This blog may be called Never Outgrew Toys, but the truth is that the figures and dolls which I feature cannot really be called toys because they are not meant for children. The blog is really named for my love of toys which lead to my wanting to own such fancy Japanese trinkets. But today, we’ll be taking the blog’s name seriously by reviewing an actual toy–one that was meant for children, but is without doubt owned by a fair number of adults. So put your hooves together for Build A Bear Workshop’s Fluttershy!
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the television show of which the fourth generation of the classic My Little Pony toy lines is based on. The cartoon’s main character is a unicorn named Twilight Sparkle who is sent to Ponyville by her mentor in order to study the magic of friendship. Twilight has few friends and initially sees no point in making any, but after a series of trials, she befriends five other ponies: Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Fluttershy. After the six become friends, the show follows Twilight Sparkle’s study on the joys and trials of friendship. The mane six(as they are called) have distinct personalities and each pony represents one of the important Elements of Harmony. The cool athletic Rainbow Dash represents loyalty, nerdy Twilight Sparkle is magic, the trendy fashionable unicorn Rarity shows generosity, hard working Applejack is honesty, and Pinkie Pie who loves to party represents laughter. And the final pony who we will be looking at today is shy animal-loving Fluttershy–the element of kindness!
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has become one of my guiltiest and most pleasurable of guilty pleasures. I stumbled upon the show while channel surfing shortly after it began. I watched the last five minutes of the first episode, and in spite of not liking My Little Pony at all as a child, enjoyed it. I liked that Twilight Sparkle was annoyed by the ponies who just wanted to make friends and have parties because it was the very thing that I had always found silly about girly toys and shows. I liked what I saw, but never thought to watch the show again until a year later when I found out about bronies. Surely those acquainted with the internet are aware of the bronies and the heights Friendship is Magic has soared to with their help. I do not quite remember how I learned of bronies, but knowing that a large community of grown men and women were crazy about a children’s show featuring ponies meant one thing to me: it had to be good. Without hesitation I scheduled my DVR to record the show (my first episode was Sonic Rain Boom), and have been a fan ever since. In my opinion, My Little Pony has a quality very rare in children’s shows based on a toy. These shows are often created to milk a product and feel like a half hour commercial, but My Little Pony really feels like its own creation. The characters are colorful, reasonable, and their fantasy environment is free of the high school and handbags setting that so many girl’s toys follow. I could continue by stating that this quality is doubtlessly due to those behind the show’s inception, but we’re not here to learn the history of Equestria, so let’s return to Fluttershy.
When it comes to shows with groups of five characters, I am often unable to pick a favorite. Rather, my affections wander from character to character and I ultimately conclude that I like them all equally. This is the case with Madoka Magica and Sailor Moon, but not with My Little Pony as my favorite pony has always been Fluttershy. Fluttershy is a pegasus who flies more like a butterfly than an eagle and loves to take care of animals and be in nature. She is unbearably shy, but is both graceful and kind. I’ve always liked animals and nature. I am also very shy! So what’s not for me to love about Fluttershy?
Since I love Fluttershy so much, I quickly bought one of the basic toys of her, but there has always been a hole in my heart that yearns to be filled with a huggable Fluttershy. There are many wonderful fan made plushies in existence, but these are often one of a kind with a price to match. That is when Build A Bear came to the rescue! For those not familiar with it, Build A Bear is a place where you can choose, stuff, and name your very own stuffed animal friend. Build A Bear’s Friendship is Magic venture began with Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, and I was pleasantly surprised that they did not look bad–especially considering how unsatisfied I’d been by previous official plushes. However, it was not until my beloved Fluttershy was announced and shown, that I knew I had to have one. Before making my purchase, I scoured the internet for photos taken by owners(as I do with figures), but was disappointed by the lack of them. And in spite of the large brony population, the majority of reviews were briefly written by mothers who had bought Fluttershy for their daughters. That was fine, but I wanted to see photos and hear why I as an older fan would want to purchase or avoid Build A Bear Fluttershy, and that is the reason for this review! Here I will be showing off Fluttershy in all her pony glory from the perspective of an older fan while still taking into account that this is a children’s toy. Still, I’m sure that anyone looking to purchase this for a child who has somehow stumbled onto this review will find it helpful as well!
Here is my Fluttershy who comes just short of being the full package.
Although Build A Bear is a fun place to visit, I actually bought mine online. I would have visited the store for the full experience, but when you have an Amazon gift card that means you can essentially get a giant pony toy for free, there’s no arguing. The ponies can also be bought online through Build A Bear’s website who happens to fulfill the Amazon orders as well, so no matter which you choose, Build A Bear is the one packing and shipping your pony. Both sites offer several options for Fluttershy. You can buy just the pony for $25 and purchase her dress separately for $13.50 or get the Sweet Smiles package which includes pony and dress for $53.50. This is what I do not understand because buying the nude pony and outfit separately easily equates to less than $53.50. The only thing you lose by buying the dress separately is the shoes which only come with the Sweet Smiles version, and there’s no way pony shoes add that much to the price. The only thing I can think of to justify the price difference is that the Sweet Smiles package includes the voice box to make Fluttershy talk (that’s right, you can add that option). But seeing that neither site’s bare bone description makes any mention of it, that will have to remain a mystery.
Long story short, sans shipping, I got my very own Fluttershy and her gala dress for $38.50.
Fluttershy arrived shortly before Valentines day, so her box is adorned with hearts.
The box is the typical one you’d get when visiting the store and is make of sturdy cardboard. I am happy to still have gotten one since they are rather cute. You also get a birth certificate that lists the eye and fur color of what you ordered and leaves a space for you to write your name. Like the mature person I am, I wrote my name on the certificate which is why I have no picture of it.
I would say that the box is an equally cute carrying case for Fluttershy, but it will not close without a very serious head or leg reduction of some kind.
At least she looks cute poking her head out of the top. Does anybody remember that book about the stuffed giraffe who needed a scarf?
But the box is far from being the main attraction, so let’s return to Fluttershy.
You may be thinking that $25 is far too much to pay for a stuffed pony, but Fluttershy does have charms to justify that. First is her size.
Fluttershy towers over not just a mug and 1/12 scale figma , but 1/6 scale dolls as well. I’ve even seen pictures of 1/3 scale dolls like Dollfie Dreams riding Build A Bear ponies!
For the numerical people out there, she is 16 in/41 cm tall!
And being used to paying $35 for a plush by Gift, $25 is a steal!
Fluttershy can stand without help and her head even tilts adorably to the side. This was probably unintentional(although her head is that way in promotional pictures too), but I don’t care because it makes her even more cute!
Now let’s get into those nitty gritty details!
The eyes are a combination of cloth and embroidery with the borders and colored areas being embroidered. The birth certificate lists Fluttershy’s eye color as blue, but it is actually green.
The ears are well shaped and very cute. There is nothing like cardboard or plastic inside of them, so you do not have to worry about moisture ruining them or anything breaking and becoming sharp inside.
I was afraid that the legs would be too big, but they look good in relation to Fluttershy’s body and keep her standing. The only odd thing is that the grain of the fabric on the inner leg is opposite to that of the outer leg which causes it to look darker. I imagine the legs were done this way to save money while cutting the pieces. It’s not a problem, just odd.
Fluttershy is a pegasus, and what makes her one is none other than her wings!
Both wings are made of a separate foamy material what has embedded sparkles. I have no worries about the sparkles coming off. There are also featherlike patterns stitched into the wings.
Both wings are free to flap, but do not flop about and stay in place neatly on her back.
Like all ponies who have discovered their special talent, Fluttershy has a cutie mark. The butterfly cutie mark is embroidered on to her right flank only rather than both sides like in the show. But apparently having a cutie mark on both sides is enormously expensive because a one sided mark is typical of pretty much all official toys.
The ponies we know and love have colorful and unique hair, so giving the plushes doll hair may seem like an odd decision.
The hair comes tied and upon inspection is indicative of the $25 price tag.
By touching it, it is obvious that the hair is plastic based and not even some time with the toothbrush was able to fully tame it. I added a pinch of Azone styling wax to the mane, and although it did a little good, I do not feel that using more would be worth it.
Even though it is not of optimal quality, the mane and tail really are not bad. Both are the proper shade of pink and have a pleasant curl. They can also be arranged however you please, and although some children may transform the hair into a matted mess, others will have fun braiding and brushing it. So considering who Fluttershy was intended for, I do not mind her mane and tail and vastly prefer it this way to if it has been poorly done in fabric.
Whether it be a figure, doll, or stuffed animal, faces are very important to me, and a poorly done face will make me not want to buy something very quickly. The faces and heads in My Little Pony have a distinctive shape, and I was happy to see that Build A Bear did a good job at translating the characters into plush form. Here are some shoots of Fluttershy’s head from different angles.
Front! Both of those cute eyes are looking right at you~
We’ve looked at Fluttershy herself, but a plain pony is not nearly as fun as a fancy one! I normally find the idea of a horse in a dress rather silly, but Friendship is Magic dresses the ponies in clothing that is cute and makes sense, so I don’t mind it!
This dress is from the season one finale where the ponies attend the Grand Galloping Gala. As Rarity says, Fluttershy’s dress just “Sings spring!”, and is perfect for Fluttershy’s personality, so how could I resist getting one for my own Fluttershy?
When you buy the outfit separately, you get: the dress, a choker, and a hairpiece.
As I said earlier, the Sweet Smiles package includes white sequined shoes, but I figured I could live without them to save some cash. And upon closer inspection, these aren’t even the shoes Fluttershy wears in the show(the show ones are green and match her dress), so I really do not mind not having them.
And here is Fluttershy all dressed up!
The dress and choker attach with Velcro while the hairpiece secures around her ear via a band of elastic.
Dressing her is extremely easy, and I think it adds a whole new element of “Awww” to the plush.
Let’s move in closer.
This is meant for children, so the quality and fabrics used are OK but surely not the highest.
The choker band is a slightly shiny green fabric while the butterfly and leaf decorations are made of something like felt. For children who play with Fluttershy a lot, I could see the felt wearing and separating over time, but with little wear, it will be fine.
Sewn on top of the butterfly is a sparkly layer of sheer. The sheer is only secured in the middle where it is sewn, so it flops around a lot which is a little annoying.
Looking at many areas of the dress, I’m sure that I could have sewn it better, and I would be very upset to receive something for my dolls of this quality. However, this is a toy and the rough areas do not affect the play value at all. Even as someone buying Fluttershy for display(she sits on my bed~), the rough areas do not bother me enough to be a problem.
With that, we’ve thoroughly examined Fluttershy and her dress!
At this point I would normally give Fluttershy a full photo shoot, but it was snowing when I took these photos, and Fluttershy is much better suited for spring.
So here’s one quick shot of her and little Fluttershy playing in the snow
I may have had my doubts at first, but after playing with her for a while, I can say that Build A Bear Fluttershy is a darling plush, and I’m very happy to own her. Fluttershy’s dress may be iffy on quality, but she is well sewn and super huggable. Rarity has even been announced, and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on her. $25 is not bad for such a large plush especially when they look a lot better than other official plushes, so to Build A Bear ponies, I approve!