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Author Topic: A long overdue introduction... [warning: tl;dr]  (Read 347 times)

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Offline SpacePinto

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A long overdue introduction... [warning: tl;dr]
« on: December 01, 2018, 06:39:43 AM »
I've been actually planning to make an account and write this introduction for several long months now, but I could never bring myself to it. I really wanted to do this but I knew that it would mean bringing up certain memories I'd rather stay away from and that it would probably prompt someone to ask questions I'd rather not answer. Still, it was very important to me and I've already waited for way too long, so I thought to myself, what the hey. So here it goes.

My first encounter with My Little Pony was when I was only 9, way back in 1996. Every Friday after school, me and my sister, who was one year younger than me, would go to the local VHS rental place to rent something to watch over weekend. Our parents would let each of us rent exactly one tape, and as everyone knows, over two days of watching the same tape is way too long for a kid, and while my sister would always rent something for girls like Little Mermaid or the MLP cartoon, I would usually go for something gender-neutral like Duck Tales or Animaniacs (I never liked typical boys cartoons like Transformers or GI Joe) so she usually just ended up watching my tape as well. After some time I came to conclusion that it wasn't fair that she got to watch two tapes while I had only one and decided I might as well just silently join her when she's watching hers while acting completely uninterested, hehe. That Friday, she just happened to have rented one of the three pony tapes, and the first four out of eight episodes on it (I think they were some unofficial bootlegs since I couldn't find any info on them anywhere) were the Tambelon storyarc. First I wasn't very impressed when it started with hide and seek, and even when all those unicorns started disappearing, I was sure it would be something typically girly like some evil candy witch kidnapping them and putting them in candy-cane cages or something. Then came that creepy dream sequence, with one of the unicorns saying the ominous sounding word "Tambelon" and a demonic ram appearing. Boy, was I surprised! And then came the legend of a cursed city, the invasion, Troggles shooting with their laser lances... By the time part 2 started, I was genuinely interested in the story, and overall I was pretty impressed with how awesome it actually was, even though deep down I kind of felt it was unfair for a cartoon for girls to be this good, lol (yeah, I was about as bigoted as any nine year old boy) Then the next two episodes were Crunch the rock dog which wasn't on the same level as Tambelon but I still found it pretty creepy, and the last two were Baby It's Cold Outside which wasn't bad either. By the time the tape was over I hoped that next Friday sister would pick another pony tape, and what do you know, one week later my wish did come true. This time the first four episodes were Magic Coins with all the adventure and quests, and at this point I was completely hooked, and wasn't even trying to hide it. My sister was pretty amused about it, but she was also happy that I actually liked a show for girls. From then on, we would often watch ponies together on weekends, sometimes I would actually ask if we could rent the Tambelon tape, haha. To be honest, that's probably one of the fondest memories of my childhood, partially because MLP was something I discovered thanks to my sister and never would have learned how great it was without her (which was also the first time I learned not to believe in silly gender stereotypes) and partially because it was our little secret (back then you would never live it down if other kids found out you were a guy who likes ponies!) which kind of brought us a little closer together.

But of course, all good things must come to an end eventually. It went on like that for about a year, until one Friday by the end of summer 1997 we came to the video rental place only to discover to our shock that half of all the shelves, including the entire children's section, were completely empty. At first I was telling myself they were probably doing some cleaning or something, but we were told that they were actually replacing their stock. I still kept clinging to the hope that maybe somehow they would still keep ponies, but alas, when the shelves were full again, it was all entirely new tapes. At first I was distraught, but kids get over things pretty fast, and it wasn't long until I moved on to other things, and some time after that was when I initially grew out of children's cartoons.

It wouldn't be until many years later when I rediscovered ponies for the first time, already as an adult. It was spring of 2006 and I had just discovered this incredible newfangled thing called YouTube. Drunk on the excitement of suddenly being able to instantly watch countless number of music videos, old commercials, movie trailers or even full TV episodes, I suddenly remembered that old pony cartoon I used to watch, and of course it wasn't long until I searched for "My Little Pony". Most results were actually for the latest generation of ponies at the time that I wasn't familiar with but I also found what looked like an unknown episode of the old show. It was uploaded by a user named ZombieMunkey (strange how I still remember it after all these years) and the episode's name was "Ponies in Paradise". After just a moment I realized something was off, I didn't recognize any of the characters and there was even an airplane! After finding another episode with the same characters called "Slumber Party", I decided to do some research and clear my confusion. That was when I learned that the original MLP actually had another unrelated show in the early 1990s called My Little Pony Tales. I also learned there was a feature-length cinematic movie about something called Smooze, two TV specials (one of which I had already known from the tapes) and that the current different generation was called G3. That was when my great adventure with using the power of Internet to explore ponies began. I watched some of the old episodes that I didn't know about before, like Bright Lights, and I also became fan of MLPT which had its own unique charm (I remember there was a website with all episodes available for download in terrible quality). I would also browse plenty of fanart and watch tons of videos on YouTube. What was especially popular at the time was fan-made music videos with pony clips, I particularly remember one Finnish girl who would make videos using both G1 and G3 clips (like a video with "I just can't wait to be king" playing to scenes from "Friends Are Never Far Away") That was also the time when I first discovered this very forum and I was captivated by all those colorful pony avatars and all the positivity, but back then I only lurked a little and never thought about actually registering, which in retrospect probably wasn't a good choice.

This period lasted for about two or three years, which was a very fun time, but since later the same year I got into university, over time there was less and less time for ponies. And then... bad times came. I won't get into details here, but let's just say that having to mention it at some point in my story was the main reason why I kept delaying this post for so long. Anyway, I was not in a mood to think about ponies, or nearly anything for that matter, and by the time me and other people affected by this finally somewhat recovered I couldn't bring myself to go back to ponies. They reminded me too much of a more innocent time that was now lost forever and just thinking about it was painful. I was pretty sure I was done with ponies forever. Until the last year...

It was just few weeks before the Christmas of 2017, early in December (I can't believe it's been almost a year since then!) My first package from Amazon had just arrived. It was a complete series on DVD of a show I had been searching online some time before, I couldn't find it anywhere for download but it was on Amazon so I set up an account and had it ordered. Having the DVD box in my hand and realizing I can just buy things I can't find online as long as I'm willing to pay for it gave me an idea... I knew I probably shouldn't do it because of the painful memories (plus by that point the franchise had gotten rebooted again and its latest incarnation was attracting the kind of fanbase that actually made me a little embarrassed to be a guy into MLP), but it was just so tempting... So just like all those years earlier on YouTube, I searched for "My Little Pony" on Amazon and, after going through all the G4 items I didn't care about, I finally found a Shout Factory release for G1! I actually felt slight tingling in my stomach. Then I saw in the "frequently bought together" that you can actually buy the complete MLP series AND the MLP movie AND the complete MLPT series! Just thinking about having it all in one place, in good quality, and being able to watch pretty much any piece of G1 animation whenever I wanted, it immediately chased all the doubts away. Or maybe time had just healed the wounds a little by then. Either way, I ordered all three, paying extra for ultra fast delivery, and soon after I had all DVDs before me. While opening the cases, I still had my doubts, didn't know if I really wanted it. But then I thought about Tambelon, about the adventures, about anticipating Fridays and about watching pony music videos in the 2000s, and I decided to go through with it. I ended up binge watching all the discs over and over. Like I expected, it wasn't really the same and it did bring up some painful memories, but it was so worth it! Besides, isn't life about learning to deal with our pains? Anyway, my love for ponies came back with double force. I would watch every episode multiple times, analyze every detail and look for extra info online, but that wasn't all. This time I wasn't just focused on the animation, I wanted to explore MLP as whole. I started reading about all the different years and poses of G1, learned which toys and playsets inspired the show, and even discovered the UK alternate canon (which made me a huge fan of Majesty). I'm even planning to start collecting toys, mostly the ones featured as characters in the cartoon but also some of the others that are cute as well (like Parasol or the adorable Bridal Pony), in fact I tried to buy a lovely Wind Whistler recently but literally got outbid in the last second, lol. I also decided to finally make an account here, although it took me quite some time to bring myself to it, and then I spent another few days revising and rewriting this introduction to make sure it's just right, but now it's finally here!

So there you have it. Sorry it took so long but I really had to pour myself out. Thank you to everyone who read it all.
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Offline Safflower

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Re: A long overdue introduction... [warning: tl;dr]
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 06:53:05 PM »
Welcome to the Arena :)

I was really excited when I found the Shout G1 DVD too :) There is a lot of info online about G1, it's great :) When I first started collecting, I just read everything I could find and tried to absorb as much as I could! The arena is a wealth of knowledge so I'm sure you'll like it here :)

I look forward to seeing you around the boards!
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Offline amanda34

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Re: A long overdue introduction... [warning: tl;dr]
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 06:57:50 PM »
Hello spacepinto, I've just read your very moving Intro and wanted to say "Hello". collecting MLP is great, whoever you are and Wherever you are in the world right now.  :) Have fun and enjoy. :biggrin:

Offline achab1984

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Re: A long overdue introduction... [warning: tl;dr]
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2018, 03:05:22 AM »
Welcome to the arena! :) WOW! That was a really long introduction! :)

Offline Griffin

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Re: A long overdue introduction... [warning: tl;dr]
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2018, 06:38:09 PM »
I'm happy to hear you've rediscovered your love for ponies! Welcome to the Arena, you'll surely find many likeminded people here. :good:
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Offline SpacePinto

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Re: A long overdue introduction... [warning: tl;dr]
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2018, 04:46:25 AM »
Thanks for all the replies!
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Re: A long overdue introduction... [warning: tl;dr]
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 01:09:51 AM »
Hi & welcome to the Arena!
Have fun here :D
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