SEVEN CHARACTER PONIES
These are the most well known ponies from 1993, especially in the North American region. Why? Because in 1992 they were the stars of the third and final incarnation of My Little Pony, the animated series. Labelled "My Little Pony Tales", a series of episodes were produced following the adventures of these seven girls in their daily lives, pitching them in a much more real life setting than pony stories of years past.
Although the animated series was aired in the States, these ponies were never sold there. It's still a matter of debate whether the animation was produced for more international markets (for example, the show featured football, not American Football as the boys' key sport, as well as referring to the Glowing Magic ponies as "Glowing Magical" ponies, not the US name "Glow and Show".) Either way, in 1993 the ponies went on sale in Europe and the United Kingdom, also seeing a release in Oceania.
Though cast in the animation as children (aged ten), the ponies that came to be sold were adult ponies. In many ways they were a return to basic My Little Pony (yay!) because none of them featured any gimmicks and all of them were simply coloured - one tone body, one tone hair. Each also had bright coloured symbols and a distinctive comb designed especially for each character.
They also became the central characters in the UK My Little Pony comic during the latter years, where they had similar (although not identical) personalities and traits to the animation.
Because of the TV Series, these ponies are often labelled 'MLP Tales Ponies'. However, on inserts they were advertised as "Seven Characters", and on their cards was simply "My Little Pony" plus the pony's name (also in keeping with old My Little Pony style!) They were sold on dark pink card (as were all ponies this year) and shared a backcard story between the set (instead of having individual stories of their own which, up to this point, had still been the UK norm). In Germany, they were called "TV Star Ponys" and in France they were called "Les Sept Copains" (The 7 Friends).
Three of the ponies from this set (Starlight, Sweetheart and Melody) would also get special makeovers, featuring in other, more gimmicky sets from the 1993 line.