When My Little Ponies started to suck
So I’ve been spending some time on eBay, bidding on really important stuff like velour shirts and old running shorts, and I noticed what happened to my beloved My Little Ponies when I wasn’t paying attention. Y’see, my peak pony-acquisition era was 1983-1987 (not including the modern resurgence; and at this time the ponies were the most charming and aesthetic things you`d ever care to see:
They had big, wide-set eyes and big round heads and stumpy legs and fulfilled the Greek ideal of a toy pony in every way. To this day they are traceable as the primary influence of my perception of the feminine ideal. Forget Barbie — if any enterprising women’s studies student wants to get to the bottom of the American obsession with makeup, Caucasian hair and a full but firmly shut mouth… it’s the ponies.
In 1988, when I wasn’t looking, the ponies went all to heck.
I have no idea why Hasbro decided this was a good plan. Maybe they felt like they ran out of ideas. In 1987, they put out Big Brother ponies, So Soft ponies, Sundae Best ponies, Twice as Fancy ponies, Flutterponies, and the ones with the jeweled eyes that I didn’t really get into (see rant on feminine ideal above; and judging by the number my family consumed these were all very successful. So the only direction to move after this flurry of activity was the realm of SUCK.
The new ponies had smaller heads, longer legs, longer hair and slimmer bodies. And their faces were more human, with shorter noses and their eyes oriented more to the front. I think Desmond Morris suitably covered the precarious girlhood fascination with horses` long hair, round asses and “teetering walk” in The Naked Ape. I also think turning ponies into homely-ass Barbies was DUMB. They cruised right over the cuteness crest into the Uncanny Valley.
I lost 25 lbs. and got stipuder with HASBRO!
My Little Ponies are still available, and Hasbro has tried to go back to their rounder, softer, less dumb form. It ain’t working for me. If you want your ponies on the cheap, search for “pony lot” on eBay. And if there’s a new model pony in there, you just look away.