Posted May 10 2013 - 08:02 AM
I'm not hugely optimistic about Equestria Girls... it's not like Twilight becoming a princess where it was the conclusion to a substantial amount of buildup, and to be honest it could be either good or bad. With that said, as with Twilight becoming a princess, I think a lot of people are jumping to conclusions a little bit too early. We've heard hardly anything about Equestria Girls that gives us reason to worry. It seems silly in some ways, perhaps, but not bad.
Now, it's abundantly clear to me that this is meant to launch a product line. The character designs have all the right ingredients for a line of fantasy fashion dolls similar to Monster High. And personally, I think this is a very bold and innovative move on Hasbro's part. Human or anthro versions of the characters are already popular with fanartists in the community, and have the potential to be just as popular with the preteen and teenage audience Hasbro is likely targeting. The characters' personalities are certainly diverse enough to launch this kind of product line around them, and indeed I think the costume designs we've seen really show how well Hasbro can take advantage of that (Ranging from Applejack's jean skirt and boots to Twilight's blouse and argyle socks to Rainbow's jean jacket and ridiculous high-top sneakers).
The main issue I have with the character designs is that unlike many anthro designs I've seen from fan artists, the characters all share a single heavily-stylized body type. But this, too, is a sure sign of product design considerations. Using the same body type means being able to have the clothes and accessories fully interchangeable between the characters, just as with the brushable pony toys. And additionally this allows girls to identify with the characters based on personality rather than based on physical traits. Similarly, the ponies have kept their skin/coat colors, which neatly avoids the race issue that can often be so controversial within the fandom while giving them another level of fantasy appeal.
I'm gonna watch the Equestria Girls special because I'm excited to see what happens with this, good or bad. It's definitely something very new for the My Little Pony brand and Hasbro has every incentive to make it work out. I'm not expecting it to have anywhere near the same mass appeal as the core Friendship is Magic TV show and brand, but as a spin-off it has the chance to make a positive impression, and I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt unless it turns out to be really and truly awful.