The Art of the My Little Pony Collector
My Little Pony has been around since the eighties and it’s not going away. MLP Arena members show off their rainbow-bright collections and touch upon the reasons that made them collect to begin with.
“It’s really a kind of escapism. Being a grown up sucks! Sometimes I just want to go online and hunt down some ponies and ignore the real world for a bit. Some people have their hobbies, whether it’s model trains, sports, video games etc., and for me it’s ponies.” – Water_Fire
The harshness of today’s sometimes bitter reality can make us feel gloomy, and leave us wondering why we ever dreamed of growing up. Initially too naive to realise how rapidly those carefree summers would dissipate, we nowadays get an urge to slide into Peter Pan’s wonderland and be forever young. This isn’t to be. We all have an inner child trapped inside on a rainy day, so why not let her out to play?
My Little Pony isn’t just for little girlies with beribboned pigtails. Those sentimental plastic horses are as endearing now as they have been since the 80s, with a following to spin the world on its amazing floaty axis.
Collectors are passionate about their herds of loveliness – the humble and sturdy My Little Pony is a chariot to fantasies and freedom from times almost forgotten. Some My Little Pony collectors hold onto toys they have cherished since youth; others become entranced and hypnotised by our little equine friends by more circuitous and no less valid routes.
“Every pony I’ve bought is a day when I traded harmful habits for buying a bright piece of plastic instead.” – Candy_Bang
As a diversion from the more storm aspects, ponies take us to a place where we can forget about our assorted afflictions. They can symbolise more than just a piece of plastic and nylon: to some, they signify hope, accomplishments, energies positively channelled. A pony can prompt those beautiful withheld smiles to emerge.
“I don’t think people get it when you say a collection of plastic toys mean so much to you, but they do! They give me a chance to escape being an adult, they give me stuff to look foward to. I mean… Who doesn’t like getting mail?” – nearlyheadlessnayy
The process of My Little Pony collecting extends further than simply procuring some ponies and leaving them to gather dust (though I suspect mooks are cleanly creatures who won’t let that nastiness gather in the first place. Cursed dust…) Ponyfolk and collectors can gather in communities like MLP Arena to converse with one another, discuss customs (an intricate art) and – most understandably – to acquire more ponies.
Some collectors and artists even move away from the original aesthetic to create either sumptuous or bewilderingly terrifying modded versions of ponies – but at its core, My Little Pony collection is a celebration of joy, charm and simple comfort and happiness, much like an appreciation of Hello Kitty.
‘My Little Edward Scissorhands’ Pony. Sumptuous? Or bewilderingly terrifying?
Pony collecting does involve money, truth be told. Some take it to incredible levels, spending as much as hundreds of pounds on single toys, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm or a leg. I’m assured that shopkeepers aren’t into limbs, anyway. Explore your local boot sale or charity shop and you’re bound to find a bargain. Or who don’t want any wear and tear on Sir Stompington, King of Goth Boots, it’s a given that Amazon and eBay are a girl or guy’s best friend.
My salutations and gratitude are extended to the wonderful members of MLP Arena who provided photographs and quotations.
Tagged in: retro