My Little PonyMy Little Pony is a series of toy ponies made of plastic, produced by the US toy manufacturer Hasbro. These mainly collectible ponies are recognizable by their bright colors and symbols on the back flank. Most of these ponies have a name corresponding to this symbol..
My Little Pony was created in 1982 by American illustrator and designer Bonnie Zacherle. In collaboration with Charles Muenchinger and manager Steve D'Aguanno, she filed a patent for a decorative design of an animal toy in 1981, which was approved in 1983, when she worked for Hasbro.
The individual productions of the ponies are divided by collectors into generations.
The ponies made their first appearance in 1984 in the prime-time special My Little Pony: Rescue at Midnight Castle. This was followed in 1985 by the special My Little Pony: Escape from Catrina, in which Tammy Grimes dubbed the main character. In 1986, the feature film My Little Pony: The Movie was released in the USA, with actors such as Rhea Perlman, Madeline Kahn, Tony Randall and Danny DeVito dubbing the characters. The feature film grossed $6 million and received mostly poor reviews. An animated series of the same name, which was later broadcast in German-speaking countries, followed. This animated series promoted the 1986 and 1987 toys.
The TV specials, feature film and animated series were all set in Dream Valley, where witches, goblins and other magical characters interacted with the dragon Spike, the ponies and their human friend Megan.
The subsequent My Little Pony Tales series was set in a different environment. The ponies now lived in a city, went to school, went on vacation or traded various goods.
In 2004, the first series was released on DVD. The four DVDs included the two specials and 50 episodes of the animated series. The ten-episode miniseries The End of Flutter Valley was released in 2005, and in 2006 there were the releases: Flight to Cloud Castle and Other Stories and Quest of the Princess Ponies and Other Stories, as well as the episodes Two Great Pony Tales,The Magic Coins and The Glass Princess in eight episodes.
Since sales of the second generation were not successful in the U.S., no series were produced.
Between 2003 and 2009, several series were released as direct-to-video/DVD productions.
- A Charming Birthday (2003) - This video was not sold separately, but was included in some packs of G3 Ponies.
- Dancing in the Clouds (2004) - This featured the first Pegasus pony, Star Catcher.
- Friends Are Never Far Away (2005) - a DVD that was included in the packaging of the Pegasus pony Hidden Treasure.
- My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas (October 25, 2005, VHS/DVD) - This video included the Dancing in the Clouds episode as a bonus. It was re-released in October 2008 with a figure of Minty the pony.
- My Little Pony: The Princess Promenade (February 7, 2006, VHS/DVD) - Debuted the redesigned dragon Spike (making him the only character to appear in Generation One and Three animations) and several fairy-like ponies, the Breezies. A Charming Birthday was included as a bonus episode.
- My Little Pony Crystal Princess: The Runaway Rainbow (September 12, 2006, DVD) - Introducing the new Unicorn pony, Rarity. The bonus episode included was titled "Friends Are Never Far Away."
- My Little Pony: A Very Pony Place (February 6, 2007) - three stories titled "Come Back, Lily Lightly," "Two For the Sky," and "Positively Pink." Featured the ponies Lily Lightly, Storybelle and Puzzlemint.
- My Little Pony: Pinkie Pie's Special Day (2008) - was included in the game set of the same name. The toy pony Pinkie Pie had the same clothes as in the animation.
- My Little Pony: Meet the Ponies (2008) - a DVD of various mini-episodes, previously viewable online, that featured the Core 7 ponies as main characters. This DVD was included with the first packages of Core 7 Ponies.
- My Little Pony: Starsong and the Magic Dance Shoes (2008) - was included in the game set of the same name. The toy pony Starsong had the same clothes as in the animation.
- My Little Pony: Rainbow Dash's Special Day (2009) - was included in the game set of the same name. The Rainbow Dash toy pony possessed the same clothing items as in the animation.
- My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure (October 13, 2009) - Shout! Factory and Hasbro released this DVD, which included the feature film, some side episodes, and various bonus material.
TV series called My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic first aired on the American television network The Hub on October 10, 2010. The German version of this TV series debuted on Nickelodeon on September 19, 2011. In addition, the following movies based on My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic were released:
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (June 16, 2013).
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks (September 27, 2014).
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Friendship Games (September 26, 2015)
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Legend of Everfree (October 1, 2016)
In 2017, My Little Pony - The Movie, a big-screen adaptation of My Little Pony, was made, with Zoe Saldana, Emily Blunt, Liev Schreiber, Tara Strong and Sia, among others, lending their voices to the characters.
My Little Pony Live: The World's Biggest Tea Party was a 90-minute musical produced by Hasbro and VEE Corporation. It premiered on June 19, 2006, and featured Pinkie Pie, Minty, Sweetberry, Sew-and-so, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Spike, Thistle Whistle, Zipzee, Tra La La, Tiddlywink, and Wysteria. The DVD of this musical was released on November 16, 2008.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Gardens - PC (1998)
- My Little Pony: Crystal Princess: The Runaway Rainbow - Game Boy Advance September 13, 2006
- My Little Pony: Pinkie Pie's Party - Nintendo DS September 22, 2008
- My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle, Teacher for a Day - Apple App Store September 22, 2011
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - computer and mobile game from Gameloft November 8, 2012.
In the 1990s, many toy manufacturers wanted to share in the profits of the successful "My Little Pony" series. Between 1995, when the production of the first generation was stopped, and 1997, when the first ponies of the second generation were produced, various companies produced imitations of the ponies. They were similar to the first ponies and the "Dream Beauties". Some of the original molds fell into the hands of other companies, which used them to make their own ponies. Since the second generation of ponies was not very successful, there are fewer imitations of them. Some websites explain the differences between the original and the bootleg. Many of these imitations were sold in so-called dollar stores (comparable to German one-euro stores).
Secret Wish Horse
These colorful horses, distributed by Tyco Toys, had eyelashes and a saddle studded with rhinestones that could be opened. A "surprise" was hidden here (earrings, a necklace or a ring). These horses had a chain with a ball, similar to a Magic 8 Ball, around their neck.
These were colorful horses produced by Empire/Marchon. The designer of these horses also designed the Fashion Star Fillies, which were distributed by Kenner in 1987. Fantasy Fillies came in regular shape, Pegasus shape, Unicorn shape, and mini Fillies.
Magic Touch Pony
These ponies were also available in various color variations. Depending on the variation, these ponies had glowing hooves, chain pendant, or flowers incorporated into the mane. Some also played a melody. They also had symbols on the flanks, similar to the original ponies and Dream Beauties.
Custom ponies are artistically modified ponies. Normal as well as older, damaged ponies are recolored by the respective artist, provided with other symbols, provided with new mane or tail. There may also be new, altered wings, a horn, or decorative stones attached.
- 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
- 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
Appearance outside the series
Since My Little Pony is a very well-known brand, the characters as well as the toys also appear outside the series: they were featured in the series Robot Chicken, Dexter's Lab, Veronica Mars, The Bill Cosby Show, The Scary Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Life and Me, O.C., California, Paradise PD and in the movie Ted 2. Since Hasbro also owns the licenses for the Transformers series, a toy appeared in the feature film of the same name. Variations of names from the series are also used in some nicknames and jokes. Laura Ingraham referred to Senator John Edwards as Silky Pony and played the My Little Pony theme song when reporting on him. Jonathan I. Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, had been nicknamed "MLP" by Daniel Lyons, a writer for Newsweek magazine. A cartoon by Steve Sack appeared in 2005 under the title "My Little Crony," showing George W. Bush brushing a toy pony. For a commercial for the series Mister Ed, the tagline He's no 'My Little Pony' was used. In a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, Death buys a toy named My Little Binky for his granddaughter. Adult men and women who are fans of the fourth generation (G4) of the series are referred to as bronies (a portmanteau of bro, short for brother, and pony, roughly meaning pony brothers).
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