While some may say My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has many of the negative trappings of princess culture, it’s almost subversive in the way it differs. It’s about female friendship, the characters are also smart and physically active, often engaging in action based character led plots.
Yes there are princesses, but at least they are leaders – and it’s a role that can even be achieved through proving you are smart, having leadership skills, and being motivated by a desire to help others.
This is how Twilight Sparkle (a name that suddenly sounds ridiculous as I type it) became a princess in the show. She is also our daughter’s favourite MLP character, which (despite the name) I think is great. As well as being a leader, the character’s life is dominated by books and learning.
This ‘My Magical Princess Twilight Sparkle’ toy (what a name…) aims to bring this character to life, sort of. It’s an animatronic/robotic toy that is likely to turn the head of any MLP fan. It’s part of the wave of merchandise that ties into the big screen spinoff of the tv show, My Little Pony: The Movie.
This My ‘Little’ Pony is anything but little – it’s about a 1.5ft high and long, and weighs a couple of kgs at least.
So what does it do? Well is speaks & sings (over 90 phrases apparently, including stories and spells), has a light-up magical horn, and moves – a little.
It doesn’t walk as I thought it might, but it does move around on the spot because of a motorised front leg. It’s head & neck also move, as do the wings, plus the eyes blink.
Given all this articulation, I would have expected the toy’s mouth to also move when she spoke/sang – but this is not the case. The motors are also pretty loud and can ruin the illusion a bit. Overall, it wasn’t as interactive when compared to the Furby (also from Hasbro).
I’m a bigger fan of the My Little Pony cartoons than the toys themselves. The toys often don’t reflect the look of the characters on the show (and other merchandise). But I do like the way the toys enable our daughter to engage with the characters in her own way, whether making up stories or interacting with them individually.
Knowing Twilight is into her books, our daughter wanted to show her some of her favourite ones – starting with this modern feminist classic…
A note of caution – the price. The RRP for this toy is (approximately) an eye watering £140 (less in the US). You may find it lower if you shop around, but it’ll still set you back somewhere north of £100. This is likely to come way down in the future, but I don’t imagine that’ll happen this side of Christmas.
So before buying this as a present, I would advise you to really make sure the intended recipient is a big My Little Pony and Twilight Sparkle fan.
The My Magical Princess Twilight Sparkle toy has an RRP of £139.99.
We were sent this item free of charge for the purposes of this review.