For those who religiously celebrate Lunar New Year and also happens to like Hasbro's “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” toy & animated series franchise, the 8-inch “My Little Pony” Chinese New Year Pony that Hasbro offers exclusively through Toys R Us sounds like a perfect way to combine Asian culture and pop culture in one toy.
2014's Lunar New Year marks the Year of the Horse, so Hasbro being able to produce a “My Little Pony” Chinese New Year pony is fortuitous timing on their half. Since Lunar New Year is a time of festive celebration, Pinkie Pie—the pony who's always ready to throw a festive celebration—is a perfect fit as the Hasbro toy from “Friendship is Magic” to ring in Lunar New Year.
The “My Little Pony” Chinese New Year Pony is an 8-inch pony of Pinkie Pie decorated to celebrate Chinese New Year—or Lunar New Year if you celebrate the holiday but aren't Chinese. Pinkie Pie is wearing something resembling a red Cheongsam Chinese dress with golden decorations that ties in with her balloons cutie mark. Pinkie Pie's eyes are decorated with floral patterns and glitter lines her hooves. Her pink hair has some shiny streaks, which can be somewhat maintained with the included glittery green comb. In the end, it's a festive looking Pinkie Pie that looks like something she'd wear duirng a special Chinese New Year episode of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” that exists deep within a scriptwriter's mind.
So if Hasbro is able to combine Lunar New Year and “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” into one toy, why doesn't this Pinkie Pie tug at my collector heartstrings?
While this “Friendship is Magic” collector toy concept works well on paper, the execution leaves much to be desired. The red cheongsam is merely painted on Pinkie Pie, which makes the ornate décor as easy to wear off as the glitter on her hooves. The hair is a tngled mess that isn't like Pinkie Pie's poofiness. And common to most Hasbro “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” toys is how Pinkie Pie's toy face doesn't really look like her in the series. For about $25 before tax, this Lunar New Year toy is better off kept in the box to display.
Speaking of displaying, it feels most of the effort that went into making the “My Little Pony” Chinese New Year Pony went into the box, which is admittedly impressive. The front of the box where one can see Pinkie Pie in her New Year glory is a lucky red with simplified Chinese (too simplified for this Examiner to read). On both sides are other “Friendship is Magic” characters who have received a similar Lunar New Year style. The back of the box shows a colored illustration of what the Lunar New Year Pinkie Pie could have looked like in the animation while showing how different the toy turned out.
And when the box gets better praised than the toy inside it, something has gone wrong.