Equestria Girls artwork via New York Times

Equestria Girls artwork via New York Times (click for larger version)

A little over half a month after the first Equestria Girls concept art leaked, the New York Times published a first peek at the official designs today.

If some of you consider this a spoiler of sorts, I can move it behind the break. Just leave a comment.

From the article:

Hasbro has used its multiplatform, multigenerational strategy as a template for other brands, including My Little Pony, a 30-year-old property for girls ages 3 and up. In 2010, the company revamped the brand with a television series called “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.”

The series attracted legions of adult fans to the My Little Pony franchise. They obsessed about the characters in fan-generated fiction, artwork and videos. Adult male fans, who call themselves Bronies, even bought ad time on the Hub, a cable television channel co-owned by Hasbro, to thank the company for producing the show.

In response, Hasbro expanded My Little Pony as a lifestyle brand, with 200 licenses in 15 categories, including publishing, apparel, bedding and digital gaming. To celebrate the brand’s 30th anniversary this year, the company plans to introduce a new extension this fall called Equestria Girls.

But adult fans have also pushed to take more control of the brand, creating unauthorized digital games and plush toys that company executives eventually quashed.

“They don’t mind having this fan base, but they can’t forget their core market,” said Jim Silver, editor in chief of timetoplaymag.com, which covers the toy industry. “These are waters you have to navigate very carefully.”

Welp, I believe in DHX I guess. (And Natasha Levinger maybe?) I hope they can pull this off without forfeiting a good chunk of feminist values. (If it was even done by DHX; see comments.)

Many thanks to InC, Jordan, and Jayden for alerting me!

By the way, according to the whois, equestriagirls.com has officially been transferred to Hasbro now. See also our previous article.

Update 12:40Z: I found a larger version of the image and swapped it in. It’s not directly linked in the article, so it’s probably the largest version out there for now.

Update 2012-03-08 09:24Z: Another version of the image includes what may be an Equestria Girls logo. (Via Kaylee and Equestria Daily.)

  • 2007excalibur2007

    I like that they even kept Twilight’s new wings… XD

  • Ryan C

    Jesus Christ how horrifying

    • Anton Semenov

      Furry antro version can’t be “not bad”.

  • mlp_lilderpy

    not bad…. its kinda like a furry antro version.

  • Jayden

    I’m hoping this show will turn out to be good, but I doubt it. Lauren Faust isn’t behind the show, but I suspect members of FiM are; there are images of humanized ponies on deviantART by one of the character designers.

    Equestria Girls may serve a useful purpose. Perhaps Hasbro wont interfere with FiM as much, and they will instead use Equestria Girls to sell their newest toy.

  • greybrother

    I can’t believe how apathetic I feel. Wish I knew what the hell they were thinking. I just hope they aren’t overextending the talent from FIM with this thing. Oh well. This should be nice and safe and easy for them to market. That’s what I sense is the main point here. They must find us so difficult. Too bad they don’t get down here and interact with us like DHX does.

  • I’m willing to give it a chance. I love cartoons. I love good cartoons. If EqG turns out to be another awesome show, then I’ll be happy. I just hope they can keep true to the original show. :)

  • Anonymous

    It’s still a spin-off. All we have to do if it will be shit, is only to avoid it and go directly on the S4 of FiM. It’s simple as that.

  • Present Perfect

    Oh god, Twilight has wings. I’m gonna die.

    If anything, that adds credence to my theory that this is just Hasbro trolling bronies.

    • Anonymous

      s3 eplast one. twigh gets wings

    • Anonymous

      Yeah god forbid Hasbo has a target audience that doesn’t include adults

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  • Bubblegum

    What the? I thought this was a fake when I first heard about it :|
    Yeah, still the weirdest idea ever…..

  • Ebonysdagger

    Why don’t they have horns? Where are Twilight and Rarity’s horns in this?

  • Shiek927

    Am I alone feeling that article had a strong feeling of incredulity? I try not to let media articles regarding the fandom annoy me, but I thought they would have moved past that. I’m sure the “unauthorized digital games” is code for for Mane6, which LF has chosen to stand behind, so….whatever.

    As for the image itself….honestly, it looks weird — they don’t look as human as I expected, and still carry the same skin tone as they used to look, so Twilight and Rainbow specifically stick out. I can understand wanting to turn them human with as little alterations as possible, but that makes you wonder why Twilight has wings, and neither Rarity or her have horns…purple skin and wings are okay, but not horns?

    Ehh, I don’t know – my whole feelings toward this can be described best with a ‘shrug’…the whole thing doesn’t seem like it’s intended to be taken seriously, nor do I expect it to explode like FiM did. As more information comes out, I’ll watch it with mild curiosity, especially given that the original VA’s and some of the production staff perhaps will be around…but I’m not really crazy for this.

    Can you imagine how Discord must look like? XD

  • I like ponies. I like humans. This ‘somewhere in-between’ business just doesn’t tickle me at all. I know I cant put myself into the shoes of the actual target audience, but I just can’t shake the feeling that even they aren’t going to like this as much. I mean, it’s more or less anthro… And anthro has to be done carefully. This doesn’t look like it’s being done carefully.

  • I like it. :)

  • DHX isn’t doing this, though. I read that a different animation studio is handling this. Even Tabitha St. Germain said that she’s never heard of this, so that can’t be good. VAs aren’t carrying over.

    • Anonymous

      I’m fine with that. As much separation between this and MLP:FiM as possible, please.

      • I have to agree. I’ll give the show a chance but I think Hasbro doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing here. So if they screw it up *and* take MLP:FiM down with it, I’ll be kind of annoyed.

      • Anonymous

        Damn right. Leave my horse cartoon (and everyone associated with it) out of this.

        I just really hope there’s no bleedover from one show to the other.

  • Anonymous

    why is pony fluttershy looking up human fluttershys dress?

  • Anonymous

    no sir i don’t like it
    those designs scream flanderization and fuck-upedness
    I’ll wait to see it in motion before garnering a full opinion, but right now these designs are pretty awful

  • Spazz

    monster high garbage

  • Um… No thanks…

  • Applepie

    And they meet real life ponies while Lyra freaks out.

  • Anonymous

    I kinda like the designs but why did they have to put their cutie marks on their faces!?!? It just looks ridiculous..
    But I guess I have to see the show before I can really judge the show..
    I hope it won’t be a stupid girly show wich only is about them talking about guys, and going to school and parties..

  • ian greene

    I know, I might get some flak for this, but preferred the original artwork for this show. I can get around the Mane 6 humans only with their traditional colors. I don’t know, maybe the picture above won’t be their final designs.

  • Anonymous

    I do kinda like the idea, but I don’t like the fact they are Pony/human morphs. It’s strange and I really don’t like that they are the their pony represented color. it just looks weird

  • Trey Enma

    People flipped their shit about Princess Twilight, despite it not being that bad. This though, looks pretty stupid. If Bronies weren’t accused of being furries before, they certainly will be now.

  • MissRarity

    I can see that maybe the Hub saw anthro fan art and is just trying to give the public what it thinks, it wants. I’m willing to give it a shot. One thing I can say I do not like already though, would be that they all have pony-like ears, the pegasus ponies have their wings….. but where are the unicorn horns? At so far it appears that some have tails and some just have REALLY long hair…? I’m not quite sure that I understand.

  • Nuttyfruits

    This is awesome!!! Granted there are some other works out there that look better, I really like the anthro look here. It makes sense. And it looks nice. :D

    I would’ve been quite disappointed if they were made completely human or something, but they still retain something about MLP:FiM and for that I am happy.

    I really like cartoons too, no matter what kind of cartoons, as long as the drawings are nice, the graphics are good, the plot is good and the character development is great and consistent. So, I am pretty excited and I’m hoping that this one’ll be good. ^^

    Although, I am a little inclined to agree that maybe for this one, there might actually be relationships involved, like having boyfriends or something. It might probably still be nice without but I’m hoping that there will be. At least a little bit. :)

    That way, the writers might actually be able to flesh out something really meaningful in the relationship between friends and how they support each other in different relationships with other people. That’ll really get to show how they interact which each other as friends in different situations.

    This show is dedicated to the theme of friendship, but I’d also like to see different kinds of relationships that they go through and what they get out of it and how it would affect their relationship as friends. Besides family.

    Although, I think that the story’s and everything are going to be quite different, I’m hoping that they would make some make characters that have a little more substance so that it makes sense. That way, the characters would be even more extraordinary given that there are males who are genuinely smart and good as well. I’ll be really interested to see it.

    I really think that would be a very nice addition to the friendship thing that MLP:FiM’s got going now. But this is all speculation on my part and what I’m hoping to see in there. There’s gonna be a lot of different views and opinions on this but in my opinion, I am very curious about this new one and am interested in watching it to have a look for myself. :) I am very, very excited and can’t wait to see it.

    Some episodes in season 3 of MLP:FiM were kind of a let down because of the inconsistency of the character’s behaviour and the fact that the plot doesn’t really gel with the character and story development all that well.

  • Nuttyfruits

    Although, yeah, I kind of agree about the unicorn horns. I wonder where they are. It could be that the final art concept is gonna be different, but this is the official release, so I’m not so sure. I’ll be waiting to have a look. :D

  • Wort

    What the hell, they don’t even look like humans!

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  • Anonymous

    Just take off the tail-looking hair and I’ll be happy.

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  • Anonymous

    I just hope that if those designs will be in the show, the first thing the humans say is,”You look weird…”

    I also hope that the situations will be at least realistic. And if it turns out good, then awesome! If it’s just a miserable pile, then I’ll hope it’s not canon.

  • I’ll give it a chance but RD,omg, just no, that’ll gimme nightmares

  • Anonymous

    I’ll watch it