MY LITTLE PONY: 30 YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP Since its inception in 1981, the toy line and media franchise that is My Little Pony has remained relevant in pop culture through the power of dual figurine and animated show releases. It's no wonder the brand has lasting power, however, as they are produced by Hasbro, the toy company that also brought us other iconic 80s toy lines such as G.I. Joe, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Transformers. My Little Pony's immense popularity boils down to two things: a simple and effortlessly cute design coupled with a consistent message of peace, love, and the power of friendship. Each pony has design has a colorful body mix or matched with colorful hair and a unique symbol, known as a cutie mark, on one or both sides of their flanks. This made it easy to not only design and produce massive amounts of ponies, but to also let the audience, us, create our own pony friends. And of course, we created pony friends-no matter what generation of My Little Pony you grew up in, the Lisa Frank-esque pony worlds of vibrant nature and delight were always centered around the idea of friendship in the face of adversary. My Little Pony's most recent revamp ended in 2019, closing the third consistent decade of My Little Pony characters along with the end of the 2010s. In order to remember where the ponies came from, and perhaps see where the next revamp might take us, here's a list of original My Little Pony characters all the way from the 1980s. My Pretty Pony, The Predecessor Released in 1981, My Pretty Pony is not formally a My Little Pony, but certainly the mother of the pony craze. A single pony figurine that stood ten inches tall and made of hard plastic, Pretty Pony was a sweetly sloped, realistic-looking pony. It could wiggle its ears, swish its tail, and wink a single eye. There was also a version that came with Beautiful Baby which, you guessed it, came with a smaller baby pony. While it wasn't a huge commercial success, My Pretty Pony is still nostalgic for many who grew up in the early 80s. My Little Pony, Generation 1 The first generation of My Little Pony toys came out in 1982 and was developed by Bonnie Zacherle, Charles Muenchinger, and Steve D'Aguanno. Bonnie Zacherle specifically was in charge of what is now the perfect pony formula of beautiful hair, cutie marks, and large, sparkling eyes. The release of the first ponies coincided with the 1986 animated series My Little Pony ‘n Friends, which took place in Dream Valley: a magical land populated by witches, goblins, and, of course, the ponies. The series features a whole host of ponies living in Paradise Estate who, with the help of their human friend Megan and their dragon friend Spike, have to fight to remain free from danger. As it was the first series, G1 My Little Pony established the various kinds of Ponies available in the My Little Pony universe, from regular Earth ponies to mystical Flutter ponies. Megan, the Human Megan is the main character of the My Little Pony TV series, despite being a human. Her wise and mature beyond her 13 years of temperament makes her the leader of the little ponies, and they frequently fly her and her siblings over the rainbow into Dream Valley whenever they are facing a problem or enemy too difficult to vanquish. Other than being resourceful and level headed, her other weapon is the Rainbow of Light, which is a locket containing a powerful rainbow that can defeat evil. Spike, the Dragon The cute animal sidekick of the show full of super-powered ponies, Spike is a dragon who used to work under Tirek, the main antagonist of the series. However, once Megan and the Ponies defeated him, they decided to adopt Spike, whose sarcastic yet loyal personality supports and uplifts the series. Earth Ponies The simplest of the various kinds of ponies, Earth ponies look the most similar to real-life horses-although they still have colorful hair and the necessary cutie mark. Devoid of wings, horns, and magical features, they instead focus on and hone their individual and special talents of cooking, farming, or partying. Due to being physically grounded, they also have a special connection to nature, animals, and plants. They tend to have food-based names. Some notable earth ponies are Sundance, Cherries Jubilee, and Lickety-Split. Unicorn Ponies Unicorn ponies have a single long, spiraled horn on their head that grants them magical abilities, such as the basic ability to wink, or teleport. Only Unicorn ponies can actively cast magic and thus are considered very powerful ponies. Additionally, their toy figures had an extra streak of color in their mane and a glittery cutie mark. Their names tend to be celestially themed. Some notable Unicorn ponies are Buttons, Moondancer, and Sunbeam. Pegasus Ponies Pegasus ponies are winged, which allows them the ability to fly. They are also strong, as they can also carry on their back riders or items into the skies. While not all of the Pegasus ponies are focused on being the fastest and racing around the skies, many enjoy doing so naturally as they go about their business. In later generations, Pegasus ponies are also granted the passive ability to take care of and maintain the weather by flying through and manipulating the clouds. Their names tend to be related to the sky and directions. Some notable Pegasus ponies are Heart Throb, North Star, and Wind Whistler. Flutter Ponies Flutter ponies are unique as they are based on fairies. Thus, their figurines are petit, with curly hair, proportionately longer legs, and fairy wings. Despite their delicate appearance, they have the power of Utter Flutter, which allows them to blow away obstacles with their wings. They live in a secluded part of Dream Valley called Flutter Valley. Their names tend to be floral themed. Some notable Flutter ponies are Rosedust, Peach Blossom, and Forget-Me-Not. Sea Ponies Sea ponies are vibrantly colored seahorse-like ponies who, despite their name, live in the rivers and ponds of Dream Valley. They love everything underwater and are apt to perform elaborate song and dance performances. Their figurines were able to float upright in the water and had the regular horse head molded onto a cute seahorse body. Their names tend to be nautically themed. Some notable Sea ponies are Ripple, Water Lily, and Seawinkle. Princess Ponies Princess ponies are the princess of Ponyland. The Princess ponies use their wands to keep the balance of the lands, wear tall hats, and all have a medallion cutie mark Their figurines also had tinsel in their hair. Any pony could be a Princess pony, such as the unicorn Princess Sparkle. Their names are all prefaced with the title Princess. Some notable Princess ponies are Princess Serena, Princess Primrose, and Princess Royal Blue. Big Brother Ponies A subsection of Earth ponies, Big Brother ponies are the only boy ponies in Dream Valley. They have hairy hooves and bandanas. Their names tend to be sporty. Some notable Big Brother ponies are Quarterback, Slugger, and Tex. Baby Ponies Baby ponies, reminiscent of My Pretty Pony's original baby pony, are smaller and chubbier than regular ponies. They are born from the reflections of their mothers and tend to either have the same personality as their mother or an opposite demeanor. Their names are all prefaced with the title Baby. Some notable Baby ponies are Baby Bouncy, Baby Cuddles, and Baby Fifi. Friendship Garden, Generation 2 Friendship Garden is known to collectors as Generation 2 of the My Little Pony series, and they were released in 1997. This line of ponies had redesigned poses with jewel eyes and turning heads. They also had a similar build to Flutter ponies from G1, with smaller bodies and slimmer legs. Unfortunately, they were not as commercially successful as the G1 lines of figurines, possibly because there was no accompanying animated series, but are thus highly valuable to collectors. Some notable ponies from the Friendship Garden series include Morning Glory, Sundance, and Light Heart. These three ponies also came in key chain form. My Little Pony, Generation 3 Released in 2003, the G3 release of My Little Pony featured a cast of mostly Earth ponies made out of fully molded plastic, although Pegasus and Unicorn ponies were added in later. The series of films produced alongside the G3 release was set in Ponyville, specifically in Celebration Castle where many of the ponies lived. Similar to other products at the time, the G3 My Little Pony series also introduced the program of Pony Points, which were gained by ordering ponies through mail orders. These points could be traded for Pony Point exclusive figures such as Dazzle Surprise, Sunshimmer, and Love Wishes. However, by 2008 the total number of characters was reduced down to a core 7 ponies: Pinkie Pie, Scootaloo, Toola-Roola, Rainbow Dash, Sweetie Belle, Cheerilee, and Starsong. This culling of the cast of ponies heralded the biggest change to come in the next and final revamp of the series, entitled My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Generation 4. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Generation 4 My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was initially released in 2010 along with an animated series with the same name. The show now took place in the land of Equestria, ruled over by Princess Celestia and constantly tormented by the dragon antagonist Discord. The series focused on a core six characters who worked together to solve problems and kick Discord's butt. Similar to how the structure of the show changed to be focused on specific characters, the toy releases also changed to be coordinated around themes and accessories rather than on bombarding toy stores with hundreds of different characters. Each new release would start with the main six ponies and then over time slowly introduce new characters according to their themes. The main characters in the show are: Twilight Sparkle The purple bodied, blunt banged central main character of the series, Twilight Sparkle is a unicorn with great potential and an even greater love for science. The show begins with traveling to Ponyville to study the science of friendship, having been tasked with the job by Princess Celestia. There she meets a host of friends who help her with her research. As the series progresses it's revealed that she is the Princess of Magic, and she eventually becomes the new ruler of Equestria. Rainbow Dash A blue Pegasus pony with wild rainbow hair, Rainbow Dash maintains the clear skies of Ponyville. She has a passion for racing and going fast but can be hot-headed and brash. However, her strong confidence and ability to swallow her pride and apologize to her friends proves that she is a great friend. It's no wonder that she represents the element of loyalty! Pinkie Pie Pinky Pie is a vibrantly pink, curly-haired Earth pony who loves to bake and party. The quirky comedic relief of the show, Pinky Pie sings, dances, and contorts her body for maximum laughs from her friends and the audience. Although her silly nature causes those around her to brush her off as not too serious, Pinkie Pie's ability to make others laugh is one of the most powerful in the show. She represents, obviously, the element of laughter. Applejack Applejack is an Earth horse with blond hair and a farmer's hat. She lives and works with her Granny Smith at Sweet Apple Acres and is the reliable big sister of the group. Her capable nature is sometimes compromised by her stubbornness, causing her to butt heads when she would normally get along with some pony. However, she is always true and honest, which is why she represents the element of honesty. Rarity A notably beautiful unicorn with purple hair and accentuated eyelashes, Rarity is a fashion designer and seamstress preoccupied with all things beautiful and shiny. However, contrary to her love for neatness and elegance, she represents the element of generosity. This is because Rarity not only enjoys all things beautiful but wants to share those things with others to enrich their lives as well. Fluttershy A shy Pegasus pony with soft pink hair, Fluttershy is a bit of an oddball Pegasus. She is afraid of heights and lives in a small cottage by herself. However, her shy nature helps her talk to and care for all the hurt and wounded animals she lives by, as well as her pony friends. Because of this, she represents the element of kindness. However, she isn't a saint-if you refuse her kindness or shut her down, Fluttershy's angry side will knock you out! Conclusion A series that has captured our hearts of three decades, this concludes our list of My Little Pony names. What do you think the next generation of ponies will feature? Regardless, the iconic design of the ponies and their quintessential moral of the power of friendship will ensure that My Little Pony will survive for many more children and adults to come.