It all started with a pony figure in 1981. Hasbro’s new toy wasn’t much to look at. Called ‘My Pretty Pony’, it was 10 inches tall and could swish its shaggy tail and wink one eye.
Yet it was the start of a cultural revolution for girls toys when the initial success of My Pretty Pony paved the way for a smaller, revised 6″ My Little Pony which followed a year later.
My Little Pony appealed to the fanatical collector that lies dormant in us all. The ponies were small enough that they could form a tidy collection on a shelf, but most of all they stood out thanks to their glorious colours and bushy manes.
Each pony had a unique symbol stamped on its hind leg or behind, and Hasbro quickly latched onto the collector’s appeal by launching different lines of figurines – So-Soft Ponies, Brush ‘n’ Grow Ponies, Twice-as-Fancy Ponies and more.
As the product line continued to grow, fans began to learn the names of the more popular figures – Fluttershy, Honeycomb, Morning Glory and so on.
My Little Pony galloped further towards world domination in 1986 with an animated TV series and a full-length feature film, My Little Pony: The Movie. Fans could also buy brushes, combs and hair picks separately. Looking after the glorious mane on My Little Pony was a big part of the toy’s appeal, as children wanted to make sure their pony looked the best.
Although the toys themselves are no longer as popular as they used to be, My Little Pony has lived on through TV series and films. More surprisingly, an adult fandom has proved so strong, it has led to several My Little Pony conventions being held around the world.