1985: Unicorn and Pegasus Ponies
1985: So Soft Ponies
1987: "My Little Pony" (Movie Set)
1987 UNICORN GUSTY
White unicorn with dark green mane and tail (red streak in mane) and purple maple leaves symbol.
Gusty is the most complicated of the 1987 release ponies. She is ONLY one from the set to have seen a normal version release before coming out as a So Soft Pony in 1985/6 in North America. In the UK, she only had ONE release, as part of the set sold as promotion for My Little Pony, the Movie.
I have pictured the two original, non-flocked ponies at the top of the page, side by side, so that their differences are evident. American original Gusty has GLITTERED symbols and AQUA eyes. The European original release has PAINTED symbols and GREEN eyes, features which match the So Soft version perfectly. She is often known as "NSS Gusty" because of this (sigh). Both ponies were made in Hong Kong.
There is also a third version of Gusty without flocking. She is pretty much a hybrid of the two above - she has glittered symbols and green eyes. She was sold in Scandinavia and probably also in Australia. It is probable that she was sold on the style of UK card that this set had in Scandinavia (even though the ponies were not sold here) and therefore SHOULD have been the original UK issue of Gusty (but never was). She is generally known among collectors as "Scandinavian Gusty."
(image courtesy of KitKatVintage)
GUSTY AS "NURSE GUSTY", UK PONY COMIC
In the UK comics, Gusty was an important character. She took over the role of the Ponyland Nurse from Cotton Candy, looking after all the sick ponies and also playing guardian to the many Baby Ponies that lived at the Lullabye Nursery. Gusty was really quite a sweetheart and, by dint of her important role, she appeared in stories quite a lot. She was often tagged in the comic as "Nurse Gusty."
Her characterisation in the animated US series, however, could not be more different. This Gusty, based on the So Soft version of the pony, was incarnated as a snarky young lady with plenty to say for herself (and not all of it nice!). She also had the gift of being able to blow gusts of wind with her horn, which came in quite useful! (I have a feeling that the UK comic also gave Gusty similar powers, but I am not 100% sure without checking).
Gusty is therefore probably one of the better known and more popular ponies from her year.
The UK release of Gusty didn't come until 1987, when she was sold as part of the set sometimes called Movie Star Ponies (on account of their French set name Cine Stars). The actual UK set did not have a name, but has often been coined with the awkwardly negative term "Non So Soft" ponies. (Hasbro would never have given them a name so ugly!) In fact, Hasbro labelled the set simply as "My Little Pony", a nametag generally given in the UK to any pony that fit into an 'original' style category without a gimmick.
The "Movie Star" Gusty had painted symbols instead of glittery ones, and her eyes were green. Her plastic tends to be a more vivid white than her earlier counterpart. Whether she came always with a sticker or not is still under debate - though current belief is that she did, at least in the UK.
SO SOFT GUSTY
When she was released as a So Soft Pony in 1985-6, Gusty had all the traits of the UK edition of 1987, but was flocked all over in a soft, velvety substance. She was one of the stars of My Little Pony the Movie, but despite that she was not included in the re-release the following year.
SO SOFT GUSTY
(USA and Canada, 1985-6)
Thanks to Dollhands for the MOC image