Editor's note: Erika D. Peterman is a Florida-based writer and editor, and the co-creator of the comics blog Girls-Gone-Geek.com.
Geek icons and My Little Pony may not seem like the most obvious companions, but in Jodi Moisan and Mari Kasurinen’s hands, the two become miniature works of art.
Both artists’ websites are rabbit holes of delight, showcasing painstakingly re-designed toy ponies inspired by fantasy/sci-fi characters, superheroes and pop culture figures. Once you see the diminutive equines recast as Red Sonja, Batgirl, Cthulu and Darth Maul, you’ll want one.
Kasurinen and Moisan are part of a thriving My Little Pony toy-mod community online, and while they aren’t the only artists to make nerd-approved interpretations of the ponies, they bring a remarkable level of detail and authenticity to their creations. Both are comic book, fantasy and science fiction fans whose work represents the artistic passion that many geeks have for the toy.
Kasurinen, who is based in Berlin, Germany, said her My Little Icon sculptures satisfied her interest in pop culture and the phenomenon of customization, as well as her artistic desire to transform a toy from her childhood. After trying Barbies, Action Man and He-Man dolls, and even tin soldiers, Kasurinen settled on My Little Pony as the ideal canvas.
“They are so plain — some plastic and fake hair. They didn’t have a gender, and the fact that I could transform a human character into pony form was really exciting,” said Kasurinen, who uses only first-generation My Little Ponies made in the 1980s. “I had a lot of new nuances to play with. There were no boundaries.”
Kasurinen’s first piece was a Batman pony that she made in 2008. She has since sculpted dozens of My Little Icons, including Rorschach from “Watchmen,” Harley Quinn and Spock, and pop culture icons like Lady Gaga and Marilyn Monroe.
Moisan and her son, both “Star Wars” fans, used to go to toy shows in search of classic action figures for his collection. She was intrigued by some custom-made versions, but since they were so expensive, she decided to use her art skills to make them herself. When Moisan shared some of her work on a comic book website thread, another member posted a photo of a plain My Little Pony and urged her to re-design one.
It was the perfect challenge for Moisan, who grew up reading a variety of comics and even had a horse of her own. The enthusiastic response to her first pony model, The Thing from "Fantastic Four," encouraged her to keep going.
“The moment I saw that Hasbro blank pony, I felt the stars were aligned, the heavens opened and angels sang,” said Moisan, whose pony collection includes The Punisher, Luke Cage and Green Lantern. “I have a great time doing them because they are for fun, like the custom toys I made for my son.”
These are not quick crafting projects. Kasurinen uses polymer clay, nylon hair, acrylic paint and varnish, and a customized pony can take from 10 to 20 hours to complete depending on its complexity. “The piece has to be so well crafted that it looks as if it was done by a machine,” said the artist, who sells her My Little Icons on her website and also does commissions.
Moisan does extensive research to make sure the ponies are true to their characters’ look. Some require sculpted add-ons and multiple firings. Her ponies are not for sale, but she has donated her work for auction in the Wonder Woman Museum’s annual event supporting anti-domestic violence programs.
The possibilities are endless. Kasurinen just finished a My Little Karl Lagerfeld, complete with dark shades, for a group exhibit at the Contemporary Art Museum of Rome. Her next commission piece is a My Little Ezio Auditore from the game Assassin’s Creed, and after that, she said she’ll return to (hint) “a galaxy far, far away” to complete a portrait that’s especially important to her.
“I grow very attached to the piece I’m working on, every time,” Kasurinen said. “I guess I can say that my favorite one is the one I’m making. The process is very rewarding and emotional, like a long conversation.”
so awsm pinky pie
I don't think there is anything wrong with it, but I know there are a lot of people that will because they are illusioned that males liking anything even remotely girly is gay. people even think bronies are pedofiles, what the hell???? how does liking my little pony make you a pedofile??? I watched the show for myself and its actually very well written, the new generation that is, many bronies told me that the older ones are what gives the newer one a bad name. The characters are soooo well thought out, they dont talk to their audience like they are a dumb little girl, it is a completley normal cartoon. it can get cheesy every once in a while though, but it is a great show. I think I've become a brony :/
why did u say such thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't know about you guys, but a lot of bronies I know are pot smokers and aren't really geeky or girly at all.
I have a 16 year old who is seriously obsessed with it so I have been doing research, reading differnt message boards and articles to understand if this is an issue. I find it a little strange but I am going to give my son the benefit of the doubt before judging this Brony cult.
I think these are really fun and creative. It takes a lot of time, and attention to painstaking detail to make these. At a Torchwood convention, I saw a woman had made My Little Captain Jack Harkness. The actor's sister was there and she was a little weirded out, but then saw how cool and interesting the craft was.
All those who say this is a hobby for child molesters need to get a grip!! Stop being so afraid of everything you don't like, agree with, or understand. I am the mom of two Bronies (aged 14 and 22) and I have no fear that either of them are pedophiles.
My oldest, who attends one of the best art schools in the world, customized a MLP for me who looks like Pyramid Head from Silent Hill. I am hoping for a Darth Revan next.
These are fabulous and show a lot of talent and creativity.
Some people just need to chill!
This is what a real bronie is...
You better hope your kids aren't real bronies...
– Ignorant parenting commence!
That is what is called an overgeneralization there are deviants in every community that is not the norm.
"My Little Pony goes gay."
I'm sure yours does, Chuck. Yep. No doubt about it.
Then don't shove them up your @$$
People who say that it's "weird" for grown people to be into certain kinds of toys don't seem to have any sense of imagination...
My Little Pony referencing stireks again! Ooh, I kept meaning to mention: Ryan Dow made a My Little Pony comic awhile back and then another one. As the comics make clear, he's jumped wholeheartedly
why did they ruin my little ponies?
I'm all for tongue-in-cheek creativity, but these see like a bit a of a waste of this guy's considerable sculpting talents.
Sorry, have to call it... My Little Iron Man = Pony Stark?
I love puns!
I saw thet gelding's photo on the liotsevck lost and found website and thought he was very handsome. How could someone lose something so large, handsome, and ummmm, LIVING and not want to find him again?Thank you so much for the work you're doing!
Its very creepy that grown men are into a toy for little girls. This sounds like a way for these creeps so that they can molest children.
It is unfortunate you are so naive. It's a hobby similar to Munny. If you don't know what that is then you are commenting on something completely out of your element.
Agreed, I think the FBI should know about this we need to start catching them before they violate our children.
I worry about you having such thoughts. Most people just look at it as an innocent pastime...but you, you just had to go there. Stay away from kids, dude.
Boy some of you really are that ignorant? Suppose my daughters gonna grow up to be gay because she likes dinasours..... Get a brain please.
Wait, how can you sell these without breaking multiple copyrights or trademarks?
Obviously you didn`t read the article either.....
I don't see those ponies as toys, they're art as re-designed by the artists. What's wrong with that?? I think it serves 2 purposes, for toy collectors who love it as jazzed up version of the original and as art for people who appreciate it as a form of modern, pop art. I personally love the Mr. T pony and the 80's nostalgia that it represents. I would totally buy that.
Robot Chicken had these beat years ago, in video no less.
I saw all of these on another website TWO YEARS AGO. Get with the times CNN.
These aren't geek sheek, they're pop culture. The author must have something against geeks.
Non-geeks have a weird idea of what geeks are. However, obsessively painting My Little Pony to look like comic book characters is something special. The art may appeal to normal pop culture people, but the artist is almost certainly a worthy geek.
i want them.
As a My Little Pony customizer, it's nice to see my choice of art form portrayed in a positve light. There are many talented customizers in the mlp world. Feel proud, my fellow customizers! :D
Where's "my little pony Newt Gingrich"?
You're confused – he's in the newer line of "My big retard ponies"
Heh There's a lot of Bronies that share this with their kids , and it's lovely! .. And there's many Forever Alones that criticizes them Because they're jelly! ;Trollface;
Fluttershy is the best!
I make comic related pins, magnets and pendants out of comics, magazines, vintage books. at www. ellethekitty. ca
I've seen the ponies before, they are amazing
The first picture is sooo haWt
My husband is a brony. He and my 7 year old daughter collect ponies together. I think it's awesome they have something they like to do together!
Oh, and he also made a custom Deadpool pony for a friend for Christmas :)
I think these are really cool, especially the angel of death one
wow it is so amazing how a person can a plain ponie to a fantasic siderman
That isn't geek... That's just stupid and pathetic.
and since when is anything geek like not stupid and pathetic?
I could have SWORN people used to call fans of D&D and Trekkies pathetic too.
no you're stupid and pathetic. :P
Wow...these were making the rounds on the Internet about 3 years ago. CNN just now catching up?
No offense borismkv, but not everyone spends most of their day on the internet like you apparently do.
Where the heck is apocalypse pony from Robot Chicken?!?!?!
You mean....DEATH PONY!!!!
8d0RE: But what if she's the real thing, and not a reckless real esatte speculator? In the age of bubble, impostors were everywhere, promising that if renters would only hop onto the pony ride, their home values would balloon; and if they missed out, they'd be Priced Out Forever! But, like , the market melted; the streets of crystal are but . With the false pony prophets dormant, we are finally ready for Pinkie Pie to show us uninflated home equinity. She preaches love (of candy that falls from the sky) and tolerance (but not of ponies who lie about their appreciation).
Brownies before hoenies!
Go Bronies go :)
Don't miss Jason Freeney's My Little Pony anatomy sculpture!
It's weird for guys to be into this? How's this any stranger than a group of dudes getting together on a Sunday to watch other spandex-clad men tackle each other and grab balls? And then chest bump when a touchdown is made?
Frankly, I think there's something wrong with the American psyche if people feel the need to conform to other people's prescribed notions of what hobby is 'right' for each gender.
exactly MItch :)
No thanks. Come back when you guys build me my Derpy Hooves pony.
*Goes back to giving Fluttershy a makeover at the Carousel Boutique*
Bronies (adult male MLP fans) are everywhere.
oh my goodness- i LOVE the My Little Mr. T!
I think adults being fixated on things that should be for children is a sign that there is something wrong with the American psyche. I'm guilty of it myself because I go to comic book movies, but it is strange.
Nothing strange about going to see an iron man movie. they're entertaining. Something is very wrong with grown men playing with action figures.
Something is very wrong with men who try to define masculinity for everyone else, also.
I like to do naughty things to my hubby who plays with my hubby who owns action figures.
I like to do naughty things to my hubby who owns action figures.
Sorry LONG day.
Some of you are sooo ignorant & we wonder why the world is sooo screwed..... Duh! Obviously you don`t have kids & by the sound of it shouldn`t. Suppose you don`t play video games either.....
One of these artists is based in Berlin, Germany, as stated in the article.
I still have my Little Pony-mind you I'm inmy mid 30s lol.. These are pretty cute I live CatWoman and Wonder Woman Little Pony
it's ok if you're a girl. But if your a dude! well..
Well, what, Dee?
I'm a straight guy in my mid thirties and I enjoy the new show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. What's wrong with that?.
Eeee . lol This was really cute but sort of hard to watch for me. My POA from when I was a kid would nulzze like that but it was usually a precursor to a nip. So the whole time I'm watching in my head I'm cringing and thinking dont bite the kitty's ear off dont bite the kitty's ear off' LOL
Gotta agree with you there, Joe! But, different strokes...
I love My Little Pony. Nice work. I would probably buy a pony and repaint it rather than handcraft one, but that just makes these more unique and special.
I just have to say it.... Its kind of weird for grown people to be into this.
Have you ever worked in the toy industry? It's a whole bunch of grown people making toys for a living!
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