It started with a pony that wasn't very little. In 1981, Romper Room introduced "My Pretty Pony", a 10-inch toy horse with twitching ears, winking eyes, and a swishing tail. Originally brown, she was later available in pink with heart symbols on her hip.
In 1982, Hasbro introduced the popular 5-inch My Little Pony toys. A cartoon soon followed, which lasted three years.