My Little Pony
|My Little Pony|
The current My Little Pony logo.
My Little Pony is an entertainment franchise developed by Hasbro which is marketed primarily to girls. It started as a line of plastic pony toys developed by Bonnie Zacherle, Charles Muenchinger and Steve D'Aguanno which have been produced since 1983. The ponies feature colorful bodies, manes and a unique symbol on one or both sides of their flanks. These are referred to in the two most recent generations as "cutie marks." My Little Pony was revamped at least four times with new and more modern looks to appeal to a new market.
Following the original My Pretty Pony toy, introduced in 1981, My Little Pony was launched in 1983 and the line became popular during the 1980s. The original toy line ran from 1983 to 1995 (1992 in the US), and inspired animated specials, an animated feature length film, and four animated television series.
The brand was moderately profitable from early 1990s until the beginning of the 2010s when its popularity drastically exploded after the introduction of the fourth generation, following the unexpectedly great success of the 2010 animated television series.
- 1 History
- 2 Generations
- 2.1 Generation One
- 2.2 Generation Two
- 2.3 Generation Three
- 2.4 Generation Four
- 3 Media adaptations
- 3.1 Generation One
- 3.2 Generation Two
- 3.3 Generation Three
- 3.3.1 Direct-to-video animated features
- 3.3.2 Once Upon a My Little Pony Time
- 3.3.3 My Little Pony Live: The World's Biggest Tea Party (2006)
- 3.3.4 Portable games
- 3.4 Generation Four
- 3.4.1 My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (2010-present)
- 3.4.2 My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle, Teacher for a Day (2011)
- 3.4.3 Friendship Is Magic mobile game (2012)
- 3.4.4 My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic comic (2012-present)
- 3.4.5 Equestria Girls film series (2013-present)
- 3.4.6 Untitled My Little Pony feature film (2017)
- 4 Imitations
- 5 Fandom among adults
- 6 In popular culture
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
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"My Little Pony" was created in 1982 by American illustrator and designer Bonnie Zacherle. Working with sculptor Charles Muenchinger and manager Steve D'Aguanno, Zacherle submitted a design patent in August 1981 for an ornamental design for a toy animal. The patent was granted in August 1983, when she began working for Hasbro.
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The original line of My Little Pony began with the Earth Ponies in 1982. The Earth Ponies were followed by Pegasus Ponies, Unicorn Ponies, Flutter Ponies and Sea Ponies. Flutter Ponies were smaller and thinner than Pegasus Ponies, and had fluttering wings. Windy Wing and the Summer Wing Ponies were smaller than the Flutter Ponies and were proportioned in a similar way, with larger, butterfly-like wings. The Sea Ponies resembled seahorses, and were produced as both adults and babies. There were also male ponies called 'Big Brother Ponies', which had slightly larger bodies and feathered hooves resembling those of Clydesdale horses.
Many different sets of Little Pony variations were produced, the first being the Rainbow Ponies in 1983. Other variations included the So-Soft Ponies (covered in flocking), Twinkle-Eyed Ponies which had rhinestones in place of eyes, Twice-As-Fancy Ponies with patterns covering most of the body, Brush 'n' Grow Ponies which had a longer-than-usual mane and tail stored inside the body, Pony Friends - animals designed in the same style as the ponies, such as a lion, giraffe, kangaroo and zebra, among others - and Baby Ponies, some of which were smaller versions of previously released ponies and presented as those ponies' foals. An animated television series, My Little Pony, ran from 1986 to 1987. The first generation of My Little Ponies was sold in the U.S. until 1992, and was marketed internationally until 1995. The final year of sales in the U.S. was advertised as the "celebration year" of My Little Pony.
All packaging came with Horseshoe Points, which could be used to obtain discounts on special ponies available only through mail order. The Horseshoe Point program was offered in both the US and UK, although the items available for purchase varied by country. Mail-order ponies were generally reissues like Majesty, which was previously available only with the Dream Castle Playset, or unique ponies such as the first boy pony, Lucky the stallion. Another line of exclusively mail-order ponies was the Birthflower ponies, which featured a pony for every month of the year. All had white bodies with pink hair and tails; their names were Carnation, Violet, Daffodil, Daisy, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Water Lily, Poppy, Morning Glory, Cosmos, Chrysantheum and Holly. Special baby ponies, such as the Pearlized Baby Ponies and Twice-As-Fancy babies, were also available by mail order. Some mail-order ponies, such as Sweet Scoops, Goldilocks and Rapunzel are rare and sought after by collectors.
Some companies were licensed under Hasbro to produce their own line of ponies instead of shipping them from China or Hong Kong, where the vast majority of ponies were produced; these companies were located in Argentina, Brazil, France, Greece, India, Italy, Macau, Mexico and Spain. Some of these ponies are very similar to their Asian counterparts. For example, the Italian Clio looks very similar to Glory, with the most obvious difference being a non-glittery symbol. Some, such as the Mexican Twilight are a variation on existing colors, poses or species, while others, such as the Greek Ladybird, are completely unique to their region.
Due to factors such as limited production and their condition, international ponies tend to bring a higher price than their more-common counterparts. Ponies from certain countries are also easier to find, while others, such as those made in Greece and Brazil, are more difficult. There are also international ponies which were distributed from China or Hong Kong, but made exclusively for a particular region, either a variant of the local ponies or completely new types.
Most ponies released in the U.S. were found in Western Europe as well. The majority of US domestic mail-order ponies never appeared overseas, although many countries had their own mail-order systems. Many of the excess ponies offered by mail order in the US were bagged, carded and sold overseas. Some of the ponies and playsets were given different names abroad; for example, the Big Brother Ponies were known as Adventure Boy Ponies in the UK. The second generation of My Little Pony toys were sold in Western Europe and the United States. Since the second generation was more popular in Western Europe, Hasbro continued to produce and sell them in Western Europe after 1998, when American production was discontinued.
Petite Ponies were tiny pony figures sold in sets. Some had different characteristics, such as brushable hair, pearlised or glow-in-the-dark bodies. Under the base of each was an engraved hoof, which allowed the pony to function as a key to the Petite Playsets. Most of these smaller ponies had no official name, and many had the same symbols. They were sold from 1989 to 1991; only Earth Ponies and Pegasus Ponies were produced.
These larger figures made of hard plastic were advertised as "grown up" ponies and called Dream Beauties. Unlike My Little Ponies, they looked more like real horses in proportions and musculature. The Dream Beauties came in a range of decorated and accessorized styles, including plastic beads along the base of their manes, ornamentation in the style of carousel horses, glitter or pearlescent finishes, and elaborate "cutie marks", some extending the full length of the body. All were Earth Ponies, except for the three Highflying Beauties, which had large, multicolored wings. They were sold from 1989 to 1990.
My Little Kitty/Puppy/Bunny
Cat, dog and rabbit sets were sold under the Hasbro MLP logo during the early 1990s. Each Lil' Litters set consisted of a mother, two babies and a plastic comb. The mothers had flocked bodies, and the babies were miniature plastic figures. Kitty mothers had cottony tails, puppy mothers had either silky or cottony ears and bunny mothers had cottony tails and silky forelocks. There were also Nursery Family sets, featuring the puppy and kitty characters.
In 1984, Takara (Later merged with Tomy to form Takara Tomy) released a line of My Little Pony toys, which were released in two types: Osharena Pony (おしゃれなポニー Osharena ponī?) and Kawaii Pony (かわいいポニー Kawaī ponī?). Only released in Japan, these are a more anthropomorphic take on the toyline and considered as the most rare of the G1 collection due to how they were released.
Besides the ponies themselves, merchandise included children's bedding and room decorations, plush toys, puzzles, clothing, books and playsets. There were also unusual items such as a pomander and toy sewing machines. Two animated television series and a feature-length theatrical movie were aired during this period. In 1985, a picture disc featuring songs by Tony Markey was released.
- To celebrate the 25th anniversary of My Little Pony, Hasbro reproduced the original 1983 My Little Pony collection. The ponies reproduced were Blue Belle, Butterscotch, Cotton Candy, Snuzzle, Blossom and Minty. Hasbro has also reproduced the Generation One Rainbow Ponies, Moonstone, Parasol, Skydancer, Starshine, Sunlight and Windy.
- Generation One Ponies key chains were sold in Japan. Ponies sold as key chains were Milky Way, Dancing Butterflies, Sugarberry, Starbow, Rainribbon, Sunribbon and Baby Stockings, which came in either red or green. They had comb-able hair, and came with a small comb. The key chains are rare, and valued by collectors.
This line was known as "Generation Two" (G2) or "Friendship Garden Ponies." They were manufactured in redesigned poses with jewel eyes and turning heads and were smaller, slimmer, and longer-legged than their 1982 counterparts. The line was not successful in the U.S. and was discontinued in 1999, although it continued overseas for several years. Most were Earth Ponies, but a few unicorns were made internationally. Although no Pegasus Ponies were made, some adults had clip-on wings. In the early 2000s, several unicorns with clip-on wings (called the Magic Unicorns) were made. Two baby ponies were introduced, and none of the baby ponies were sold in the U.S.
In Europe, the ponies lived in Ponyland instead of Friendship Gardens, and were discontinued with the inception of the G3 line in 2003. Many ponies released in the last years of the line are considered rare. A number of playsets were introduced, including a mansion and a castle. Some of the licensed merchandise released in Europe included beanbag plushes, magazines, clothing, perfume, wrapping paper and coloring books. A CD-ROM game for PC was also released, which involved taking care of a pony and playing games along the way.
Some Generation Two ponies were sold as detachable key chains, including Morning Glory, Sundance, Light Heart and Ivy. The pony came with a comb attached to her neck by a string. The back of the package says, "My Little Pony Logo and Pony Names are Trademarks of Hasbro Inc. Copyright 1998." They were produced under license by Fun-4-All Corporation and made in China.
The third incarnation of My Little Pony began in 2003 and is generally referred to as Generation Three (G3) by collectors. The revamped line of dolls was targeted to a younger audience than the previous lines.
Generation Three is set in the fictional town of Ponyville, which is centered around Celebration Castle. Only Earth Ponies were released from 2003 to 2005, but in 2005 and 2006 Pegasus Ponies and Unicorn Ponies were introduced.
Until late 2005, packaging came with Pony Points that were later used for exclusive mail orders. Unlike the G1 line, the Pony Points had to be mailed in to order; a customer could not pay a flat fee and add points to it to lower the price. Some of the ponies available with the Pony Points program were Dazzle Surprise, Sunshimmer and Love Wishes. Other merchandise included posters or a play mat to put buildings on. The points program ended on 31 January 2006.
While the line was simultaneously released in the U.S. and Europe, there are a few ponies unavailable in the U.S., such as Winter Snow and some small, fairy-like ponies called Breezies who first appeared in the animated feature The Princess Promenade. One of the most uncommon ponies in the G3 line was released by mistake in 2004. A Pinkie Pie with the words "2003 Licensing Show" embedded into her symbol was used to promote the My Little Pony toy line at the 2003 Spring Licensing Show, and were intended to be released only at that show in a limited edition of 300. Due to a packaging error, a few were packaged as regular ponies and sold in stores. Other limited-edition ponies have been the Pony Project promotional ponies and Rosey Posey, who was given to attendees at a charity dinner held by Hasbro.
Recognizing the older fans of its line, Hasbro has released special collector ponies noticeably different from the regular G3. While some had a general release as "Art Ponies", many are available through special events, such as the annual My Little Pony Collector's Convention and the San Diego Comic Con. These ponies are elaborately designed, such as the underwater-themed art pony which has fish and sea creatures printed all over its body, and come in matching display boxes. The 2011 SDCC pony is black and pink and has a kawaii skull instead of a "cutie mark". There is also a white pony available to customizers. Despite the G3 redesign as Core 7 and the advent of the G4 line, Hasbro has continued the collector-themed G3 ponies in their original poses.
The Ponyville figurines are fully molded plastic and smaller than the main G3 line. Although they have their own playsets and accessories, many of the characters are the same as their larger counterparts.
A large amount of My Little Pony merchandise has been released for the third generation. The characters can be found on bedding and home decor, clothing, dishware, stationery and school supplies. Plush ponies have been given away as theme-park prizes and used in crane machines. There is a 3-foot (0.91 m) plush-pony line which was first available for sale in Australia; the characters include Rainbow Dash, Minty, Sweetberry, and the special Kimono, which was used as a prize by Red Rooster restaurants and Target. McDonald's has also featured ponies in its Happy Meal promotions, as have other fast food chains. Eight characters were used in the first U.S. McDonald's promotion, while other countries' chain restaurants had four.
Like other cartoon characters of the 1980s, My Little Pony merchandise aimed at young women has also appeared, including T-shirts depicting G1 ponies in a "retro" style, featuring slogans such as "Livin' in the 80s" or "I Love Rainbows". Hasbro sold the digital gaming rights based to their properties, including My Little Pony, Magic: The Gathering, Tonka, Playskool, and Transformers, to Infogrames for US$100 million in 2000, buying back the rights for US$65 million in June 2005.
In 2009 Hasbro redesigned the My Little Pony characters, and limited the ponies to seven main characters: Cheerilee, Toola-Roola, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle and Starsong.
The fourth and current incarnation of My Little Pony began in 2010 and is generally referred to Generation Four (G4) by collectors. It features nine characters tied into the TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which airs on The Hub: Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity, Spike the Dragon, Princess Celestia, and Princess Luna. Set in Equestria, the show centers around the unicorn pony Twilight Sparkle as she learns lessons about friendship. Most of the characters on the show were designed by animator Lauren Faust, who also developed the show for television.
The first line of Generation Four toys were the Playful Ponies. These feature a pony with brushable hair, a saddle or wagon, an animal companion and a comb. The first six ponies released were Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and Rarity. There are also promotional packs: two-packs, released in Europe. Event Singles were also released in a particular month, including a Valentine's Day Pinkie Pie, released in February 2011, and an Easter Fluttershy, released in April 2011.
Hasbro later announced that the second wave of toys would be released in March 2011. Due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, however, the release was postponed and the toys were released the following month. The second wave omits Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy and includes two new ponies: Cheerilee and Lily Blossom. The third wave was released in May 2011, introducing four new ponies: Cupcake, Lulu Luck, Dewdrop Dazzle and Blossomforth. Wave four was released in July 2011, introducing six new ponies: Feathermay, Flitterheart, Snowcatcher, Twinkleshine, Honeybuzz and Plumsweet.
The fifth wave was released in early 2012, with two new debuting characters: Cherry Pie and Diamond Rose. Later on in May 2012, Lyra Heartstrings, Trixie Lulamoon, Cherry Berry and Sunny Rays, characters who were originally from the animated series, also debuted as playful ponies.
In the 2012 New York Toy Fair, Hasbro announced to release several exclusive My Little Pony toys for collectors. The characters represented were actually requested by fans of the animated series and were released in September 2012. The characters in this line include an animation accurate Princess Celestia, Nightmare Moon, DJ-P0n-3, Lemony Gem, Flower Wishes/Daisy and Zecora.
Story Packs were the playsets of Generation Four. As in previous generations these playsets include at least one pony, one large playset piece and numerous accessories, and were released like the Playful Ponies. Story-pack exclusives include Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, Sweetie Swirl, Star Swirl (Europe only), Princess Cadance and Shining Armor.
The Ride-Along Ponies are special versions of the Playful Ponies, each with a scooter and an animal companion. Three sets were released in July 2011 with Wave Four of the Playful Ponies.
These versions are identical in design to their G3 counterparts, except they are plush-bodied and are designed to be resemble infants. There are seven characters are in this line: Sunny Daze, Sweetie Belle, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Apple Sprout, Princess Skyla and Spike. Each of them includes a pacifier or bottle.
Shine Bright Ponies
The Shine Bright Ponies have a light-up section when their saddle is pressed. They are slightly bigger than the Playful Ponies, and their legs are poseable. The ponies Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash were released at first, and Fluttershy, Twilight Sparkle and Princess Luna were later released as Target Exclusives.
Fashion Style Ponies
Fashion Style Ponies are larger versions of the Playful Ponies, each with a unique dress and accessories. Two were released each wave.
Glimmer Wing Ponies
Inspired by the episode from the animated series title "Sonic Rainboom", the Glimmer Wing Ponies have butterfly-like wings on their backs which can be moved. The ponies are: Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Ploomette. In 2012, Daisy Dreams and Fluttershy were released. Later sets included Glimmer Wings Sweet Song and Fluttershy and Glimmer Wings Diamond Rose and Pinkie Pie.
The Ponyville singles are small, molded plastic toys. The main method of distribution is in individual, opaque bags so that the toy inside cannot be seen. In the United States these toys have also been released in collector sets.
In July 2011, Hasbro agreed with Target to release an exclusive line centering around Canterlot, the capital city of Equestria, where Princess Celestia and Princess Luna live. The promotion included a theme area in stores with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic stands and signage.
Pony Royal Wedding and the Crystal Empire
In 2012, Hasbro revealed several new toys in the 2012 New York Toy Fair, which coincided with the 2-part episodic arc in the second season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The toys and theme are based on the royal wedding between Princess Cadance and Shining Armor. Alongside the release of Princess Cadance and Shining Armor, several new characters were confirmed to be released as Playful Ponies as well as characters that were requested by the fans to be released in toy form. The promotion included a same themed area in stores with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic stands and signage.
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Along with other Hasbro products, My Little Pony was adapted into various media.
Mid-80s animated features
- My Little Pony (later retitled Rescue at Midnight Castle), the first 22-minute syndicated prime-time special premiered in 1984
- My Little Pony: Escape from Catrina, the second 22-minute syndicated special premiered in 1985, in which Tammy Grimes voiced the title character.
- My Little Pony: The Movie, the first and only theatrical feature film released in 1986. Directed by Michael Joens, it featured the voices of Rhea Perlman, Madeline Kahn, Tony Randall and Danny DeVito. It had mediocre box-office earnings, grossing almost $6 million in the United States and received mostly negative reviews from critics.
- My Little Pony 'n Friends, a half-hour syndicated television series that featured various characters from Hasbro's properties by having My Little Pony in its first segment and either Glo Friends, Potato Head Kids or MoonDreamers in the second segment. The My Little Pony segment promoted many of the toys available in 1986–1987, featuring a regular cast of Earth, Pegasus and Unicorn ponies with guest appearances by new lines, such as the Flutter and Princess Ponies. It also used the theme song featured in TV advertisements for the brand, as did other series based on Hasbro properties. Consist of 65 episodes, it had the version of the first two specials, each edited into two episodes respectively.
The TV specials, the film, and the TV series were all set in the same milieu: Dream Valley, a land inhabited by witches, goblins and other magical creatures with whom the ponies, their human friend Megan, and their dragon friend Spike interacted.
In 2004, the first season of the original My Little Pony television series was released on DVD. The four-DVD collection features the two prime-time television specials and 50 episodes from the original series. Some songs from the original airing of the two specials have been cut, leaving the specials as they appeared when syndicated as part of the cartoon series. The ten-episode miniseries The End of Flutter Valley was released on DVD in 2005. 2006 brought the release of episodes from the second season, with two DVD releases: Flight to Cloud Castle and Other Stories and Quest of the Princess Ponies and Other Stories, as well as a DVD entitled Two Great Pony Tales with The Magic Coins and The Glass Princess available in eight episodes.
My Little Pony Tales (1992)
My Little Pony Tales, premiered on July 3, 1992 on Disney Channel, was set in a different environment. This series anthropomorphised the ponies further than the original series; the ponies lived in a town, went to school, ran businesses, went on vacation and exchanged currency for goods.
My Little Pony: Friendship Gardens (1998)
My Little Pony: Friendship Gardens is an Educational Life Simulation game developed by Artech Digital Entertainment and published by Hasbro Interactive. It is the first My Little Pony to be released on the PC and the only game to coincide with Generation 2. It was released in 1998.
Direct-to-video animated features
Between 2003 and 2009, the ponies appeared in a series of direct-to-video shorts and feature-length films. Most of them were produced by SD Entertainment. These are set in yet another milieu, and feature the G3 ponies:
- A Charming Birthday (2003) - A direct to video release, it was not sold on its own but packaged with some of the early G3s.
- Dancing in the Clouds (2004) - This was a VHS included with the first Pegasus pony of the G3 line, Star Catcher.
- Friends Are Never Far Away (2005) - A DVD that packaged with a new Pegasus Pony, Hidden Treasure.
- My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas (October 25, 2005) - The first video sold by itself, available in both VHS and DVD. It included Dancing in the Clouds as a bonus episode. Re-released in October 2008 with a bonus Ponyville Minty figurine.
- My Little Pony: The Princess Promenade (February 7, 2006) - Featured the debut of the redesigned Spike the Dragon, originally featured in G1. This makes Spike the only character to appear in both the G1 and G3 cartoons. It also included Breezies, small, fairy-like ponies. It was available on VHS and DVD, and included A Charming Birthday as a bonus episode.
- My Little Pony Crystal Princess: The Runaway Rainbow (September 12, 2006) - Featured the new G3 unicorn, Rarity. Only released on DVD (promotional copies are available on VHS), it included "Friends Are Never Far Away" as a bonus episode.
- My Little Pony: A Very Pony Place (February 6, 2007) - Three New Pony Tales including "Come Back, Lily Lightly", "Two For the Sky" and "Positively Pink". Each story features Lily Lightly, Storybelle and Puzzlemint.
- My Little Pony: Pinkie Pie's Special Day (2008) - Packaged in a set of the same name, with Pinkie Pie in an outfit resembling the one worn in the episode.
- My Little Pony: Meet the Ponies (2008) - A DVD containing several mini-episodes featuring the core seven ponies which were first available online. Packaged with the first wave of the core-seven pony toys.
- My Little Pony: Starsong and the Magic Dance Shoes (2008) - Packaged in a set of the same name, with Starsong in an outfit resembling the one worn in the episode.
- My Little Pony: Rainbow Dash's Special Day (2009) - Packaged in a set of the same name, with Rainbow Dash in an outfit resembling the one worn in the episode.
- My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure (October 13, 2009) - Released by Shout! Factory and Hasbro, this DVD includes a feature-length movie, sing-a-longs and other bonus material.
Once Upon a My Little Pony Time
Once Upon a My Little Pony Time is a series of two 10-minute animated shorts produced in Adobe Flash by Kunoichi. It features the Core 7 characters as Newborn Cuties. It included two episodes, Over Two Rainbows and So Many Different Ways to Play. However, Starsong and Toola-Roola were not seen in either videos.
My Little Pony Live: The World's Biggest Tea Party (2006)
My Little Pony Live: The World's Biggest Tea Party is a 90-minute musical produced by Hasbro and VEE Corporation, first announced in June 19, 2006 and stars Pinkie Pie, Minty, Sweetberry, Sew-and-so, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Spike, Thistle Whistle, Zipzee, Tra La La, Tiddlywink, and Wysteria. The show opened later in October 2006, and was released on DVD on September 16, 2008.
My Little Pony Crystal Princess: The Runaway Rainbow (2006)
|My Little Pony Crystal Princess: The Runaway Rainbow|
|Distribution||Game Boy Advance Game Pak|
This is an adventure/puzzle video game developed by Webfoot Technologies and published by THQ under license from Hasbro. It was released for Game Boy Advance on September 13, 2006 in North America. The game recreates events from the movie, featuring mini-games and puzzles.
My Little Pony: Pinkie Pie's Party (2008)
|My Little Pony: Pinkie Pie's Party|
|Distribution||2 gigabit cartridge (Nintendo DS Game Card)|
This is also an adventure/puzzle video game developed by Webfoot Technologies and published by THQ under license from Hasbro. The game was released for Nintendo DS on September 22, 2008. Similar to "Crystal Princess: The Runaway Rainbow", the game also features puzzles and mini-games utilizing the Nintendo DS's capabilities.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (2010-present)
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an animated television series produced by Hasbro Studios and DHX Media/Vancouver (formerly Studio B). It was premiered on October 10, 2010 on The Hub, an American television channel partly owned by Hasbro. This incarnation was created by Lauren Faust, who was a fan of the property in her youth but eventually grew dissatisfied with its poor writing that she felt pandered to sexist stereotypes. Thus Faust endeavored to design her own version of the property to address those concerns and created a series acclaimed for its sophisticated writing and nuanced characters. As a result of these qualities, Friendship Is Magic has not only proven a major success in its intended demographics, but also unexpectedly gained significant followings in peripheral ones, such as teen and adult males. The show has also attracted media coverage for its fanbase, which has spawned numerous adult-themed parodies, mashups, and images, mostly outside its main target audience, especially seen on YouTube and DeviantArt.
My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle, Teacher for a Day (2011)
My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle, Teacher for a Day is a puzzle/storybook game developed by Ruckus Media, published by Hasbro, and released for iOS devices on Apple's App Store. It is based on Friendship is Magic.
Friendship Is Magic mobile game (2012)
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a mobile video game based on the animated television show of the same name, developed by Gameloft for iOS and Android devices. The game was released on November 8, 2012.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic comic (2012-present)
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a comic series based on the animated television show of the same name. The first issue was published in November 2012 by IDW Publishing, under license from Hasbro who own the My Little Pony franchise, and has proven a highly successful venture with a larger circulation than most competing titles. The series is written by Katie Cook and illustrated by Andy Price.
Equestria Girls film series (2013-present)
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (2013)
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls is an animated theatrical film produced by Hasbro Studios. It had a limited premiere on June 16, 2013 at over 200 movie theaters across the United States. The film's plot has one of the main pony characters pursuing a thief through an interdimensional portal and finds herself as a humanized version of herself in a contemporary Western human society populated by humanoid analogies of her friends and acquaintances. A region 1 DVD was released on August 6, 2013; it was then followed by the Hub Network television premiere on September 1, 2013.
Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks (2014)
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks is animated theatrical film produced by Hasbro Studios. It premiered on September 27, 2014 in various movie theaters across the United States and Canada. The film's plot has all six of its main characters in a band, called the Rainbooms, competing in a "Mane Event" talent show against rival bands. It premiered on Discovery Family on October 17, 2014 and a Region 1 DVD and Blu-ray is set for an October 28, 2014 release.
Untitled My Little Pony feature film (2017)
On October 20, 2014, Hasbro and Allspark Pictures announced a feature-length My Little Pony movie slated for release sometime in 2017. Joe Ballarini (Ice Age: Continental Drift) will be writing the script, with Meghan McCarthy as co-producer.
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In the United States during the 1990s, other toy companies desired to benefit from the success of the My Little Pony line; imitations were produced and sold after the discontinuation of the G1 toys in 1992 and before the G2 incarnation was produced and sold in 1997. Of many imitations, the four listed below were popular with young girls in the early to mid-1990s and were available at toy stores. These toys had similarities to both the My Little Pony and Dream Beauty lines. In the My Little Pony collecting community, these are known as "fakies" or "bootlegs"; however, some are sought after by collectors:
Secret Wish Horse
These were colorful, plastic horses with rooted eyelashes and a bejeweled saddle that would open up to reveal a surprise such as earrings, a bracelet or a ring. They also came with a necklace similar to a magic 8-ball that was said to make a girl's wishes come true. They were made by Tyco.
These were colorful plastic horses that were produced by Empire/Marchon. The designer of this line also designed Fashion Star Fillies by Kenner in 1987. They came as pegasi, unicorns, horses and mini-fillies. One, called Princess Growing Hair, had hair that could grow, and a filly was sold with a carriage.
Magic Touch Pony
These were made of plastic and came in different colors. They had symbols on their flanks, like My Little Ponies and Dream Beauties. Some had hooves that would light up, a necklace that lit up, plastic flowers in their manes that would light up, and some played music.
Cabbage Patch Ponies
Like My Little Pony, these were made by Hasbro. They were made of rubber and came in different colors; some had glittery bodies. Some had hair that could be combed, while others had yarn for hair. There were unicorns, pegasi and regular ponies.
When Hasbro discontinued the G1 My Little Pony line in 1992, some pony molds fell into the hands of other toy companies, who made their own "pony" toys. The second generation was not popular in the United States, and there are few imitations; however, G3 imitations exist. There are websites to help people identify genuine My Little Pony toys manufactured by Hasbro, and recognize imitations. Many, but not all, imitations are sold at dollar stores.
Fandom among adults
Collectors and customizations
A feature of the pony-collecting scene is the making and selling of custom ponies. This is an art form in which common or poor-condition ponies, called "bait", are redesigned according to the vision of the artist. Customizers may paint new symbols on the pony, change its body color, paint its eyes, re-thread its manes and tails with a different color of nylon hair, or dye faded hair. Some custom ponies are elaborate, using sculpted parts, specially made wings, unicorn horns, rhinestones and/or detailed painting. Some websites dedicated to My Little Ponies offer advice on customizing. Although this is typically not a profitable enterprise, artists are occasionally commissioned by collectors and non-collectors to make a unique pony, with some custom ponies having been sold for over $170.
Several books have been published for My Little Pony collectors:
- The World of My Little Pony: An Unauthorized Guide for Collectors by Debra L. Birge
- My Little Pony around the World by Debra L. Birge
- My Little Pony Nirvana Guide by Debra L. Birge
- The My Little Pony G2 Collector's Inventory: An unofficial full color illustrated guide to the second generation of MLP including all ponies, playsets, and accessories released from 1997 to 2003 by Summer Hayes
- The My Little Pony 2007–2008 Collector's Inventory by Summer Hayes
The popularity of the fourth generation has inspired several unofficial adaptations. These include fan-made video games like My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic, a fighting game under development by a team of nine voluntary creators known as Mane6. Mane6 had to stop working on the game, due to a cease and desist from Hasbro. However, Lauren Faust, the creator of Friendship is Magic, offered to design new, original characters for the Mane6 dev team. They are currently working on the game again.
In popular culture
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My Little Pony is referenced in a variety of media. The ponies have had cameo appearances in movies and TV shows, including two Robot Chicken shorts, several appearances in the TV shows Dexter's Laboratory and Veronica Mars. My Little Pony toys appear on The Cosby Show, G4's show Action Blast!, Cartoon Network's The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Boy Meets World and The OC. In the 2007 Transformers film a My Little Pony toy appears as a reference to Hasbro, which owns the licenses for both My Little Pony and Transformers. The toys are also mentioned in the films Meet the Robinsons and Nickelodeon's movie Spectacular!, which includes one actor, Venus Terzo, who does voice-overs on the My Little Pony TV series. References to My Little Pony also appear in the Backyard Sports series of video games. In the music video of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's song "PONPONPON", an unopened Generation 2 My Little Pony Toy is seen in the background. In the 2014 film Transformers: Age of Extinction, a Rainbow Dash toy appeared briefly.
Nicknames and gags related to My Little Pony have been created for prominent people. Radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham referred to former Senator John Edwards as "Silky Pony" and plays the My Little Pony theme music when discussing him. Jonathan I. Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, was nicknamed "MLP" by Daniel Lyons. In 2005, when US President George W. Bush nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, political cartoonist Steve Sack drew a cartoon depicting Bush brushing a pony toy with false eyelashes with the title "My Little Crony" shortly after the dismissal of Michael D. Brown for failing to handle the Hurricane Katrina crisis.
Wizards of the Coast, Something Positive, Slashdot, Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, and Sister Claire have all referenced My Little Pony in gags and April Fool's jokes. A Nick at Nite ad for Mister Ed says he's no "My Little Pony". In the seventh book in the Artemis Fowl book series, The Atlantis Complex the antagonist (Turnball Root) refers to the centaur Foaly as "My Little Pony". In Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, it is referenced as "My Little Binky", which Death bought as a present for his granddaughter Susan (Binky, in this case, was Death's horse). A June 2011 article in Wired.com focused on “bronies” (“bro ponies”): adult men or boys who are fans of the 2010 television series.
- "Dream Beauties - My Little Pony". Ponyland Press. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
- "Hasbro Revamps My Little Pony to Draw Younger Girls". Marketing Week. 10 July 2003. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "HASBRO REACQUIRES DIGITAL GAMING RIGHTS FROM INFOGRAMES FOR $65 MILLION", Hasbro press release, 9 June 2005.
- "Boxofficemojo -My Little Pony (1986)". Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Shout! Factory Store". Shout! Factory Store. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "My Little Pony Live". March 12, 2007.
- Faust, Lauren (2010-12-24). "My Little NON-Homophobic, NON-Racist, NON-Smart-Shaming Pony: A Rebuttal". Ms. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- Kern, Mark J. "Hub TV Network Scores Record High Audience With Outstanding Performance of Special Royal Wedding of the Year on 'My Little Pony Friendship is Magic'". Hasbro. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- Graser, Marc (2014-10-20). "‘My Little Pony’ Movie in the Works at Hasbro Studios (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
- "Doll Hair - OOAK Customs Restoration & Tutorials". Custom Pony .com. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- Zivalich, Nikole (21 July 2011). "My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic -- Nugget From The Net". G4. G4 Media. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- Kuang, Jason (28 July 2011). "My Little Pony gets a 2D fighter: Bronies, time to knuckle up". 2d-x.com. Second Dimension Entertainment. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- Ченцов, Илья (28 July 2011). Большие Безобразия маленьких пони [Big Hijinks of Little Ponies] (PDF). Страна Игр (in Russian) (Russia: Gameland) (324): 62–70. EAN-13 4607157100056. Retrieved 8 August 2011., translation available
- "Here Come the Ponies". Wizard.com. April 1, 2006.
- "Something*Positive". r*k*milholland. May 28, 2008.
- "Slashdot's Ponies". April 1, 2006.
- Watercutter, Angela (June 9, 2011). "My Little Pony Corrals Unlikely Fanboys Known as 'Bronies'". Wired. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- Summer Hayes (May 1, 2008) The My Little Pony G1 Collector's Inventory: an unofficial full color illustrated collector's price guide to the first generation of MLP including all US ponies, playsets and accessories released before 1997 with a foreword by Dream Valley's Kim Shriner. Priced Nostalgia Press. ISBN 978-0-9786063-1-2
- Summer Hayes (2007) The My Little Pony G3 Collector's Inventory: an unofficial full color illustrated guide to the third generation of MLP including all ponies, playsets and accessories from 2003 to the present. Priced Nostalgia Press. ISBN 978-0-9786063-5-0
- Hillary DePiano (2005) The My Little Pony Collector's Inventory: A Complete Checklist of All US Ponies, Playsets and Accessories from 1981 to 1992. Priced Nostalgia Press. ISBN 1-4116-2165-4
- Summer Hayes (2009) The My Little Pony 2007–2008 Collector's Inventory. Priced Nostalgia Press. ISBN 978-0-9786063-6-7
- Debra L. Birge (2007) My Little Pony*r Around the World. Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7643-1749-1
- My Little Pony on Hasbro.com, the official site.