My Little Pony
Synopsis of Toy
Humanized animals are a toy staple, and doll hair that a little girl can comb herself…well, that’s always going to be a hit. Put the two together, and you’ve got the My Little Pony line—and what a line it was. This little plastic mare had her own movie, her own cartoon series, and enough versions of herself to make all the other farm animals’ heads spin. A one-trick pony, she was anything but.
The precursor to My Little Pony was Romper Room’s 1981 My Pretty Pony. The Pretty Ponies were made of hard plastic, not the soft vinyl of future ponies, and each came with its own cowboy hats, brush, and comb—whatever they were made of, the Ponies were always meant for preening. Under their chins was a trigger, and when it was pulled, the horses twitched their ears, winked their eyes and swished their tails (which we assume their proud owners had kept nicely coifed).
The next year, Hasbro’s My Little Pony line came out of the stable in earnest. These vinyl first six are now referred to as the “classics.” They included Cotton Candy, Blue Belle, Butterscotch, Minty, Snuzzle and Blossom. Their hooves were flat, they all took the same standing pose, and each had its own individual symbol stamped right there on its rump. Animal husbandry folks might have you calling that a brand, but the idea of a brand is just no good for a toy.
Subsequent ponies sat, walked, trotted and reared, but of course, nearly every one of them had that silky, brushable, braidable hair. There were Ponies with cute names like Firefly, Moondancer, Bow Tie, Colorswirl and Sundazzle; there were Unicorn Ponies, Winged Ponies, Sea Ponies, Baby Ponies, Soft Ponies, Flutter Ponies, Rainbow-haired Ponies, Pocket Ponies, Princess Ponies, Sweet Berry Ponies replete with very non-farm fruity scents, Brush and Grow Ponies, Collector Ponies and the all-male Big Brother Ponies.
And that’s just a fraction of the product line—it’s said that there are over a thousand different models prancing around out there. There are plenty of accessories to talk about too, because Ponies, like any of your humanized four-legged creatures, did a whole lot more than just sit around and look good. They needed to dance sometimes (hey, just like any of us), they needed to play, sleep, beautify themselves—their schedules were full.
Hasbro also introduced two pony riders—Megan and Megan’s younger sister Molly—and these little ladies could ride almost all of the hundreds of Pony models. There were books, purses, comics, clothes, school supplies…Pony left her hoof print in a lot of different places. There were mail-in offers and the My Little Pony Fan Club, members of which could get their hands on a number of exclusive Ponies that weren’t available in stores by collecting and mailing in the horseshoe points on the back of the regular Pony packages.
1986 saw Pony’s silver screen debut in My Little Pony: The Movie and soon after, her small screen debut in the cartoon series My Little Pony ‘n Friends. Collectors were called “My Little Pony Mommies,” and they were known to take the care of their Pony broods very seriously.
In 1991, Hasbro released a series of 10th Anniversary Ponies (Birthday Pony, Teeny Tiny Baby Twins and others) as a grand finale and a grand goodbye—Pony production ceased. But in 1997, they opened up the stable doors once more, and released several smaller, thinner, more roundly-faced and harder-plastic Ponies. Though American production ceased after two years, it continues on in Europe—giving stateside Pony collectors ceaseless quest potential and ensuring that Pony won’t ever be put out to toy pasture.
Release History of Toy1981 - My Pretty Pony from Romper Room
1982 - Hasbro's My Little Pony
1984 - Collector's Ponies
1991 - 10th Anniversary Ponies
1997 - Hasbro re-releases the Ponies
Sub Categories of Toysdolls