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Lyra Plushie is a stuffed toy likeness of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic background character Lyra that is equipped with a hole in the rear end. The doll became the subject of controversy online after it was placed on sale as a sex toy on the auction site The Dealers Den in May of 2012.
A Lyra plushie doll was placed for sale on the online auction site The Dealers Den by DeviantArt user Hoppip on May 27th, 2012 (shown below). The stuffed toy came with removable clothing and “a special hole in her butt that you can stick your penis in,” according to the seller’s description. The product page included tips on how to clean the toy and an option to purchase a slightly different model without the hole. The auction was closed on June 3rd with 134 bids present and was sold for £460 GBP or $704 USD. The plushie was received a few weeks later on June 20th, 2012, by twentypercentcooler.net user Rainbow Slash, with its signature hole still present.
Although many viewers reacted in disgust and disapproval towards the plushie, others chose to ignore its intended purpose and began sharing jokes about the toy. Hoppip’s DeviantArt page was inundated with various reactions regarding the plushie and the /merch/ (merchandise) board on the My Little Pony imageboard Ponychan spawned such a large quantity of posts and threads about the plushie that moderators sent out a general warning to users not to post links to the auction page.
On May 29th, 2012, the men’s interest blog Modern Primate posted an article titled “Childhood Ruined: The ‘My Little Pony’ Sex Doll,” which reported on the controversy surrounding the plushie. On May 31st, Daily Dot published a similar article highlighting the buzz around Lyra Plushie, followed by a second article on June 1st covering Hoppip’s justification for creating the toy. On the same day, fanarts based on the plushie were shared on Equestria After Dark, Funnyjunk and FunnyField. On June 4th, a Garry’s Mod model of the toy (shown below, left) was released on Garrysmod.org. On Tumblr, posts associated with the item began spreading under tags such as “lyra plushie” and a Tumblr ask blog was launched for the toy (shown below, right), gaining over 650 followers within 12 hours after creation.
Most fanart illustrations based on the plushie include the hole in the back with an alternate function other than its suggested sexual usage, including turning the plushie into inanimate objects, most commonly a storage container or a hand puppet.
The close up shot of the hole in the back of the plushie has gained usage in numerous photoshops. These vary between reaction images towards the plushie, to objects and people placed in the hole.
On June 26th, 2012, an email was sent to DeviantArt from Carin Reynolds, an attorney from the law firm of Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP representing Hasbro, asking to take down the images of the Lyra plush from Hoppip’s account.
We recently became aware that “Hoppip” has been making custom MY LITTLE PONY® plush products, including a highly inappropriate “Lyra” plush product,
Hoppip’s unauthorized use of Hasbro’s MY LITTLE PONY not only infringes Hasbro’s intellectual property rights, but such connection with the “Lyra” plush product is entirely unacceptable.
[Read the entire email here]
As requested in the email, DeviantArt removed all the plushie images from Hoppip’s gallery, leaving only his images of non-pony plushies and incomplete plushies. The images on the auction page on The Dealers Den were also removed, although it is unknown whether or not this was due to a similar cease and desist order. On July 17th, 2012, Hoppip published a journal post saying he was contacting the DeviantArt help desk about the image deletion.
Later that day, a screenshot of the DMCA notice e-mail was posted to Reddit, where some users began raising questions as to its authenticity. Redditor CraftD asserted that the email was sent from a troll attempting to take advantage of DeviantArt’s policy of taking down any reported image without a proper verification process. In the thread, Redditor wingle later pointed out that the fax number in the email did not match the one on the law firm’s contact form. However, a Google search for “Carin Reynolds” shows that the lawyer in question has had a history of sending cease and desist orders on behalf of Hasbro for other properties including Magic: The Gathering, Risk and Scrabble.
Even though Hasbro has allowed most fan-generated content to spread, this is not the first time Hasbro chose to take legal action in the case of selling My Little Pony plush merchandise. A similar situation occurred in February 2012 when DeviantArt plush maker WhiteDove had several auctions removed from eBay for containing the words “My Little Pony,” “MLP” or “FiM” in the title. However, an eBay representative told WhiteDove that the removal was due to community members flagging the auction for copyright infringement. Three months later, Hasbro did take action against WhiteDove, who received a request from DeviantArt asking her to remove the commission prices from her handmade plushie images. As of November 1st, 2012, WhiteDove’s gallery remains intact.
Equestria Daily – Corrections and Updates Regarding WhiteDove and Hasbro