Over the last two years, the series 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' has become an incredible phenomena. A re-imaging of the toy line, it proved itself not only popular with its' target audience of young girls, but young boys as well. It became popular among parents as well, as the show had likable characters, a cute and eye-pleasing design, and covered lessons that other shows geared towards younger children usually neglected.
However, the fandom didn't really take off until the reveal of the 'Bronies'. A 'Brony' is generally defined as a young man, usually in their 20's, that is a fan of the show. The same characters and lessons that drew not only young children but their parents also appealed to this demographic. Due to this wide diversity in the show's fanbase, products had a considerably tough time pleasing everyone.
Most of the toys were designed with children in mind, keeping in-line with the same basic molds and 'real', brushable hair. Products for older fans generally ranged from printed t-shirts, to keychains, buttons, and other such items. While this served to please a lot of fans, anyone who wanted something that could be set out on a computer desk or table, that would be instantly recognizable as the character from the show was left a little in the dark. The closest thing to something like that were the toys distributed in Happy Meals, but these also faced some issues: They were limited to a short time period, still focused on younger girl fans(and as such, have the 'real' hair tails), and while some likenesses were spot on(Pinkie Pie, Miss Cheerilee), some were downright horrible (Rainbow Dash looks nothing like her cartoon counterpart).
Thankfully, Hasbro has come up with a solution to this. Licensing the characters out to Funko, the company has recently started to produce vinyl collectible figures. The first two produced have recently gone on sale at Hot Topic, both in-store and online, and feature two of the most popular characters: Rainbow Dash and...Derpy Hooves.
Name: Rainbow Dash Company: Funko Type: Vinyl Collectible Height: 5 1/2" (Five and one half inches) Price: Approx. 14.50 USD
This is really more of a figurine than a figure. Despite the noticeable cut at the neck, there is no actual articulation. the head and the body are just molded separately and then put together, causing the cut. However, since these toys aren't known for articulation besides twisting the head, I'm willing to forgive that in favor of a feature I have longed for: molded hair.
For the first time on a decently sized toy, this figure has hair molded to look more like the hairstyle on the cartoon. It is shaped to swoop down over Dash's forehead, as well as come down over her shoulders on both sides of her head. It's got that kind of shaggy, ragged style of the cartoon, and is painted appropriately. Oddly though, the side profile look that everyone is familiar with is done from on Dash's left side, as opposed to the right side as shown on the box. The hair is also colored appropriately, with purple, green, yellow, orange, blue, and even a little bit of red in the mix.
Her tail is also molded, in a similar fashion. The right side once again portrays the classic 'side profile' look, especially with the colors.
The paint job is pretty good, especially for the eyes and the cutie mark. This is the first time I've seen Rainbow Dash's cutie mark done really well (though, to be fair I've never looked too hard at the toys intended for younger children), and the eyes are also done pretty well. They're not 100% perfect, but the imperfections are minor. On her tail, there's a bit of red paint that splashed onto the yellow, but it's not a deal breaker.
Overall, for the quality of the piece, getting features I've been wanting on a licensed figure from the cartoon, I'd say this delivers. It's not perfect, as the paint isn't exactly what I'd hope for, but I'm willing to let it go. I'd give it a 4.5 outta 5
Okay, so to start, the base head and body are exactly the same as the Rainbow Dash. The only exception being that instead of the powder blue of Rainbow Dash, it's cast in a light gray plastic. Of course, her eyes are painted to be 'wall-eyed', as well as having her bubble Cutie Mark instead of Dash's cloud with the rainbow lightning.
The figure really comes into her own with the hair and tail molds, however. Both are cast in a solid yellow plastic, but are used from different molds. Meaning that Derpy Hooves has her signature hair floof, as well as having a more accurate tail design. It's one of several touches that helps make the two unique, and hopefully will continue with the future releases...I'm hoping that they'll do the other five of the 'Mane Six'.
As with the Rainbow Dash, some of the paint isn't quite perfect. One of her bubbles in the cutie mark looks like the paint didn't fully apply, giving it a few small spots that aren't white, and one eye isn't QUITE perfectly painted on. Beyond that, it's still really nice to have a Derpy to sit on my desk and keep me company. 4.5 outta 5.
Note: Because of a desire to avoid the issue that came up with the episode 'The Last Roundup', the box for Derpy Hooves does not, in fact, name her. Instead, it provides a 'I <3 Derpy' line instead, with her face in place of a name. I've provided a picture below.