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04 February, 2015

How Many Fillys Are There?

So, here is another writer joining the ranks of Funtasia Daily, though most probably only for special occasions, so don't expect to see me all that often, especially to begin with. The name is Exohasard. If Skundi is the guy who takes care of diplomacy with people who don't know much about Filly, I've had a tendency to build connections between already existing Filly communities. Ponychan, Twitter, VKontakte, Funtasia Daily comments, you name it, I'm there. Additionally, I used to be known as My Little Life on Mars, but wanted to cut off my ties to my old communities that were about that other equine cartoon.

In this article, there will be a toy analysis article of a similar type to what Zejgar used in his first article, in which it is tried to reach a verdict on how many Filly characters that exist in the very widely spanning Filly world. Find out more, after the break.

Like trying to figure out exactly how many countries there are in the world, or for that matter how many continents there are, it is a difficult matter to figure out just how many different characters there are out there in the world of Filly. Like a new Pokémon game, new Fillys are added to the brand pretty much all the time, through all sorts of merchandise that comes with new or special characters. It is well known that there's more than 200 of them, but isn't the number more in the direction of the 300 mark?

Let's start simple, with the first-release sets of the Filly sets of Princess, Fairy, Unicorn, Elves, Witchy, Butterfly and Stars. Those sets have respectively 21, 21, 21, 21, 22, 21 and 22 characters. Yes, there is a pattern here, as Unicorn, Elves, Witchy and Butterfly have placed the characters into five themed families of four, and one or two special characters standing above them in a separate housing. Princess had an elaborate heritage tree that just so added up to 21, and Stars have divided their households into four groups of six, five or four. But regardless the total of the above numbers, add up to 149 Fillys.

It's not easy to get all the Witchys to line up for a group photo, without anyone making grimaces or using trick spells.
Then there's Filly Mermaids, with three sets released in successive years. The set that was released first, had 11 Fillys living in Aquatica. So far, so well. Then, the following year, they made a Pearl Edition, in which 4 of the Fillys had been replaced with new ones, but only those four. The year after that, they made the Glitter Edition, in which 11 completely new Mermaid Fillys lived in Coralia. This adds up to 26, bringing our current total up to 175 Fillys.

Then there's the ice brands. Ice Fairy, Ice Unicorn, Ice Elves and the main release of Ice Witchy. These ones respectively have 9, 13, 11 and 4 of them. The difference can be attributed to different family structures and to differing ties to their main lines' families. The numbers here become 37, which results in our new total being 212 Fillys. Already north of the two-hundred mark, and we've only covered the basics. The advanced and vague stuff remains.

♪ Golden Crown, texture like sun... ♪
Filly Forest, the very first Filly line from 2007, had 20 Fillys, as it didn't have a special character to tempt toy buyers with. Then there is Filly Beach Party, which also had 20 indisputable Fillys. But there's also the Filly Princess. Not the toy line, a character, with that name. She was only released in an all-covering golden colour, making it look like she's wearing some suit that surely wasn't meant for royal throne responsibilities. The positioning of the roses in her mane and tail was similar enough to a character that is simply named Filly, that Filly Princess was simply thought of as a version of Filly. And for those who are wondering, Filly is the same character that has prided every Filly brand logo since the beginning, but who was released as a regular character in Filly Beach Party. Toy cards established the two as being different characters and even being different horse breeds, with Filly Princess being an Arabian, and Filly being a Belgian-breed. So that adds 1 to the tally, and it adds up to 41, bringing the total up to 253 Fillys. And we've just finished the warm-up.

Little did Filly know, that after Beach Party, she would forever become the Lakitu of the Filly World.
Also a matter of Forest and Beach Party, is a series of eight new characters that were released in re-releases of Forest and Beach Party, most prominently in Beach Party's 2010 re-release. The main problem with this is that all eight of these, known as the Neon Fillys on their biography cards, are clones of Filly (the same character that is written about in the above paragraph), but with different hair colours and different poses. There is little variety in their bios, which describe all the Neon Fillys as being friendly and happy horses. But perhaps Filly, the character, has had an entire horse breed from which she originated (Yes, Filly is a female), or that they came from the same Belgian-breed horse stable, that somehow creates clones? Several informational sites, such as the Filly Wiki, does not consider these as being separate characters, but they were sold as being different Fillys, so that's good enough for this article. That gives us 8 new Fillys, pushing us up to 261 Fillys.

Then there's Filly Wedding. A regular line of 10 characters, since as they're being couples getting married, they're divided into pairs, not unlike Ice Unicorn and the base Mermaid set. Then there's Filly Dream Wedding, that had a summer setting, and had 12 new characters, following the same model. Those are added up to 22, giving us a total of 283 Fillys. The numbers are getting impressive at this point.

Zack is not amused by Filly Funtasia not having been mentioned so far. Time to do something with that!
But wait, isn't there Filly Funtasia, and what we know of the characters from the trailers and from other material? Well, yes. Very few Fillys, notwithstanding bats and evil mirrors, have been named without having had a toy of them. But Zack and Fabian have been named. Zack is for the purposes of this article ranked as a Funtasia Filly, as his toy representative hasn't even been seen visually yet. Zack's toy presence is actually only known about, due to his name being used for a prince of an unpublished expansion to Filly Stars. That adds 2 to the total, which is now up to 285. But don't change the channel yet, there's more!

Filly Witchy and Filly Butterfly had mid-season expansions that added new households, respectively the Invisible Crystal Tree House and the Flower Tower, to their respective home areas. The two of them gave us 5 and 5 characters respectively, adding up to 10, and bringing the total to 295, making it that much closer to the mythical 300 mark.

And this is the point where we get to merchandise-exclusive toys. We'll begin with the Fillys that have primarily been shipped with Filly magazines, mostly in Germany, as Germany has more than a dozen different active and semi-active Filly magazines. Instances of this sort of distribution happening with the Filly brands of Fairy, Unicorn, Witchy, Mermaid, Butterfly, Wedding, Stars, and Ice Elves, is respectively 2, 1, 1, 8, 4, 6, 1 and 2. This time it adds up to 25, resulting in the total number breaking through the mythical mark, having got to 320 Fillys.

And there have also been a lot of advent calendars with exclusive toys throughout the past five years or so, including in 2013, which somehow saw two or possibly even three advent calendars being released, one for Fillys in general, one for Witchy and one for Ice Witchy. The 2010, 2012, 2013 ordinary, 2013 Witchy and 2013 Ice Witchy calendars saw 1, 1, 3, 1 and 3 new characters respectively. And the 2014 calendar themed after Filly Butterfly upped it one notch, by introducing an entire Christmas-themed household (though it requires some language skills to see how names like Julia and Lucia are Christmas-related). This Butterfly household had 4 members, and the numbers in this paragraph add up to 13, heightening the total to 333.

All the merchandise-only characters even got a special logo, but only for use in the Filly Sammelband anthologies.
And there have even been Fillys that primarily came with tin boxes. Even though the tin boxes were most probably used for storage of cards or toys, I keep thinking of food packs when I see the words 'tin box'. The Filly brands of Unicorn and Elves provides us with 2 and 2 new Fillys respectively. In addition, there is the matter of Schulfee, who is strongly based on the Filly Fairy named Melian. But Schulfee seems considerably younger, as she is attending a school, while Melian is a full adult. In addition, Schulfee carries around a bag with the toys' eponymous Swarovski crystals in it. They have markedly different bios, so I will count her too as a separate character, which gives us 1. This gives us 5 Fillys to add to the increasing total, which is now at 338.

In regards to Filly Witchy, there have even been characters that only came with house-themed play sets, of which there were 3. Characters, that is, not necessarily the amount of play sets. Even the contemporary Filly Mermaids Pearl Edition followed this strategy once with Shelia, as well as Filly Unicorn doing it with Flora. Altogether, this paragraph adds 5 more to the total, bringing the total up to 343.

Frankly, what is this Filly's name? What's her dreams? Or speaking voice? And does she like caramel pudding?
And to round it off, there are a few characters that hasn't even been named. There was a Filly Wedding play set with two Witchy Fillys and a reindeer-pulled carriage, though no one could find the names of the play set's two Fillys, but those two will be included in this counting. Less fortunate are a fair few background characters in Filly Funtasia that have remained unnamed, with no speaking lines except perhaps some laughing, and that for the longest time were thought of as being based off of existing toys. As the amount of background characters is difficult to count, and that we don't really know much about their significance and frequency, they are not counted in these rankings. But the Wedding play set provides us with 2 to add to the total.

This gives us a final tally, as of the 5th of February 2015, of there being 345 Fillys in the Filly World.

This somewhat aligns with the numbers of the Filly Wiki, who indicated 332 Fillys, but without the Neon Fillys, the Wedding playset and Schulfee. Nonetheless, there are a lot more than what people may realise that there are, and catching collecting them all would be more chaotic than collecting all characters in Pokémon games past the point of Pokémon Platinum Edition.

But the tally has been finished, and there are most surely a lot of Fillys populating the world of the franchise, toys, cartoon and our dreams. Even if the total adds up to filling up less than two apartment blocks in a northern European neighbourhood.

Notice: Earlier incorrect numbers have been corrected. Being off by ten due to a miscalculation was not expected to even be possible.