THE CRIMP n CURL HAIR SALON
THE PERM SHOPPE
THE CURL AND TWIRL PERM SALON)
with FIFI: White earth pony with blue mane and tail, pink bows symbol spread across back and haunches, repeated on cheek.
Well, this playset was introduced in 1987, and was sold worldwide under various names.
Released in North America as the "Perm Shoppe", it's official UK name was the "Crimp and Curl Hair Salon" (this is what is written on my playset's box). However, one of the inserts also referred to it as the "Curl and Twirl Perm Salon", so take your pick, really! The image above comes, I believe, from one of the US inserts - and the comb and brush shown are not correct to the UK issue (which has a mint green basic comb and a pink flower brush).
The UK release of the Hair Salon seems to have gone on longer than in North America (a common trend with many MLP playsets). The box is dated 1987, indicating it probably first came out in late '87. By 1988, Argos was sellingthis playset for £27.95 and Index for £27.75. The playset was still on sale into 1989, at which time Argos had raised the price to £29.75. These prices made it one of the more expensive playsets of its time. (It also happens to be one of my favourites xD).
The Salon came with many accessories for hair styling, far outdoing earlier playsets in it's variety. The back of the building, beneath the big heart shaped mirror was a water tank, and inside the playset, when opened, it was possible to have a real working flower-shaped shower to wash the pony's hair. The salon also came with other accessories - a trolley, a seat, a wrap to keep the ponies dry and clean - and ribbons and hairclips, as well as a setting lotion.
The playset came with an exclusive pony; Fifi. She was a global release, and was issued with all versions of the Hair Salon, under it's variety of global names. Fifi shared her identity with a So Soft Pony from 1986. She was the only adult pony under the name Fifi to be sold in the Uk, however. It is not uncommon for her bows to fade or for her body to discolour. Because of her release with a playset, Fifi the Twice as Fancy Pony is fairly common on the second hand market.
Fifi's story included various of the Party Ponies (aka Twice as Fancy Ponies, first set) under their UK names, as well as including the UK name for the playset. The story was modified from the North American release version, as the names of ponies not sold in the UK (eg Taffy) were swapped out and the playset name was changed to meet the UK trademark. Hasbro's story also coined the abbreviation for the playset name as "Hair Salon" - this is not just me being lazy ;). The story was titled for the playset, not the pony, although it featured both, and appeared on the assembly instructions (as was common with playsets).
CRIMP & CURL HAIR SALON STORY (Featuring FIFI, Love Melody, Milky Way and Lollipop).
The playset was also released with sundry other paperwork, including inserts, offer leaflets and a form to send to Hasbro to get refills of the 'foam' mentioned in the story. This was a hair-styling mixture sold with the playset. It was the first time since the Waterfall that water features and bubble solution were sold with a playset. For this reason the Hair Salon suffers from the same issues as the Waterfall - namely the risk of mould in the water tank and shower pipe.