Comments: My best friend and I had, what my mother referred to as, herds of these ponies growing up. We carried them in big bunches by their tails across the road to each other’s houses. Not only did we have the ponies themselves but many of their playsets – the Show Stable, the Ballet Studio, even a Kitchen set (although how you would stir a bowl when all you have is hooves is anyone’s guess). I still own every single one of the multitude of ponies I collected as a child, most of which live in a crate, probably in desperate need of a wash to remove two decades worth of dust.
This is a more unusual My Little Pony (or MLP as they are called), as Talk a Lot, well talks. If you squeeze her she will tell you “I love you”, “I’m pretty”, “I love you” and finally “Comb my hair”. Not exactly engaging conversation, that might put you in mind of quite a famous scene from the Simpsons involving a talking Malibu Stacy doll (video). I had Talk a Lot and my best friend had the pink version, Chatterbox – both of whom said exactly the same thing! As you can see she has some marks on her neck from when we had to try and figure out how to change her batteries, rather distressingly her head twists off to allow for that. I don’t remember being perturbed by that as a child, now I do hesitate and the casual action of beheading a small, smiling, purple pony.
I was reminded of my stash of MLPs recently when I discovered that there is going to be a conference on this very subject in June in Brighton called My Little Pony: A Transcultural Phenomenon. There is a very large part of me that would love to go along, but the timing is terrible for me and has absolutely nothing to do with my area of study. However, how the plastic ponies I adored as a child have been reborn into a new and incredibly popular franchise is fascinating. It almost makes me feel as if my collection is something worth holding on to, although that is very tenuous reasoning. I don’t think I have the heart to sell my “herd” to the avid collectors and “bronies” on Ebay. So in the crates they will have to languish for the time being, waiting for someone else to come along to chat to them.