Toy Review: Princess Celestia, and Princess Luna vinyl figures
With the late August releases of Rarity and Discord, Funko had quietly declared two major events for fans of their My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic vinyl figure line:
1) Rarity’s figure concluded production of the “Mane 6” figures from the show.
2) Discord’s release signaled the inaugural start of larger vinyl figures from the series
I had noted at the end of my review of those two figures, that it now seemed an open field to finally see some of the other major supporting players in the world of Equestria, and that’s what Funko gave us. As 2014 wound down, they released two figures of Equestria’s most powerful Princesses: Princess Celestia, and Princess Luna.
Some cartoons have a major figure who is a mentor, or a god-like presence, and Princess Celestia fits that mold. The all-powerful ruler of Equestria for untold centuries, Celestia towers over almost all her subjects, commanding the utmost attention, as her ever-flowing mane of colored hair continues to waver in the wind.
The princess has been given multiple depictions by Hasbro since the Friendship is Magic toyline began…as well as her “Principal” counterpart from Equestria Girls. However, none of the designs really seemed to come close to the Flash-based cartoon stylings that many had become accustomed to on television.
I held off on other variations, certain that Funko could eventually deliver the goods, and…they kinda, did?
Given her design, Celestia looks almost like she was made by a committee…one that said, “make this figure, but shave off about 22% of her overall proportions to save on money.”
For this review, I’ve included a screencap of the episode, “Keep Calm, and Flutter On,” seen below. This image shows a good representation of Celestia, as well as her height when it comes to the regular ponies of the show.
Comparing the screen cap to the images I took of the Funko figure, it’s like they put the princess in a vice, and squeezed her down in size. The length of her legs is definitely smaller, as are the size of her wings. It’s almost like she’s a video game character that is a few levels away from achieving level-up to her final form. As well, the small representation of her on the box, is closer to her actual cartoon appearance, proportion-wise. It feels like the only thing that survived the money-crunch, was the length of the horn on her head.
Celestia’s toothpaste-like mane also is different from other pony releases, in that it is a hollow plastic shell. Probably not surprising, as the amount of vinyl to make her hair, would have made her heavier (and more expensive) than what some would hope to pay. As it stands, the bulk of her hair probably would have outdone Fluttershy’s pink mane and tail.
The hair is rather ingeniously attached to her head in such a way, that they are pretty well hidden, and just like Big McIntosh, her neck/head attachment is hidden in the necklace where her body joins the neck, giving a nice clean ‘flow’ to the design.
Some have made mention that the attaching of the mane to her head, can cause an ‘imbalance’ to the Princess’ pose, and mine also seems to suffer from this symptom.
As you can see in the image to the left, the hair slightly raises Celestia off of her feet…but then again, how often does one look at her hooves?
Some will be quite pleased with the princess, but as someone who expects more accurate quality regarding the sculpts I’ve seen, Celestia sadly falls short. She’s not a mess, but if Funko could have put some more money and effort into crafting her, I’d have been fine paying for a larger, more show-accurate version of ol’ “Sunbutt.”
FINAL GRADE: B
Of the two ruling Princesses in the world of Equestria, it is Princess Luna who has most fascinated the Brony fanbase. Luna’s jealousy of her sister eventually pushed her to become Nightmare Moon, leading to her banishment to the moon for 1,ooo years. Luckily, upon her return, Twilight Sparkle and her friends were able to harness the Elements of Harmony, and purge Luna of her dark powers.
Since then, her characterization and appearances have been very irregular to a ravenous fanbase who want to know more about the Princess of the Night. Some episodes that have been fan-favorites for her appearances, have been Luna Eclipsed, Sleepless in Ponyville, and For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils.
For the character of Luna, the image of her on the packaging seems a little odd. Instead of a more regal and somewhat statuesque pose, the image Funko has chosen, shows her almost about to break into a playful gallop.
Packaging aside, I think I can best sum up my feelings about this figure with: OMGWTFBBQ!!!”
When Funko released the first images of this figure, it was jaw-dropping: they had managed to make a version of Luna that shut down any critiques. The only thing my brain was thinking was: “…it’s Luna!”
Seriously, it’s hard to get my brain to be so accepting. Going over the figure, it’s one of the few I’ve gotten where I can find almost nothing to really criticize. The use of glittery clear vinyl, with a purple-blue overlay in portions, is a great way to make her ethereal mane and tail come to life. As well, her wingspan is also a thing of beauty, and not undersized like the figure of her sister.
When it comes to size, Luna’s height is at a mid-level between the normal ponies, and her sister, Celestia.
Unfortunately, the version of Luna I got had some abrasive marks on her head and neck (as seen to the right), almost reminding me of some of the issues that plagued a few of my other early pony purchases. As it stood, she was the only one I could find at my local Hot Topic, and so it was either this one, or nothing.
When it comes to figures that have been produced, Luna joins some of my other favorite sculpts that include Discord, Applejack, and Big McIntosh. If she’d had some very minor tweaks here and there, I might have pushed her to the highest grade there was.
FINAL GRADE: A
Due to some issues at several ports this December, plans to release both Celestia and Luna around the same time failed to pass. In fact, I didn’t receive my figures until a month after their planned release dates.
Luna was said to be released first, but one wouldn’t know it from the Hot Topic stores I visited, where not a single Luna was to be found…but there were several Celestias to be found.
Also when it comes to these larger-sized figures, a comparison image is often something that I feel compelled to include.
2014’s release of Discord is still the biggest figure in the vinyl series, height-wise. In truth, Celestia should almost be eye-to-eye with Discord, and not slightly shorter than Big McIntosh (her horn gives her a slight height advantage). Luna’s height level is acceptable, but when put between Twilight Sparkle and Big McIntosh, it does make her look a little puny.
These releases of Celestia and Luna showcase the good and the bad of Funko’s line. On one hand, it proves they can still do some wonderful detail. On the other hand, they are still working within a ceiling of size and pricing.
This does pose a dilemma when some consider an unmade character that could possibly be made, that is almost as tall as Princess Celestia: and that would be Queen Chrysalis (seen on the right), the villain revealed at the end of Season 2’s “Royal Wedding” episode.
It seems a given that we’ll probably get that episode’s characters Shining Armor, Princess Cadance, and Queen Chrysalis…but like Celestia, it does feel we may be in for a letdown, with one of the remaining large-scale figures yet to come (note: as of the time of this writing, there has been no word if Chrysalis is coming. This is largely me fan-speculating).
On the other hand, I’m hoping that the medium-t0-normal scale figures that have yet to be made, will still turn out to be the kind that have made me excited in the past. The sky now seems open, regarding several of the show’s supporting characters, and maybe a fan-fave or two. I know after Season 4 of Friendship is Magic, there’s a few one-shot characters that would be eagerly snapped up by the show’s fanbase.