The MLP FiM Official Guidebook is a recent release at bookstores from Little and Brown, the publisher for various MLP licensed books. Most have been aimed at the younger crowd, while The Official Guidebook is aimed towards fans of the Hub show of all ages. Read more →
The fourth issue of the micro-series has arrived, starring the definition of the word cute, Fluttershy and written by Barbara Kesel. However, ‘cute’ is probably not the best word to describe this comic. Those words would be ‘uninteresting, bland, unamusing, and worst comic of the micro-series so far’.
It seems Shout! Factory is sending out advance copies of the Season 2 DVD box set for review, and today we feature a video review of said set by Aficionados Chris. It doesn’t go in-depth with any of the episodes, but simply goes over the features (or occasional lack thereof on the topic of commentaries) unique to the box set. Still a solid review with a cute intro, so you can check it out after the break.
The other matter is The Last Roundup. According to the review, the box set features the edited version of the episode. Not that it was unexpected, but still noteworthy, if that one episode is relevant to your purchasing decision.
[Update] Apparently the person behind the Shout Factory Twitter was mistaken.
Well it has been quite some time since we’ve talked about any kind of unofficial pony apps, and we were asked by the Ponu News App people to come check out their new Android based application. And so I did this morning. I will note it has also been awhile since I’ve checked out what exactly was available for Android users when it came to pony related apps. In the past we’ve had various people attempt to cram a ton of information together to create an app, some not too bad and others very much ‘eh’. One of the downfalls usually was the interface, and this is where at least to me Ponu News App stands out.
The app was tested on my Samsung Infuse, which is some mutant offspring of the Galaxy series. It features some highly unknown version of Android that cannot even run the MLP Gameloft game, likes to freeze up in general to the point I’m usually trying to snap it into two pieces or just slamming it against a table, and here and there it decides life has gone on longer enough and resets for no reason. Ponu News App manage to get installed with zero issues (though despite the radiation leaking from this phone, I’ve never had app installation issues).
The app itself has a nice and simple layout in the form of basically four scroll menus. Three appear on the screen and you can touch-scroll down. Much like modern apps like Facebook you can also scroll further and force the app to update its data. Subject matter is split into four groups. NEWS, MUSIC, FANFICs and COMICS. Each subject bar features about 18 articles and when clicked upon basically open up a preview page that gives a brief description or preview of the article and a “Read More” link. Pressing the link will bring you to the actual source of the article (music to YouTube channels, fanfics to FiMFiction, Comics to DeviantArt, News to EQD or DHN).
I also wanted to point out the settings menu as the makers of the app have given you some control over the program, namely dealing with data usage. The settings menu features options that allow you to not download the images used in the app (text only), or per say allow the app only to update when wifi is available. That is a nice feature since at least the USA basically no longer has unlimited mobile data plans (shut up Sprint) and it does get pricey when you go over (AT&T, max data w/ tether 5 gig limit, +$10 per 1g over).
3 out of 5 muffins, would use if I had an Android tablet because I really don’t look at ponies on my phone.
Just in time for your easter basket, EDEL Kids has now published the first season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on Blu-ray and DVD: ten hours of loving pony stories! Apart from the 26 episodes, they also contain three bonus videos, which brings us to our first point of criticism.
Hasbro has provided this bonus material to EDEL, which hardly warrants the title “bonus.” The clips are identical to videos that have been available on the official My Little Pony website since 2010; the extended opening has been available since 2011; and the music video to Love is in Bloom was also published in 2012 already. Especially the extended opening left a sour taste on the palate, as it bore the Hub branding. This goes to show the disappointing indifference of Hasbro Inc. towards the European market, because EDEL had great and interesting ideas for bonus material that just were not greenlit. More evidence is the fact that EDEL had to use 2010 vectors for the cover design, which look rather awkward from today’s perspective. But let’s get to the meat of the season set, the actual episodes.
If you remember a while back, Mimoco released a set of Mimobot flash drives featuring Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, and Rarity. They were kind enough to lend us a couple of units to review/ give away, so here goes!
The most notable thing about the drives, of course, is their appearance. The packaging is frustration-free, to the point where I could open it without anyone being able to tell I’d done so (apologetic note to whoever wins the Rainbow Dash unit in the giveaway: Sorry, it’s slightly used. It’ll still have all the bonus stuff intact, though.)
Pictures speak louder than words in this respect, so have a gallery at the bottom of the article. The size comparison I used is a 3DS game case, at about 3 7/8 in. (12.5 cm) tall by 4 1/4 in (13.5 cm) wide. Surprisingly, the drive is slim enough to play nice with other standard size USB plugs without getting in the way.
There’s also the bonus material that comes with each drive, some of which is actually fairly interesting. Aside from a digital copy of MLP #1 (which you should all go read), you also get digital versions of some of the original pencils used in the issue. On top of that are a few things which are slightly less cool. There’s a preview of the MLP children’s book Under the Sparkling Sea, if that’s your thing; the full version of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic theme (along with video), which makes my ears bleed; and a few other audio-only songs from the show, obviously not recorded by the original voices. The only thing is the bonus material above is contained in an .swf (Flash) file, which I couldn’t get working in Linux. Lucky for me I triple-boot…
On top of that are a set of icons, wallpapers, and forum avatars (most of which are Mimobot-related, fortunately or unfortunately), and an application that apparently replaces the ‘inserted drive’ noise with lines from MLP. I wasn’t able to get this working in either OS X or Windows 8, but from what I’ve heard, these lines are also obviously recorded by interns.
Unfortunately, the actual functionality of the drives leaves a fair amount to be desired. The cap of the drive is missing any kind of loop or way to attach to a keychain, making it really easy to lose if one isn’t careful. Not that important in the long run, but something to note if you’re the type that has a hard time keeping track of things.
Worse still is the performance of the drives compared to other retail options. It is designed for USB 2.0; technically outdated by this point, but USB 3.0 isn’t as widespread yet, and it should still work with those ports anyway. However, it is still much slower than USB 3.0 drives, even on a USB 2.0 port. For testing purposes, I copied and then deleted about half my music folder (clocking in at about 3.7 GB, with multiple files and subfolders) to the Mimobot drive, and then my own Kingston DT101 G2 USB 3.0 drive. These tests were run with an iMac (10,1) running Ubuntu with the same USB 2.0 port, so the differences between USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 shouldn’t come into play here. The results (mm:ss)?
Mimobot: 25:44 to copy, 5:19 to delete; Kingston: 10:42 to copy, 2:26 to delete. The Kingston was over twice as fast. Definitely something to consider if one is looking for function as well as form. Of course, if you’re not copying over large amounts of data at once, it shouldn’t be *that* much of an issue.
One positive aspect about the functionality, though, is the space. When it advertises 8 GB, it means it; even with the bonus material, there were 8 GiB (that’s Gibibytes) of empty space on the drive, something I’ve actually never seen before in a storage device.
All in all, these are cute MLP flash drives with some decent bonus material (seriously, MLP #1 is a $3 value already) but several issues in the functionality department. If Mimobots in the future were USB 3.0 with performance to match, with a way to attach the cap to something less easily lost, I’d be all over this.
Expect a giveaway of the drives and some other goodies in the coming days.
The last time I reviewed the My Little Pony mini-series, I was not too fond of it. The inking was terrible, backgrounds were vacant, and the pacing was so slow I missed references on the first read through; giving the comic a two-star rating out of five. I also recommended it for collector’s value only. Issue two starring the best flyer in Equestria, Rainbow Dash, does not have these problems. Mostly.