Stephanie absolutely loves My Little Pony (Picture: Stephanie Nasello / SWNS.COM)
Stephanie Nasello, 37, got her first My Little Pony toy when she was just three years old.
That gift sparked a lifetime obsession, and today she has around 4,500 plastic horses that cost her $30,000 (£22,000).
That’s a lot to spend on an obsession, but it could pay off – Stephanie’s collection is now worth an estimated $80,000 (£58,000).
But she has no plans to sell her stash just yet.
Stephanie absolutely loves scouring toy shops, eBay, second hand shops, and garage sales to find more horses to add to her collection, many of which are still in their original 1980s boxes.
Her favourites are Diamond Dreams and Peppermint Crunch – both from her childhood – and her most valuable is her Greek mint-on-card Pony, valued at around $450 (£330).Her collection has grown so large it now has its own dedicated room (Picture: Stephanie Nasello / SWNS.COM)
Stephanie’s oldest Pony is one from ‘Generation Zero’, where the franchise was known as ‘My Pretty Pony’, that was made in 1981 with hard brown plastic.
Now her collection is so big she has an entire 26ft x 13ft room in her house dedicated to it – The Pony Room – filled with 13 packed bookcases of her goodies; both horses and themed memorabilia.
Stephanie, a customer services representative, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, said: ‘It’s almost magical; you can’t walk in here and feel sad.
‘Imagine finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but it’s all rainbows – that’s my room!Her obsession began when she was gifted her first My Little Pony at three years old (Pictue: Stephanie Nasello / SWNS.COM)
‘When repair men come over, if they have to do work on the Pony Room they’re like “are we in a store?” They don’t know how to process it!”
Stephanie started collecting in 1986 when her favourite toys were pony figurines and playsets she shared with her sister.
She would race home after school to catch the cartoon on TV.
As she got older, she faced bullying, and her collection gave her a way to escape.
‘Growing up is hard and I really took on ponies as my identity when I was 16 because struggled so much with my identity,’ said Stephanie.The ponies helped Stephanie to feel less alone when she was bullied growing up (Picture: Stephanie Nasello / SWNS.COM)
She would hunt in garage sales and thrift stores, and when she discovered eBay she had to find unique ways to pay for orders outside of the US that she couldn’t do via cheque.
She said: ‘I would take fake My Little Ponies I had extra from thrifting and I would pop their heads off.
‘I would shove money into the bodies and then I would send them a package and tell the seller in loose German “the money’s in the pony”!’
Stephanie has other collections – Tiggers, Popples and He-Man, as well as Lord of the Rings and Star Wars – but her pony troupe is by far the largest.And the community around My Little Pony is a major source of joy (Picture: Stephanie Nasello / SWNS.COM)
She said: ‘My Little Pony just morphed into the biggest collection out of them all because ponies bring me the most happiness.”
She spends up to $100 (£70) per Pony, and $1,000 (£730) on a collection, but said this is much lower than market value.
Her most valuable assets are those still in their original packaging, which value between $50 (£36) to hundreds of dollars, of which she has over a hundred.
Her favourite part of loving My Little Pony is the huge online community she has become a part of along the way.
She has a dedicated Facebook page, The Pony Room, and Instagram where she connects with over 1,700 other enthusiasts and does weekly live streams.‘Making friends truly is the best part,’ says Stephanie (Picture: Stephanie Nasello / SWNS.COM)
She said: ‘I know it’s cliché to say making friends but truly it is the best part. After all, friendship is magic!
‘The community is fantastic and I have made lifelong friends along the way, a lot of my collection wouldn’t be where it is today without my friends.More: Interiors
‘I started livestreaming to give people the opportunity to be educated.
‘They ask why, but I think why not? Just because this is not your normal aesthetic doesn’t make it wrong.’
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