Fake Brazil Prototypes
KNOWN USER NAMES
- helnu_79: Original user name that she began selling under - account created March 21, 2021
- brazil_toys_7: Changed on August 29, 2023
- vintage1982br: Changed in September or October 2023
- rimor-763: Created September 1, 2023 SECOND USER NAME
- old-toys1963: rimor-763 account changed to this user name in November, 2023
- starshinesprinklesjblackjrcgal: THIRD NAME CHANGE FOR ORIGINAL ACCOUNT - changed around November 29, 2023
On August 29, 2023, Helena changed her user name, and eBay required her to change the language of her listings from "protótipo (prototype)" to "variante (variant)." This is still an inaccurate description of what these ponies are. No other ponies like this are currently known to exist with any other individual, whether they were a child of an Estrela worker or a Brazilian collector who found them on the thrifting market.
Helena's story is that her grandfather worked for Estrela, a Hasbro-licensed company that produced G1 My Little Pony for the Brazilian market. Her grandfather would bring home bags of toys - not strictly My Little Pony - from the factory and distribute them as gifts to her and her seven cousins for birthdays and holidays. Helena also claims that each child who attended the Estrela Christmas party was sent home with a bag of toys.
These ponies are in many odd colors that were not typical of MLP's pastel color palette. They sometimes have distorted features, as if they did not pass quality control at the factory. Helena claims that she and her cousins received these ponies this way and that she is selling them as is. She has stated that Estrela was performing dye tests on ponies at the factory, and these are the results. She has provided proof in the form of a gold Estrela logo necklace that belonged to her grandmother and a My Little Pony tattoo.
She also stated that Rit dye is not available in Brazil and that she does not believe that Brazilian ponies are capable of being dyed at all. She provided video "proof" of her wiping one of these ponies' symbols off with acetone to show that no dye came off. It is important to note that Rit dye can be ordered into the country from online outlets and that her test is not an accurate measure of whether or not a pony has been altered.
Another community member posted a video in which he cuts into the neck plug of a dyed Cotton Candy pony purchased from Helena. The original pink color is clearly visible below the dye permeation. Hasbro sculptor Kirk Hindman has also mentioned at past MLP events that it would have been cost-prohibitive for a manufacturer to dye prototypes and that it is easier to paint them for production review.
All collectors should exercise caution if planning to purchase any of these unauthenticated "prototypes." The seller will indeed provide the goods, however, she is not likely to willingly issue a refund if the buyer decides that they are unhappy.
On September 19, 2023, Helena began adding a false email exchange with an Estrela representative to all of her eBay listings seeming to confirm these ponies' authenticity. The email contains no official Estrela branding to support its legitimacy. The language in the message seems to state that dye was injected into the molds after the vinyl and conveniently supports each point that the community has questioned. The process of injecting dye after vinyl into a mold is not standard protocol for production and highly unlikely to be true. Hasbro US has proven unable to confirm its past products from that long ago without community assistance, so it is not likely that Estrela would be able to confirm products made in a now-defunct factory.
Within hours, the fake exchange was removed from the listings. She has also resumed using the term "prototype."
Helena is rapidly changing user names, and she has resumed listing ponies with photos of her fraudulent certificates of authenticity and email exchange with Estrela.