Top 25 "It" products of all time: #18 -- My Little Pony (take 1)
As a kid, my Saturday morning cartoon line-up included The Smurfs, Pee-wee's Playhouse and My Little Pony. (Oh, how I miss those days!)
Not only did a sense of right and wrong come from those shows, the dolls and toys I begged my mom for were a great supplement to my childhood imagination. A shining, glitter-covered case in point: My Little Pony.
I must have had an army of them as a kid. Those sparkling, four-legged plastic gems, with their soft, silky hair were as fun to play with as Barbie and her Corvette. You had to have them with you in the bathtub, you could braid their hair with the help of the plastic brush that came with each one, and it got addicting collecting every new big-eyed pony, since each had its own unique and a crazily colorful design on the hip signifying the meaning of its name.As the My Little Pony craze swept through the eighties, going toe-to-toe with Mattel's Barbie, the Hasbro dolls maintained their basic form, but their coloring and "birth marks" on the hip evolved into unique, almost psychedelic designs. This is reflected in how the names increasingly sounded like they were taken from the poster of a 1960s music festival. There was My Little Pony Butterfly Island Sunny Scent Pineapple Paradise Pony and My Little Pony Crystal Princess Cutie Cascade Pony Dream Drifter. And of course, My Little Pony Big Brother and the Holding Company, Peter Frampton Pony (just kidding).
The brand enjoyed 10 great years of market domination, which was maintained through a diversity of products. I had My Little Pony beach towels, bed sheets, t-shirts, cups and plates, the pegasus, unicorns, babies, and the little girl Meg who was their blond human friend. I was not alone. Launched in 1983, My Little Pony experienced a craze of popularity that also led to a popular cartoon show for kids and My Little Pony: The Movie with the voices of Danny DeVito, Madeline Kahn, Rhea Perlman, and Tony Randall.
Today there are countless online communities dedicated to collecting, swapping, and sharing information on the little critters. There's even an annual My Little Pony Fair in Las Vegas. This is no doubt why, in 2006, Hasbro launched a 90-minute musical that toured the country. Another live show, "World's Biggest Tea Party," featuring costumed actors playing My Little Ponies, closed just last April and is available on DVD.
The magic is still going strong.