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Author Topic: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks  (Read 3730 times)

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Offline pinkkittywinks

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~*~ The Princess Variant Diaries ~*~

Before I begin I would like to thank Taffeta for her enlightenment on hoof markings and wonderful website, Shel-t* for sharing my princess pony passion and letting me use her pictures, Lady Guinevere for listening to my crazy princess pony theories (as well as coming up with a few of her own), Catra for answering lots of questions regarding German princess ponies and dragonstar81 who found out about when the patient for MLP’s was granted.  As well as other people whose names escape me who have helped along the way.

This spotlight offers an introduction and some detailed explanations about the princess ponies and their variants that were released in the UK, Germany and Mexico.

~*~  Introducing his (!) and her royal highnesses ~*~

The first edition of Princess Ponies (Princess Pearl and co.) were released in 1987 and were sold worldwide (including Mexico* peppermint truly). They were sold in box and came with a damsel hat, wands, pick comb and companion along with: a dragon (UK, Sweden [Sweden got their stock primarily from the UK, so most likely were the UK boxes etc *ladyg] and Italy); or a bushwoolie (North America*). In Germany and France the princesses were sold on a back card with a damsel hat, wand and pick comb, but without a companion. In Germany this set of princesses was sold with different colour hair alongside the standard release princesses.

A second edition of princess ponies (Princess Taffeta and co.) was released in 1988 and this set was only sold in North America in their “correct” form. This set is identifiable by the crazy tinsel forelock each princess has.  They came with a crown clip (to hold the tinsel forelock in place), wand and pick comb. This set did not come with a companion like the first edition. 

A set of princess (or prince ponies) was made and released in Mexico. These were based on the North American second edition princesses thought they do possesses substantial differences such as in hair colour and a lack of tinsel. They came with a crown clip, wand and pick comb not unlike their US cousins.

Towards the end of the Hasbro line a strange collection of princesses appeared and was sold in the only in the UK. Each princess was rather odd looking and made up of different bits of first, second and German edition princesses with a few happy tails ponies thrown in for good measure. Not only were the ponies all mixed up, but so were the accessories and packaging too.


~*~ Princesses From Round the World ~*~


~*~ Mexican Prince Ponies or Principito Pony ~*~

A set of three princess ponies, based on the second edition US release princesses, were made and sold in Mexico by Auriken. They were sold as Principito or Prince Ponies and were given different names based on precious gems.

Principito Esmerelda (Prince Emerald) = Princess Moondust
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Principito Rubi (Prince Ruby) = Princess Dawn
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Principito Zafiro (Prince Sapphire) = Princess Misty
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The prince ponies are different to the US edition princesses in many ways. They do not have tinsel in their hair and are missing the characteristic tinsel forelock. Instead they have a forelock made of three rows of plugs. This thick forelock allows them to wear the crown clips with ease.

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Their body colours are slightly different and they are made of a softer plastic. They all have concaved hooves with no markings stamped on them. Also note that Prince Ruby (Princess Dawn) and Prince Sapphire (Princess Misty) have different coloured hair (purple and teal respectively) compared to their US counterparts.

MIB
Each of the prince ponies came in a box showing all of the US release ponies, yet only three are named on the box (the ones released). Each prince came with a pick comb, ribbon wand and crown clip. The box shows all of the US release princesses but only those that were released in Mexico have their names written in the balloons they are holding.

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*pictures of MIB Prince Ruby taken from eBay

~*~ German Princess Ponies or Prinzess-Ponys ~*~

Both regular and alternate coloured hair princess were sold in Germany. They were sold on cards instead of in boxes. Each princess came with a damsel hat, wand and pink comb. These girls didn’t come with a dragon or bushwoolie. The ribbons on the princess hat are plain, they do not have the gilt trim like the US and UK princess pony hats. However after recent discussions, it does appear that some German princesses were issued with hats that had a gilt trim. *ladyg

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*This picture shows the alternate coloured hair princesses that were sold in Germany. Note how it is not just the hair but also the tinsel that is a different colour. The only exception to this rule is Princess Aquamarine, who has gold tinsel in both releases. Also the damsel hats the princesses are wearing are not their original hats!

They were named after precious stones and gems.

•Princess Amethyst (coral / lilac hair) =Prinzessin-Opal
•Princess Pearl (yellow / white hair) = Prinzessin-Perle
•Princess Amber (pink / lilac hair) = Prinzessin-Topas
•Princess Ruby (yellow / blue hair) = Prinzessin-Rubin
•Princess Sapphire (coral / pink hair) = Prinzess-Saphir
•Princess Aquamarine (bubble gum pink / pale pink hair) = Prinzessin-Aquamarin

The leaflets and magazine adverts illustrating the princess ponies shows then with the regular release hair colours.

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*leaflet picture*

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*German my little pony magazine/comic advert*

I can’t remember the name of who sent me the advert and leaflet as it was so long ago, but thank you.

Hoof markings of German Princesses
From my research I have found that both regular and alternate versions of the princess ponies released in Germany do not have “PAT PEND” stamped on their hooves and all of them were made in China.

It is very important to remember that many ponies were made in China post 1987-9, and the erasure of the Pat Pending was not exclusive to the German market. For example all the second release US princess ponies who ALL lack PAT PEND yet were never sold in Germany. *Taffeta

What doe PAT PEND mean?*this applies only to Hong Kong and China made ponies*

PAT PEND means “patent pending”. The pony designs were not granted the patent until 1987, so all ponies made before this date were waiting for the patent hence “patient pending”. After the patent was granted the PAT PEND mark was no longer needed and the mark was erased from the moulds. *dragonstar81

New information on patents shows that the patient was not granted until mid 1987. As the German princesses are missing the PAT PEND mark, this proves that they were released later in Germany, after the patent was granted. All other first edition princesses released else where in the world have the PAT PEND hoof mark, indicating an earlier release (before mid 1987).

Other Differences
There are other very subtle differences between the regular release princess ponies aside the obvious. This included differences in the texture of the tinsel used and the colour of the medallions.

It would appear that the tinsel on some of the princesses is thicker and brassier in colour than on the standard issue princesses. This can be seen clearly on Princess Aquamarine.

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*this picture shows the alternate coloured haired German version next to her regular release cousin. Note the brighter pink medallion of the German Princess compared to her UK cousin. Also note the thicker brassier coloured tinsel on the German princess.

Princess Aquamarine has been found in the UK with the bubble gum pink hair, not only that but she has PAT PEND under her hoof. This shows that this particular version of Princess Aquamarine could also be a European variation rather than a German only variation. *Shel-t*

It has been noted by several collectors that there are differences in medallion colour on Princess Aquamarine, Princess Sapphire and Princess Amber. It would appear that the some princesses had more brightly coloured medallion and others a more silver medallion. The differences have been seen in the regular first edition princesses (with PAT PEND) released in the UK, the German regular first edition princesses (missing the PAT PEND) as well as the alternate coloured hair German variants. *Catra and Shel-t*

This variation in medallion colour along with accessory information could possibly indicate two releases of the princess ponies in the same year. *Taffeta and ladyg However it could also be one of the following; factory variant (ponies made in different factories) or batch variation (different batches of the medallions turning out different shades) or simply fading/aging of the paint.

UK Variant and their relationship with German Princess Ponies
German princess ponies have a special relationship with the unique princess variants that were only sold in the UK. German princess body parts were used to make some of the UK princess variants; for example Princess Star-Beam. She Princess Amber’s body, Princess Sunbeam’s symbol, German Princess Sapphire’s tail (coral with pink tinsel) and German Princess Amethyst’s mane (coral with blue tinsel) see picture below.

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Further evidence lays in the hoof markings of the UK princess variants. Some of the princesses have the PAT PEND where as others are missing the PAT PEND. This could indicate that they are the bodies of princess ponies that, should they have been “properly made” were possibly destined for release Germany. I cannot stress enough that hoof markings alone are not a 100% reliable indication of a ponies release OR origin.

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*Comparison of hoof markings between UK variant Princess Amber and her German cousin; both ponies are lacking the PAT PEND stamp (the hoof circled is where the stamp should be)

~*~ UK Princess Variants ~*~

First and second edition princesses Princess Variants of the mixed up kind were only ever sold in the UK. It is thought that at the end of the Hasbro line, the “parts” of ponies and boxes were bought from Hasbro. These parts were then made up ponies, boxed and sold. Some collectors who have owned a variant from childhood remember buying these princesses in cheap seaside shops or at factory outlets for not very much money. *Taffeta and Reaperfox

It is very important to note that the second edition of princesses (Taffeta and co.) were only ever sold in the UK as variants. Here is a picture of just a handful of the second edition princess released in the UK as variants.

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* note how there is a very subtle difference between variant taffeta and regular US release taffeta, the difference being variant taffeta has a red ruby instead of a blue gem and she has a thin tail.

The Names
The first release princess ponies had different names to their American cousins. These names are based on precious gems or stones. The princess ponies were not unique in that they were renamed when they were released in the UK.

US Princess Sparkle = UK Princess Amethyst
US Princess Tiffany = UK Princess Pearl
US Princess Starburst = UK Princess Amber
US Princess Primrose = UK Princess Ruby
US Princess Royal Blue = UK Princess Sapphire
US Princess Serena = UK Princess Aquamarine

To understand a little more about UK princess variants it in necessary to understand princess pony anatomy.

The Tail
A regular princess pony tail is made up of two parts. A regular thickness tail and a thin tail made from a mixture of coloured tinsel and hair. Some variants just got the plain coloured part whilst others only got the thin part with tinsel.

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Princess Ruby's tail removed, showing the two sections, one with tinsel, one without tinsel.

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A. shows a plain coloured regular tail.
B. shows the thin tail, which is mixture of hair and tinsel
C. Show regular issue Princess Amethyst for comparison of thickness (who has both the thin and regular tail to make up her proper princess tail).

*all the tails of the ponies illustrated are the same length but Princess Amethyst tail has curl in it which is why it appears shorter.

The Medallion
To understand a princess variant medallion you need to know the components of a normal princess medallion. This is because variant medallions are made up of random parts of regular medallions.

A normal princess medallion is made up of four parts.

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A. Backing (this is inside the pony and holds the whole thing in place)
B. Clear pronged part (the prongs point out through holes in the medallion)
C. Medallion
D. Central jewel peg

The image below shows how the medallion fits together.

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A princess pony has a shaped hole in her rump in the shape of her medallion. The medallion sits inside of this hole so only that only the metallic medallion is raised.

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*As princess variant Misty has no medallion she shows the medallion shaped hole in her rump nicely!

Princess variant symbol are often made of parts of a medallion and not the whole thing as it is supposed to be. Many variants just got the clear part turned round so that the prongs are facing inwards. Some got the clear part with the prongs facing outwards. The prongs are quite delicate and are easily broken.

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*Shel-t*’s Princess Ambers; one with prongs out and one with prongs in!

Some princesses got the wrong symbol entirely. The alternate symbol is jammed into the medallion hole, sometimes even the wrong way round.

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* All the princesses in this picture have the wrong medallion!

On some princess variants the medallion has no metallic paint.

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*Both Princess Dawn and Princess Sapphire have non metallic medallions. Also note how Princess Dawn’s symbol is missing clear pronged part. The three oval holes above the red central gem are usually housing the clear prongs.

The symbol variations are endless. Though there are many that have the same or similar symbol combinations it is very hard to find a pattern.

Common Features
Amongst all the chaos of the princess variant features many of them do share one similar feature. The red ruby! This red ruby is in fact US second set Princes Dawn’s jewel. I will add that not all variant princesses got the red ruby, however a vast proportion did.

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* note how both first and second edition princess variants have the red ruby!

Hoof markings for first edition variants
Some of the first variants are missing the PAT PEND from under their hooves. This could indicate that they are the bodies of princess ponies that were possibly destined for release Germany, should they have been made into a “proper” princess. Their hooves all state that they were made in china. *see German chapter for a pictures of hoof markings

Hoof markings for second edition variants
All these ponies are missing the PAT PEND from under their hooves regardless of if they are a variant or not. This is because they were released after the patent was granted, which was in 1987. *dragonstar81

As mentioned previously in this article the lack of PAT PEND is not to be relied upon as an indication that a particular pony was a German or European release. *Taffeta

Unique Features
Princess variants were the only ponies to come with glow in the dark hair! Variants of Princess Sapphire and Princess Amethyst/Princess Woosie have this type of hair. No other ponies in the Hasbro range were officially released with this type of hair.

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*Shel-t*s Princess Sapphire with glow in the dark hair

There is a theory that the glow in the dark hair is moon dreamer hair. Some of the moon dreamer dolls have glow in the dark hair which is exactly the same colour and texture as the princess glow in the dark hair. As moon dreamers were also produced by Hasbro there is a strong possibility that it is moon dreamer hair though, sadly there is no real proof * ladyg (this was previously mentioned in Lady Guinevere’s spot light on happy tails variants.)

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*ladyg’s Princess Woosie with glow in the dark hair next to a Moondreamer.

Two other unique hair colours are the fading pink and silver tinsel (so far found only on Princess Amethyst variants) and the white hair and blue tinsel (so far only found only on Princess Ruby variants). These particular combinations of hair colour and tinsel were not used on regular release princesses or any other pony.

At first it appears that that the fading pink and silver tinsel is a match with German Princess Amber's hair colour, but on closer inspection it is not! This picture illustrates the difference well.

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*Princess Dawn-Rose who has a white mane streaked with blue tinsel. Her tail is the thin part of Princess Taffeta’s tail (white with tri-coloured tinsel).

The Only Princess
The only princess to have NOT turned up as a mix up variant is Princess Pearl (a princess version, rather than the Pearl/Sundance combination). However this may be because she has not been discovered yet!!!!!

Princess Happy tails?!
They have already been covered by Lady Guinevere in her happy tails variant spot light, but I feel they need to be mentioned again here.

Please click here to read her spotlight

These are perhaps some of the strangest variants going in the princess variants line! Some princess ponies parts got mixed up with happy tails pony parts to make “princess happy tail ponies”. So far only three princess happy tails variants have been found. They are as follows;

Princess Moon-Bob = Princess Moondust with Tall Tails variant “Bobbi’s” head.
Princess Tabby = Princess Ruby’s head with Tabby’s body
Princess Woosie = Princess Amethyst’s head on German lavender Woosie’s [*Lavender Woosie was sold in the US] body (this girl perhaps the most well known of all the happy tails variants). There are several versions of this variant.*ladyg

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Princess Moon-Bob (left) Princess Tabby (right) note that Tabby has no symbol.

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*ladyg’s Princess Woosie

None of the ponies who have a princess head and a happy tails body actually have a happy tails mechanism inside them! They have tiny tails holes about the same size as a baby ponies. Their bodies (or head in the case of princess moon-bob) are defiantly happy tails pony bodies as the plastic is very soft and squishy. Also the Princess Moon-Bob illustrated in the picture above has a happy tails tail, it is the exact same length and thickness of a true happy tails tail.

MIB!!!!! And what they came with.

These girls came with a very random mix of accessories. They had a bushwoolie, wand, ribbon, pick comb and damsel hat. The accessories they were sold with were often the wrong ones for that particular princess.
Bushwoolies were not sold in the UK as an official release; instead the princesses came with baby dragons a different one for reach princess.

The damsel hats are different from the regular release damsel hats as they have plain ribbons (not gilt trim), the raised shapes are not glittered, and the elastic neck strap is missing. The plain ribbons point to a link between variants and German release princesses as the German release damsel hats were sold with plain ribbons not gilt trimmed ribbons.

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*ladyg’s princess variant hat

A very striking feature is that the box is a US box! The princess names are the US release names and the box shows the princesses with bushwoolies. Also note the name on the box is “Princess Sparkle” (Princess Amethyst) as it is a US release box, yet the pony in the box is a variant of Princess Amber.

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*picture of MIB Princess from Baby Kitten Candy*

~*~ Links ~*~

MLP Arena Nirvana Gallery = https://pinkkittywinks.wixsite.com/mlparenagallery

Taffeta’s Scrapbook = http://www.etherella.com/scrapbook/

Shelti's website = http://www.princessvariants.com/index.html

Please respect the Nirvana Spotlights and the MLParena and do not take pictures or information for use on eBay, personal sales or webpages. The Nirvana Spotlights were kindly written and donated to the MLParena by members for use here only.

This spotlight was first published in 2007


Offline IceCrystal02

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2021, 11:13:02 PM »
This is very informative, thank you PKW!  :)

I think I recently saw a Princess Pearl variant on eBay. I can't see any tinsel in her her on the photos (although it's a bit difficult to tell), and her medallion also looks somehow lighter (more yellow than metallic? not sure) than the regular version's symbol. I thought about getting her, but then decided against it. Now I regret it....

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303757582180

Do you think this could be a UK variant?

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2021, 11:26:29 PM »
I had lots of fun reading this! I am in love with the GITD hair princesses, do you know their price range and how hard they are to find?
Thanks for sharing!

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2021, 09:34:27 AM »
Wonderful post, PKW!  :happy: :happy:
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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2021, 05:04:13 PM »
I’m glad you have enjoyed the spotlight :green:

This is very informative, thank you PKW!  :)

I think I recently saw a Princess Pearl variant on eBay. I can't see any tinsel in her her on the photos (although it's a bit difficult to tell), and her medallion also looks somehow lighter (more yellow than metallic? not sure) than the regular version's symbol. I thought about getting her, but then decided against it. Now I regret it....

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303757582180

Do you think this could be a UK variant?

You are safe, she’s not variant, you can just about see some tinsel at the roots of her mane. I’ve seen princesses with the tinsel carefully plucked out. The symbols are play worn, which explains the colour. Some cleaning products, like OXY can remove the the metallic coating on tinsel and princess medallions :yikes: I learnt the hard way.

I had lots of fun reading this! I am in love with the GITD hair princesses, do you know their price range and how hard they are to find?
Thanks for sharing!

They are both sought after and the hardest to find I am afraid, I’ve seen the fetch up to $600 and one $1000.

Love pkw xxx

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2021, 05:54:21 PM »
I’m glad you have enjoyed the spotlight :green:

This is very informative, thank you PKW!  :)

I think I recently saw a Princess Pearl variant on eBay. I can't see any tinsel in her her on the photos (although it's a bit difficult to tell), and her medallion also looks somehow lighter (more yellow than metallic? not sure) than the regular version's symbol. I thought about getting her, but then decided against it. Now I regret it....

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303757582180

Do you think this could be a UK variant?

You are safe, she’s not variant, you can just about see some tinsel at the roots of her mane. I’ve seen princesses with the tinsel carefully plucked out. The symbols are play worn, which explains the colour. Some cleaning products, like OXY can remove the the metallic coating on tinsel and princess medallions :yikes: I learnt the hard way.

I had lots of fun reading this! I am in love with the GITD hair princesses, do you know their price range and how hard they are to find?
Thanks for sharing!

They are both sought after and the hardest to find I am afraid, I’ve seen the fetch up to $600 and one $1000.

Love pkw xxx

Ah, ok, thanks for your reply and for having a look at her. I'm glad I didn't buy her then, as some marks don't look like they can be removed.  :( I'm sorry to hear you had to learn the hard way that Oxiclean can remove the metallic coating on the medallions.  :cry:

Oh wow!  :shocked: I thought the variants might go for around £100 - 150 or so. I have the Princess Sapphire with GITD mane and turquoise tail on my wish list and was hoping to get her, but definitely not for that price.  :yikes:

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2021, 04:58:39 AM »
Wow! They sure are rare. Maybe I'll make a (of course marked as not real on it) custom if I find a hair match.

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2021, 09:34:51 PM »
Wow! They sure are rare. Maybe I'll make a (of course marked as not real on it) custom if I find a hair match.

Try Retro Dolls for glow in the dark hair or you can dye it :)

Love pkw xxx

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2021, 09:47:28 PM »
Wow! They sure are rare. Maybe I'll make a (of course marked as not real on it) custom if I find a hair match.

Try Retro Dolls for glow in the dark hair or you can dye it :)

Love pkw xxx

Retro dolls has changed its name to the dollhair emporium
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A mother pony can be protective of her young just like dogs.

Friend Code: SW-4221-8531-0056

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2021, 12:30:00 AM »
Wow! They sure are rare. Maybe I'll make a (of course marked as not real on it) custom if I find a hair match.

Try Retro Dolls for glow in the dark hair or you can dye it :)

Love pkw xxx
Thank you I'll take a look xx

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2021, 03:23:02 PM »
Thanks for the heads up on the name change BR1 :)

Love pkw xxx

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2021, 05:00:11 PM »
Really late to this thread...so much detail <3 <3.

Do you have any plans to include Pearl-Sundance or is she still a question mark waiting to be solved?

What always gets me about these is the subtle differences between very similar variants. Like one having tinsel and the other not, but otherwise the same. It's really so random.

I thought Opal has the same colour tinsel as Amethyst? That Coral/Aqua is too awkward otherwise.
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|夏草やつわものどもが夢の跡|

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2021, 04:05:32 PM »
Really late to this thread...so much detail <3 <3.

Do you have any plans to include Pearl-Sundance or is she still a question mark waiting to be solved?

What always gets me about these is the subtle differences between very similar variants. Like one having tinsel and the other not, but otherwise the same. It's really so random.

I thought Opal has the same colour tinsel as Amethyst? That Coral/Aqua is too awkward otherwise.


The devil is in the detail with these beauties, so many little things that can easily slip by unnoticed. I had a spread sheet at some point on the details and difference.

Pearl-Sundance is real :bigups: I have seen her at PonyCon (you said "she is too weird -not- to be real") and others have been found. She is still a mystery though and leaves me to question the origin of some NC marked ponies (something else we have discussed).

Opal and Amethyst have the same colour tinsel, aqua is a better description of the colour :) ;)

Love pkw xxx

Online Taffeta

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2021, 12:30:38 AM »
Yeah, I completely agree Princess Sundance (Sunpearl? Pearldance?) is real ;) Especially since we know of others than the one that we've both seen at ponycon :D

I do wish we knew if her story was the same as the others though. I wish we could crack the Sundance mystery overall, because I feel like if we knew one way or another where she was made, we'd understand something important about NC ponies...

PearlSundance seems part of that mystery because the Pearl head is probably made in China...how did it get to Spain if Sundance is Spanish (or vice versa)? All the other put togethers tend to be Chinese, right? (The wingers certainly are)? Maybe that's reaching...but ah, so many questions ><

« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 12:32:56 AM by Taffeta »
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Offline starrynights

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Re: MLPArena Nirvana Spotlight: UK Princess Variants by pinkkittywinks
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2021, 02:21:40 AM »
Does anyone know where I can see a photo of Princess Sundance ? She sounds fascinating!

 

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