Monday, December 31, 2012

TV Shows I Saw This Year

So this list should be pretty self-explanatory: TV Shows... things that were seen on the television. However, I got some of these from Netflix, so some are from years past. Also, I've included both TV shows and TV miniseries. (TV-Movies went on my films lists.) Confused yet? No? Then let's get this started.


Awake, Season 1 (2012)
WAHHH, this poor little short-lived show! Jason Isaacs is so awesome!*Moment of silence.* 

So, what's next?

Call The Midwife, Series 1 (2012 in the USA)
Though Series One only consisted of a handful of episodes, I really enjoyed them. It's about these nurses/midwifes who work for, and help poor people, alongside a group of nuns, in England, in the early 50s. It's based on the memoirs of an actual nurse from that era. I found it all fascinating -- the way medicine was practiced back then, the clothes/uniforms, the way the characters interact. It's all just delightful. I'm happy to hear Series Two is in the works.

Community, Season 3 (2011-2012)
The past 12 months have been pretty tumultuous for both the show and its fans. First it seemed as if it had been cancelled, but fans rallied and NBC gave us more episodes. Then the show was scheduled to return to the airwaves this October, but two weeks before the big day, it was postponed to February. That said, season 3 was full of much goodness. Community is so creative, so crazy, so funny. I can hardly wait for February, 2013, when my Thursday nights can start rocking again! #sixseasonsandamovie

Downton Abbey, Series 2 (2012 in the USA)
All right, so Series One was fun and intriguing. Series Two, on the other hand, got very soap-opera-y and goofy. My "favorite" moment was when Matthew was in the wheelchair, and they'd made this whole big deal out of how he'd never walk again, never father any children, and was no good for Lady Mary. When, all of a sudden, he leaped right out of his chair (to save Mary)! He could walk! A BLOOMIN MIRACLE! Lord help us all, these writers need to all be smacked. Will I watch Series 3? I'm sure I will. But honestly.

Bleak House, Miniseries (2005)
Charles Dickens meets Downton Abbey -- that's the best way I can describe Bleak House. It was full of quirky, spooky, and oddball characters, such as the sad, mysterious Lady Dedlock, played by Gillian Anderson, the smooth but sinister Mr. Tulkinghorn, and Guppy, who would surely give Uriah Heep a run for his creepy money. But unlike Downton, where characters often leave and then come back a few episodes later (we're baaacck!) Dickens just seemed to enjoy killing everybody off. And so Bleak House is, indeed, pretty... uh, well, bleak... but the series is also captivating and fairly enjoyable.

Game Of Thrones, 2 Episodes (2010)
I know this show is hugely popular, and I thought I'd like it, too, because I enjoy medieval/castle stuff, fantasy, etc. But what was with the constant sex? I mean, every time the camera turned a corner it seemed to be catching someone -- rather, two someones -- in the act. Meh. I don't care if  characters want to get it on, but do we need to see it the nudity and hear the grunting five times per episode?

So you fans can keep your show, and I have instead turned my enjoyment of medieval characters and fantasy elements to...

Merlin, Season 1 (2008)
Okay, okay, I'll be the first to admit that this show is totally ridiculous. But it's fun. I'm still on season one, but I like what they've done with all the Arthurian characters so far. Merlin, Arthur, Guinevere, and Morgana are all the same age as one another, and none of them have very much power -- yet. Merlin is just learning to harness his wizarding skills, Guinevere is a maid, Morgana is mostly a pretty face, and Arthur is under the thumb of his father, the king. Who, I might add, is a total killjoy. I'm actually rooting for him to kick the bucket. OH COME ON, you know it's coming. KING Arthur, remember? It's inevitable. And I really can't stand the current king, so anytime he wants to go away, FINE.

Brideshead Revisited, 2 Episodes (1981)
I know this classic series is highly revered by some folks, but I just couldn't get in to it.

Sense & Sensibility, Miniseries (1981)
So. Boring. Actually, my mom liked it. Or at least she sat through it. I just could not. One of the dullest Austen adaptations of all time.

Mansfield Park, Miniseries, Episodes 1-4 (1983)
This one is better. And I say IS, because of last night, we'd only seen 4/6 episodes. (Disc 2 will be arriving soon.) And although there are quite a few long, drawn out, really boring parts, so far I like it better than the 1999 feature film of the same name, perhaps because there is just so much more here. (That, as you can well imagine, can be both a blessing and a curse.) Despite the dull moments, I love watching Edmund and Fanny slowly but surely get together. It's so sweet.  Edmund is so cute. He's right behind Mr. Darcy and Colonel Brandon on my list of Favorite Austen Men. :)

Other shows I watched, Sometimes: The Dust Bowl, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, American Pickers, Auction Kings, Auction Hunters, Antiques Roadshow, Market Warriors, and pretty much anything and everything HGTV has to offer.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movies I Saw This Year

Well, another year makes its way toward the finish line. Which means it's time for LISTS GALORE!

In this post I'll talk about films I saw. In 2012, I made it to the cinemas five times. Twice to see the 3D version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and twice to view Rifftrax presentations (Manos: The Hands of Fate and Birdemic). I think the only MODERN release I actually saw in a theater was The Dark Knight Rises.

Thankfully, I have Netflix, so I have not been deprived of films in general. I've managed to view a few modern offerings, as well as finally experience some films from the past.

Here are some of the movies I saw this year and what I thought of them.


The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

So the thing with trilogies -- at least in my experience -- is that sometimes the first one is good, the second one is love-it-or-hate-it, and the third one is great, but relatively underrated. Well, that's how it is with Indiana Jones and Back to the Future (therefore it applies to everything!!)  I guess The Matrix and a few other trilogies have been known to just go downhill, into an abyss, never to recover. But then there are the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, and here's the thing. Even though the second one, 2008's The Dark Knight, was a huge moneymaking hit, I didn't like it as much as Batman Begins. I just didn't. But it was still okay. So I knew I had to go see Rises I left the theater thinking, "Well, that was fun," but have no desire to ever see it again, except maybe with Rifftrax. Plus I still contend that Alfred sounds like the Geico gecko.

Captain America (2011)
Meet Steve Rogers. He's a short, skinny guy of the 1940's, with a disproportionately big head and unsettlingly deep voice. But he's tough and won't back down from a challenge. And so -- and I'm leaving a lot of details and steps out here, but -- he eventually becomes tall, buff, and Captain America, hero to all. Then his airplane goes into the sea, he's frozen for 70 years, and thaws in the future. Which is sort of... now. Samuel L. Jackson shows up with his eyepatch and then we are left to wait for the sequel. Which, it turns out, is NOT Captain America 2, but rather THE AVENGERS! Which brings me to....

Marvel's The Avengers (2012)
So for the past few years, Marvel has been making a bunch of superhero movies, and now they're all ready to come together for the good of mankind. You've got Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk, a few other people, and of course good old Captain America. They unite in order to fight a guy with a horn helmet who happens to be Thor's lame-o adopted brother, Loki.

Low-Key Loki

Seriously, what a dorky villain. Almost as bad as Jeremy Irons in Dungeons and Dragons (hey, at least he didn't sport a horn helmet (or did he?))There's a part late in the film where Hulk smashes Loki repeatedly, and it is hilarious. Meanwhile, I don't care for Tony Stark/Iron Man. My brother says it's because I have not grown to love him by seeing the other Iron Man movies. But I don't want to see those movies because I do not like Tony Stark/Iron Man. FULL CIRCLE DILEMMA. Anyway, Thor is cool, Captain America continues to be adorable, and I like the Russian spy lady. There's also this guy called Hawkeye, who is actually pretty cute, but then I have a thing for archers. All in all, The Avengers = a couple of hours of action-packed, goofy fun.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Okay, so I don't read Marvel comics. (I'm sure you had NO IDEA.) Everything I knew about Spider-Man was based on A) The Atari game; B) The animated show from my childhood that I don't even really remember; and C) The first Tobey Maguire movie, which I've seen a handful of times. So as I began watching Amazing, the thoughts running through my mind were as follows: "This is like the other movie!" "This part isn't like the other movie." "This event happened in that other one." "This event did not." Meanwhile, Peter Parker's love interest looked like a grad student, not a high school student, and the lizard villain looked dumb. I don't know. It was okay? Sort of?

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
This film is quirky in a way that Zooey Deschanel can only aspire to be. It's about this 12-year-old girl in the 60's who runs away with a scout boy and the trouble that causes. I like to imagine it's what would have happened to Claudia Kinkaid if she'd run away with a boy her age rather than her brother. (Hmmm, this girl and Claudia are both twelve years old. And she has three younger brothers, too. And it's set in the same decade. WAIT A SECOND....)  I love the characters, but boy do weird things happen. It's kind of fun, but kind of unnerving, but also kind of incredible. Recommended if you like things that are wacky.

A Plethora Of Movies About Ye Olde England's Royals (1998-2009)

The Queen, The Young Victoria, Mrs. Brown, The Lost Prince, The Other Boleyn Girl... it's like I couldn't get enough of the British monarchy this year. I'm not obsessed with them, really! It just kinda happened.

Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995)

Someone once told me there are two types of Die Hard fans -- people who like #1 and #2, and those that like #1 and #3. And while I can see why it'd be hard to like #2 AND #3 -- they're so different -- I think I fall into a third camp. I liked #1, I thought #2 (which I saw a while ago) was sad and depressing, annnnd I thought #3 was about the corniest dang thing I've witnessed since... well, since... well, pick ANY OTHER movie where New York is in mortal peril, and there you go. I'm sorry to say... it doesn't hold up well in a post-9/11 world. If that means the terrorists have won, I'm sorry -- but that's the way it is. A fun popcorn flick, but that's about it. (I just know I'm going to get hatemail for this.) Oh, and Jeremy Irons? SO NOT INTIMIDATING! (That "performance" in D&D has officially ruined him for me forever.)

Friendship's Field (1995)

A "family-friendly" straight-to-video romp from the mid-90's, this is the story of two kids, one American and one Mexican, who become friends over a summer back in the 60's while dealing with prejudice and whatnot. This would be fine, had their story not been bookended by narration from a blah mom talking to her blah daughter, or had it not a dozen plotholes. I swear, these family friendly movies seem to spend so much energy making everything sweet and lovely and learn-a-lessony that sometimes they forget about things like basic story structure and editing skillz. I've certainly seen worse, and the two main kid actors shine, but overall it's a mess.

Pride & Prejudice (1940)

In one of the most hilarious movies I watched this year.... Yep. 1940's Pride & Prejudice is so goofy, it's actually entertaining in a way I'm sure Jane Austen never quite intended. The film is, of course, based on the book, but it tries to condense everything into about an hour and a half, thereby throwing most of the book right out the window. Then you've got the fact that they've changed the setting -- not only the location (now it's in the American south? I think?) but the time period as well (nearly 50 years later -- howdy, Scarlet O'Hara wannabes!) It's pretty crazy, but it's yards better than some of the other book-to-film adaptations of the day (1934's Anne Of Green Gables, I am specifically referring to you.)

In vain I have struggled; it will not do. Kiss me, you fool!

Emma (1972), Emma (1996 TV version), and Emma (1996 Film version)

Okay, I may have overdone it on the Emmas, but I like to see different version of the same story... to see how they're the same or different, to see which one I prefer.  I've decided I really don't care for any of the movie versions of Emma that I've seen. (GASP.) If I had to choose, I'd probably pick the 2009 TV one (which I saw a few years ago), but the truth is, I prefer Clueless. Go ahead and hit 'send' on the hatemail, but I just find the Emma character kind of immature and unbearable. Give me Elizabeth Bennet any day.

Girl With A Pearl Earring (2003)

Between this, The Other Boleyn Girl, and The Avengers, it seems to have been the year of Scarlett Johansson around here, but I didn't plan it that way. I was probably in the middle of a Firthathon when I rented this. (For the record, Firthathons are like dark chocolate and a pile of kittens the way they bring happiness -- have you ever noticed that? I have.) I thought Pearl was okay -- I mean, beautifully shot, beautifully acted -- but the story is quite understated and it's certainly not for everyone.

Witness (1985)

After years upon years of avoiding this film for reasons unbeknownst to even myself, I finally decided to just watch it. After all, I do love Harrison Ford -- especially 1981-1993-era Harrison Ford. So I watched it. Afterward, I was left with two questions. 1) How in the world did this film win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay over Back to the Future that year? And 2) Was the movie swallowed by a giant Casio synthesizer? The music -- if you could call it that -- was so obnoxious. I get that it was the 80s, but for pete's sake, cut the electro-vibey moonglow tunes and just strike up some bassoons or something. That aside, Harrison Ford is totally adorable, and the love story is nice and the kid is cute and the plot is actually kind of intense. Worth watching once? Yes. Are there better Harrison Ford movies? Heck yes.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lego Projects: "Gingerbread House" (2012)


I started working on this in October after I stumbled upon a fair number of the pieces I would need at the Canby Bricks & Minifigs store. The brownish bricks are called "dark orange" and it's actually pretty rare color. Perhaps one of the only current sets it comes with, at least in abundance, is the Town Hall ($170-200) and I didn't want to spend that much.

Over the next month, I made a few more trips to the Canby store and the one in Beaverton, and managed to find enough dark orange pieces to complete the house, giving it a good amount of "gingerbread". I also needed to buy some of the red and white round bricks for the candy cane corners, some extra green shutters for the windows (since the ones I already had are currently in use on the Green Gables House), and a few other odds and ends.

 I am planning to bring the Gingerbread House to Bricks Cascade, March 9th and 10th, 2013, at the Oregon Convention Center, if you'd like to come check it out (along with many, much more awesome things, built by other people.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Presents Of (an odd) Mind

So I was going to do a list of terrible Christmas toys this year. But that didn't happen. Best-laid plans, etc. etc. Okay, I hadn't really laid out any actual plans. I'd merely gathered some links. Every once in a while I'd run across some weird or stupid or inane toy on the internet. And I thought it would be fun to showcase them around the holidays. And laugh at them. Because that's what I love to do.

But I've come to realize that every time I think something is ridiculous, there's an 8-year-boy or a 13-year-old girl or a five-year-old whatever, somewhere, who thinks that toy is completely fabulous. I mean, I thought these backpacks were the epitome of dumb, considering they're spiky, so how can that be comfortable? And on top of that, $50!? But then I saw them for sale at Powell's, and while that doesn't exactly turn them into spiny gold, it does give them some cred. Some....

So no official list. But because I don't like to waste, here are a few of the other toys whose pages I bookmarked over the past year:

Pink Pewi Bike (No, really, they think that's a bike!)
Titanic Iceberg Challenge (Because tragedy can be fun!)
Glass Tunnel (That kid looks way too thrilled.)

And then there's this -- Monster High Create-A-Monster -- which I initially saw at Target, and is apparently a popular thing?


Is that...?

Is it really...?

Well, you know what THIS calls for...


Meanwhile, Mattel should really look into the whole concept of having the kid/consumer put the doll together, like that monster toy up there. Think of the possibilities for future Barbie products! Instead of having to pay someone to assemble the dolls, Mattel could just throw Barb's head, arms, legs, torso, and accessories into a box and be like, "Hey, it's Create-A-Barbie!"

Laugh now, but in a few years' time when this is actually a thing, you'll wish you hadn't.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Good Idea/Bad Idea - Disney-Style

Back when Disney's Beauty and the Beast was being made, a song was written for, but ultimately not included in, the film. When the film was adapted into a Broadway show, the song was included on that program. That song, "Human Again," is a sweeping musical number sung by the castle's enchanted objects. They lament about their current state (as... objects) and sing about how they hope Belle breaks the spell so they can get back to business. The song proved so popular on Broadway that, when the film was re-released for Imax ten years after its initial debut, it now included an all-new scene featuring "Human Again," new animation, and some additional dialogue between Belle and the Beast. When the DVD was released, viewers were given a choice between watching the original version of the film, or the "Special Edition" with "Human Again" seamlessly put in.

I've been a fan of Beauty and the Beast since age 11, and had watched my VHS of it many, many times. I bought that DVD the second it was available. I watched the version with "Human Again" and liked it so much that, now, I nearly always watch the film with that scene included. It's a great song, and it adds an extra -- but not intrusive -- dimension to the film.

Since that seemed to work out for audiences, Disney decided to do something similar when they released Pocahontas on DVD. There was this song, "If I Never Knew You." And it's a really great song. They got pop artists to do a rendition of it to play over the end credits, but the song wasn't in the actual film. While the lyrics fit with the theme of the movie, the scene it was intended for just... didn't work. Test audiences, it seems, didn't go for it. It dragged things down. And so it was cut.

But hey... why not reinstate it, animate a scene for it, and get John Smith and Pocahontas to sing it to each other?

Lord have mercy, that's terrible. Is that really Mel Gibson singing? If so, the man needs vocal training, stat. Even The Poc sounds off. And I'm sorry, guys, but those tent walls aren't soundproof... there are probably two very bewildered guards standing outside of it, covering their ears. STOP. JUST STOP.

So, to summarize:

Human Again, sung in and around the castle by the enchanted objects? Good Idea.

If I Never Knew You, sung inside a tent while a weak-voiced John Smith is tied to a pole? Bad idea.

Very bad idea.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In The News - 12/11/12

Warning: Mildly disturbing topic ahead...

One thing that has bothered me in recent days is the story of the nurse who answered the prank call put in by the Australian DJs who were trying to speak to Kate Middleton. The nurse later killed herself, apparently because of the prank and, so it is alleged, her embarrassment and/or shame.

A large number of people seem to be saying her death is the fault of the DJs. If they had never called the hospital, the nurse would have had no reason to kill herself. She would have gone on to live a happy, full, long life... or something.

Okay, so here's the thing. When someone commits suicide, it may happen for any number of reasons, I would never presume to know every person on earth and all their reasons, but mental illness often plays a big role. The desire to harm or kill your own body is not really considered healthy. It's like starving yourself, or throwing yourself into a pit of lions. Rational, mentally-healthy people tend not to have those desires, at least not strongly enough to act upon them. Perhaps everyone has a fleeting moment of wanting to jump in front of a bus every now and then, like when you've been totally humiliated or when something terrible happens, but otherwise, for most people, it's not something you're ever actually going to do.

Probably not.

I mean, I hope not.

But it seems like every time someone does die by suicide, everyone around them asks "Why?" Which... is natural. Humans like to know "why". When there's a mass murder or something, isn't there always a focus on the perpetrator? No matter how often we say we don't WANT to see photos of the killer -- no, no! honor the victims, show us them instead! -- we still spend an inordinate amount of time listening to/reading information about the killer, because we want to know what made him do it. Maybe so next time we can try to prevent certain tragedies like those from happening. Maybe because we just want answers to things that are hard to understand.

When someone kills himself, it's no different. There are going to be questions. But sadly, there's sometimes finger-pointing among the family, friends, co-workers, or whoever. "If YOU had been more attentive to him...." "If YOU had just urged her to get help." "If only YOU had noticed the warning signs." 

Other people may blame themselves. "I should have done something differently." "If only I had been nicer to her.." "I should have done this...."

Please, if this is you... give yourself a break.

I'm not saying we shouldn't ask questions, or that it isn't natural to ask them when tragedy strikes. (And suicide is a tragedy). I'm not saying we shouldn't urge/encourage someone who we think might be suffering to go get help. I'm not saying wanting to/needing to/being made to feel guilty isn't natural to humans. But honestly? If or when someone you know kills himself, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. And it's not his mother's fault. Or his wife's fault. Or his boss's fault.

Let's get right down to it: it is more than likely the fault of a (perhaps un-diagnosed) mental illness.

Not that I think anyone should get a free pass to do whatever he pleases because he may happen to have such an illness. Like those people who kill their own little children and then themselves. NOT OKAY. No matter how sick you are, there ARE treatments out there, and by gum, I wish those treatments were more readily available to more people... but that's another topic.

So as I was saying, if someone you know commits suicide, it is not your fault. Honestly. It's a tragedy, but you didn't make it happen.

Which is not to say you should just go off and treat people poorly -- bullying and abuse are still WRONG -- and our actions do have an impact on others' lives. But no person -- no Australian radio DJ, nobody -- should be told they have "blood on their hands" because of something like this.

I'm sorry about what happened to that nurse. And I don't like prank calls, nor do I think what the DJs did was necessarily right. But they didn't kill her. And the blaming needs to stop. 

Please, when you have some time, read up on mental illnesses. If you don't have one, be glad. If you do have one, realize that there are many different kinds, and that no two people's brains/illnesses are necessarily alike. And if you have an illness and it's eating away at you or making you have dangerous thoughts, go to your doctor tomorrow. Forget the stigma. Treat it like cancer and attack it.

Meanwhile, love one another and treat others kindly.

And let's please stop blaming people for things that are utterly out of their control.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

There's (Not) A Trope For That - Week of December 9th

After a week of watching, by pure coincidence, several movies involving trains, I had to ask -- is there a trope for instances where characters have to hop from one train car to another, usually while the train is moving?

See: the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where Indy climbs aboard a train and leaps from car to car in order to escape with the Cross of Coronado. He manages to get through, or over, the rhino car, the lion car, the reptile car (snakes!) and a "magic car" caboose, before eventually exiting the train entirely.

Then there's the climax of Back to the Future III. First, Marty and Doc must ride up to the caboose on horseback, climb aboard, then make their way over multiple cars to the locomotive, where they can force the conductor to stop the train. A short while later, Clara comes along on horseback. She doesn't have as far to go, as Marty and Doc have only "train-napped" the locomotive and the tender car, but the trek is still tough for her, and she nearly gets blasted off once or twice.

Characters also travel along the roof of the train in The Polar Express.

And I'm sure I've seen it in Westerns.

But why, may I ask, is there not a trope for this?

For hopping over and across automobiles, there's Hood Hopping. Over buildings, its known as Roof Hopping. But fails me on the train car hopping thing.

Sure, there's Traintop Battle, which implies, well, a battle... and I suppose the scene in Last Crusade could fall under that canopy, because Indy was being chased, and did have to sort of fight off his enemies.

Sort of getting closer, there's Outside Ride, which talks about riding on top of a train, which I suppose all the characters above technically do, but the trope doesn't seem to mention jumping from car to car.


After months and months of bringing you tropes, I finally get to say it.

There's NOT a trope for that.

But there should be.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

There's A Trope For That - Week Of December 2nd

Annnd it's time for another trope that pops up in every other thing I watch: Disney Death!

 (Not to be confused with Disney Villain Death.)

"Beloved major character is seemingly killed at the climax of the movie/episode, hearts are wrenched, four-year-olds are traumatized, grown men are reduced to tears, and then — oh look, the character is Not Quite Dead after all. "I thought you were dead!"...

Animated films seem destined to have these, considering the target audience is primarily young kids, and nobody wants to give a Downer Ending to them. Writers who are considering implementing it need to be extremely careful, as it can very easily come across as a tacky and cliched way to add some cheap drama to the ending. And probably been done to — um — death, and audiences now expect it. You run the risk of making your viewers remember they're watching television, even if it does shut up the Media Watchdogs.

Named after its frequent use in the Disney Animated Canon, though even Disney likes to kill 'em off for real now and then."


You know what one I love? The one where the hero goes tumbling off a building and everyone in the audience is like AWWW CRAP. HEZ DED!!1, but then the camera pans over the side of the building and it turns out the hero is hanging on, by a single finger, to a gargoyle's incisor. Then the hero suddenly -- somehow -- gets a burst of upper-body strength and wriggles his way back to safety. Yayyy!

That said... just once, I would like to see a movie where the hero falls off a building, we look over the side, the music swells, and -- the hero has made a large mark on the sidewalk below. 

And that's it. He's dead. Nope, he didn't bounce off an awning. Nope, his landing wasn't cushioned by a Toyota. He's just dead.

Okay, so that would be a bit sad, but at least it would be surprising.

And I do love surprises.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Brick Critique: My First Lego Princess

My First Lego Princess
But will it be your last?

This set has 88 pieces and costs $9.99

Look at all the cool things it comes with!

Ah, and here you are, Princess. Lovely golden hair, a beautiful dress, a carrot for supper...
Wait, I think the carrot's actually for the horse. Hope you're good at foraging for mushrooms, m'lady, because it's either that or starvation!

Oh hey, but look! A mighty pink fortress, suitable for dwelling in and protecting yourself from marauding forces! 

Well, it would be, if it had, you know, a back side.

Feeling a bit lonely? Wondering why you have no servants or family? Well, you're in luck -- you get a pony! And a cute little carriage to sit in while you're transported around the kingdom to meet your imaginary subjects!

Plus it has a lovely blue gemstone on the back, so it'll be a temping target for highway robbers look oh so pretty.

Heaven knows all work and no play makes for a very dull pony, so your friendly equine pal does get some toys, such as this fence to jump over!

And this other fence!

To... also jump over!

After a long day, both Princess and Pony can take a breather at the grooming station.
 Comb that hair! Shine those shoes -- er, hooves! Gotta look your best for... apparently, no one.

Dwelling, riding, leaping, grooming -- what else could a princess do with her time?

Well, we're not actually sure, so here's a pile of bricks.

 Note the random pair of black legs, juxtaposed with the large bits of gold. What could be the meaning of that? And why does this princess have so much treasure, yet such a pathetically inadequate place to house it? 

And why...

is this...


I don't know. I give up.

Overall: About right for the price, considering the somewhat rarer pieces -- the aqua bricks, the gold pieces, the gemstone, the princess's outfit, and the white and brown horse. And Ages 4-7 sounds about right, too. Young enough to appreciate it without realizing it's all a bit ridiculous.