Friday, July 27, 2012


Considering that he's been there for every incarnation of the franchise, it seems only fitting that you would've included him in the very first piece of Friendship is Magic merchandise, the Gift Set (which also included Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and the re-colored Princess Celestia), so . . . well done.

Except . . . not really well done, when you think about it.

Here's the thing. You could argue this point, but the way I see it, there are twelve recurring characters who are necessary for the show to be what it is: the Mane Six (obviously), Spike, the three Cutie Mark Crusaders, and the two Princesses.

Now, other than being a boy and being a dragon, what makes Spike different from Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, Princess Luna, and Princess Celestia?

I swear this isn't a trick question, but here's a hint:

That's right! Of the twelve crucial characters, Spike is the only one who walks around on two legs! And yet, for reasons best kept to yourself, every single time you turn him into a toy he's on all fours.*

But really, what do I know?

Love & stuff,

*You could make an argument that the plush Baby Spike is exempt from the all-fours rule, but I'd rather pretend this toy didn't exist for two reasons: 1) They all look creepy to me. 2) SPIKE IS ALREADY A BABY.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Dear Hasbro,

I feel like we should discuss the (Target Exclusive) Rainbow Pony Collection for just a few moments.


It is very nearly almost perfect! You've got Pinkie Pie (pink), Applejack (orange), Fluttershy (yellow), a male Pony who hasn't appeared on the show called Emerald Ray (green), Rainbow Dash (blue), Twilight Sparkle (purple), and Rarity (white). Brilliant! Really and truly, well done. I mean, I've never actually felt like buying any of these tiny figures --- none of them really look right; in particular, Rainbow Dash is a re-color of Fluttershy, who is basically Applejack (who is missing her hat) without wings --- but how can I resist when they're in such a charming little set like this? I mean, Rarity would obviously approve if I purchased something so . . . dazzling!

(Technically, the set is missing a red Pony --- Big Macintosh, anyone? --- but I can overlook that.)

The problem is that I first found out about this set back in May and it's almost August now and THE SET STILL DOESN'T SEEM TO BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.

May to almost-August. That's a lot of days of getting on the Internet and never getting around to three of the five things I got on the Internet for because I spend an hour scouring eBay and and tumblr and anywhere else I can think of to see if maybe, just maybe, someone out there has managed to get their hot little hands on an actual physical copy of the set and can maybe, just maybe, point me in the right direction, because all I want to do here is give you some of my hard-earned money, Hasbro.

Seriously, if I could find this set I think I'd be willing to pay fifty dollars for it. Let's consider that, shall we? Each of these Ponies is completely stationary, with un-brushable hair, and only two inches tall, so they're worth MAYBE three dollars apiece. Three times seven is twenty-one. So I'm willing to pay you more than twice its worth.

Okay, I'm just gonna step back and catch my breath for a second.

I'm good.

I have exactly one other friend who cares about Ponies as much as I do. We've been discussing the total lack of this set's availability in the real world or the online world every time we've gotten together since we found out about it, and she recently pointed out that, most likely, it probably won't be released until the holidays.

Alright, fine, I can accept that.

But seriously, wouldn't it make more sense to release the set as it is ASAP and then release another holiday-themed version of it (example: replace everypony's Cutie Mark with a snowflake) around the holidays? I mean, it just seems to me that, if you did that, you could, you know, MAKE MORE MONEY.

But what do I know?

Love & stuff,


P.S. This is probably the dumbest idea ever, and I feel like an idiot for even thinking it, but I'd totally buy another version of this set that was just, well, Rainbow Dash in every color of the rainbow.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

111 Girls Who Kick Ass, Number 13: Katara

(Note: I had wanted to make this "Numbers 13-19" and cover all the girls from Avatar in one go, but I just haven't felt up to it. Which is not necessarily an entirely a bad thing, since the part of my brain that cares about writing anything has been mostly absorbed with taking notes on an original story - which, to the shock and awe of absolutely no one, features my own girl who kicks ass - for the past few weeks.)

First things first, she kicks ass as a character. Avatar: The Last Airbender is Aang's story (he's both the Avatar and the last Airbender) (well, the last Airbender until he grows up and has a son, who goes on to have four children . . .), but I would argue that, other than him, Katara is more crucial to it than anyone else.

Or, to say that another way, the show is kinda-sorta the story of Aang as told through Katara. Which I guess doesn't necessarily prove that she kicks ass, but it's a rather nifty storytelling device, and I think that's pretty cool, and who's writing this list again? Oh, right. It's me.


Katara and her brother Sokka (who are probably my favorite set of fictional siblings ever) appear in the very first scene of the very first episode, and remain major characters for the rest of the series. In all that time, does Katara get a single scene where she doesn't kick ass in one way or another?

To start with, let's reflect on that very first scene of the very first episode. If it wasn't for Katara, Aang would've stayed in the iceberg for who knows how long (probably forever) and the war would've gone on indefinitely and the Fire Nation would've subjugated the entire planet. (Or . . . everybody would've learned how to stick up for themselves and do what's right without relying on the Avatar to do all the heavy lifting.*)

Of course, she frees him from the iceberg accidentally, which introduces a somewhat problematic (vaguely Mary Sue-ish) theme for her Waterbending that's played out for the majority of Book One: She's either a hopeless novice who can barely fight her way out of a scrape with more than two non-Benders, or she's A WATERBENDING PRODIGY THE LIKES OF WHICH THIS WORLD HAS NEVER KNOWN omg. Also, she can use her Bending to heal, because hey, why not?

By the end of Book One, the Gaang make it to the North Pole, where they meet a headstrong Waterbending Master. He's honored to teach the Avatar, but he refuses to teach Katara because she's a girl. Apparently, boy Waterbenders are supposed to fight and girl Waterbenders are supposed to heal.


Katara, being Katara, challenges him to a duel, right then and there. (This is one of the best fight scenes in the entire series, by the way. And that's saying something.) She loses, but he does agree to teach her. She then blazes through training and becomes a Master in her own right, and spends Books Two and Three teaching Aang.

Just to recap, she's fourteen years old and teaching the Avatar, the most powerful being on the planet.

That's pretty badass right there.

Look, I could go on and on about how much ass she kicks for quite a while, but I'll limit myself to two more examples (partly because, as much as I love her and love this show, I'm already starting to get bored):

  • In the ENTIRE series, she is the ONLY person to EVER make Azula step back and look nervous during battle.
  • Between this series and The Legend of Korra, there are exactly five Waterbenders who learn the art of Bloodbending (which, by the way, fans had been predicting since day one). Katara is one of them. The other four are evil, or at least morally ambiguous. (This is never spelled out, but I think it's heavily implied that Bloodbending slowly corrupts you - Katara, unlike the other four, only uses it three times.)
So, that's Katara. She kicks ass.

Seriously, if you haven't watched this show already, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?

P.S. Oh, also! Katara is the only character from the original series to appear on Korra in real life (so far) and, not only was she Korra's Waterbending Master (how many Benders can say they've trained two Avatars? I'm guessing not very many), but she is STILL regarded as the best healer in the world.