Ponies and Attendants
Ponyland wouldn't be Ponyland without Princesses. The original six Royal Ponies were introduced in 1987, with jewelled medallions for symbols and tinsel in their hair. Obviously meant to follow some Mediaeval theme, each had a damsel hat in unique colours, with flowing ribbons edged in metallic thread. They were sold all across the world, but in many different ways.
The North American release included 'bushwoolie'
characters with each princess pony, as these were the cheeky little
fluffballs who had helped the Princesses rescue their wands in the
Quest of the Princess Ponies animated episode. In the UK, however, the
Princesses had baby dragon attendants, much like Spike. And,
considering the mythology associated with dragons in these islands (the
tradition of the Welsh red dragon and the English green one still holds
true enough in the tales of St George and the Dragon and, of course, on
the Welsh flag to this day). Like with the hats, each dragon was
individual to each pony. In the UK at least, each Princess was named
after a gemstone. These names were not the same in the United States.
PRINCESS PONIES: 1987 Second UK Insert.
The Princesses feature on three UK inserts, all of
which are dated to 1987. However, it's pretty conclusive that the lines
which they represent are actually spread across 1987 and 1988, judging
by the ponies depicted on each one. Though mis-labelled on the original
insert, their names are correct by the time this second one was
printed. Each pony is shown with their - technically - correct damsel
hat, also (though it's worth checking each princess pony's page for
more on that, since there's nothing so straight forward about the
accessories over here in the UK! Please also see Lady
Results for further information)
PRINCESS PONIES: Hasbro UK Booklet 1987
(Thanks to Pranceatron for this image)
It's also worth mentioning that in France, the Princesses were sold on cards with accessories but without any of the attendants.
PRINCESS SAPPHIRE (Mint on FRENCH card with NO attendant)
Thanks to Babydoll for this image
I believe other European countries may also have had this edition, but I can't be sure. Italy definitely had the Princess Ponies with dragons, in box. Germany also had a release (on card as well, without attendants) featuring Princess Ponies based on these but with different coloured hair. More on those in the German section.
In the UK, they were definitely sold in boxes, rather than on cards. The UK box depicts them with their dragons and their official UK names. The dragons were not named on the card but were named in the Princess's story. The Princesses are also shown wearing the technically correct hats (although, as mentioned, these were not always or even usually the hats they were actually sold with!)
The backcard stories for the Princess Ponies were the same as their entries in the UK fact file, which was released through mail offer during this year. You can compare the box story with Pearl's Fact File entry by visiting this page of the site.
Princess Sapphire and Smokey
Argos Catalogue, 1987 (Autumn/Winter)
(My sincere thanks to Retromash for providing the 1987 Argos Scans)
The Princess Ponies retailed for around £5.45-£5.99 this year. The Argos Catalogue commented on the character of the pony, but does not mention the fact the Princesses came with stickers (although one is shown and they undoubtedly did, since I still have mine from childhood!)