FAMILY FRIENDS & FAMILY BABIES
The Family Friends and Family Babies (not the best set-name in the world, it has to be admitted!) were the 1993 version of the Loving Family Ponies from 1989. However, instead of featuring four ponies, these sets featured only three - a mother, a father and a baby girl.
There has often been any amount of confusion about the 'fathers' in these families. For some reason as yet unknown, there are no clydesdale male ponies in the later part of the UK release line, and this set is no exception. Hasbro seems to have made do with an existing female earth pose to be the new 'Daddy' style - and the mould once associated with female ponies such as Shady and Sweetie was now turned over to the masculine side of the fence.
To cut a long and confusing gender debate short, the Daddies from these sets are the ones in the standing poses, with the front leg bent!
The three families appeared in one episode each of the My Little Pony Tales television series. For some reason the Berrytown family were misnamed Barrington and extra family members were added in each case. They also appeared in the My Little Pony comic, in basically the same roles as they had filled in the cartoon series.
Although they were family sets, these characters were never sold as such. Each was sold individually on seperate cards, the adults having one story and the babies another. Each pony was sold with a comb and a ribbon and although each family had the same style of comb, the colours did vary from member to member.
They were never sold in North America and can be hard to find - especially the father ponies! They are quite a distinctive set since they had horizantally striped rainbow hair - a style only used once before (for the Mail Order Pretty Mane Ponies).