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Author Topic: Early g1 UK  (Read 320 times)

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Offline aria_elwen

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Early g1 UK
« on: April 06, 2019, 04:56:02 PM »
Hi guys, I'm sure some of this may have been posted before but: looking through the pit that is youtube I found a video uploaded about two weeks ago and it would appear to be the very first UK advert.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75uz9xoRexM

It's interesting to note that there is no mention at all of any other ponies or playsets. Which would indicate that the Grooming Parlour came out later that year at the earliest These six were very much testing the waters of the UK market.

I also rather like the fact that it looks like Hasbro UK made the background from fuzzy felt mounted onto cardboard displays.  :P
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 05:13:38 PM by aria_elwen »

Offline kingluke

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2019, 05:12:28 PM »
That is an interesting find indeed.

Now I know why all the bait ponies have braided mane. XD



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Offline Ponyfan

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2019, 06:57:00 PM »
I also found this video on YouTube. :) What surprised me was the fact that they show Shy Pose Applejack and Bowtie instead of the Collector Pose but then I found out that the UK had Shy Pose Applejack and Bowtie before the Collector Pose versions. That background looks really familiar. I think I've seen it on some other MLP thing.


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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2019, 07:08:28 PM »
Ponyfan and I were having a conversation about this, a few new old (hah) UK ads seem to have appeared recently which is awesome.

This post will be a geek post.
(Edited for clarity as I tend to get carried away xD)

As far as I'm aware the Grooming Parlour was the first pony thing in the UK.
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The FF ponies were also sold here. I believe on US cards.

Records for the y2 set are pretty sporadic though.

It features on an insert that shows a whole range for what was probably 1984. It includes:
-The earth pony set
-Grooming Parlour
-Gymkhana with Butterscotch (presumably sold in the first release box)
-First round of ponywear
-Pony Jewellery (clips in the heart box with Cotton Candy on the front)
-Show Stable.

The ponies from this release are used to advertise ponywear on the 1985 insert, and are illustrating the Gymkhana box in 1985 as well. That makes 1984 likely.

In the insert they're all shown with brushes that clearly are just colour change versions of the Grooming Parlour one, whereas here they have their proper ones. That makes the ad later than the insert I guess?

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This is from the insert I mention above.

On the braiding - the back of the cards for this set, and many other subsequent sets in the UK - give braiding instructions. This is to the point that although the artwork on the UK card is copied from the US card, they've added braids and bows to the design xD. So it's hardly surprising they'd put that in an ad!

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The big problem with this set is lack of evidence proving anything. In 20+ years I've found only one backcard for this set (pictured above) and never seen any of them MOC :/
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 07:50:20 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline Ponyfan

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2019, 07:30:54 PM »
That's really interesting Taffeta. :) I think this ad is a unique one made for the UK as the one I found for the US is completely different.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzVW661JRX4



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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2019, 07:40:24 PM »
Ah yes. You had a proper full set of three species. I forgot that.

*glares* xD

I feel like these weren't the first ponies in the UK, but were probably the first ponies in the UK that mattered to Hasbro to promote and thus the ones that stick in the mind.

They are not actually included in Hasbro's list of ponies sold in the UK.

Helpfully.

Though BT and AJ appear under 1985.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 07:51:29 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline Ponyfan

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 02:39:03 AM »
One thing I find so fascinating about the UK and US commercials is some of them are completely unique even thought they're advertising the same ponies and others are basically the same in the UK and US. :)


There's also a UK Princess Ponies commerical that is really interesting.


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« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 02:40:41 AM by Ponyfan »
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Offline Ponyland

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2019, 11:10:09 AM »
I collect advertising, and here is the earlies that I have found from UK, 1983.

It features the flat feet collector ponies, and the grooming parlor.  :)

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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2019, 11:39:16 AM »
Thanks for posting that, Ponyland. I knew you had the promo material for the FF set and the parlour, and I hoped you might come add them ;)

The collector ponies are in the fact file but they weren't in stories in the UK except for CC and Blossom, who were rereleased. Minty is drawn wrong and Bluebelle's name is misspelt, suggesting that the records that made that file were a bit sparse. The few people I've spoken to who had the FF ponies from new suggest that they came on US cards, hence I see them as imports. Ponyland's link shows, however, they were officially promoted imports, so that would be our "year 1" in 1983. That tallies with the Argos image I posted above, showing the prototype parlour, from Autumn 1983.

I think probably the y2 earth set were the first proper set to have actual UK style cards. (Even those have the US artwork on the front, though, and the back is based on the US art).

The second ad in Ponyland's collection from the link above talks about the Gymkhana and new pony jewellery in 1984. That correlates with the insert I mentioned above. The advert says the Gymkhana is new in 1984, which means the above undated insert comes from 1984. That dates the earth pony set to 1984 as well, making them part of the UK's second release in 1984.

Everything we currently know about 1983 and 1984 in the UK is the painstaking result of piecing together bits of evidence to form something logical. There are still gaps, such as did we officially have CF Minty and if so, how was she sold here?

 But it seems like to me that the FF ponies and grooming parlour tested the waters. 1984 was then a proper release in which they centred everything on the set in that commercial posted above. And then in 1985, MLP in the UK took off in a big way...and never looked back.

A caveat to the above is that, unlike the US, the UK doesn't have defined years or release periods in the same way. The US 'year' system doesn't work with UK releases which rarely keep to schedules in the same way. I strongly suspect the 1984 set were still out in 1985 alongside some of the new stuff, and I absolutely know 100% that the Rainbow ponies, who are advertised under 1985, were available for Christmas 1984 because I had one then :)

So it's a generally good idea to think of the UK releases as a little flexible ;)

I also imagine that the date on that youtube clip may be influenced by the US year system, which classifies this set under 1983-4.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 12:00:41 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline Ponyland

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2019, 12:24:45 PM »
Taffeta, I live for this type of ponypuzzles!  ;) ;) ;)

I do think the FF ponies (and the concave feets that replaced them the same year) was sold on the same type of card in the UK, as was used in the US the same year.

My thoughts are that there was no need to change the backards until the decition was made to skip the Unicorn/pegasus ponies, and it called for a new artwork.  :)

I would love to see a UK flat feet pony moc up close though, because the advertising say that they were a:

”Hasbro product distributed by the Knickerbocker Toy Company, Workingham Berks.”

And it is possible that this could have been mentioned on the backside in the small print of the UK distributed FF-card.

Edit: Knickerbocker Toy Company was bought by Hasbro in 1983. So thats why the advertising from 1984 ony says Hasbro Workingham Berkshire.

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What does the small print say on the UK 1984 earth pony backcard?
Because my 1984 ad says:

(Hasbro Logo)
Workingham,
Berkshire

My other thought is that since this Knickerbocker Toy Company distributed  the Pretty Parlor as a Grooming Parlor, alongside the FF ponies in the UK, there was already an adaptation made to the market. So for me this suggest the posibility that the FF ponies wasn’t just something imported to UK, but an official release.

Edit: (I can not empasize enough how important the name change from Pretty Parlor to Grooming Parlor is for the history of UK ponies!  ^.^ My advertising page is all about grooming and braiding the FF ponies, and this must have been an important marketing decision that was made from the start, since the braiding, grooming and styling of ponies had such high importance in the UK pony sets that followed.  ;)
The name change shows that the Grooming Parlor wasn’t just something imported from the US).

I know that a few years later Milton Bradley took over the distribution of MLP in UK (I think it was around 1986? When Hasbro bought that company) So it is possible that some information got lost from the early years.  :wonder:

Post Merge: April 08, 2019, 12:34:54 PM

Also it is worth to mention that the way Dream Valley and My Little Wiki categorize the US range of ponies is incorrect.

My Little Pony was released in the US in the easter 1983.

The ”split year” that Dream Valley used to divide ponies in comes from misinformation around the fact that Hasbro started to do a pre-toy fair in September 1984 for selected toy companies. (This is were Hasbro Spring Catalogs comes from).

A few selected toy companies could pre order the spring range of ponies before the Toy Fair (which is held in february), and sometimes this ment that they could get parts of the spring range before chrismas. But this range is still not an official part of that year 1984, but the year of 1985.

Here are a few of my dealer catalogs (I still have many left to take pictures of):

http://snupp.it/EQRnJv

Please note that each have a single year on the cover, and not ”split-years”.  :)

US and UK follow each other when it comes to release years, ”year one” is 1983 for you both.  ^.^

1984 had the first set of earth ponies for you both, and the US also got the unicorn/pegasus ponies, this is ”year two”.

1985 was more earth ponies for both UK and US (but the re-release of Applejack and Bow Tie differed, CP in UK and curly hair in US), US also got more unicorn/pegasus ponies. This is ” Year three”.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 01:57:23 PM by Ponyland »
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2019, 01:51:04 PM »
I am still looking for my close up scan of the Blossom card which leaves the text legible but the Wokingham address was normal for Hasbro in the UK at the start.

Edit: Finally I found the images. Here they are:
Sorry but you are not allowed to view spoiler contents.

If you can't read it, the text says:

Made in Hong Kong
Hasbro Industries (UK) Ltd
Wokingham, Berkshire
c. 1983 Hasbro Industries Inc. USA
Style number 4850


I note with interest that that copyright date is specifically American. :)

Another interesting geek note is that the unicorn/pegasuses have a different style number (4860) which is also shared by the Fable release ponies.

When I corresponded with Hasbro UK in 1995 they had moved to Gwent in Wales - and they are still based there now - but they began in Buckinghamshire.

The MB merge/takeover thing in the mid 1980s turned 1986 into an utterly insane year, but we don't often talk about the stuff before that point.

Hah, DV. If I comment properly on the idea of DV being incorrect on something, then I will be here a long time. Unfortunately the community gives more webspace to popularly held myths than actual correct intel and thus the wiki and most every other ID site since has unquestioningly copied the same format. As I've said before, it is out of date and can't accommodate ponies sold in other places at different times, meaning all these sites perpetuate the same bad information, but that's a thread rant for another occasion.

So erm, back to on topic.

Flat Foots - I agree they're official in the UK, just I don't think they were necessarily packaged in the UK like the later release ones were. BUT I have no evidence for this, and only the vague memories of people older than me who had them as kids to go on. I have never seen a card here for a FF pony, and the problem is, if it's the same as the US one, unless it has a price tag in £ as well, it will be impossible to prove it was from our release. There are many cards of ponies not sold in the UK which say "Distributed in the UK By Hasbro (UK)", so simply having that on the card means little.

I also cannot prove CF Minty was sold here, and she is much harder to find than any of the others or her FF counterpart. I have found her once here. I am open minded as to whether we genuinely did have her, as I tend to feel we didn't have the other four CF ponies on cards in the way the US did. I feel like Bluebelle may have been carded for Argos in 1984 and 1985, but Butterscotch had the Gymkhana, and Snuzzle the Parlour and another Argos release. I tend to assume these are leftover MO ponies being distributed in the UK - but I have no paper trail for Minty. And she is the one worst represented in the Fact File, suggesting any material ads relating to her disappeared much before Hasbro's organisation system kicked in. This is speculation, but right now, I am not sure.

The Grooming Parlour box in the UK was a UK box, and it's dated 1983.

I think that the set we're discussing here probably came out in the early part of 1984. Your advert says the Gymkhana was new in summer 1984, which to me suggests incremental releases throughout 1984, rather than one wave.

I generally don't believe in the 'year' system (not least because what I've learned from 20 years of trying to make sense of UK ponies in the bigger picture is that they don't fit into that process.) I've had a lot of academic stuff occupying me lately, but I have been working on trying to reformat the information on my site into something that is more realistic vis a vis how the UK release worked.

 It doesn't resemble the neatly filed image of MLPreleases as presented on most ID sites (probably including mine, as I am guilty of dating ponies to their earliest release dates, mostly US, rather than by the UK actual dates).

I have seen photos of UK stores from the 1980s which clearly shows ponies from the 1984 set and the 1985 set on shelves together, and also ones where the 1985 and 1986 ponies are on shelves together, too. Modern G4 distribution - and even the retros - kind of suggests this too - old and new mingling together and sometimes things coming out in reverse order.

I think G1 was probably quite similar, and not always logical. Probably that's true in the US too, but good luck to anyone trying to prove it :)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 02:20:53 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline Ponyland

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2019, 02:20:09 PM »
 I just edited my post above about information that I found on google, that the Knickerbocker Toy Company was bought by Hasbro in 1983.  :)

If there is a small print on the FF card that mentions ”Workingham Berkshire”, it is possible that the FF ponies were packed in UK as well, not only the Grooming Parlor box. We just have to keep searching.  ;)


(Edit: sorry for my english not always being so affluent, I understand that you agree that the FF’s are part of your range of ponies.  ^.^ )
Imported cards do not necessary mean they are not an official range of ponies to a country.  ;) We had an official range of ponies here in Sweden  that was distributed by Playmix. No one was packed here though, it was  done in both UK and US. The unofficial ones are the ones that wasn’t imported by Playmix, but by individual stores. Playmix often placed an orange or white disclamer sticker on the playsets and some of the ponies.

What makes something official to me is the paper trail.  ^.^
That is why I collect catalogues and advertising.
And you are correct on the fact that ponies on the toy shelves  always will mix and mingle, old stock will be alongside new stock.
But when the dealer catalogues promotes the new year of ponies, and doesn’t give the opportunity to order the old sets as re-releases, I feel that the last years ponies has been discontinued even when they still are on the shelf as old stock (they are no longer in production).  :)

Maybe ”production years” is a more accurate description of how I see the pony range divided.


Edit:
Yay you found Blossom’s card!
The copyright year is almost always about one year before they hit the shelves, since the design process takes time. It is interesting that USA is mentioned too. :)!
I haven’t found the 1984 Hasbro UK Toy Catalouge yet, but the style number will be there, alongside information about crate content.


Edit again: The Minty Mystery Must Be Solved!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 02:55:18 PM by Ponyland »
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Early g1 UK
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2019, 02:58:31 PM »
Edited above to add the details from Blossom's card as I found the image.

I agree with paper trail. For me, if they are on the Hasbro list (1985-1994) or advertised in comic ads, inserts or other verifiable media, then that's probably enough. There are some exceptions to this, and some sets, like the 1984 earth set, that only meet one of these criteria.

As mentioned before, having UK on the box doesn't mean it was sold here. Being in the catalogue also doesn't mean that, as the Dream Beauties are in the 1990 UK catalogue and we definitely never had them here. Backcards are thus problematic evidence unless they have price labels. It's not uncommon to have US style boxes here with very minor amendments (such as how the box is punched for display, or a few words of the story) alongside very distinctly UK style cards. We also have all the later pony packs and ponywear on US cards, imported straight from the US and featuring ponies not sold here, but still promoted here officially on inserts and on Hasbro's list of products.

There are also then store imports such as Woolworths exclusives - Lemon Treats and Mint Dreams are not officially released in the Uk via Hasbro, but they were still sold here. I would consider them pseudo-official - they were properly sold here, but not as part of Hasbro's official promotion.

And then there are end of line imports, many of which were in bags and sold at market stalls. This includes some US mail orders, like TAF babies, Tux, Birthflowers etc - and also a lot of Slumber Party ponies (minus Pillow Talk). Those are unofficial import releases, which may be found here, but not on proper cards or boxes. Probably, the weird hybrid princesses also fit this category as well.

As for the integrity of release years, careful study of Argos's pony distribution through the 1980s make it clear that ponies which should no longer be available are still available. Argos is a good example because, as a catalogue store, it tends to clear out old stock via sales. There's also a tendency to remove them from the main catalogue and produce a sale catalogue. The fact that this doesn't happen with ponies like Honeysuckle and Confetti makes me think there's a continued order because the sales are successful - and Hasbro are flexible about that, because they have a guaranteed market and it makes them money.

I don't think it's an accident that many of the surviving ponies on UK style cards come from your part of the world, rather than here. I think that Hasbro UK ran sales of their products into the ground until they had none left and demand was completely exhausted, meaning that the vast majority of packaged ponies got sold and opened, rather than sitting in warehouses gathering dust.

Also, in the UK sense, we know what happened to Hasbro's own surplus stock, and more or less, what it comprised, because Hasbro sold it all to a London store for clearance.

To throw a final spanner in the works of organised filing, there are a whole ton of cards and inserts dated 1987, when the reality is that some of these ponies are for 1987 and some for 1988. Both Mountain Boy and Adventure Boy cards are dated 1987, but the MBs are actually 1987, whereas the Adventure Boys are almost certainly 1988.

There's a huge distinction in card style which gives away where the divide comes, fortunately, and it's clearest with the TE ponies between the UK (genuinely 1987) and the continent (actually 1988) - but unfortunately card years are sometimes helpful and sometimes not.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 03:08:17 PM by Taffeta »
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