Toy Review: Applejack, and Big McIntosh vinyl figures
Outside of Hasbro’s many plastic ponies on store shelves, it has been Funko that has helped lead the charge for most fans who want figures a little closer to the look of the cartoon show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
For the last two years, Funko has churned out everything from blind-bagged figures, and big-headed Funko Pop figures of many of the pony characters. Though the specialty for Funko, has been their standard vinyl figures, which have so far given us several noted background ponies, as well as the majority of the “Mane 6” ponies of the cast. The majority of these new releases have been exclusive to the store Hot Topic, though a few have been exclusively released through other retailers, such as Toys R Us.
As of late May 2014, they have added two more horses to the ever-growing stable of figures: Applejack, and her brother, Big McIntosh (who is the second stallion to be released, after the fan-favorite Dr Whooves back in 2013).
After a long wait, the down-to-earth, honest Earth Pony finally gets her chance to shine…and shine she does!
With each new figure release, Funko keeps improving on their techniques, most notable in the cases of quality control. Some of the issues I had with previous pony releases have been pretty much eliminated on Applejack. There are fewer dings or lines in the vinyl molding, and there’s very few issues regarding sloppy paint on her figure.
Almost all the little touches that make the character are here, including her white freckles, and the red bands around her mane and tail. Earlier this year, Funko finally started releasing their vinyl ponies with Cutie Marks on both flanks of the figures, and it’s nice to see this trend continued here. The cuteness factor has also been upped, by making the eyes about 25% larger than original pony releases almost 2 years ago.
Though Applejack has had numerous toy iterations over the last few years, many fans have thought them inferior, because they were all missing AJ’s trademark hat. Luckily, Funko proves their mettle for detail, by making AJ’s hat part of her ensemble! Much like the magic hat on their release of (The Great and Powerful) Trixie, this one is non-removable. But then again, it’s incredibly rare to ever see Applejack without her hat in the show.
Several reviews back, I was incredibly-impressed by the quality Funko had put into making Fluttershy, but Applejack trumps Fluttershy in numerous ways. As of today, AJ is the zenith by which all future vinyl ponies will be measured (at least by me).
FINAL GRADE: A
Applejack’s brother Big Mac is one of those strong stallions of few words. Aside from the casual ‘Eyup,’ or ‘Nope,’ he rarely ever gives long soliloquys. While it was a given that we would have gotten Applejack sooner or later, I don’t think many of us were quite prepared for Funko to give us two members of the Apple Family at the same time!
Ever since his introduction on Friendship is Magic, Big Mac’s body style is unique among the show’s few stallions. With his wide hooves, he moreso resembles a Clydesdale horse, but he’s also one of the bigger horses on the show as well, towering over much of the cast.
Big Mac utilizes a brand-new mold from Funko, and they do a great job transferring his build into three-dimensions. Unlike the other bodies, the yoke around his neck serves as the dividing point where the body mold meets the neck/head portion of the figure. The yoke definitely serves as a great way to hide the connecting seam between these two points.
I have also included a comparison picture of Big Mac and 2013’s Dr Whooves, just to show the differences between the two stallions Funko has released so far:
I had noted in my review regarding Dr Whooves, that his eyes had been painted on too large for his character. It appears this has not been the case with Big Mac, who has some pretty large eyes on the show, and also here.
Paint-wise, there’s some minor sloppiness on the lower tan portion of his hooves, but other than that, he’s a pretty solid figure just like his sister. And just like AJ, Mac also comes with a cutie mark on each of his flanks, as well as some freckles on his cheeks.
It is interesting to note that they have given Big Mac’s full name on the box, instead of his standard nickname, but we’re here moreso for the figure rather than the packaging (which still is nicely done!). Just like Applejack, Big McIntosh is definitely a figure that ups the level of quality regarding these vinyl figures! As it stands now, there aren’t any other male stallions on the show that stand out as much as Big Mac or Dr Whooves, though he will definitely stand out among your vinly figures, as he’s almost a half-inch taller than the average pony figure from Funko.
FINAL GRADE: A
These figures should be going on sale any day now in Hot Topic stores at your local mall. I received mine early due to pre-ordering ahead of time through the store’s website, and I’m sure many are receiving theirs as you read this. Each figure retails for $18.50, though if you check Hot Topic’s site every-so-often, they will often have special sales discounts from time to time.
Like the previous releases, Applejack and Big Mac are also being released as clear-vinyl variants as well, retailing for the same amount as the standard figures. Even so, both of these figures are solid, and great releases that many of the show’s fans should definitely rush out and get as soon as possible.
The amount of information coming out of Funko has often been sketchy regarding future vinyl figure releases, but I think it’s safe to say that the final “Mane 6” member Rarity, should probably be with us come the Fall releases…though who the secondary pony that will be released alongside her, remains a current mystery.
Still, I do hold out hope that one day, maybe Funko will release the one fan-favorite character that Hasbro will probably never make: The Draconequus, named Discord.