My Little Pony – a little bit of magic at Te Papa

My Little Ponies. Photo: Kate Whitley © Te Papa

My Little Ponies. Photo: Kate Whitley © Te Papa

As I write this blog I have the ‘My Little Pony’ tune playing around in my head – it’s a catchy tune and quite a sweet song but I hope it doesn’t stay there all day – it so easily could! You’ll know what I mean if you were born in the 1980s or have children.

Just like the song, the ponies have been around since 1983 but have been updated and reinvented over the years. We are now up to the fourth generation – the ‘Friendship is Magic’ which also features on television. As the name suggests it’s all about friendship and how to deal with issues and problems around relationships.

The My Little Pony entertainment franchise encompasses animated film, television shows and comics  but it primarily began as a line of plastic toy ponies.

The first My Little Pony toys were developed by Hasbro in 1983, and since then there have been  many versions, offshoots and varieties of ponies including Pegasus Ponies, Unicorn Ponies, Sea Ponies and more recently Equestria Girls. There are also many imitations and unofficial versions.

I’m a newbie to the world of My Little Pony, thanks to my ten and seven year old daughters, but others have been loyal fans since the 1980s. Tanya Marriott, a Senior Lecturer at Massey University’s School of Design is a huge fan. She got her first pony in 1983 and now has about 500. It is a fantastical, colourful, glittery, furry, sparkly collection. As of Tuesday 15 December a selection of Tanya’s collection will be on display at Te Papa in the Inspiration Station Discovery Centre on Level 4.

Tanya Marriot with her first My Little Pony

Tanya Marriott with her first My Little Pony. Photo: Kate Whitley © Te Papa

The display features some of Tanya’s favourite  ponies, including her very first Generation One set which she got when she was five years old. There are also some of the most expensive, rarest, cutest and bizarre examples. In talking to Tanya I’ve discovered that the world of My Little Pony is extensive and really fascinating, so over the next few months Tanya has agreed to share her knowledge with us through a series of blogs – Maybe you will become a Pegasister or Brony too.

Tanya with some of her 500 My Little Ponies

Tanya with some of her 500 ponies. Photo: Kate Whitley © Te Papa


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