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Author Topic: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)  (Read 735 times)

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Offline LadyMoondancer

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Hey guys, I was browsing the prototypes page on My Little Wiki and saw this early prototype:

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She's listed as being a Bubbles prototype, but to me she looks more like she's based on Minty (since originally Minty and the  rest of the Collector ponies were all going to have Cotton Candy's symbol . . . Her symbol looks more like Cotton Candy's than like Bubbles' to me.)

My question is, did the Hasbro employee who brought her actually say she was Bubbles?   If not, then I'm going to edit the Wiki to say something noncommital like "early G1 prototype", but I don't want to do that if someone from Hasbro definitively said "Yes, this is Bubbles."

While I'm on the topic of prototypes, am I crazy or is there something going on with these Twinkle Eye ponies' eyes?

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Their eyes are all the same color as their bodies and it almost seems like there are too many facets?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 02:58:01 PM by LadyMoondancer »
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Offline freezestime

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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2019, 03:14:31 PM »
Idk about Bubbles but yeah, you're not alone in the Twinkled Eyed thing. That's very unusual (and that's an understatement) It may just be a prototype for the eyes? It may be reflecting the inside of the pony thus the colour.
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2019, 03:37:35 PM »
I grew up with that ad and never noticed that before. I am guessing they all had clear crystals and are prototypes but it might be lighting? It being a uk comic ad means the set was probably already out in the US so it is a bit odd if they are prototypes ...
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Offline NightGliderSA

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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2019, 03:39:07 PM »
The TE eyes look like they are actually crystal. With the 'twinkliness' and amount of faceting. To me anyway.

Offline LadyMoondancer

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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2019, 04:00:29 PM »
The eyes being clear crystals would explain a lot . . .

BTW if you click on the picture you can see a larger version of it.

@Taffeta  Yeah, it does seem weird that they'd be prototypes at that late stage, but I don't think it's just the lighting.  Masquerade's eyes are kind of adjacent to her body color (yellow / green), but Fizzy's pink eyes and Gingerbread's blue eyes have such a big contrast with their bodies that they're usually really distinct in pictures, even at a distance.
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Offline Ponyfan

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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2019, 04:05:56 PM »
I also think the crystals might be clear and the ones that are reflecting colors are reflecting either the ponies bodies or the lighting used.


I love stuff like this. :)


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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2019, 04:22:34 PM »
Yet another case of Hasbro spending money on some minopr and illogical change to confuse us all 30 years on.

Also don't normal te eyes have some kind of backing..?
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Offline Galactica

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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2019, 06:02:57 PM »
Re the twinkle eyes-

They probably decided that the plastic twinkle eyes did not reflect well enough for marketing photos so they used something different.

I have a few dolls that were used for marketing photos during the same era- (Rainbow Brite dolls) they are stuffed extra thick, are ever so slightly larger, and have thick hand-rooted hair, and any paint on their face was drawn slightly more clearly/exaggerated.


So I'm sure with ponies they did a lot of the same things- used extra hair/extra-reflective crystals for the eyes-  anything that would make the pony look better in photos.  Remember photos back in the 1980s were pretty bad...

Offline BlushingBlue

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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2019, 11:17:39 AM »
[Note to self: don't post things at 3am :rolleyes:]
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 06:54:25 PM by BlushingBlue »

Offline Taffeta

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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2019, 12:02:35 PM »
That section has some issues for sure.

This isn't so much an issue of someone theorising that this looks like Bubbles and therefore putting that down. It's an issue of everyone just repeating that that's the case because Wiki says so.

I think Wiki is a great resource but covering so much material means it is full of mistakes. It isn't an all-knowing oracle but a collection of knowledge put together by collectors and so it's fallible. The fault for me is more with the assumptive nature that what it says is right, rather than it containing assumptions like this.

Bubbles is a sitting pony, shy pose came out at the same time as sitting pose, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that that's what she is.

BUT she might just be a pony that never happened.

I am not totally sure she is Bubbles, but I think it's more than just someone assuming that from her symbol.

If you think laterally, the first earth pony set are all the same pose. What if the same was going to happen with the 2nd? In which case, if that pose was the shy pose, then this potentially becomes a prototype for that set and her standing with her head turned isn't relevant to her character.

We don't know where the symbol thing changed, so here it seems more like a test subject to me - but if you are going to look at the 2nd set earth ponies and look for a character with a symbol close to that, Bubbles would be it.

...We have a lot of prototype images as a community where ponies are different poses, and colours, and species, and so on. So the idea that this is Bubbles isn't farfetched. The problem is that we lack proof that she is Bubbles - so it should be speculation, not fact.

But there's also a responsibility for collectors to use common sense and not just believe everything the wiki says without corroboration or questioning it.

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Offline LadyMoondancer

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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2019, 01:10:39 PM »
Thanks for the additional info!   I'll update the Wiki to say something more generic like "early prototype" when I get a chance and, yeah, move early Collector Minty into her own section.

Re the twinkle eyes-

They probably decided that the plastic twinkle eyes did not reflect well enough for marketing photos so they used something different.

I have a few dolls that were used for marketing photos during the same era- (Rainbow Brite dolls) they are stuffed extra thick, are ever so slightly larger, and have thick hand-rooted hair, and any paint on their face was drawn slightly more clearly/exaggerated.

So I'm sure with ponies they did a lot of the same things- used extra hair/extra-reflective crystals for the eyes-  anything that would make the pony look better in photos.  Remember photos back in the 1980s were pretty bad...

Ohhhh, wow that makes so much sense!  Yeah, photo editing was not really a thing in the 80s (at least without a lot of extra expense.)

Hmm . . . if they were changed for marketing, are they still prototypes?  I was going to add them to the section, but the TE line was probably already out in America at the time.  But they are a unique piece of Hasbro history and it would be good for them to be on the Wiki somewhere in case someone finds one at a carboot sale someday. 

I guess we also don't know for sure that they aren't 'proper' prototypes either, but I think the brighter eyes being put in for their shine does seem like the most likely reason for the crystal eyes.
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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2019, 01:40:11 PM »
Re the twinkle eyes-

They probably decided that the plastic twinkle eyes did not reflect well enough for marketing photos so they used something different.

I have a few dolls that were used for marketing photos during the same era- (Rainbow Brite dolls) they are stuffed extra thick, are ever so slightly larger, and have thick hand-rooted hair, and any paint on their face was drawn slightly more clearly/exaggerated.


So I'm sure with ponies they did a lot of the same things- used extra hair/extra-reflective crystals for the eyes-  anything that would make the pony look better in photos.  Remember photos back in the 1980s were pretty bad...

I wonder if that's why so many of the  pony prototypes we see in the ads seem to have their symbols painted instead of printed.


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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2019, 02:02:29 PM »
That section has some issues for sure. There's no way a Bow Tie posed Bubbles could evolve into an early Collector pony without time travel. :P The copy in that catalog picture even says it's Minty ("Menthe"), so...? A lot of [citation needed] there IMO. ;) (Other nit-picks: She was at Hasbro HQ and displayed during the 2008 facility tour, so she wasn't brought to the Fair exactly, and she's made of clay not wax.) Minty's symbol would have already gelled into clovers long before they started work on the second set of earth ponies, so I don't really see the connection there personally. All they have in common is white hair?

The color scheme/symbol of this prototype could be based on the original Minty, but that doesn't mean this is a prototype FOR Minty, if that makes sense. Like the BBE Sunlight, which most likely isn't a prototype for Sunlight, but rather made to test out the BBE gimmick. This "Bubbles" prototype could likewise just be for the purpose of developing the new pose. The color scheme/symbol could just as well be random and not based on any particular pony (released or unreleased).

The development of a product isn't necessarily linear. With so many people involved, ideas could change and be changed back several times. But the truth is that we know very little of what the design process was at Hasbro back then, so we shouldn't make assumptions and then state them as if they're facts (it's fun to speculate though). Like when a pony looks different in a catalog picture and people assume this is what it was meant to "originally" look like. It might be true it was meant to look like that at some point in development, but it might also be a very early prototype and never intended as the final design (I suspect this is the case for a lot shown in the 1986 pre-toy fair catalog).

Like this "Bubbles" description as mentioned. Unless any of this came from someone with connections to Hasbro, that seems like a lot of assumptions made.
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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2019, 02:04:57 PM »
Imagine bumping into this in the middle of the night... It's some kind of four-eyed sparkly lizard demon! :crazy:

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I really like Twinkle Eyes, but this is not Fizzy's most flattering picture. :P
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Re: Question on prototype G1 seen at MLP Fair (and also TE question)
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2019, 04:26:04 PM »

Like this "Bubbles" description as mentioned. Unless any of this came from someone with connections to Hasbro, that seems like a lot of assumptions made.

That was the point I was getting at as well.

But common sense kind of points out what BlushingBlue also mentioned about timeline.

However the Wiki is the product, as I said, of many collectors putting in stuff. There's a reason why academics don't allow Wikipedia to be cited in papers. Because it's full of stuff people added that they thought was right, but without any necessity to check the data or actually be right.

I like the Wiki and I use it for stuff. It's miles miles better than certain other sites are for G1 stuff, and it is easy to access and use. But, having spent a lot of time over the past 2 decades putting together actual pony details, it's really clear that Wiki is operating at best on broad strokes and is completely out of its depth with stuff that isn't in the mainstream US release.

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This still makes me twitch whenever I see it, but it sums up quite nicely how not accurate some of the Wiki is even for stuff for which we have concrete information. I also bring it up because, like the Minty Bubbles thing, it's the Wiki making up a timeline to suit what it wants to say, rather than actually thinking about the real timeline, which is different.

You have to wonder what happened to the rest of the Movie Star set, as they're on the wider site, but not in the navigation, and most of those ponies do not belong in the same year, or even in the same category.

A lot of the "Non US" (like that's a thing) pony dates are completely off or missing ponies from the navigation, even if they actually have slots on the site.

This is a personal twitch to me as someone who has been trying to get rid of wrong information about UK and European ponies for about as long as I've been in the community, but it does illustrate to me how you can't just assume Wiki is right because it's Wiki.

People need to be more aware that made up stuff and wrong stuff does go on the Wiki because nobody is moderating what is put there for factual accuracy.

The Bubbles thing also brings that same issue under the spotlight. The problem is that people cite it, refer to it and talk about it as though it's infallible fact because someone put it on a wiki. And that is almost as frustrating as the wrong information.

If I had access, and I went to the Wiki tomorrow and renamed all of the Sea Ponies Susan, then I guarantee that, in six months, if nobody changed it someone would list one of them on ebay under the name Susan. In three years time everyone would be calling her Susan. (If that sounds far fetched, it's exactly what happened with made up names like Beachy Keen and Dum Dum de Dum which I have seen crop up even recently on here O.o - names that appeared in faulty collector resources that nobody questioned way back when).

I feel like there's an obligation on the Wiki to be more accurate and assume less -but it's a Wiki. More important in a way is that people need to use Wiki more effectively and critically and rely on it as 'truth' less. We're all capable of not knowing things and making mistakes. Websites are just things created by people and Wikis especially are open to that because of multiple editing. Just because Wiki/Reef/MLPMerch/any site, including mine - says something is true, you should always be open to cross-referencing and checking that information.

It's a case of don't always believe what you read or you hear.

On another subject related to this, we already know that there are many stages in production from the different things that have come up over the years. Painted ponies like Paintingtime and company - but they don't match the ones in the insert, so there's at least one more layer of production and probably much more that we don't see. There are at least three pose versions for baby Schoolbag - the only real clue to timeline is that the TV ad features the version sold in stores, suggesting maybe the ad came after the insert and the backcard photo versions - but it's not for sure. Ponies aren't just prototype = release.

That said, in the case of the TE ponies, it's unusual because in the UK, when the release was a little behind the US, photographic promotion often used what was out in the US at that time. So we have inserts featuring blue heart Dazzleglow, who didn't get here, and Tuneful (Tunefull) with the more orangey hair, although here she tended to have redder hair. The club also advertises Twisty Tail in the US pose - but Hasbro's official UK release has her in the walking one. And Baby Splashes is featured with purple, not pink and aqua hair. I have two teeny weeny ponies Hasbro UK sent me as freebies in 1995 when I corresponded with them, and they both have the silkier curly hair that you see more on US release Teeny Weeny ponies (Lullabye/Tabby and Giggles) - but all the ones I bought in the UK had rougher hair typical of later European releases of these sets. The implication for me is that the ones Hasbro sent me were possibly ones sent from the US as samples and that's why they were knocking around the office unpackaged - they're entirely normal ponies, just they don't fit the timeline of the UK release as well as if they had come from the US production originally.

So in the case of these TE ponies, it seems more likely someone replaced the eyes specifically to do these photos, as suggested above. I don't think they're prototypes, or production samples. I think they're probably regular ponies made or altered to be photographed. The thing is that that image is an ad for ponywear as much as it is one for TE ponies.

I have this feeling there's an advert in the German comic which also shows TE ponies, but I don't have scans or images to hand I don't think. I wonder if their eyes are also amended for camera...

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