In Japan, My Little Pony toys or dolls were produced by a company called Takara (today, Takara Tomy). These ponies, released in 1985 under the name “Mai Ritoru Ponii – Osharena Ponii” or Stylish Pony, look very different from their Hasbro counterparts and are highly collectable. What makes the Takara ponies so special and why are they so difficult to find?
The Takara ponies are small posable figures that stand upright. They have brushable hair and large heads and were released each with their unique fashions and playsets. The line has four main characters and at least 11 different outfits. After Takara stopped producing these ponies, several companies tried to copy their success. Because Takara didn’t brand the majority of the toys, it can be tricky to identify the “fakies” from the real deal. A lot of Takara ponies never made it past the prototype stage, so it’s also tricky to confirm the sets exist! Even with items that were for sale, sometimes the colors and combinations are different. This is one of the reasons why Takara ponies are sought after and very, very treasured by their owners!
Milky and Pinky Ponies
There are two main Takara ponies characters: Milky and Pinky. Each of them came with a dress, a brush, hair accessories, and a card featuring a photo. Milky has a light yellow body with a pink mane and tail. Pinky has a light-pink body and a purple mane and tail. Several versions of Milky and Pinky were produced wearing different outfits. Some of these outfits could be bought separately. Although it’s hard to find Takara ponies in general, they sometimes pop up on eBay, so we’ve added the link below in case you get lucky :)
Lily & Popo Ponies
The Milky and Pinky ponies were twin sisters and had two more baby siblings: Lily and Popo. Lily has a light-yellow body with a pink mane and tail, and Popo a light-pink body with a purple mane and tail. These baby ponies were sold with two different playsets and on their own. Unlike their grown-up sisters, they are not posable and are slightly different to each other. While Lily’s arms are raised, Popo’s are held down.
Ami Ami, Fuwa Fuwa, Kuru Kuru and Sara Sara
There are four more adult ponies that complete the Tajara ponies collection. These are Ami Ami, Fuwa Fuwa, Kuru Kuru and Sara Sara.
Ami Ami has a light blue body and a teal mane and tail. It also has two braids on top of the head. Fuwa Fuwa has a light pink body with a dark pink frizzy mane and tail. Kuru Kuru has a light green body and a green mane and tail, with two piggy tails (also green) on the sides of the head. And Sara Sara has a light yellow body with a long yellow mane and tail.
Takara Designer Sets
Two sets with hair accessories were released, one for Milky and one for Pinky. These included combs, a hairdryer, extra hair, hats, a mirror cabinet, ribbons, curlers, and makeup kits, among others.
Plush Takara Ponies and the Land of Close Friends
Plush versions of Milky and Pinky were released by Takara in Japan. They were sold for 2,800 yen each. The Land of Close Friends was a line of 10 different small animals (the size of babies Lily and Popo). They costed between 480 and 680 yens each.
More My Little Pony
This unofficial MLP guide to the first generation of My Little Pony (known as G1) was created by Summer Hayes. The book provides everything a collector needs to identify G1 ponies and their accessories, and understand their value. The guide contains large, full colour photos of every pony, playset and accessory released in the US (and in some cases in other countries) in the 1980s and 1990s.