The My Little Pony
"So what is the Fact File, anyway?"
That is the question on many people's lips when the subject of my pony
gospel comes up. These days the older ponies are most often given character
based on how they appeared in the animated series. Often pony collectors here
in the United Kingdom have grown to adopt and use the American names for
ponies instead of the UK ones, simply for ease of trade across the sea.
But there is no denying that there is something a bit special about the
pony lore of the United Kingdom. Whilst the animated series is all very well,
it is also very limited in terms of the number of ponies it can portray.
The combination of this, the Fact File, and the long running My Little Pony
comic, however, meant that hundreds of ponies were given characteristics and
personalities beyond anything in the television show.
However, the fact file is not a character guide for ponyland. Offered in
1987 via this
comic advertisment , the Fact File was part of the horseshoe point program.
Claiming to include "all" the little ponies in ponyland, in truth the Fact
File contained 125 ponies of various types - but did also omit the three UK
adult sea ponies. Some ponies, such as Firefly, Moondancer and Powder
appeared in the Fact File despite not being included in the UK pony issue,
as they were prevalent in the comics of the time.
The most important part of the UK Fact File is undoubtedly the little 'stories'
that each pony's entry contains. For many sets, the story printed in the fact
file is EXACTLY the same as the story printed on the back of the pony's backcard
when new - a slick way of getting all the stories in one place, in fact!
This is true for the stories of the Twinkle Eyes, the Flutter Ponies, Baby
Ponies, Mountain Boys, Princess Ponies and many of the "My Little Pony" section
at the front, which is really an amalgamation of first, second and third
year earthlings, pegasi and unicorns, not to mention the UK exclusives and
a few random so softs.
Some of the personalities given for the ponies in the Fact File contradict
almost entirely the characters given them in the television series. Shady
is not shy and timid, but a pony with magic sunglasses that can see other
worlds beyond. Wind Whistler, far from being the sensible, levelheaded pegasus
of the cartoon is a silly, whistling pony, and Magic Star is given as being
"the most magical pony in all ponyland". Below is a random sample of
some of the fact file entries.
The Fact File also has it's bizarre image errors - the most glaring being
Honeycomb as a unicorn, Minty in purple and Pinwheel without her horn - see
Overall the factfile is incomplete as regards a proper guide to Ponyland,
but it is also invaluable as a guide to the personalities of those earlier
little ponies. It's one of the most bizarre My Little Pony items in a lot
of ways - but in my opinion, also one of the best.