It took a little while, but Hasbro has seemingly finally realized just what a huge property that have in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and its mob of “Brony” fanboys. As a result, Hasbro is responding to the outcry of My Little Pony cartoon fans everywhere and giving them exactly what they’ve been asking for: supporting characters from the show! One of the first major releases was a (sort of) San Diego Comic Con exclusive: Zecora!
Zecora is the wise, shaman-like zebra who lives in the Everfree Forest just outside of Ponyville and speaks in rhyme. One of the most mystical characters in the My Little Pony mythos, fans have been demanding a toy of Zecora since she debuted in the G4 cartoon, and now they’ve gotten their wish. Of course, the finished product of the Zecora toy may not be exactly what fans wished for…
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic cartoon fans have said loud and clear that they want more supporting and background characters from the show, and Hasbro is finally listening. Zecora is one of the most prominent and notable supporting characters in the cartoon, so it’s terrific that she is finally taking her rightful place as part of the 2012 My Little Pony toy collection. No matter what flaws this toy may have (and there are quite a few I’m going to discuss), I’m still glad to own my very own official Zecora My Little Pony toy. Huge props to Hasbro and a major “Right” just for the existence of this toy.
A character as important as Zecora getting her first release is a sort of major event, and Hasbro has done a great job of making this release feel really special by giving Zecora unique packaging and making her an almost Comic Con exclusive. Zecora gets her own special window box with unique illustrations on it, making her toy really stand out from the rest of the My Little Pony G4 toys.
In addition, while Zecora was available at San Diego Comic Con 2012, she was also available through the Toys R Us website and later in local Toys R Us stores. So there were plenty of ways for anyone who wanted a Zecora to get one, just the way it should be.
The toy itself has some issues. Probably my favorite part of this release is that Hasbro did an awesome job with the braid on Zecora’s tail, which looks absolutely fantastic. In addition, the paint deco for Zecora’s eyes and her cutie mark are spot-on and look tremendous.
Geez, I don’t know where to begin. I so badly want to love this toy, but when it comes right down to it, Hasbro’s execution is very, very poor. First and foremost, Zecora’s jewelry should have been done as separate molded pieces. Painting it on looks pretty ridiculous–especially since Zecora’s bracelet is only painted partway across her leg before it just cuts off into oblivion. Even worse, Zecora is missing her earrings entirely–a crucial part of her character design. For a figure that’s double the cost of a regular pony and includes no accessories, could Hasbro have managed to budget in some simple jewelry? Yeah. I think so.
Furthermore, the choice of plastic for this Zecora figure is horrendous. Rather than molding Zecora in a show-accurate grey, Hasbro confoundedly opted for quasi-transparent glow-in-the-dark plastic. So instead of looking authentic to her appearance in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon, Zecora ends up looking sorta… green. The glow-in-the-dark feature doesn’t even work well–Zecora’s body glows much stronger than her head, so the whole figure just looks odd in the dark. Zecora is a sort of mystical character in the cartoon, so I can almost see where Hasbro was going with her toy, but ultimately the toy ends up looking plain silly because of the decision.
There are also missing paint spots on my Zecora, and her hair just isn’t quite on-model. But really, these are small problems compared to the more notable ones mentioned above. I could live with these issues if they were the only ones, but they compound with the more significant ones and make this Zecora toy really feel subpar.
Overall: By nature this is an exceptionally difficult item to assign a grade to. Hasbro is clearly making strides in giving My Little Pony Friendship is Magic cartoon fans exactly what they want–show characters–and that is to be commended without reservation. What’s not to be commended is the half-assed execution of this toy. The glow-in-the-dark plastic used for Zecora’s body is jarring, her hair isn’t on-model, her bracelet isn’t painted all the way around, and her earrings are missing entirely. On the other hand, it’s a huge boon that Hasbro gave us a Zecora toy at all, and they got some aspects of the figure exactly right. Taking all of the circumstances of this figure into consideration, I’m giving it a grade that’s average. This toy is a must-have for fans of the My Little Pony G4 cartoon, but the toy itself is really nothing special and easily passable for general My Little Pony collectors.