Variations and Oddities
Upon beginning this section, I have to admit that I'm a little bit sad.
Ever since I began my Pony site in 1998, there have been variants on it in a big way. The Scrapbook was the first page to feature Italian Ponies (probably the initial online venture pony collectors made into the variant market) and Japanese ponies, and lumbered those known as 'Bobbie' and 'Ladybird' with their online nicknames.
Oh yes. You can blame me for that.
But all good things do - and should - come to an end.
In the last few years, there has been a huge explosion of variant ponies onto the collecting market. From Italians to Peruvians, each line seems to grow bigger every day and it is no longer right that I keep trying to follow all of these developments. After all, in truth, my own personal area of knowledge is the UK and UK paraphernalia. And the cold hard fact of it is, variants such as these were NOT sold in the United Kingdom.
In short, there are many, many people out there with a far wider and more accurate knowledge of the variant pony world.
I only included them in the first place because no other website had delved that far, and people needed some kind of online recourse. Today, there are experts in pretty much all the variant fields. And so, instead of trying to pretend I know what I'm talking about...I've compiled a set of links (reachable from the right hand side of this page) of other sites which will likely help you a whole lot more than I can.
What remains here are the things that have some UK relevance - the weird Princess Ponies, Bobbie and her Happytail freak friends, and then a few oddball ponies that knock around without belonging to any particular set.
So I'm left now with the briefest of introductions to Variant Ponies imagineable :) As the name suggests, these ponies are ones that are not 'mainstream' but were made in other countries than Hong Kong and China, and were often produced by other companies under licence from Hasbro. (Please note that there are exceptions to this - the Fancy Pants Babies who are made in Thailand ARE mainstream ponies, as are the No Country versions of Sundance and the Loving Family Ponies).
Variants often are based on mainstream My Little Pony characters, but generally have differences. Some of these differences are minor - such as a painted symbol or a different shade of colour in their hair. Others are quite emphatic and involve full body colour changes, different poses, and even different species.
Many variants make your life easier by having their country of manufacture stamped on their hoof. I remember when I saw my first Argentinian pony in 1998 that the name of the country had to be split up to fit on her hoof. But not all variants have this convenient tagging. Greek and Mexican Ponies often seem to be without any printing and several ponies which can be traced to Spain generally have no country at all on their hooves.
Below are some pictorial examples of variants from different countries that I've pulled from my own collection (all except Tornado whose image is courtesy of Lady Ruby). For more information on these different variant types, please check out the list of links via the right hand link :)
UP, UP & AWAY
WHIZZER ("ARCO IRIS" SET)
(No Country - Spain)