ADVENTURE BOY PONIES
(aka Big Brother Ponies)
For the rest of the world, this was the advent of the adult boy pony. For the UK, it was the second set in a matter of a few months to feature these new, clydesdale type creatures. But unlike the elemental Mountain Boys, these guys were all about action, sport and mechanics. Each pony was sold with a hat and a coloured neckscarf or "bandana", as well as a brush or comb and hair ribbon. The hats matched their sport or activity, and are quite hard to find on the second hand market.
Judging by the design of card used for the Adventure Boy Ponies, it seems probable that they were officially at the very tail end of the 1987/beginning of the 1988 release year over here. This also goes with the fact they did not have stickers, as no 1988 ponies did. The insert they first appear on, and their card, however, are both dated 1987.
Adventure Boy Pony Card, 1987/8
There are several name variations between the UK and the US set, but the ponies themselves remained the same in both countries, as did their accessories. Click on the above backcard image to view in closer detail the alternate names and Tug's backcard story.
The set was also known as Adventure Boy Ponies in the UK, though the more encompassing term "Big Brother Ponies" is often used, because it neatly refers to all of this type of pony - not just the six characters from the first set. All of the boy ponies with hats and neckscarves were called Big Brother Ponies in North America, while in the UK, the term "Big Brother" was also used for the second set, which incorporated three rereleases from the first set.
ADVENTURE BOY PONY set name
(From Tug's UK card)
The Brothers played a role in the animated episode Somnambula, where the writers managed to use names for some of them which neither the North American or the UK release sold the ponies under. Why this is is unclear - maybe they were pre-production names, or maybe it was just an error on the part of the screenwriters!
Big Brother/Adventure Boy Ponies are easily identifiable from Mountain Boys at a glance, as the Mountain Boy Ponies all had freckles. Like the Mountain Boys, however, the Adventure Boy/Big Brother Ponies adopted the traditionally unicorn trait of a coloured streak in their manes.
Although not all the ponies on the link image above show the accessories, the ponies on their actual pages are properly displayed :)