Sooner or later we will be getting our first look at the new ponies for Generation 5. Merchandise is expected to drop in August, in time for the movie that will be released September 21st.
Now, of course I know about G5 as much as any of you, so these are my predictions, based on whats popular right now, as well as how the style of MLP has evolved over the years.
These are just sketches rather than full artworks...
Here is the first concept I had in mind, made back in November:
And here are my revised designs:
The purpose of these sketches is to imagine what the artstyle of G5 might look like, I’m not sure if we would actually get ponies whose designs looked like this, colouring wise!
Here’s what I think... not necessarily “what I want” or wishlist out of G5, but more of a “what I think is going to happen”:
Art style: This one was tricky to figure out. G4.5/Pony Life is so perfect encapsulating what’s popular with unicorn-styled things nowadays. The forward-facing eyes, the snub cartoon pig nose, etc. However, they seem to want to continue with the world building aspect of G4, as well as the adventurous, fantasy setting. I don’t expect another Pony Life, rather, it will be more like the later seasons of FiM. A chibi style can work for a comedy series like Pony Life, but it might not work so well with something with a more serious tone. Another thing to keep in mind, is that these ponies have to look good in 3D, since the movie is animated in CGI! G4 was designed cartoon-first, and the cartoon was very flat and made to be easy to animate in Flash. With G5 being 3D, the ponies have to be much more detailed!
Head/face type more like G4 Celestia or Luna. They could be just as skinny too, however, it’s more traditional for MLPs to be stocky. A pony with a stockier build is also easier to stand up and display.
Body type I expect it to be as I stated above, but there may be differences per species, like unicorns being more lithe. It would be easier for Hasbro to make everyone the same, but maybe we could get some variation. There’s a certain way I’ve seen ungulate legs be stylized lately in media. I don’t know how to describe it nor do I know how to draw them exactly but I’ll know it when I see it if it comes into fruition! But the style in question would fit the MLP style perfectly, with the fat legs... not so much skinny “Celestia” legs.
Huge, sparkly eyes. MLP has seen sparkly eyes since the 2017 movie. The styling sea ponies had inset glittery eyes, and some of the other 6″ ponies had “glitter” printed on them. Pony Life/G4.5 continues this, again, not with real glitter, but rather sparkles printed on the eyes.
^ Glitter in general is extremely popular with toys. Hasbro has been incredibly lazy with MLP over the past couple years, but if they wanted to, they could cover the ponies in glitter! Glitter on the wings, Cutie Marks, unicorn horns, and hooves.
Eyebrows. Eyebrows have become more and more popular in toys and in fashion. Well, at least in toys I’ve noticed, since I don’t keep up with makeup trends! I expect G5 to be the first pony generation to have ponies with eyebrows, thickness probably varying from pony to pony. FiM had some ponies with eyebrows, but I’m expecting everyone to have them here!
Side-eyes and expressions. We are already seeing this with G4.5. I think this may continue with G5. Maybe not every pony will have eyes that are looking to the side, but some will. Expect a lot of “Dreamworks faces“ and sassy looks! One raised eyebrow and such.
2017 Movie-styled ears. Self explanatory. I think we could be getting coloured-in ears like in the Pony Life/G4.5 art. Don’t hold your breath on whether that gets brought into the toys. I have my doubts on that.
Hooves! G4.5 is already playing with the idea of giving the ponies visible hooves again, and possibly even feathers, if the old leaked artwork is anything to go by. They may even give unicorns “cloven hooves”. But I hope they realise that a “cloven hoof” isn’t a quirky horse hoof with a split halfway the middle... it’s an entire extra toe on the foot! If one unicorn has two toes, they logically all should. This can be stylized of course, but please be consistent! Sorry for the rant on that... 😂
Hoof bottoms: MLP hooves have stylistically just been perfectly round on the bottom, including G4 and G4.5. However, in the 2017 Movie, they opted for slightly more realistic “heart” shaped hoof bottoms, lack of a better description. I think they will continue with this. This is such a small, weird detail, but it’s something I remembered about the other night...
There will be a pastel unicorn. Unicorns are huge right now, and so many of the ones you see in stores have pastel, rainbow hair. I’d be surprised if Hasbro doesn’t take note of this fad for G5.
Unicorns may have coloured-in horns. MLP has traditionally had horns the same colour as the pony’s body, but that may change with G5! Not a guarantee, but following the unicorn fad, unicorns in stores usually have a coloured in horn, from gold/yellow to rainbow.
Another Mane 6. At the start of G4 we had an even number of pony species among the main cast: two earth ponies, two unicorns, and two pegasi. They could spread this out further if they were to incorporate other new species in the mix. But I think 2 per is the most likely scenario. Maybe we could have a Mane 7, with 2 each, and one alicorn...? Can we get dragon ponies (whether it’s kirin, longma, or something new) this time please?
Character designs: Not sure exactly what the characters themselves are going to look like, of course! But I do think we will have a pastel unicorn. I hope we get to see body markings like in the concept arts. It would be a first time (-ish) for MLP and it would make the ponies even more colourful than they already are! Obvious downside is that Hasbro is likely to be lazy. I imagine the star-themed pony I designed above to maybe have a constellation-themed Cutie Mark, as I’ve seen constellations be popular in merchandise. I think ponies are more likely to have accessories this time around (at least in the art, no guarantees for the toys...), and be more visually interesting. They might take cues from what’s popular right now in terms of theming.
Cutie Marks: A mix of what I expect and what I want here. I think we’ll get more detailed Cutie Marks in G5. G4 was very boring in terms of Cutie Mark design, and while I don’t think we’ll get G3 level of detail, I think it will be a step in the right direction!
Colourful hair! More wishful thinking on my part, but lots of toys nowadays have such colourful hair. I would hope that MLP goes for something more colourful like G3 and early G4. The Mane 6 were lacking in the colour department, save for Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle. Them having multi-coloured hair will make them stand out compared to the solid-coloured hair toys! However, this is Hasbro we’re talking about...
I think that’s it in terms of pony designs! I have ideas for the movie too, but this is a toy collecting blog! Also in terms of pony toys, I expect to see lots of playsets! A new gen usually has a playset or two ready, but I’m looking at the 2017 Movie as a basis! I was just thinking about how much Hasbro released in 2017... the Sequestria Castle, that other seapony playset, the FiM Collection Castle, the pirate ship, the carousel recolour... so much was released and I hope Hasbro will make an effort putting even more out given that this is a BRAND NEW generation!
On another note, Hasbro may push this gen to be more “gender neutral” or at least “less girly” after the unexpected success of FiM. Despite this there has to be a “fashionista” pony like G4 Rarity to push those hair styling sets! Cadence was also made specifically to be the “pink princess” to sell toys, and saw more releases than Celestia! Maybe we could get a girly girl pink unicorn to sell those Fashion Styles. ;)
Well, that’s it, I think... I hope! I feel like I’m missing things here and there and I’ll probably add more things as I remember them, but that’s the gist of what I’m feeling.
Around the Carousel
Catch me joining Damian Wayne Week after it started with some impulse fics. This is for day 2 (I almost made it to actually posting on the 14th my time). I selected the: Undercover prompt.
Summary: Bruce and Damian go undercover at a school fair. They're supposed to be investigating, instead they stop to enjoy themselves.
Bruce tucked his hands into his pockets and smiled down at Damian as the boy adjusted his hat. It was the third time he’d done it in ten minutes as the wind kept pulling at it, trying to tease it off his head.
It was a windy night for them to be out. A steady breeze blew through fair stalls, kicking up banners and tablecloths, and threatening to blow papers and smaller items off of tables. It cut the late Spring heat in a nice way, making the night mild and perfect for a school fair. Which, was exactly where they were at.
“If you’d like, I can carry that for you.” Bruce said.
Damian dropped his hands and looked up at Bruce, “I am fine, Fa--Uncle Matches. It is not bothering me.”
“Alright, whatever you say, kiddo.” Bruce smiled, “You wanna adjust those glasses while you’re at it?”
His son frowned, his nose wrinkling, and sending the glasses sliding a little further down it. It was unreasonably cute. Bruce held up his phone and snapped a photo of his son. The flash went off and when Bruce dropped his phone Damian was looking surprised.
“For posterity's sake.” Bruce explained, examining the picture, it had caught Damian’s expression perfectly.
He attached it to a text and sent it to Dick, anticipating a response of jealousy from his eldest. Dick was in Bludhaven, working his own case, and had to bow out of joining the Matches boys as they went undercover.
“Uncle Matches, are you planning to spend all night looking at your phone or are we to explore the fair? You promised to examine my entry for the art exhibit.”
How Damian had managed to get a piece in an art exhibit at a school he didn’t even attend Bruce was still figuring out. Apparently he’d had Oracle hack into the system and create a profile and enrollment information for one Matthew “Matches” Malone. Damian’s art was set up under the moniker Lil’ Matches, and even thinking about it made Bruce smile.
“Of course, lead the way.”
Damian nodded, the action shaking his glasses loose again. Bruce bit back a smile. It was Damian who’d insisted on going the Clark Kent route with glasses and selecting clear ones to help obscure their identities, instead of the normal shades that paired with the Matches persona. It would be hard to defend sunglasses at a fair that took place mostly after dark.
It had been a good call, so far no one had recognized them in their suits and glasses, and they’d been able to enter the fair and purchase game tickets with ease.
His kid adjusted the glasses again, turned on his heel and began to lead Bruce. He followed at a leisurely pace, enjoying the lights strung across stalls, the smell of food frying, and the calls of students manning games and trying to get them to use their tickets to purchase sketches or experiences.
“I believe our target is one of the art students. Most have been asked to spend time by their pieces at the exhibit.” Damian explained as he walked.
“What time is their slot?” Bruce asked, eyes catching on a bottle toss game.
“He should arrive in approximately an hour.”
“An hour you say?” Bruce hooked an arm around Damian’s shoulders and spun him back towards the bottle toss, “Then why don’t we spend some time enjoying the fair, my dear nephew?”
Damian stopped and looked up at him with open surprise, “But we are on a case?”
“At a school fair. The likes of which I don’t think you’ve ever properly attended. Didn’t the one at your school get interrupted?”
Bruce frowned, “You didn’t go, I remember that. What happened?”
His son looked down at the ground, fascinated by the way dust coated his shoe, “There was a Scarecrow attack the night prior. I--was incapacitated by it.”
He remembered now. Damian had taken a dose of toxin for Tim when his brother’s mask had cracked. Both of them had been down for a while, but Damian had been exposed longer than Tim by the time Batman and Spoiler had arrived. He’d been shaky and sick for days after.
Bruce squeezed Damian’s shoulder, “All the more reason to enjoy this one.”
He tried not to think about how Dick would have remembered right away and not pushed the subject, or how even if he had fallen in this pit he’d have figured out how to cheer Damian right away, “We can afford some distraction, you don’t want to be bored for an hour do you?”
Damian hummed, and glanced up, “I would not be opposed to trying a game or two.”
“Perfect, let’s start with the ring toss.” Bruce smiled.
They traded in some tickets for both of them to get a chance at the ring toss. The operator pointed at some green rimmed bottles, “Get at least three rings on the green and you’ll win a prize. If both of you get three onto green you can get one of the big ones or two smaller prizes.”
They had four chances each. Bruce glanced at Damian. He was focused, feeling the weight of the rings in his hands, and eyeing the bottles like he was doing the math in his head calculating what it would take to get them perfectly in place.
After a moment Damian tossed the first ring, it caught at the edge of one of the green bottles and slipped off. He frowned at it, nodded, and then tossed his remaining three in quick succession. All three landed around bottles.
Bruce grinned, and looked up to see the surprise on the operator's face. His son was extraordinary, and Bruce loved seeing him show off.
He took his own time tossing his rings, landing three as well, and missing his last. He shrugged, not minding missing one. They still met the requirements for the big prize.
“Well, kiddo, what do you want?” He asked.
Damian looked up at the racks of plushes hanging from the top of the booth, considering. He pointed at two of the smaller ones. One was a dog dressed as Batman, with a little cowl and cape, and the other was a duck wearing a green deerstalker cap, with a small magnifying glass attached to one of its wings.
The operator handed Damian both animals with a smile, “Good choices, looks like you’re a fan of detectives.”
“Yes.” Damian said, “I am, as is my brother. He will enjoy the duck. Thank you for the diverting game, and best of luck with others.”
As they walked away, Damian handed Bruce the duck, “I trust you to keep an eye on this.” he said, “If you lose it Timothy will be terribly disappointed. I cannot miss bringing him a souvenir twice in a row.”
Bruce raised an eyebrow at him, “It’s not for Dick?”
“Tt, I would have selected a different animal for him, perhaps an elephant or bird.” Damian fiddled with one of the ears of the cowl on his dog, “I promised Timothy a prize if I won one last time, it was supposed to be in exchange for driving Jon and I. Even though the event did not happen, he might still enjoy one from here.”
“I’m sure he will.” Bruce said, resisting the urge to tug Damian into a tight hug, “What would you like to do next? That didn’t take us very long.”
His son looked around the fair, “Perhaps we could try one of the rides? Is there one you particularly enjoy?”
Bruce looked up around them, the fair had a variety of rides. The school had managed to hire a good selection, including a carousel. Bruce pointed at it, they could just see the pointed top from where they were.
“The carousel, you’ll love it.”
This time Bruce led, with Damian close by his side, as they walked, Bruce gave into the desire to reach down and take Damian’s hand in his own. When the boy looked up at him Bruce smiled, “It’s normal for families to do, especially in a busy place like this.”
The crowd wasn’t so thick Bruce was worried about losing Damian, but the move felt natural. He’d held his other children’s hands at events like this before, even Tim’s, though they’d gone well after the boy was the usual age for hand holding when wandering around an event. Damian didn’t seem too upset, in fact he gave Bruce’s hand a squeeze.
“That makes sense. As my Uncle you would be concerned for my safety and wish me to stay close.”
“Of course.” Bruce nodded.
Soon they reached the carousel. Bruce watched Damian with a close eye as they approached. Damian’s face went from cautious and curious, to delighted. There was something about being at the fair and undercover that seemed to let his son react a little more openly than he might if they were somewhere else. Bruce contributed it to the magic of the night.
“It has animals?” he asked, looking up at Bruce.
“Yep, different types. Carousel horses and animals are actually a really unique type of art. There are some horses that have sold for tens of thousands of dollars.” He explained, “And some artists who spend their whole lives making just horses for them.”
Damian’s eyes had gone very wide now, his face open with childlike delight, “And we are allowed to ride them?”
“Most yes, this one probably isn’t as fancy as some, but if you’re interested I’m sure we can visit a few of the more famous ones. I bet Dick’s seen some really cool ones from when he was younger.”
The look on Damian’s face, of excitement and anticipation was enough to melt Bruce’s heart and say yes to anything the kid might ask. Bruce tugged him forward.
“Come on, let’s get in line.”
They didn’t have long to wait, just until the ride stopped and emptied off. From there, they traded in a few more tickets for a chance to ride. Damian wandered the whole of the ride before selecting a white horse with gold trimmings. Bruce took the brown one beside it. They’d taken so long selecting, that almost the moment after they were settled, the ride began to move.
Damian’s laugh when the horse he was on began to rise and fall along with the forward momentum of the carousel was like music. Bruce wanted to take him on every carousel in the world to keep hearing that laugh and seeing that smile.
“May we go again?” Damian asked, the moment the ride stopped.
“Of course.” Bruce told him.
After the second ride, they stepped off and back into the crowd. Bruce checked his watch, they still had some time to spare before they had to be at the art display. He glanced around and caught sight of some food stands.
“Have you had a funnel cake before?” He asked, elbowing Damian.
His son shook his head.
“Then we’re getting one.” Bruce declared, “They’re the perfect mix of fried dough and toppings. We’ve got enough time to enjoy one before getting back on track.”
Damian looked less excited by the prospect of fried dough, but agreed to try it. Soon, the two of them were seated at a picnic table with a funnel cake between them. It was topped with powdered sugar, chocolate, sprinkles, and even some whipped topping. Damian gaped at the concoction, but Bruce passed him a fork with confidence.
“You just have to go at it.” he explained, “Dig in and enjoy.”
His son snorted, “That sounds like something Richard would say.”
Bruce grinned at him, “It should, he told me the very same thing when he introduced me to funnel cakes.”
Together they managed to eat the entire funnel cake. As Bruce set his plastic fork down, he thought finishing it off might have been a mistake even if they weren’t in the middle of an undercover operation. His stomach felt heavy with grease, sugar, and bread.
“That was--a lot.” Damian said, finishing his bottle of water.
“Yes.” Bruce said, wiping at his fake moustache, “It was. But I think we’ll be fine. It’s about time to head over to the exhibit.”
He wanted to get there early enough to see Damian’s piece. The kid had been very secretive of what he’d been working on for it. Taking the project as seriously as he would have as if it were for his own school fair. Bruce wanted to be able to enjoy it before they disrupted everything.
They were here to catch one of the students in the act of trying to blackmail a teacher. Damian had gotten news of it from his friend Collin, letting him know that strange things were going down. After some research, Damian had found some discrepancies in grades with a few of the students, and noted one teacher withdrawing large sums of money on a regular basis. Not enough to make a kid rich, but enough to placate a teen who’d watched too much television.
Damian had brought the case to Bruce, and together they’d worked out that this would be the next best place to find the kid and teacher interacting in a public location. From what Bruce could tell, the teacher hadn’t done anything against his students, instead he seemed to be in the middle of an affair with a seperate teacher. The plan was to bust the student, or at the very least record the exchange and get it in the hands of the administration.
The teacher in question? One of the art instructors.
They tossed their trash into a bin and Bruce let Damian lead him over to where the art exhibit was put up. It was tucked in one of the further corners of the fair, out of the way of chaos, but on a busy enough route that plenty of people were stopping by to look at the art.
“Which one is yours?” Bruce asked.
“Ah, it is this here.” Damian led him to a painting hanging up on a temporary pillar.
It was a painting of the garden outside Wayne manor. Done in bright beautiful colors it looked like you could step right into the painting. Portions of the paint were raised up to create texture and shadows, like the petals on flowers. In one portion, Bruce could see Alfred the cat sleeping in a patch of sun.
“It’s gorgeous.” Bruce said, “the detail is incredible.”
Damian was blushing, “It is nothing, a quick painting.”
“Don’t sell yourself short, I know you were working on this for hours.” Bruce told him, “Do you get to bring it home?”
“Yes.” Damian said, “I was not sure what to do with it.”
“We’ll hang it up, of course. There’s a spot in the library I think will work well. Some greenery in a very brown room.”
At this point, Damian’s ears had gone red, “If you are sure.”
Bruce nodded, “I am.”
They spent a little longer looking at Damian’s painting before they shifted to look at some of the other pieces on display. There were quite a few that were really good, and a number of interesting ones. Some looked as if they had been submitted just for a grade, but all in all it was enjoyable.
Bruce was busy looking over a self portrait when he felt a small sharp elbow jab him in the side. He looked up to see Damian staring at another young man. Probably about sixteen, who’d just walked into the display area.
“That him?” he asked.
Damian nodded, “Let us wait to see if he approaches Mr. Franklin.”
Bruce slipped his phone out of his pocket and played with it, as if he were taking general photos.
“Matches, why don’t you stand by your painting? I want to get a picture of you with it.” he said, affecting a delighted uncle voice, “I’m sure your dad would love to see it.”
They moved over to the painting, and Bruce aimed the phone as he walked. Mr. Franklin was situated just behind the pillar with Damian’s painting on it. He snapped a few pictures of Damian, directing the kid to smile and pose, before slipping the phone’s setting over to video. He shifted slightly so that Franklin was in frame and hit record.
After a moment, the other boy approached him. Bruce inched forward to make sure he could get sound, and glanced over at Damian. The kid was hurrying away, off to find a separate teacher to bring over and hopefully stumble on the blackmail scene.
The exhibit was a good place to meet as Franklin was in charge of it and there wasn’t any reason for other teachers to wander over unless they were just checking things out. Most were too busy for that, with their own booths and class exhibits to care for.
Thankfully, Bruce did catch the conversation clearly from where he was. He hoped that no one would notice he’d stopped recording his kid, and started just recording the area. If he had to, he’d just say it was b-roll for a home video or something.
It wasn’t very long before Damian came back, a teacher at his heels. Bruce shifted the camera subtly back towards Damian’s painting.
“And here is my Uncle Malone. He can vouch for my skills if my piece does not convince you.” Damian was saying.
The teacher opened her mouth to say something, and then suddenly the boy speaking to Mr. Franklin shouted, “This is not what we agreed on!”
“I’m sorry--” she said, “Matches, Mr. Malone I’ll be right back.”
With that, she split from them to intervene on the argument. Bruce stopped his recording, and sent the video to Oracle who was going to forward it to the school.
“Well, that should take care of that.” Bruce said, turning to Damian, “How about we enjoy the rest of the fair? We’ve still got tickets, and there’s some rides we haven’t tried yet.”
Damian nodded, “That sounds acceptable. This fair has been, quite fun. And I am enjoying spending time with you.”
Bruce grinned, and tugged Damian into a hug, “Me too.”
“We should do the carousel again.” Damian said, stepping away to take Bruce’s hand, “And after that there is something that apparently spins you at such a speed you are stuck to the wall.”
“Oh? Well, lead the way, we’ll go until I feel like I’ve had a full patrol.”
Damian grinned at that, and Bruce felt his heart soar. He was going to have to figure out other ways of getting them undercover to things like this. Or just take Damian out to fairs more often as father and son.