“My Little Pony” are a range of toy ponies produced by Hasbro the toy making giants, aimed mainly at little girls .The toys are a unique and imaginative creation thought up by Bonnie Zacherle the American illustrator and designer in 1982. Every little girl dreams of one day owning a pony making this an extremely sought after toy by children who can only dream of owning the real thing. My Little Pony was marketed in 1983 and has gone from strength to strength in popularity ever since, even up to the present day.
The ponies are beautifully designed having a colourful body, long silky mane with unique markings on their flanks known as “cutie marks”. Collectors of these toys crave to have all the “generations” of the ponies that were created. There are four generations in all with each generation having a whole host of designs that are unique to the My Little Pony toy.
Generation One has the original designed My Little Pony along with many variations from Pegasus Ponies to Rainbow Ponies. There are around fifteen designs in all. Ponies of this generation could also be bought via mail order with some breeds being unique to this way of purchasing including Lucky the Stallion or Daisy and Violet.
Hasbro also licensed foreign countries to produce their own My Little Pony toys such as France, India, Mexico and Spain. Production of these ponies was limited meaning collectors are keen to acquire them as they bring a higher price when sold. Other related lines followed such as My Little Kitty, Bunny or Puppy that were cat, dog and rabbit sets. There were all kinds of merchandise connected to the brand including children’s bedding, clothing, DVD’s and books while in order to celebrate twenty five years of My Little Pony Hasbro re released the 1983 original My Little Pony collection.
Generation Two was released in 1997 known as Friendship Garden Ponies. The design was very different from the early ponies having Jewelled eyes plus turning heads and longer legs. This line was more successful in Europe but was somewhat a flop in the US. Play sets followed including 3 castles and a mansion.
Generation Three began in 2003. These were Earth Ponies followed by Pegasus Ponies in 2005 and Unicorn Ponies in 2006. Variations in design were many in this generation. Some ponies had magnetic hooves while the packaging up to 2005 gave the buyer the opportunity to collect pony points. Customers then used them for mail order toys such as Dazzle Surprise or Sunshimmer. The points programme ended in January 2006. A limited edition pony was produced, with only 300 made, to be sold at the licensing show. Some of these were released for general purchase by mistake making them very valuable. 2009 saw the creation of redesigned characters, seven in all. They had larger heads with smaller bodies, bigger eyes and different hairstyles.
Generation Four the final generation was released in 2010. There are eight characters in this generation all featuring in the television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Set in Equestria they are Twilight, Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Spike the Dragon and Princess Celestia. Twilight Sparkle is the star of the show with the theme centred around friendship.
Playful Ponies were also part of Generation four and were released in promotional packs mainly of two. Major events also saw releases such as on February 14th 2011 Valentines Day Pinkie Pie plus Easter Fluttershy in April of that year. A second release of ponies was in April 2011 with another two in May 2011and July 2011 including many new pony names. There will be a fifth release of ponies in early 2012 with two new names, Cherry Pie and Diamond Rose with more to come in May 2012.
The New York 2012 Toy Fair saw Hasbro announce yet more new releases to whet the appetite of collectors. These will be launched in September 2012. Story packs are also proving to be really popular. When you purchase one of these packs you receive not only a pony but many accessories. There are fifteen packs to collect in all. There are so many ranges of ponies to collect now that the list is endless below are just a few;
- Ride Along Ponies
- So-Soft Newborn Ponies
- Shine Bright Ponies
- Fashion Style Ponies
- Glimmer Wing Ponies
- Pony Royal Wedding/Crystal Empire
Even video games have been created featuring the My Little Pony horses. One such game is My Little Pony Crystal Princess : The Runaway Rainbow 2006. This adventure puzzle game is very popular among fans of this genre plus My Little Pony fans too. Another is My Little Pony : Pinkie Pie’s Party 2008. This is the same type of video game but with a different story to the last.
Such is the popularity of the My Little Pony toys that they have gained a kind of cult status appearing in famous films or television shows in cameo roles. At the end of the day the success of these little ponies is down to fantastic design that has progressed with time, adding more and more lines that appeal to little girls the world over. The toys inflame the imagination of children opening up a wondrous world they can enter and enjoy bringing happiness and fun as they play.
There’s plenty more you can find out about my little pony online – we personally recommend Equestrian Gaming which is a unique fan site for my little pony.