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Author Topic: How baity is enough for a custom ?  (Read 350 times)

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Offline RoseNoire

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How baity is enough for a custom ?
« on: January 02, 2019, 10:12:52 PM »
Hi everyone.

I always run into this dilemma when I have a custom idea. I usually find a "baity" pony (from any generation) and then get a custom idea by looking at it, but then, I stop and wonder if the pony is that much in a need of a customization or if it would be better off staying as it is or being restored.

You see, I love collecting ponies and I'm more in a mindset of preservation and restoration rather than customization. I'm not picky either, so I end up buying somewhat okay ponies that would be a shame so custom. The worst is when I have more than the same pony. What should I do with the doubles ? They are not worth selling, but not really worth customizing either. And I don't have the budget to buy them the necessary material to restore them, but that doesn't mean I will never have it so they could be restored in a distant future.

So, yeah, I end up having conflicting ideas, so I turn to other collectors, getting their opinion on a pony by showing the pros and cons of customizing it but I still can't convince myself to have a go and remove that pony from existence. It feels like decarding a MOC to me. I'm not even that good at customizing either so they feel like they are worth less after a full body repaint and rehair. They look wonky to me. I can't convince myself to touch a fakie for the same exact reasons. And I know, practice makes perfect, but that would mean sacrificing plenty of ponies before getting them perfect !? Not good either. 3:

I really don't feel good customizing a pony for my own collection. I'm not satisfied with my customs. It's just a bit better if they are made for a friend. I feel selfish scraping an original pony for my own pleasure. And yet, I love the idea of custom ponies, I'd love to make great pieces of art with them but I remain scared of ruining it more than anything.

I must look so dumb, versatile and indecisive, but that's exactly the thing, I. don't. know. and I hate myself for not having a fixed opinion and feeling on the matter. I don't even know if anything I say makes sense.  :sad:

So, yeah, my apologies, I needed to vent. But I wouldn't have posted that topic if it was only for myself. I want to have your opinion on the subject, what you think and feel about it and what you would do in that case ? I'd like to know how you perceive your collection, if you're more of a curator, a restorer or a customizer or a mix of that. The main issue with me is that I'm kind of all of them at the same time depending on my current mood/mindset so I want to know how you deal with that if you're kind of similar.

Thanks a lot for your patience. Have a nice day.

Rose.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 10:14:38 PM by RoseNoire »

Offline BlackCurtains

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2019, 10:21:51 PM »
If it doesn't make you happy, you could commission someone else for your ideas. But I know that's not always easy or feasible with money, shipping, ect.

What other forms of art do you like? Maybe you could draw the pony instead. That way you can still fulfil the idea and make art without the guilt :)

In the meantime, you could practice on fakies until you're confident enough to try real MLP again.

edit: To answer your question; I really love restoring even if parts of the community consider it still "customizing". I do repairs, repaints and rehairs. Even on Nirvanas ;) I also customize. And I also just collect.

I don't sell ponies. They are all part of my personal collection. I collect because it makes me happy and it's fun. So if  one of my ponies makes me sad when I see it, I fix it :)
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 10:30:14 PM by BlackCurtains »
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Offline RoseNoire

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2019, 10:28:36 PM »
Indeed, I could draw them and everything would be fine, but It's the idea of having an actual physical figure, the custom itself, that is really nice. I guess I should make clay statues, but I'm bad at that and I don't have the right clay for that.
And yeah, commissioning someone is way too expensive for me. Plus, it's the idea of making art with the pony, not asking someone else to do it. :/
And I don't like working on fakies that much more either, since they deserve love too. :/

Offline Skeen

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2019, 10:33:00 PM »
I think that if the pony is at the point that restoring her would be basically customizing her anyway (repainting whole symbols/rehairing the whole thing), you might as well customize.  She's getting all new hair & paint anyway. 

Offline LadyMoondancer

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2019, 10:37:22 PM »
I get where you're coming from on having "so-so" ponies who don't meet your collection standards, but which aren't really bad enough to customize.

I usually put them on eBay for a few dollars, or bunch them together in lots.  They may not bring in a lot of money, but you'll get more than if you didn't sell them.  :)

If that sounds like too much work, you could donate them to a thrift store.  I mean, if a kid gets them they may scuff up the pony or something, but the pony will be being played with and a kid will be enjoying it, and I think that's pretty cool.

As far as what to use for customizing, there are Crumpet-pose fakies that are pretty common, plus the HQG1C ponies.  (I know you said you don't like customizing fakies either, but I've seen PLENTY of fakies with severe haircuts in thrift stores . . . You could at least practice your rehairing skills or whatever, if that interests you.)

The HQG1C ponies are not the cheapest ponies, but to be honest I think we as a community should push back against the idea that a "customizable pony" should automatically be "cheap pony."  Like, the only reason people have that mindset is that originally people were customizing duplicate ponies that they happened to have on hand because at the time it seemed like the thrift stores would never run out of G1 ponies.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 10:39:29 PM by LadyMoondancer »
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Offline Cottononi

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 10:56:29 PM »
I think it's not the condition that matters, rather than the rarity of the pony. If you have a near-mint condition Peachy, Lemon Drop or shy pose Confetti, I'm pretty sure nobody would give you any bad looks for turning those into customs, since they are so common that there's always tons of them available (Not to trash on those ponies or people who like them, of course!). Then, if you have a little bit rarer/more sought after pony (Lemon Treats, Yum Yum etc...) you might not want to customize them even if they need re-hairing or some paint restoration.

But in the end if you bought a pony it's your right to do whatever you want with it. Even if customizing pony X in Y condition might not be that smart of an idea, people should be civil enough not to bash you on that.

Offline LadyMoondancer

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 11:05:14 PM »
Someone would absolutely have people giving them dirty looks if they customized a mint Peachy, Lemon Drop, etc.  (And especially shy pose Confetti, OMG.  She wasn't sold in every country!)

It's not just about $$$ or rarity, it's about taking something that's survived 30 years and just . . . scrubbing it out of existence.

But the money angle does tie in to what I was getting at before . . . I think that, because custom bait ponies have traditionally cost $1 to $3, sometimes there's a general attitude of "if a pony only has a market value of $1 to $3, then it's custom bait even if it's a good condition pony."  Which I disagree with.
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Offline Cottononi

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2019, 11:26:39 PM »
Someone would absolutely have people giving them dirty looks if they customized a mint Peachy, Lemon Drop, etc.  (And especially shy pose Confetti, OMG.  She wasn't sold in every country!)

It's not just about $$$ or rarity, it's about taking something that's survived 30 years and just . . . scrubbing it out of existence.

But the money angle does tie in to what I was getting at before . . . I think that, because custom bait ponies have traditionally cost $1 to $3, sometimes there's a general attitude of "if a pony only has a market value of $1 to $3, then it's custom bait even if it's a good condition pony."  Which I disagree with.

I guess you are right. My opinion might have been affected by the fact that my only touch with customs comes from different blogs from early to mid 2000's, when it might have been more acceptable to remove Peachy's paint with acetone and just customize her. Today it might not be as encouraged to do so.

Offline Noasar

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2019, 01:03:21 AM »
Why don’t you practise on fakies, and then when you are more skilled buy a HQG1C?

I really don’t agree with customising G1’s unless they are really common AND genuinely really baity,  I’m  talking regrind, mould, cancer, fungus, discolouration...the lot! Like Lady M said, they’re 30 years old. Unless it’s going to come out looking much, much more improved than it did before, either restored or customised (like Isabella Klein standard of customs), sell it to a collector who will appreciate it, even it it’s not perfect :)
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Offline Eldarwen

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2019, 01:20:57 AM »
If it's not possible to restore the pony, then it's baity enough for a custom. For example, missing hair is easy to replace and eyes/symbols can be repainted, marks can be sunfaded. There's always collectors who are not picky and would love to have these ponies.

I don't think it matters if its a Peachy or not, we will not get any more new Peachys. If everyone keeps customizing common ponies, one day they will not be common anymore.


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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2019, 02:37:19 AM »
This dilemma is why I really only feel comfortable customizing G3-4, or doing alt rehairs at the most on G1s. I use the knot method, so the rehair is 100% reversible. I always try to keep in mind that there are only so many of each pony, and more get taken out of circulation with each custom, mistakenly trashed box, etc. I realize that sounds a bit hypocritical because I don't see a problem with customizing G3 ponies, but I feel like there are still so many yet discovered/in the collector marketplace that there's no large drawback to that. Once G3s are $10 a piece, I'll feel a bit sour over it.
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Offline LadyMoondancer

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2019, 02:46:48 AM »
Oh, I just remembered something!  Hasbro actually STILL sells blank white G3 ponies (online only) which are specifically meant to be customized. 

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Re: How baity is enough for a custom ?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2019, 09:53:41 PM »
Someone would absolutely have people giving them dirty looks if they customized a mint Peachy, Lemon Drop, etc.  (And especially shy pose Confetti, OMG.  She wasn't sold in every country!)

I was going to hop on that point as well - there was a discussion like this a while back when someone in the UK wanted to customise a Honeycomb and she got backlash because Honeycomb's a UK pony. People told her to use a Surprise instead, but Surprise wasn't sold here, so it's all relative as to what you have available. One person's trash pony is another's treasure, so the rarity of the pony is subjective and regional and NOT grounds for deciding to customise IMO.

Shy Pose Confetti is quite common relative to other ponies in the UK and probably in the other places she was sold. But I feel the same about saying Surprise is common so should be customised - I have never found a regular Surprise in the wild here, nor any of her set, so to me they are super-rare for not being sold here. A person in the US would probably customise a Surprise easier than a shy pose COnfetti. A person in the UK the opposite. And the OP lives in a place with Italian ponies...which may be more common there, but may still be sought after outside.
I am basically with the idea that if the pony is wrecked beyond repair then it is ok to customise it. But to me any kind of restoration that involves rehairing and or repainting the pony automatically makes the pony a custom anyway. Or at least 50% a custom. There are lots of different views on this, just like there are lots of different ideas on what is a rare or common pony, so it's better to be guided by your own instinct. If you are having doubts that the pony is bad enough, I would do as LM suggests and sell those or donate them on and look at other options. For me, a pony loses all value if the hair is replaced, even if the hair is cut. For other people, it increases the value. Thus for me a hairless pony is a custom bait. But for others its an opportunity to perhaps get a rarer pony cheaper.

HQG1C are not cheap in Europe. Even with European suppliers. Just putting that out there. NOt that they are cheap or should be seen as cheap, but they are more not cheap in this part of the world because there's an extra import cost involved. I don't really know if that's a practical choice if you are experimenting, rather than making something to sell. People who make customs for commission can reap some of that investment back (like you see with doll customisers), but I absolutely don't think that you ought to spend a huge amount to practice a skill.

And I guess the retro ponies probably aren't in Belgium? Albeit those are also more expensive in Europe than in the US.

Ponies just aren't that numerous in Europe vs the US in general, which is also a small issue. But as has been said, people originally customised like mad because there were tons of G1s about. Now there aren't, so while nobody is going to judge you for customising ponies, it's probably better to only customise those that are beyond help.

Maybe look for lots of ponies that are already hairless or something like that?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 09:55:37 PM by Taffeta »
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