Sunday, August 07, 2016

Making toys, imagination

Equestria Daily, as they often do, posted a link to a My Little Pony fanfiction.

This one was slightly different because instead of being a story of Equestria, or featuring any of the show-ponies or even an OC, it was from the perspective of a stuffed toy being made: Clarity of Purpose.

This is, of course, relevant to my interests, as I have made stuffed toys since I was old enough to safely hold a needle. (These days, partly because of difficulty in getting the fabrics required, I'm much more prone to knit or crochet the stuffed toys I make). But I liked the story. Funny; as much as I ever pretended the toys I made were "alive," it was something I imagined only happened AFTER they were done - of course that avoids worrying about the 'won't the needle going through them hurt them?' and all that.

Also, almost all I've ever made have been for me....well, I made a set of knitted frogs and a "Lego Man" for my niece, and down through the years the odd stuffie for a friend (And I still would, if someone I cared about asked me to make one for them). So I never had the experience, really, of selling them and mailing them off. (The experience of wrapping one up as a gift, yes. And the sewing machine I use now I actually bartered two teddy bears I made for....I think I got by far the better end of the deal). But rarely did I ever MAIL one off to its new I never thought of the idea of the "trauma" of one going through the mail.

(And okay. A couple of times when I ordered G1 ponies I ordered a second one at the same time "so she won't be scared traveling alone" though really it was usually because I wanted both and because shipping was a little cheaper ordering two at once)

But yeah, the author of the story (most of the fanfiction authors are heavily pseudonymous; this one is named Grand_Moff_Pony) writes about that. And this line struck me, as the stuffed Pinkie is apparently traveling in a box in the cargo hold of a FedEx plane:

"Whatever I did, Creator… I’m sorry."


Funny, yeah. I remember taking special care with my stuffed toys as a kid (and, er, even as an adult). Not because I literally thought they were alive - as I've said before, that ability to totally buy into a fantasy left me distressingly early - but because they REPRESENTED something alive....and I would no more abuse a stuffed toy cat than I would harm a real one. (Part of my earlier grumpiness, I think, came from the fact that a couple episodes of Dr. Pol I saw last night included animals who had been mistreated - in one case, a cat who had to have a leg amputated because someone shot her with a .22, and in the other, a young dog who had apparently been traumatized and then dumped and his new owner was trying to do what he could to help the dog get over it. And I don't understand people abusing animals; it makes me angry in a similar way that child abuse does. Oh, I could understand, for example, shooting a bear if it was going to attack you....but a cat? A tiny little cat and a nursing mother cat at that?).

But yeah - the idea of a toy not understanding what is going on and feeling that it is somehow their fault is oddly moving. (In the same way, all those years ago, that I cried at that Tom and Jerry cartoon with the little duck who was *going to let Tom eat him* because he loved Tom and apparently thought Tom was his mother....)

Maybe....maybe I need get back to working on Horsey McHorseface this afternoon. It can't be "comfortable" for a toy to be trapped in some kind of weird fetal half-finished (or really, more like 1/3 finished at this point for Horsey).

It's funny what the human imagination can get up to.

Also, apparently today is Twilight Sparkle day. And yes, I have my very own "Purple Smart" - over the couple of years I've watched MLP:FiM I've acquired all the Mane Six, either in my own handmade form or as commercial stuffies. (Aurora, I think, makes the best ones): 

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