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22 June, 2015

Filly Answers

It has been over a week, but we have finally received answers from Tine Norbøll! I have nothing to add on myself, so go ahead and have fun reading trivia! All text beyond this line is Tine's words.

Dear Filly Friends.

First of all, thank you so much for your questions and enthusiasm! I am really touched and it is always so nice to hear from Filly Fans around the world.

Unfortunately, there are some things that I cannot answer. Filly is a brand which belongs to Dracco Company Ltd. and I cannot reveal any secrets about future series or Funtasia in general.

I am just as excited about Funtasia as you are, and without saying too much, I can tell you that it will be worth the wait. Many of you ask about details for both the production of the TV series, characters etc. and unfortunately it´s not possible for me to tell you, since I left Dracco Company earlier this year.

So, on that note, I will go through those of your questions I can answer. The others I have left out. Sorry, especially to Stepanda whose questions were all about Funtasia.

Q: Why are Fillys horses?
A: That is a good question! They had to be something, right? In the beginning, they were inspired by real horse breeds, but when we reached Filly Princess, we decided that a Filly is not a horse. A Filly is a Filly – even though they look like horses.

Q: Do Filly fans have a name?
A: Usually I think the fandom itself defines the name? I read somewhere that “Funtasian” was becoming a thing.

Q: Which Filly is your favorite?
A: There are so many Fillys and I have a few favorites in each series, but I would have to say that my all-time personal favorite is Ronja, from Filly Elves. I named her after my little daughter, who at that time was 3 years old. She loves nature, just like the Filly version of Ronja, and gets terribly upset if anyone breaks a root or a branch on a tree. Nature is magical and every little creature is important.

Q: Legend goes that Filly as a brand began in 2006. German toy collector sites also point towards that Filly Forest first began in 2007. What happened in the first year?
A: In short: Development, production and lots of coffee : - )

Q: Are the royal households in Filly Princess ruling over any non-royal ordinary Fillys, or are they only ruling over their own household's lower-ranked royals?
A: That´s the thing. Even though the Filly Princess characters each have their own nobility title, I wanted to create a kingdom of harmony and friendship – and where everyone is equal, in spite of what their title or rank might be. So actually, nobody rules over anyone. Even in newer series, for instance Stars, Cassiopeia is more a kind mother and a guide rather than a ruler.

Q: The cards and website bios for Filly Forest and Filly Beach Party are very different, with the cards telling that they are based on real horses, and the old websites telling that the real horses were their ancestors. Were there perhaps different marketing aims or something?
A: In the beginning, the Fillys were inspired by real horses, but later, starting with Filly Princess, I thought that a horse with crown, who lived in a castle, didn´t really make much sense. I discussed it with my team and boss – and voila, Filly as its own creature was born. In some markets, Forest and Beach were relaunched at a later stage, where Filly was already “Filly” and not horses anymore – and so, some of the texts were changed for consistency.

Q: How open is the Filly World to fan characters? Since the Unicorn line speaks of servants, I suppose that there is some kind of 'background population' that are just not a part of the collectable series.
A: It sounds like there are several questions in one here, but yes, there are background characters – often hints of other kingdoms, other Fillys etc. but the non-collectable Fillys are never shown visually. I think we did show a few in Filly Princess but after that, we decided that whichever Filly you see, is a Filly that you can also get as a figurine.

Q: How was the toyline born? What was the original hint from which the idea was shaped and developed? From some other toy, old story, or something else?
A: After Filly Princess was launched and we established that the Fillys were now their own type of beings and not horses, the stories quickly started to write themselves as well in my head. Of course, I had a lot of help with the stories - reaching from my always inventive boss to my amazing colleagues and my daughter.

Q: What lead to the creation of the Filly Princess, making the passage to a more "fantasy" setting for the toyline?
A: It came naturally. Maybe because since I was a kid, I´ve always wanted to live in a magical world. I was a big fan of fantasy novels and dreamt about being able to meet a fairy or a unicorn in real life.

Q: What does your role in the TV Show development consist of?
A: I wrote the first story bible, working closely with everyone involved. Later I followed the development on the side, giving inputs and suggestions to scripts etc.

Q: What is your favorite characters in the entire Filly line, and why (especially, what is the inspiration of the character)?
A: Again, it would have to be Ronja, the Filly Elf, who is named after and inspired by my daughter.

Q: How did King Victor become a ghost? :D
A: Yeah, that´s a funny fact. One should remember that Filly Princess was the very first series of “real” Fillys and even though the stories came almost naturally by themselves, some things were still not defined. Not only do you hear about a Filly, who actually passed away, but you also get to see baby Fillys in diapers etc.

Q: I'm repeatedly impressed by the Filly series not sticking to just nuclear families (e.g. single-parent families, families including aunts/uncles), as well as not sticking to gender stereotypes. Was this hard to achieve or has it happened naturally?
A: It happened completely naturally, but I am happy that you have noticed it. I wanted to show all kinds of family structures and stay away from gender stereotypes in general. It is just too boring if every family has a dad, a mom and two kids.

Q: Do you think any quagga (such as Quaggi from the Filly Forest line) will appear again?
A: Most likely not. A quagga is an extinct horse breed and this would mean that Filly stepped back to the original horse breed idea. But who knows?

Q: What do you think of the fandom so far?
A: Amazing!!! Count me in as your fan number 1. I wonder what a Filly fan of the Filly fandom is called?

Q: Do fillys themselves have a lifespan, and if they do, for how many years?
A: This has not been defined, only that Fillys never grow older in the stories themselves – similar to Mickey Mouse or any other comic hero that you might think of. Fillys are not born or pass away in the stories, but they can refer to when they were 1 year younger etc.

Well, everyone. That´s it. I hope the answers are satisfying – and if you ever come to Denmark, let me know and I´ll buy you a coffee : - )