You probably already know that My Little Pony toys were massively popular, with 150 million ponies being sold in the 1980s alone. We’re sure that many of you owned one, and we bet that lots of you also enjoyed watching the brilliant cartoon series ‘My Little Pony ‘n Friends’, which was first shown in 1986 and lasted for two series.
You probably remember My Little Pony being all sweetness, innocence and light, so you may well be shocked to learn some of the strange and bizarre things we’re about to tell you about them!
10. The original ponies were not ‘little’
Whilst it may seem bizarre to claim that My Little Ponies were not even little, that is indeed the case, at least when they first started out.
Because the predecessor to My Little Pony was actually called ‘My Pretty Pony’. It was introduced by Hasbro in 1981, and it was a plastic figurine that could wiggle its ears, swish its tail, and wink one eye
9. They had some questionable names
These days, fans know and love such ponies as Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Twilight Sparkle and Pinky Pie – but back when My Little Pony was first introduced, these were not the names being used.
Early pony names include Cherries Jubilee, Ruby Lips and Chocolate Delight, as well as Steamer, Whizzer and Salty – names which some commentators have suggested carry non-family friendly connotations.
8. The first TV special was really dark
The ponies’ first TV special, called simply ‘My Little Pony’, was initially released in April 1984, although it was later renamed ‘Rescue at Midnight Castle’.
It saw a really scary beast called Tirek trying to capture and enslave the ponies with help from Scorpan, who was a cross between a bat, alligator and monkey. Mummy!
7. They didn’t give their babies original names
While the adult ponies often had quite bizarre names, the names given to their babies were a lot less imaginative: they simply added ‘baby’ to the start of the name.
So for example, the child of Cotton Candy would be called Baby Cotton Candy. Would they still have this name even when they grew up to be adult ponies themselves? The mind boggles!
6. They were meant to be gender neutral
The bright ponies we came to know and love were not what creator Bonnie Zachery initially had in mind. She envisioned toys that looked like real animals and would be played with by both girls and boys.
Even these days we’re used to toy shops being separated into blue and pink aisles, so we’re both shocked and impressed that the original toys were so forward-thinking!
5. The baby ponies poo colourful hearts
Do you remember the Drink n’ Wet Ponies? Well, the story behind them filling their nappies, as per the original packaging, is all rather strange.
The packaging claimed that ‘as they splashed the water, the rainbow crystals on their wet diapers changed into little hearts, making the diapers as pretty as can be. Now, whenever the diapers get wet, colorful hearts magically appear.’ Ok then!
4. They were Marvel’s first ever theatrical film
These days we’re used to a multitude of Marvel films being released into cinemas, but of course they had to start somewhere, and you may be shocked to learn what their very first film to be released into cinemas was!
Marvel production My Little Pony: The Movie was released in June 1986, and it debuted more than a month before Howard the Duck, making it the comic label’s first theatrically released feature film.
3. Some of the bad guys were terrifying
We’ve already mentioned the scary bad guy from the very first My Little Pony TV special, and it didn’t get any better from there.
Other distinctly frightening villains later featured in the series included Grogar the ram demon, Arabus the cloud demon and Lavan the lava demon!
2. Baby ponies were not born the usual way
Rather than being born in the regular way, the baby ponies were said to have been ‘born from their mother’s reflection’. This would of course be rather worrying for a mummy pony if she simply wanted to look into a mirror to check her hair!
Not only that, but apparently some of the baby ponies ‘never had their own mother’, which is a strange concept to try and explain to your children!
1. They stopped us seeing a G.I. Joe or Jem movie
As popular as My Little Pony may have been back in the 80s, the 1986 film didn’t do well at the box office. This was also true of 1986’s The Transformers: The Movie, and put together the two films actually lost toy makers Hasbro $10 million.
Because of this, plans for theatrically released animated movies about G.I. Joe and Jem were cancelled. Thanks, ponies!