Friday, September 28, 2012

Twilight's Corner

I've come to realize lately that the kind of person I am is fairly unique to the new century.  Before the year 2000 rolled around, a person who liked to dress up when it wasn't Halloween was looked at as pretty eccentric.  Anime conventions were pretty small, and most people were college age, geeky, pretty lonely folks who were just looking for someone else who had similar interests.  When you went to the mall, or an ordinary store, you didn't see the geeks.  They were dressed like normal people, maybe a bit obvious with glasses or a bit chunky or maybe a bit too skinny...  But then something happened.  I'm not entirely sure what it was that triggered the whole thing, but maybe it was stores like Hot Topic that popped up suddenly.  Or maybe it was the influx of anime and manga into mainstream, but slowly there was this trickle effect.  There were cosplay coats at shopping malls.  You didn't have to buy a little kid's book bag or toys to show off the fact you liked Pokemon or Sailor Moon.

Maybe it was just that the generation I'm in now finally said "Enough!" and somehow we got into power.  Now you see anime, cartoon, video games, you name it, on t-shirts, belts, purses, toys, hats, jewelry...whatever.  They're like badges of honor.  I see them on tattoos and in people who wear cosplay outside of conventions.

Sure, some parents still think it's pretty weird.  But there are second/third generation geeks now that have no problem showing off their geekiness.  And I really don't think that before the year 2000 you'd have seen that.  Maybe it's also because of the internet.  Yes, I'm pretty positive that the internet played a huge part in it, and that's okay if you ask me.

Would I have imagined myself Cosplaying a unicorn when I first headed into college 15 years ago?  Well...maybe for Halloween.  I remember my first unicorn costume was ridiculed.  I found a horn at a costume shop and made up ears and the costume...  I don't have pictures, thank goodness.  ^_^;  But things have changed quite a bit and with the aid of a few purchased items, and a new wardrobe too...  There you go, Twilight Sparkle.  I think I look younger than I am when I'm wearing it, which is okay since I feel young.  Maybe everyone feels younger than they really are since they don't change too much once you get to a certain age.  Unless you want to.

I don't want to.  I just got promoted at work again (well, I will as of Sunday this weekend.)  And yet, here I'm looking forward to hanging out at conventions, cosplaying, and painting ponies.  Am I interested in a bunch of 'adult' things?  Nope.  I clean house, I cook, I do yard work, but they really don't feel "adult" to me.  Maybe I'm just strange.

Today's new project was painting Pumpkin Butt.  She's the pony that looks a lot like Golden Harvest, but I repainted a Pinkie Pie to make her.  I really probably should have repainted an Apple Jack, but I wanted her to look different.

So there's my handmade collection: Derpy, Mitsuki, Punkin' (for short) and Vinyl Scratch (I like that nickname better).

Recently my pony collection has been updated, I just picked up Lyra Heartstrings.  Also got more of the blind bags to include a few of the glow-in-the-dark versions, and a few of the others in Wave 3.  Have a few more to pick up, but it's not too important to me at the moment.  Right now I'm wishing I could win a limited edition pony from HotTopic...  You know the 'unnamed' derpy pony.  ^_^

Back to what I was saying earlier, just 15 years ago it probably would have been odd to see hundreds of people with huge pony collections.  There'd be a few odd older women, maybe a few girls, and that's about it.  Now these collections are actually owned by guys.  I'm very envious of the dozens of them who own Derpy ponies.  *sob*  I got sad this morning, yes, I'm eccentric, I just thought that maybe I could win one.  Actually, I know better, I don't win things.  The last thing I won?  Two tickets for Matchbox Twenty (in the rafters) and then my brother won tickets at the show to go backstage.  I think we used up our luck then.  ^_^

I may have some of my hand painted ponies with me at Tsubasacon in a few weeks.  I'll be there with my Twilight Sparkle on and planning on having a pretty good time.  ^_^

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Hunt Ends for Now

 If you were to ask my mother whether I was one of those kids that made her stand in line at Toys R Us on the first day of some new toy release, I'm pretty sure she'd give you an unusual look because I was never one on popular toys.  There may have been a few scrambles to get stuff last minute, but I think they were usually for toys for my brother rather than me.  Back in the 1980's when I was growing up, Barbie and other electronic devices were the popular thing - there was even a doll who could tell the temperature in a room, whether it was too hot or too cold (although, I have yet to find a mention of that doll again, I very distinctly remember her, probably late 80's, early 90's).

So, when it comes to these fads lately, I'm sort of surprised at myself, because I've been checking TRU every week since they announced the newest MLP:FIM toys were coming out in August.  Oh, there are the sets that first started showing up at Target too, like the Apple family pictured above, the set with Princess Cadence and Shining Armor, and then the Cloudsdale set.  I did a mad search for those, and now I have seen the sets at Target, TRU, and even Kohl's... I said, kind of surprised at myself that I went so far with searching for the Favorites collection this last month.  Seriously, I'm a 30-something with no kids and I'm searching, calling, and even going through unopened boxes in the back aisle at TRU in order to dig out that elusive pony.

I'm a stinkin' manager at a retail store for cryin' out loud, and here I'm getting flutters in my chest for a set of TOYS!

I digress...  I do so love these little buggers which is so odd because it's become a perfectly acceptable (if sometimes creepy) fandom that just a couple of years ago would have sent me into the 'creepy lady playing with kid's toys' category.

Just a few years back people used to roll their eyes at me when I said that I still had the ponies from the 80's when I was a kid, still have every single one of them, and I was pretty proud of that too.  And then all of a sudden it's cool to collect them again.  I've even considered trying to sell a couple of my old set just because I know some of them are pretty darn rare and I could get a nice amount of money off of them.

But... it's hard to do that, especially when the collection as been growing.

In a nutshell (I'm a nut, afterall) about two weeks ago I started my TRU hunt.  Nothing for a good week, then the very next week I happened into TRU right after they'd received a truck and all of the pallets were sitting in the back aisle.  With heart pounding, I happened to dig out a Zecora and took it home with me.  As you can see, she's still in the package, and a week later the rest of the box still happens to be at that TRU, still, amazingly, unsold.

When I returned, on a whim, just yesterday, I happened to find the Favorites collection (and there were three more left!) and whipped it into my arms and went home with it too.  ^_^

So, for now, except for the fact that I'd like to get my hands on some of the blind bags that are roaming around out there, my hunt has ended.  I still have a few ponies here and there I'd like to get my hands on in order to do some customizations, but otherwise I'm satisfied.  I'm also crazy, but I'm perfectly fine with that.

And it's funny because no one looks at me weird when I know about ponies.  In fact, today at work I was ringing up a customer who was buying some things for a costume for her daughter.  "What are you making?" I asked.  To which she replied, "I My Little Pony costume."  I looked at what she was buying and replied, "Rainbow Dash?"  She looked genuinely surprised and said, "Yes, she said she wanted to be the 'hero pony' and I said, Rainbow Dash you mean?  And she said yes and said I could be Pinkie Pie."  I smiled and told her that I was dressing up as Twilight Sparkle and she just nodded.  Never once did I say I had a kid telling me I had to dress up was just accepted.  ^_^  I don't even think she was a brony, just a mother trying to go along with her young daughter's wishes.  It made me feel happy because I wasn't looked at like I was a crazy.

Speaking of which, this is the dress that I've put together for my Twilight Sparkle costume.  If you're into fashion at all you might wonder why someone would take a perfectly good Alfred Angelo bridesmaid dress and paint it for a costume...well, it's been sitting in the closet since my friend got married and it's a good color, so that's why.  ^_^

I also have a wig, horn and ears to wear, as well as some nice sparkly jewelry to round out the whole thing.  I'll be wearing this particular costume for the Masquerade ball that we're holding at Tsubasacon this year, so I'm looking forward to dressing up all pretty like in an actual dress.

And it's cosplay.

And it's My Little Pony...

And I'm kind of crazy.