In 2018 Hasbro released their My Little Pony; School of Friendship toy line, to correspond with the events of the eighth season of the hit TV show. With over 30+ new characters, all varying in specie and gender being introduced, and this idea of exploring different lands previously unknown to ponydom, collectors saw so much potential in the line and expected a successful outcome.
Unfortunately, only a few sets actually relating to the events of the show were released, and as for the rest, Hasbro only saw the opportunity to repackage any mane 6 toys they'd had left from the year beforehand, the My Little Pony movie. Many fans were left disappointed, deeming it one of the worst toy lines in MLP history, due to it's lack of variety, since over 90% of the line consisted of mane six toys, ALL repackaged with little to no changes from their prior release.
People expected a lot better from the store exclusives, as they normally are the best themed and best MLP toys each year, however that ended up being a shame as well, except for Walmart. Walmart stuck with the entire "School of Friendship" theme and in fact did it much better than even the main line did. They even changed up the figures by not only giving them school uniforms and accessories, but also introduced the first baby pony sculpts for the reboot! So I began thinking, with how well-done Walmart's line was, what would the main line had been like if it had followed this same concept, and also stayed within the borders of the events of season 8? This is how I imagine it could've all gone down.
The original single packs were cute, but all in all did not follow any events of season 8, nor did they really contain any indication of a school theme.
If you ask me, they would've served better as the following years' (Rainbow Roadtrip's) single packs. Oh wait, they were repackaged as just that! Just without all the glitter and body designs, the things that made them "rainbowy." Don't worry, I will redo that toy line later too ;)
Instead, I wanted to incorporate both students and teachers to further expand the character variety, and introduce various new characters to the general mlp brand as well.
It would be split into 2 waves:
Wave 1 would consist of teachers: Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Trixie Lulamoon.
Wave 2 would consist of students: Berry Bliss, Citrine Spark, and Peppermint Goldylinks.
Special Feature Brushables
We all know about this fiasco. The silly looks ponies I bet were a cute idea, but Hasbro executed them so poorly! They decided to try and "animate the eyes" with the mouth, giving them this inset, hollowed out eyes look, and to make matters worse, they chose the most awkward positions for the eyes! The body designs were clunky, and the accessories weren't necessarily anything to die for. These were a failure.
Instead, I decided to make sets for the characters that I felt either deserved some sort of "special action" feature, or that would require a bit more spending on the toy producer's part. In this case, Ocellus and Yona!
Being that Ocellus is a changeling I wanted to incorporate some sort of transforming feature, and being that we'd seen her transform into a seapony in the show, I thought it would be perfect to give her the Land & Sea Fashion Style treatment!
Yona obviously would need to have a hair play set with the amount of hair she has, but also because of her larger amount of hair, she'd be a bit costlier to produce so I thought this would be a great way to make a set for her.
Land & Sea Fashion Style Ocellus ($9.99): "Meet Ocellus! As a changeling, she can change into many different forms!"
Braids & Buns Hair Play Yona ($9.99): "Meet Yona Yak! Style her hair to keep her from tripping over it!"
Show & Tell Accessory Pack Ponies
The show & tell packs were really cute, don't get me wrong, however if you were to show me them without the packaging, I would not be able to tell you it's school themed, or from what season directly they're based on.
Instead, I think that Class sets would've been much more fitting! The boxes can transform into backdrops of the ponies' classrooms, and they even include accessories that would demonstrate their in-class lessons to their students, as seen in the show and animated shorts. Starlight was kicked out since I have another set idea for her.
Applejack's Honest Duties Class ($9.99): "Applejack teaches her class about the importance of honesty and responsibility. She shows her class her responsibilities as a farm pony!"
Rarity's Generous Fashions Class ($9.99): "Rarity teaches her class that the best gifts are the ones made with thought & love!"
Perhaps the worst sets released were the Equestria Friends sets. They were just the reboot singles with a few accessories thrown in. Everyone already had them, so to see them again, unchanged, was upsetting, since we could have potentially gotten new toys in their place.
Instead I would have liked to have seen Protagonist vs Antagonist sets, since season 8 did feature 2 major villains, Chrysallis and Cozy Glow. Of course the sets would use a lot more paint and plastic than the equestria friends sets, so the third pony had to be removed for budget reasons.
Starlight Glimmer & Cozy Glow School Ruling Set ($11.99): "When Starlight Glimmer is left in charge of the School of Friendship, will Cozy Glow let her have the greater power?"
Twilight Sparkle & Queen Chrysalis Plotting Foes set ($11.99): "Queen Chrysalis seeks revenge upon Twilight Sparkle & her friends, will Twilight be aware of her next move?"
Friendship Lessons Multipack Accessory Sets
The Friendship Lesson sets were some of the best themed sets that year, being that they included a teacher and pony, performing activities that would be done in their corresponding classes. I would leave them unchanged, however I wanted to include Gallus and Smolder in the line somewhere, and I knew they wouldn't sell well among young ones on their own. But I personally don't mind. The concept of the sets is still there, students performing classroom activities.
Smolder & Silverstream Kindness Lessons Set ($14.99): "Smolder & Silverstream learn to be kind to any creature in Fluttershy's Kindness Class, regardless of what they're into."
Gallus & Sandbar Teamwork Lessons Set ($14.99): "In Rainbow Dash's Loyalty Class, Gallus & Sandbar learn about what it means to work together with respect!"
Meet the Mane 6 Collection
The Meet the Mane 6 set was perhaps one of the most popular sets among the adult collectors and fans of the show, and for that reason I do not want to deprive them of it. However, I saw it as completely unnecessary to release them both in a collection and as single packs. They're the same figures. Stop. Personally, I adored the brand new packaging for the single ones, and how it identified and displayed the figures much more greatly than the collection set itself. So, I will be replacing the collection set with something else in its place, but keep the singles.
Instead of the collection, I wanted at least a few sets that acknowledged the exploration part of season 8, since there were a few episodes scattered in there, that had many new and beloved characters. I decided to introduce both a Mount Aris and a Kirin Village set.
Mount Aris Exploration Pals ($16.99): "Silverstream and her brother Terramar both live in the Hippogriff-seapony kingdom, Mount Aris, ruled by their aunt, Queen Novo."
Friends of the Kirin Village set ($16.99): "Autumn Blaze & Cinder Glow live in the beautiful Kirin Village, ruled by their majestic leader, Queen Rain Shine."
Large Interactive Ponies
Hasbro has always introduced 1 or 2 large, interactive ponies in their MLP toy lines. This time they decided they needed to have 3, 1 of which was just a re-release with minor changes, but regardless they all had a "talking-singing" feature. These talking mane 6 figures usually tend to end up in clearance aisles and discount stores, since the voice acting is terribly done, and only about 50% or less of collectors actually buy them. I don't know why they continued to make them, but they did, and as stated, they ended up unwanted in discount stores like five below.
Instead, since there was a positive response to the baby pony reboot sculpt being introduced, I thought we should expand the selection, rather than to just limit it to the CMC. And you can't have the CMC and all their friends without Cheerilee and the Ponyville schoolhouse. They fit right in with the school theme.
Ponyville Schoolhouse with Mrs. Cheerilee ($21.99): "Cheerilee teaches her students all about Science, History and Math! She hopes they can apply this knowledge at Twilight's School of Friendship!"
Ponyville Schoolhouse Filly Friends Forever Collection ($29.99): "The Cutie Mark Crusaders give their classmates a tour of the School of Friendship, where they tutor students after Cheerilee's classes!"
Pinkie Pie's Beats & Treats Classroom!
Nothing wrong with this set, I just wanted to update the Pinkie Pie to have the uniform and bakers hat, and also wanted to include the little baker Spike the Dragon Walmart had introduced.
Twilight Sparkles Magical School of Friendship
Nothing wrong here either, especially since we already introduced the uniformed Twilight in a set above, however the original Twilight in this set is just a plain repackage of a previous version, and I'm sorry sis if I'm going to buy a large set for a big price, I expect to have a special edition figure, not just any basic reused Twilight.
Instead, I wanted to introduce Twilight in a pose we had yet to see her made in, and then it hit me that there was a super glittery iteration of Twilight in the show tied to the school of friendship that we could include, that little kids would go crazy over. The fandom has dubbed her "Astral Twilight" and she is the embodiment of the Tree of Harmony in the episode.
Twilight Sparkle's Magical School of Friendship ($59.99): "Strange and magical things happen in the halls of Twilight Sparkle's school of friendship!"
Well, that's the end of it. What do you think? Would this have made a better School of Friendship toy line? Let me know on Instagram or in the comments below! You can also find better images and a more in depth explanation of all this in my Youtube Playlist linked here.
We all know that Hasbro did not do a very good job on the Best Gift Ever toy line or the Rainbow Roadtrip toy line either, those of which I am already working on re-imagining! Stay tuned for those!
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