The Original 2003 Pinkie Pie
[photo credit MyLittleWiki
I’ve been wanting to do a series like this for a long time so a big thanks to trviamaven for teeing me up with last week’s trivia question. Now if only we can sneak them all in as trivia columns, I might actually get to do the whole series. 😉
Pinkie Pie debuted first debuted in 2003 as part of the Glitter Celebration Set. She was actually in both the first and second set of Glitter Celebration ponies in two different poses, an early example of the overexposure that would eventually make her infamous with collectors.
See, Hasbro has long insisted that pink ponies sell better than ponies of any other color and Pinkie Pie soon became one of the most hated characters ever as the market was flooded with version after version of this same pony in a variety of poses and styles. Even many of the collector exclusive ponies during the early years of G3 were just special versions of Pinkie Pie. The situation only got worse when she was named one of the Core 7.
For collectors who were used to a wide variety of ponies, colors and symbols, the glut of Pinkie Pies lead to collectors getting sick of her, begging Hasbro to turn their attention to new ponies or, at least, different ponies. But while collectors may have had mixed feelings, Hasbro embraced her fully making her the unofficial face of the new wave of ponies that began in 2003 and continues into today.
Pinkie Pie was also the very first pony made into a walkaround character.
In 2010, Pinkie Pie joined the cast of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Though there was talk of changing her into a pegasus (as they did with fellow 2003 release, Rainbow Dash) they ultimately left her as an earth pony. As the show brought her to a whole new audience of children and bronies, Pinkie Pie has enjoyed new found popularity with her new bubbly personality.
Has the new show finally redeemed this MLP black horse? Only time will tell.
But with Friendship is Magic borrowing so heavily from the first generation of MLP, I had to take a look back to see if maybe there was a proto-Pinkie Pie hidden somewhere in a past generation. Let’s see… pink hair, pink body and balloons… Might her distant ancestor be Twice as Fancy Up, Up and Away released between 1986-87? Her balloons are green and yellow instead of blue and yellow but the similarities are there.
How do you feel about Pinkie Pie? Do you still harbor some ill will or has she wormed her way into your heart?
I feel she’s the mascot of MLP FIM.
Is it terrible that Pinkie is my least favorite “mane 6” and I feel it is specifically because of marketing? I mean honestly shouldn’t Twilight be the pony that shows up on everything from toothpaste to glue sticks? But no it’s pinkie pie. She seems to be so popular that I’ve always felt a little weird about disliking her, but maybe my previous exposure to pony somewhat explains that.
I think it all comes back to that “pink sells better” market research Hasbro has done more than anything else.
I thought her ancestor was Surprise, not Up, Up and Away.
Personality-wise, I can see that for sure! I was really just going more for the visual but I’m open to other options! 🙂
If you read Lauren Faust’s commentary from Deviant Art, Surprise is the pony she originally intended for Pinkie Pie’s role. (Note the curly hair and bunch of balloons.) Hasbro had lost the licenses for some of the older characters, and this resulted in Surprise’s change to Pinkie Pie. Rainbow Dash herself was supposed to be Firefly, which is why she was changed to a pegasus. There’s a chart floating around the internet explaining this and quoting Mrs. Faust. I’m not sure where it originated, but you can see a copy of it at:
http://img.waffleimages.com/43079c8007bef03f8ce9f1135fa89d1552499eae/t/index.php.jpg . I hope that is helpful!
But Pinkie Pie was already established long before FiM. While it makes perfect sense that the role on the cartoon show was modeled after Surprise, where do you think they got the inspiration for the original toy?
I honestly think Surprise is the one she most strongly resembles, but another possibility when you’re thinking balloons is the Sweet Celebrations family, especially the Mommy Pony from that set (which looks a lot like the pony you mentioned, Up, Up, and Away, with the TAF design). Despite all the “party” theme sets though, I can’t recall any other ponies with balloons for their symbols.