Back in the ‘90s, Hasbro created the Fancy Swirl My Little Pony collection. The four ponies in this line featured bright tails and manes with complimenting bodies that had ripples of color floating throughout, topped with headpieces featuring the moon and stars.
If these ponies don’t sound familiar, there’s a good reason why — the design never hit shelves. Now, though, more than 30 years later, Basic Fun! is dusting off these designs to celebrate My Little Pony’s 40th anniversary.
Over the years, My Little Pony fans got some peeks at the original Fancy Swirl designs. Former Hasbro illustrator Allison Boiselle, who designed the packaging art for the Fancy Swirl ponies, shared them at a My Little Pony convention and has talked about the designs with fans over email and social media. Fans couldn’t get enough of the unreleased ponies, with many creating fan art that put their own spin on the Fancy Swirl designs.
“I have been incredibly touched and so delighted to know my illustrations meant so much to [fans],” Boiselle says. “I have truly developed a great respect for them and their faithful devotion to MLP. It is so very gratifying, and I found it so wonderful to learn what a wide and varied range of fans are out there!”
This year’s new, 40th-anniversary lineup leans into the same starry theme as the original Fancy Swirl ponies, but they have taken on a new name: Celestial Ponies! The four original ponies — Pearlshine, Swirlabout, Mistyglow, and Starswirl — also have new, star-themed names to go with their updated looks. Aurora, Nova, Polaris, and Milky Way all use the same body mold of My Little Pony toys you grew up playing with, but fully embody the original Fancy Swirl designs, from the moon and stars coming from their heads to the swirl designs on their bodies.
“The original Fancy Swirl designs and celestial crowns are beautiful and truly unique from any other classic or current pony toy,” says Katy Katz, Head of Digital Marketing and Social Media for Basic Fun!. “Plus, there is an element of mystery and excitement behind toys that don’t make it to market — they are the rarest of rare! Pour in a little celestial stardust, and you have Pony magic.”
The 40th-anniversary packaging for the new Celestial Ponies looks like it would be right at home on a local toy store shelf in the ‘90s. The boxes feature rich colors, golden details, and a rainbow handle. Whether you’re an in-the-box collector or not, this packaging is almost as exciting as the pony inside.
“The fact that fans fell in love with the Celestial designs and created their own art movement from an idea is the essence of the magic of this brand,” Katz says. “Bringing these fan favorites to life felt like the perfect way for us to honor the important role that collectors play in building a brand that resonates for 40 years and beyond.”
No matter how old you were when you first fell in love with My Little Pony, the 40th-anniversary Celestial ponies are an out-of-this-world addition to any collection! The Celestial ponies will hit shelves this fall.