G4 Blind Bag Ponies

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This article refers to the G4 releases. For similar figurines from G3 and G3.5 see Blind Bag Ponies.
Rainbow Dash figurine

G4 Blind Bag Ponies are pony toys that take the form of fully molded figurines that approximately half the size of a Playful Pony figure. Blind Bag Ponies tend to more closely resemble the characters from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic due to their molded hair. However, like the majority of G4 merchandise, the pony's cutie mark will be featured on only one side of the flank. Similar figurines, such as the Ponyvillesets have been released as part of G3 and G3.5

The term Blind Bag Pony refers to the packaging that the majority of figurines comes in (opaque "surprise" packaging that prevents the user from determining which pony is inside), but related figurines can also be found in Sets, Collections, or as part of games and other miscellaneous merchandise. The term "figurines" will be used to refer to these groups as a whole.

Contents

Figurine Sources

Blind Bag Ponies

The main source of figurines is Blind Bags, released in Waves. Blind Bag Ponies come with a matching matching collector card, featuring the name and artwork of the pony, and a brief description about the pony's personality and/or favorite activity. These cards can sometimes be found in other merchandise. In addition to the figurine and collector card, each package includes a small parts warning sheet and sometimes a colorful pamphlet.

As of October 2014, there have been:

Other Sources

Some figurines are released as a part of a Miniature Sets, including anywhere from three to six ponies. Most revolve around a specific theme. Those figurines are more likely to have unique, individual molds, rather than being recolors and thus, are more likely to be accurate to the show. Some of the molds used for these figurines have been used in later Blind Bag Waves for re-releases or as recolors for other ponies. Sets does not include collector cards.

Other figurines have been released as Miniature Collections. While Miniature Collections are similar to sets in that they involve groups of figurines, Collections usually are not arranged around a theme. Collections are packaged in groups of 4-12 ponies, some which are unique to the collection. Collections are often exclusive to certain retail chains, such as Wal-Mart or Toys R' Us and can be difficult to find. So far, only the Toys 'R Us "Pony Collection Set" has included collector cards.

Other sources of figurines includes:

Possible Prototypes & Chinese Fakes

Yes, they exists and numerous, so here be text :)

Blind Bag Specifics

Appearance

Each wave comes out with originally designed bags (please note that Euro and US bags versions are slightly, but not significantly differs; some examples can be found in Blind Bag Waves section), so it is not hard to identify which bag relates to which wave :


Distribution

Distribution pattens have varied between countries. In the US, for example, Wave I was late while Wave II was skipped entirely. In their place were some packaged ponies on cards.The initial delay spurred collectors to source their ponies from Taobao.

Later Blind Bag waves, e.g. Wave VIII, may come splitted into two sub-waves of twelve ponies each in some countries (spotted in UK for example). These subwaves have a different numbering system, and subtly different bag designs. However, there is no difference in the ponies that can be found in the sub waves in total when compared to the original wave.

International Releases

US/Euro cards comparision

When compared to the US Market, Blind Bags released in Europe markets have some minor differences such as:


Identification

Though Blind Bag packaging is meant to obscure the identity of each pony, collectors have discovered that each bag has a unique imprinted code that can be deciphered to reveal the identity of the enclosed pony. Several coding patterns exist and are described below in more detail.

Two Digit Codes

Identifying 2-digit codes Blind Bags Chart[1]

Early European blind bags (Wave I, Wave III at least) may have two numerals stamped on the outside of the bag on the top of the the back seam. These numbers directly corresponds to the pony's number on collector card and character numbering for each appropriate wave below.

But some of even early European waves may already have more common later Five Digit Codes though:

Five Digit Codes

Hard to read 5-digit code, 22445 for Glittery Rainbow Dash, US Wave I

Up until the Wave VIII (Neon Wave), all American and later European blind bags have a five digit code stamped on the top of the back seam. The 1st, 3rd, and 5th number are random numbers meant to obscure the identity of the pony. The combination of the second and fourth numbers serves as the pony's identification, and directly corresponds to the pony's number on collector card and character numbering for each appropriate wave below. Single digit card's numbers are written with a leading zero, e.g. 2 will be written as 02 = X0X2X, where "X" represents the random numbers.

For example, codes for US Wave I consist of :

  1. Pinkie Pie - 20415
  2. Applejack - 20425
  3. Rainbow Dash - 20435
  4. Rarity - 20445
  5. Twilight Sparkle - 20455
  6. Fluttershy - 20465
  7. Sugar Grape - 20475
  8. Lily Blossom - 20485
  9. Minty - 20495
  10. Bumblesweet - 21405
  11. Fizzypop - 21415
  12. Flower Wishes - 21425
  13. Roseluck - 21435
  14. Sweetie Blue - 21445
  15. Pepperdance - 21455
  16. Lemon Hearts - 21465
  17. Cherry Spices - 21475
  18. Sweetie Swirl - 21485
  19. Lucky Swirl - 21495
  20. Sweetcream Scoops - 22405
  21. Firecracker Burst - 22415
  22. Pinkie Pie (Glittery) - 22425
  23. Twilight Sparkle (Glittery) - 22435
  24. Rainbow Dash (Glittery) - 22445


Two Letter Codes

Letter code positions

From Wave VIII on, coding scheme was changed: there is no longer a back seam on the package, thus, codes consisting of two capital letters are imprinted along the bottom edge of the bags.

Wave8BlindBagCodeCloseUp.jpg

The first letter is always "A", and only the second letter actually tells you which pony is inside. Ponies card number simply corresponds to the position in English alphabet for this second letter, skipping the letters "J" and "Q" (they are never used). For example, in Wave VIII that makes #1 Applejack's code "AA", #2 Big McIntosh's code "AB" and so on through "AZ" for #24 Twilight Sparkle.

See character images for each appropriate wave below for individual pony codes.

Blind Bag Waves

Blind Bags are released in "waves", usually 2-4 within a calendar year, starting from 2011 for G4. Each wave consists of 24 unique (for this particular wave at least) pony figurines, sharing a common style (e.g. pastel colored ponies in wave 9, bright translucent in wave 8, etc.). Special Ponies are sometimes included, such as glittery versions of Pinkie, Twi and Dashie in wave 1; glow in the dark versions of Rarity, Twilight and Pinkie in wave 3, etc. In some countries (UK for sure) later waves were splitted in two sub-waves (consists of 12 ponies each), distinguishable by slightly different bags and boxes designs.

Although ponies are not repeated inside each wave (except for the specials, which sometimes represents an already being in this wave character), some of them can duplicate figurines from earlier waves, sets or other toys. Duplicate rate is around 30% all known figurines until October 2014 are counted, considering different molds, styles and paintings for one pony as different figurines). If only Blind Bag waves I through XI are counted, the duplication rates drops to 11%. The highest proportion of re-releases consist of the Mane Six.

Each wave offers its own design for collector cards, with an exception for the first two Waves and TRU Pony Collection Set, which share the same design. So, for example, common Twilight Sparkle figurines from wave 3 and wave 5 are identical, but have differing cards.

Early Blind Bag waves consisted solely of female ponies and were recolors of the Mane 6. At this point, Unicorns were based off of Twilight Sparkle or Rarity, while Earth Ponies were based off of Pinkie Pie or Applejack. All Pegasus Ponies were recolors of Rainbow Dash, including Fluttershy, one of the Mane 6. Later waves added more variety in molds, including male Earth, Unicorn, and Pegasus Ponies, and Alicorn Ponies. Also, while some early waves featured the Mane 6 and recycled G3 ponies, later waves tend to include more supporting and minor characters from the MLP:FiM.

Wave I

Euro Blind Bag
US Blind Bag
US card example
Monolingual mini pamphlet
Purple and pink variants of Glittery Twilight Sparkle
Lily Blossom variants

Release date: May 2011 at the latest[2] in Europe; much later (but at least in January 2012 they already were[3]) in USA

For identifying which pony is inside each blind bag, please see Two Digit Codes section.

Early Alternatives for Wave I in USA

At first in the US/North America only the mane characters were released. Fluttershy at first only appeared in the US with the puzzle house (which is still quite rare), which drove her value up extremely high initially.

They have been packaged:

See Individually packaged mini ponies

The individual on card ponies have been sold in the US, Canada, and the UK so far.


Wave I Coming Out in USA
US Box of Blind Bags

The first set of blind bags appeared by the box (finally) on hasbrotoyshop.com February 2012, ie officially available in the US.

It seems that some/all of the first full run of blind bags released in North America do not have their collector card number punched into the packaging. Secretly however they do[4]. See the Five Digit Codes for details.


Wave II

Bb-wave2.jpg
Euro card example
Multilingual mini pamphlet
G4-blind-wave2.jpg
Blind-ident-wave2.jpg

Release date: in August 2011 they already were[5] in Europe; never in USA


Wave III

Bb-wave3.jpg
US card example
Euro-w3.jpg
Euro box

Release date: July 2012 in USA[6]


Wave IV

Bb-wave4.jpg
US card example
Blue-blind-bags.jpg
L to R: Wave 2, Pony Rainbow Collection, Wave 4
L to R: Pony Rainbow Collection, Wave 2, Wave 4

Release date: May 2012 in Europe[8]; July 2012 in USA[9]

It seems that starting from this wave, identification codes on European bags changed entirely to US 5-digit coding scheme[10].

Stock photos from Equestria Daily.


Wave V

Bb-wave5.jpg
US card example
Common yellow card example vs. Forsythia's pink card (both are European versions)
Left Wave 3 Heartstrings; Right Wave 5 Lyra Heartstrings

Release date: August 2012 in USA/Europe[11]

Stock photos from Equestria Daily.


Wave VI

US Wave VI packaging
Euro Wave VI packaging
US card example
Wave 1 (left) and Wave 6 (right) Roseluck comparison

Release date: December 2012 in USA stores[12]

Photos from Strawberry Reef.


Wave VII

Bb-wave7.jpg
US card example
Wave 7 bag identifying Soarin and Spitfire
Mistaken Soarin (actually Spitfire's) card
Mistaken Spitfire (actually Soarin's) card

Release date: January 2013 in USA stores[13]

White background photos from 123toyuk.


Wave VIII

Wave8BlindBagCode.jpg
US card example
L to R: Wave 7, Wave 8
L to R: Wave 7, Wave 8
L to R: Wave 7, Wave 8
L to R: Wave 7, Wave 8
L to R: Wave 7, Wave 8
L to R: Wave 7, Wave 8

Release date: June 2013 in USA stores[14]

The bags for this wave were changed so that there is no longer a center flap for the identification codes to be imprinted on. Instead, letters are imprinted along the bottom edge of the bags. Please see Two Letter Codes section for details.



Wave IX

Bb-wave9.jpg
US card example
Sea Swirl Comparison L: Wave 3, R: Wave 9
Noteworthy Comparison L: Wave 9, R: Wave 3
Berryshine Comparison L: Wave 3, R: Wave 9
Lily Valley Comparison L: Wave 9, R: Wave 7
Prism Glider with her card :)

Release date: November 2013 in USA stores[15]



Wave X

Bb-wave10.jpg
US card example
Royal Riff L: Wave 4; R: Wave 10
Peachy Sweet L: Wave 4; R: Wave 10
Mosely Orange L: Wave 4; R: Wave 10
Sassaflash L: Wave 4; R: Wave 10
Trixie L: Wave 4; R: Wave 10

Release date: April 2014 in USA stores[16]


Wave XI

Bb-wave-XI.jpg
US card example

Release date: September 2014 in USA stores[17]


Wave XII

Some info at mlpmerch revealed here, here and here.


Origin unknown

This image was compiled originally by VioletCLM on mlparena.com; seems that many of them already come out in Blind Bags Wave XI

Sunset Shimmer • Suri Polomare • Big Wig • Spitfire • Purple Wave • Emerald Ray (plain version?) • Flash Sentry • Rising Star • Apple Munchies • Lightning Dust • Pinprick • Violet Velvet • pale blue earth pony with magenta hair • dark pink stallion with light blue hair • lavender earth pony with dark pink hair • yellow earth pony with pink hair and purse cutie mark[18]



Collection Sets

Collection Sets are all exclusive to North America. Each set is exclusive to a particular store (Target, Toys 'R Us, Walmart thus far).

For more photos see G4 Mini Ponies and Sets.

Pony Collection Set (Toys R' Us)

Unopened Collection photo
Ponies with cards
Pinkie Pie variants - single on left, TRU set on right

Release date: August 2011 in Toys R' Us stores, USA [19]


Friendship Celebration Collection (Toys R' Us)

Unopened Taobao MIP Friendship Celebration Collection

Release date: May 2012 at Taobao[20]


Pony Rainbow Collection (Target)

Unopened Collection photo
Package from behind
All together

Release date: 2012, between blind bag waves VI and VII



The Pony Rainbow Collection versions of Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity are almost exact matches to the Wave 4 versions. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash are darker than their Wave 1 versions. Twilight Sparkle is a brighter purple than Wave 1 as well. Fluttershy is darker than Wave 4 and slightly lighter but still close in color to her Wave 2 counterpart. Applejack is darker than in both Wave 4 and Wave 2. Rarity is more opaque than her Wave 2 version. With the exception of Emerald Ray, the Rainbow Collection does not have the black numbers stamped on the bottoms of their hooves differentiating them from the other waves.


Pinkie Pie and Friends Mini Collection (Walmart)

Pinkie Pie & Friends
Mini Collection™

Release date: 2012, between blind bag waves VI and VII


Pony Friends Forever Collection (Toys R' Us)

Pony Friends Forever Collection
Alternate version
Rear view
Friends Forever!
Mrs. Dazzle Cake variants - L: Cake Family Babysitting Fun, R: Pony Friends Forever Collection
Pinkie Pie variants - L: Pony Friends Forever Collection, R: common variant

Release date: June 2014 in Toys R' Us stores, USA [21]

Seems to have two versions with the places for Dr. Hooves/Apple Bloom and Octavia Melody/Lyrica Lilac are swapped?


Miniature Sets

For more photos see G4 Mini Ponies and Sets.

As it seems that Miniature Sets comes out in wave-style, ie a few at the same time, they arranged below in groups according to release date.

Summer 2012

It seems that all three of those sets came out simultaneously, and was available at least in Target stores, USA in July 2012[22].

Pony Wedding Set

Unopened MIP Pony Wedding Set
Royal family


Cloudsdale Set

Unopened MIP Cloudsdale Set photo
Let's fly!


Apple Family Set

Unopened MIP Apple Family Set photo
Tight-knit Apple family


Spring 2013

Spa Pony Set

Unopened Set photo
Ponies!


Class of Cutie Marks Set

Unopened Class of Cutie Marks Set MIB photo
Fillie's affairs


Famous Friends Set

Unopened Famous Friends Set MIB photo
Group photo


Summer 2013

Although often mentioned as "Deluxe Mini Collections" and not bearing the word "Set" in the title, this toys easily can be classified as just another Miniature Sets because of the same packaging style, distribution, etc.

Cake Family Babysitting Fun

Unopened Set photo
Family photo

Release date: July 2013 in USA stores [23]


Elements of Harmony Friends

Unopened Set photo
All together

Release date: August 2013 in USA stores[24]


Autumn 2013

Pony Lesson Set

Unopened Set photo
After school!
Left Wave 2 Cheerilee; Right later Pony Lesson Set Cheerilee

Release date: September 2013[25]


Royal Surprise Set

Unopened Royal Surprise Set photo
Surprise, surprise!


Groovin' Hooves Set

Unopened Set photo
At the concert


Winter 2013 - Spring 2014

Those four sets are themed around Season 4 events, and brings us all of Mane 6 in Rainbowfied coloring along with some of the second-plane, but nonetheless very loved and famous ponies. They started appearing in stores at the very end of 2013[26] through the spring 2014 [27], while being at online stores a little earlier [28] as always.

Rainbow Pony Favorite Set

Unopened Set photo
Cutie pox, cutie pox are everywhere! :)



Daring Pony Story Set

Unopened Daring Pony Story Set photo
Rainbowfied (hic!) Rainbow Dash and her friends. Oh my...



Soaring Pegasus Set

Unopened Soaring Pegasus Set photo
Fluttershy: "Look, I am rainbowfied too! (Um, if you don't mind...)"


Ponyville Newsmaker Set

Unopened Ponyville Newmaker Set photo
They definitely conceived something!


Board Games

Rainbow Magic Game

RainbowMagicGame.jpg

Game comes with four blind bag ponies: Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy. They are common figurines found in many Blind Bags waves.


Regnbågsspelet

Regnbågsspelet.jpg

Regnbågsspelet means "The Rainbow Game" in Swedish. It came out in Sweden, with four blind bag ponies inside: Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, and Lyra Heartstrings - all identical to those in Blind Bags Wave III.


Chutes and Ladders

ChutesAndLadders.jpg

My Little Pony version of the game came with three blind bag ponies to use as pieces - Princess Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash, all have coloring nuances, making them an unique figurines


Mini Pony Collector's Guide Book

MPCGB front.jpg
Tealove

First Edition published in October 2013 by Little, Brown and Company, ISBN 978-0-316-24907-2, this book offers rather comprehensive source of information for collectors, quote from the backcover: "Intended for ages 6 and up" ;). It features high-quality figurines photos, their descriptions, collector's cards pic's (both sides + separetely duplicated text), characters art and blind bags appearance examples. Also it has a "Pony Checklist" for each figurine/Set/Collection, so you can check there figurines you already have. In addition, it includes rare Tealove figurine from Blind Bags Wave II.

The Book has an unusual format, where pages occupy only about 2/3 of the actual cover size, whereas at the top plastic figurine holder situated. The holder can be easily opened (two halfs of it are bonded by adhesive tape), so the figurine can be pulled out and back at the owner's discretion.

This edition covers Blind Bags, Collections, and Sets released at the time of publishing, with some exceptions (see below). The Waves numbering are differs from that adopted on most collector's Internet sites (and also in this article), but matches those used by many vendors.

What you WILL find in this book
What you WILL NOT find in this edition


Trivia

Pony's cutie marks can rarely undergo minor appearance changes in re-releases: [here be pictures]

Some background ponies shares the same cutie mark:

A few not vastly involved in MLP:FiM ponies have had their race altered due to mistakes in later waves:

See also

References

  1. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/05/blind-bags-are-identifiable.html
  2. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/05/blind-bags-are-identifiable.html
  3. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/01/blind-bag-ponies-invading-us-wal-mart.html
  4. http://www.toyreviewdaily.com/2012/01/17/code-number-list-my-little-pony-blind-bags-us-series-1-kiosk-ponies-2012-hasbro/
  5. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/08/blind-bags-round-2.html
  6. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/07/blind-bag-wave-3-hitting-shelves.html
  7. http://www.bronycon.org/images/blindbags/wave3/
  8. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/05/blind-bag-wave-4-now-available-in.html
  9. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/08/blind-bag-wave-5-metallic-ponies.html
  10. http://mylittleponymadness.weebly.com/1/post/2012/05/wave-4-blind-bag-identification.html
  11. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/08/yellow-alicorn-wave-blindbag-codes.html
  12. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/12/wave-6-blind-bags-popping-up-at-various.html
  13. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/01/blind-bag-identification-for-wave-7.html
  14. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/06/neon-blindbag-identification.html
  15. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/11/new-blindbag-set-at-hot-topic-wave-9.html
  16. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2014/04/wave-10-blindbags-appearing-now.html
  17. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2014/09/wave-11-blindbag-ponies-popping-up-in.html
  18. http://mlparena.com/index.php/topic,349768.0.html
  19. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/08/pony-collection-set-sneaking-into-toys.html
  20. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/05/another-toys-r-us-blindbag-set-on-way.html
  21. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2014/06/pony-friends-forever-collection-heading.html
  22. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/07/toy-review-minature-collection-sets.html
  23. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/07/cake-collection-set-and-equestria-girls.html
  24. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/08/toy-review-elements-of-harmony-friends.html
  25. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/09/pony-lesson-set-available-on-toys-r-us.html
  26. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/12/random-merch-rainbow-pony-set-daring.html
  27. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2014/05/soaring-pegasus-and-ponyville-newsmaker.html
  28. http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/10/toywiz-rainbow-power-daring-pony-set.html
  29. It is not a mistake, exactly "Dream" in the book (on card photo also).
  30. Soaring and Spitfire are not misplaced, card's photos without mistake also! And Spitfire's figurine has cutie mark on left flank?!
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