25 years of My Little Pony

// 19 February 2008

Gargantuan toy company Hasbro has launched a PR stunt to mark 25 years of selling My Little Ponies, Jezebel tells us.

Setting aside one theory about the My Little Ponies living in a lesbian-feminist seperatist colony, the plastic horses are, of course, an example of pink-till-your-eyes-hurt gendered toys*.

If readers have not encountered one of these creatures, a trip to the official website will probably set all doubts aside: they are horses turned into caricatures of human femininity, available in a range of cutesy pastels, each with its own hairbrush. Browsing the website, I even found an extremely weird pony which comes with its own carriage – which it rides inside (it’s pulled along by birds!). As far as I can see, though, Hasbro no longer offers the weird wedding pony I had as a kid, which came with veil and ring (that fit over an entire leg), so I suppose we should be grateful for small improvements.

What I also find interesting about MLPs is that they neuter one of those few things that girls are meant to like, which is truly active. Compare this page celebrating girls riding horses bareback, to the weirdly coquettish MLPs. They don’t even have movable legs.

*Disclaimer: I had a massive and much beloved collection of MLPs, so realising this is sort of awful.

Photo of impressive MLP collection by bubblecup.etsy.com, shared under a Creative Commons license

Comments From You

Lara // Posted 20 February 2008 at 12:26 am

I had the same wedding version of the My Little Pony, I got it as a present from my uncle’s wife when they got married and I was bridesmaid. They’re now getting divorced. I gave up with putting the veil on the horse as it kept falling off and put it on my Barbies instead. The ring was just weird. I think the point was so that you could wear it as well. Gotta train those little girls for their fate young…

Lindsey // Posted 20 February 2008 at 8:54 am

I don’t remember having MLPs, maybe I had one or two, but I distinctly remember my little brother getting a woolworths voucher for his third birthday and asking to spend it on a MLP family (box including pink mum, blue dad and purple child, teaching us valuable lessons about genetics *ahem*). I remember my mum’s look of concern and asking “Are you really sure?” but I’m very pleased to report that she did let him get his ponies, and that he was a very happy little chappy.

Samara // Posted 20 February 2008 at 9:51 am

I totally agree about riding being a “feminine” activity that’s actually very active – what’s so girly about galloping like a mad thing, tackling cross-country courses, falling off so many times you’ve lost count and coming home every Saturday covered in horse poo?

Winter // Posted 20 February 2008 at 5:28 pm

I cut the tails off a couple of my sister’s MLP’s when she pissed me off one time, after which she beat me up, which wasn’t very feminine really.

Jess // Posted 20 February 2008 at 6:05 pm

Hi Winter! I have no stories of my MLPs being mutilated, but I have to admit that when I was a ‘rebellious teenager’ I once cut an old MLP in half and used the legs as a (particularly unsafe – plastic!) ash tray.

Genevieve // Posted 21 February 2008 at 12:14 am

My (male) three-year-old cousin loves My Little Pony, but he likes pretty much any animal-based toy, masculine or feminine. For the most part, though, he seems to enjoy playing with girls more than boys, and when his mother was pregnant with his little brother he kept saying he wanted a sister instead. He’s an interesting kid.

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