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Author Topic: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?  (Read 677 times)

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Offline Artemesia's Garden

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'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« on: October 05, 2021, 12:29:02 PM »
I have heard a bit of controversy over playsets like this Canterlot Castle,

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where they have a lot of detail but it's not sculpted fully 'in the round'. However as someone with limited space and an interest in detail, I decided I really like the two I have: Canterlot Castle and Golden Oak Library. What do you think?

I also found this article on the technique of relief in sculpture which, once you get past the initial definition seems quite interesting...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relief#Mid-relief

Oh and P.S. I'm on the hunt for Tirek's pointy staff thing! Does anyone have a spare?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2021, 05:56:59 AM by Artemesia's Garden »
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Offline Luxrayx

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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2021, 01:17:47 PM »
I happened to find the Golden Oak Library in a thrift store recently, and I'm so in love with it!! The detail is so much nicer than the "proper" G4 playsets, and like you said, it's perfect for limited-space collections :inlove: I'd love to have the rest someday for a full display.

Although... If I was a child, I would've HATED it. How can you play with half a library? TOTAL immersion breaker! :lol:

Offline lovesbabysquirmy

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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2021, 12:09:41 AM »
total cheap out.  the ultimate MLP playset when I was a kid was the Paradise Estate
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Offline Artemesia's Garden

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Re: \'cut out\' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2021, 02:19:41 AM »
I happened to find the Golden Oak Library in a thrift store recently, and I'm so in love with it!! The detail is so much nicer than the "proper" G4 playsets, and like you said, it's perfect for limited-space collections :inlove: I'd love to have the rest someday for a full display.

Although... If I was a child, I would've HATED it. How can you play with half a library? TOTAL immersion breaker! :lol:

Congrats on your thrift store find! I agree about hands-on play being a bit limited, but it is really great to look at. I wonder if they were a nod to teens and adult tastes...

Post Merge: October 06, 2021, 02:23:37 AM

total cheap out.  the ultimate MLP playset when I was a kid was the Paradise Estate

My favourite was Dream Castle, I'd have probably loved the Lavender version. P.E. was massive! I don't think I've ever seen one in person except at Ponycon.  Possibly too big for my house  :blush:
« Last Edit: October 06, 2021, 02:23:37 AM by Artemesia's Garden »
:heart: ISO G1 Daffodil, Crumpet in de-flocking condition, Waterfall blue towel, Waterfall bubbles bottle with white writing; G3 Flower Wishes and Candy Cane, Baby Northern Lights...Accessories from FiM Collection Canterlot Castle: Tirek's staff, Phoenix and stand, open book :heart: Pony Page :heart: Wish List :heart:
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Offline SkyCakes

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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2021, 02:57:31 AM »
I never was into half playsets. I do have maybe a few not very many like 2 of them. I love my older ones at least its a full playset. My favorite was Dream castle. I did have the show stable and the pretty parlour but that was it. :huh:

Offline Ragamuffin

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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2021, 03:13:32 AM »
I agree it's cheap. The worst part about the Canterlot Castle was that it was being sold for $40. It's not very big, one-dimensional, and comes with very few accessories. You really only get a throne and a table in terms of furniture with this one. Few unique accessories if any, most of these are reused from previous sets (I bring this up because G4 was bad about accessories-- throwing in reused accessories for the sake of having accessories, disregarding theme or purpose, such as the Wedding Castle's seashell cake). $40! That's the same price the current G5 castle is going for, and that's 2 feet tall, for use with the standard 3" ponies.

I got the Sweet Apple Acres barn from the FiM collection when it was full price at Toys R Us and it's a decent display piece if you're a FiM fan, but $20 is a lot and you get so little. I'd say it's worth $12 TOPS, as in, that's what they should've charged for it initially. It's nicely detailed on the outside with stickers and such, but when you turn it around, there's nothing on the inside. There's SOME sculpting but it's hard to make out because nothing is painted. It would've been awful to play with if I had this as a kid. When I was little I hated sculpted details on playsets that weren't painted. As an ADULT I hate it, and especially when it's so small, and when everything's in the shadows like these playsets are, it's all hard to see.

Not to mention they would be flimsy to play with. You'd be knocking it over and putting it back up every time you moved your pony. So at that point they're just backdrops... so what's stopping you from printing out a picture of Canterlot Castle and using that?

I understand "it's more expensive to make toys nowadays" but have you seen toys in a similar price range? Honeybee Acres and Woodzeez, etc? Much better. Everything's painted, tons and tons and tons of accessories. Good value, good quality for the price. Modern MLP is trash, objectively speaking. Poor quality control and everything costs too much for too little. A tiny pony with dry knotted up hair costs $4.99 because it has the "My Little Pony" branding on it. They sell better quality fakies right next to the MLPs for $1.99 and are twice the size. Great hair, better paint, better quality.

Similarly, you have MGA who puts their dolls in actual hemmed clothing while Barbie is only dressed in paper-thin, unhemmed, oversized t-shirt dresses with things printed on them. When I was a kid, if you wanted a Barbie overalls, the overalls would be a full piece of overalls as you would expect, with pant legs and all, maybe small little beads to simulate buttons. There would probably be a t-shirt sewn onto them, and everything would be Velcro'd. I saw a Barbie with "overalls" recently, except it wasn't overalls, it was a paper-thin, unhemmed, oversized t-shirt dress with "overalls" printed onto it, but only on the front side. They have 20th anniversary Nutcracker dolls out that have no detail... everything is just printed on. When I was a kid, the Nutcracker dolls had actual lace and ribbons and detail on them. MGA puts REAL CLOTHES on their dolls, yes they're a bit more expensive, but the quality is day and night. If you buy Rainbow High you're going to get more bang for your buck than Barbie.

Didn't mean to go on a rant there but it's hard to justify anything like this when everything else Hasbro is doing lately (since 2013ish but especially 2016 onward) is awful. If these "playsets" were $15 or less I'd be fine, but they're charging $20 to $40 for absolutely nothing. I also say this as a big playset enthusiast. I had tons of G3 ones as a kid but as an adult I have Paradise Estate, Prancing Pretty Carousel, G2 Playcase, Sweetberry's Kitchen (G2, not sure what it's actually called if it has a proper name), Celebration Castle, Cotton Candy Cafe, the G4 Wedding Castle, and the Barn. Actually, both barns, the one released in 2010/2011 and the FiM Collection barn from ~2016. These FiM Collection "playsets" should be compared to other MLP playsets of similar scale, such as Petite Ponies and G3 Ponyville, and in that regard, it's still embarrassing. Both of these series had full three-dimensional sets with detail and several accessories, yet these sets from the 2010s couldn't even do that. Very few accessories, no room to play, no real "playability". Just a wall.
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Offline Leave a Whisper

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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2021, 03:23:10 AM »
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Offline Artemesia's Garden

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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2021, 06:13:39 AM »
I realised that I don't really play with stuff physically any more, I just build diorama and photograph them. So for that purpose a backdrop would also be good but wouldn't cost £40. But they do stand by themselves on my display shelves rather than having to be stuck to the wall.

On the subject of value, I think it's important to keep an eye on it and agree that companies will try to make more money if they think they can. I bought these used and second hand though, so I didn't support them at full retail price. I also found Pinkie's Sweet Shoppe and Rarity's Carousel MIB from this set that i must have bought in clearance. The only thing I bought full price in G4 were single brushables because I used to love going to Toys R Us and finding them.

I guess the Explore Equestria sets weren't great iether, they weren't show-accurate because they were made into little carry cases, but they did have some cool accessories. Pinkies canon :heart:

My favourite G4 playset is Pinkie's Friendship Express Train though, because of it's playability. When we have a load of kids over for a party I usually leave this out for them. I have two sets of tracks, spare carriages and a big group of brushables
:heart: ISO G1 Daffodil, Crumpet in de-flocking condition, Waterfall blue towel, Waterfall bubbles bottle with white writing; G3 Flower Wishes and Candy Cane, Baby Northern Lights...Accessories from FiM Collection Canterlot Castle: Tirek's staff, Phoenix and stand, open book :heart: Pony Page :heart: Wish List :heart:
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Offline Wardah

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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2021, 06:20:28 PM »
Sorry but you are not allowed to view spoiler contents.

I think it's more that things aimed at older kids get more care put into them. They think toddlers don't care. Barbie Extra is aimed at older kids and has actually layered outfits and painted details. Meanwhile on the MGA side they recently revealed a line aimed at toddlers called Dream Ella which is much lower quality than RH and OMG.

Personally I feel there's a place for both. Some kids live in small apartments and don't have the space or money for a big complete playset.
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Offline Carrehz

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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2021, 07:54:10 PM »
I'm neutral to them - I don't have much space for playsets *in general* so I tend to gloss over any and all playsets in the first place - but I do think a lot of the G4 playsets were overpriced for what they were. I'm not one to complain about prices usually, and if they'd at least have come with a lot of nice/new accessories or something that'd be one thing, but... yeah, definitely agree they were a little bit too pricey, considering. It would've been great to have some bigger/more "complete" sets too, in addition to the smaller sets. That's the problem with a lot of modern playsets (not just MLP), I've noticed, they're either one or the other - big or small. It'd be nice to have some more variety.

I love my G4 wedding castle (found it at a Ponycon for £5!) but I wouldn't have paid full price for it. (Okay, admittedly in part because, again, no space for playsets... unless they're too good a price to resist :p But still.)
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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2021, 12:32:04 AM »
I’m not really the biggest fan, since I am of the firm belief a toy should be more than just a flat surface with a few buttons to push. But I understand the space and cost effectiveness (for the company, toys are super overpriced sometimes for the consumer) of making a smaller play set.
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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2021, 04:22:17 AM »
I think it looks cute.  I don't collect them though and as a kid I always wanted more ponies over expensive playsets. My ponies had to make due with a playschool barn.

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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2021, 03:42:19 PM »
I'm not a big fan of them. I don't think they look all that great on display, and this style of playset also means less areas for kids to play with their ponies in the set. It's a shame that almost every G4 playset was like this, and that G5 so far seems to be doing the same with its first playset. I definitely think the playsets from G1 through G3.5 were all much better.

Remember when G4 also did playsets that were just made out of cardboard for that one Target exclusive line early in its run? :lol:
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Offline Leave a Whisper

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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2021, 05:17:36 PM »
The sea-questria play set was pretty awesome. Anyway, its up to you and what you want to do.

Most G4 play sets are sucky.

Lil Woodzees gives you more bang for your buck, and G1/G2/G3 play sets are great!

G5's first play set does not impress me.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2021, 05:20:14 PM by Leave a Whisper »
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Re: 'cut out' playsets - yay or neigh?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2021, 01:01:02 AM »
I think they're okay as a budget or limited space option, and good enough to play with for kids, but not really something I would want in my collection. I'd rather have something that folds up winto a proper building.
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