit in America are pretty much my wallet’s (and my wife’s) worst nightmare. I bought half of the fresh case from my local Wal-Mart as soon as I saw them yesterday, and then ended up going back to the store and buying the rest of the box (and the box itself). I opened up and documented the code on the back of each blind bag and what pony it corresponds to on my blog last night, so if you need the code list it’s available over here. Covering two dozen ponies in one night is a bit much, so I’ll be splitting this review into two parts. Today I’m covering ponies #1-#12…
The biggest “Right” is the fact that Hasbro is finally releasing these blind bags in America at all! These blind bagged ponies were originally released last year internationally, primarily in Europe. Many of them have been available in America through open-window Toys R Us gift packs, but this is the first release for the whole of Series 1 in America. Blind bags for everything from LEGO Mini-figures to Mega Bloks to Disney Vinylmation are becoming incredibly popular in the United States, and it’s time My Little Pony got in on the action!
The release of this set is a huge boon for collectors wanting character diversity in their displays. In one fell swoop, this series releases 21 different ponies (and 3 freaky variants). That’s nearly as many ponies as Hasbro has put out entirely in the basic Playful Ponies scale from 2010-2012!
As this is the first series of this line, it was inevitable that the set would include the Main (“Mane”) Six ponies. I have all of these ponies in the basic Playful Ponies line, so I wasn’t too excited about having them in another scale. However, I was totally surprised by how much I like the Mane Six in this series! The molds here really capture the essential characteristics and personalities of most of the Mane Six. I’m particularly pleased with Rarity’s pose, a strut beautifully portraying her glamorous pride. I was also never happy with how Twilight Sparkle looked in the basic pony line, but I think this small 1″ figure of her is a superior depiction of the character.
There are only three ponies that don’t have Playful Ponies counterparts in this half of the set: Sugar Grape, Flower Wishes, and Minty. (Bumblesweet and Fizzypop were released in the basic line under the names Honeybuzz and Plumsweet, respectively, although Plumsweet’s deco is very different.) I especially like Minty, who I have a special place in my heart for, because Minty was one of the original six G1 ponies from 1982 (although this toy of her is based on her 2003 G3 design).
Each blind bag pony costs an affordable $1.96 at Wal-Mart, so you can pick up an entire set of 24 for less than 50 bucks They haven’t turned up at any of my other local stores yet, so I can’t say how much they’ll cost there, though I’d wager it’ll be $2+ and maybe even $3+ at Toys R Us. I don’t think that the name Hasbro dubbed this line (Kiosk Ponies) is the prettiest, but whatever.
For a 1″ non-articulated pony, I think that price may be a little bit too high. When you think about it, Hasbro gives us the full-size ponies with an animal pet, accessory, comb, and real hair for about $5 each. That’s only a little more than twice the cost of one of these blind bags. I think these could have been a little bit cheaper and been a much better value at, say, $1.50.
There are only five different poses for the 24 ponies, which didn’t necessarily have to be a problem. Unfortunately, it ends up being one because two of those five poses have the pony rearing up and standing on two legs. How often would the ponies really be standing like that? Not often. Every single pegasus pony is in this same awkward position, as are a bunch of the earth ponies. This pose is so distinctive that it really stands out like a sore thumb, whereas you can reuse a neutral pose a million times (and Hasbro has) on a pony without feeling the same visual burnout. Even if the pose is meant to simulate pegasus ponies “flying”, it doesn’t work for me having them unilaterally in the same pose. It looks strange and artificial.
I’ve had many people contact me wanting to know where they can buy these figures, and I have to report that the best source for them at the present time is unquestionably ebay. There are hundreds of listings on ebay for both the United States and international releases of the blind bag ponies, making it by far the best and easiest place to find them right now.Click here to check out the current ebay listings for My Little Pony Blind Bag figures!
My Wal-Mart received one case of the Series 1 My Little Pony Blind Bags, which I purchased in mid-January. So far, they have never restocked and I’ve never found the blind bag ponies available for sale in a store again.
As of writing, I’ve yet to find the blind-bagged My Little Pony toys for sale online on any web store. Amazon has 12-packs of the same style of ponies available (including the Mane Six and six unique ponies), which you can check out here. Otherwise, your best bet is probably to continue hitting your local Toys R Us and Wal-Mart until these finally show up in stores again.
Overall: In a lot of ways, this is Hasbro’s strongest and most ambitious effort with the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic toy line. In one set they’ve released as many characters as we’ve gotten in two years worth of the basic line, and also done a better job of representing the Mane Six characters like Rarity and Twilight Sparkle. At around $2 per blind bag, these are a great (though perhaps slightly overpriced) impulse buy item. I’m less than satisfied with the variety of molds used for this series, particularly with the sole pegasus mold being so distinctive, but I can live with it for now. Two more sets have already been released internationally, which I’m sure will be released in the U.S. if these pony blind bags sell well. I sincerely hope we do get the third series, as it contains Big Macintosh and other Clydesdale characters. As a pony collector, I’m excited about the potential for this line, and I’m in for some (but definitely not all) off the ponies released in it.