My Pretty Pony debuted in 1981 in Hasbro’s Romper Room toy line (Hasbro owned the Romper Room television franchise) as a 10″ blank pony who could wiggle her ears and tail with use of a lever under her chin abd had beddy-bye eyes that closed and opened. The first horse was a natural brown colour with blonde mane/ tail and the second had a pink body and mane/tail and the hearts cutie mark which would later show up on Peachy who came with the Pretty Parlour playset.
Bonne Zacherle, who was chiefly responsible for the design of My Pretty Pony, was a freelance artist for Hasbro in the late 70s. A military child, she had lived for some time in Asia and had a favourite pony that had to stay behind when the family moved back to the States. Having designed a toy pony she tried to pitch to Hasbro and being turned down, Zacherle was asked to design a horse-shaped toy after someone in management had the idea themselves and designed the My Pretty Pony toy in its size and colour for the preschool aged child to maneuver (these ponies came with a cowboy hat, blanket , comb and hair ribbons). Zacherle designed a line of naturally-coloured horses but an executive’s wife had the idea to downsize them and make them in pastel colours to be more appealing to older girls and the rest is history.