Monday, July 6, 2009

Pony Gals, Dapples, Luno and the Cartoon Network

Apparently more Pony Gals merchandise has shown up at Target, mostly Classics scale sets not unlike the previous Target SR Play Sets we've seen for a while now. The packaging suggests that there's going to be a full Pony Gals line including Classics, Stablemates, Little Bits and Mini Whinnies scale models (all helpfully color-coded!) It's also interesting to note that the Pony Gals stable I mentioned previously is also shown on the packaging, now with a 700-series SR number.

(First of all, yay on the potential return of the Little Bits/Paddock Pals molds, who had recently been demoted to kit horse status. Poor little guys get no love or respect!)

The question still remains: why? Is this an early launch of a new line, or a Big Box store exclusive? Is it just for Target, or will Kmart, Meijer and TSC also get in on the Pony Gals action?

I'm wondering if Reeves is trying to create a “brand” to market and license, a la The Saddle Club, but with licensing fees flowing coming in, and not going out. Could a TV show or cartoon be far behind?

I say this because several years ago I was one of the few people who actually saw the TV commercial for the Dapples line … on the Cartoon Network. I caught the tail end of one commercial while channel surfing; I ended up watching a couple more hours of cartoons to catch it again. (Yes, I am that obsessive.) I still remember the jingle. And I swear I am not making this up. For one thing, I think I could have come up with something better than this:
Dapples, Dapples, so much to do!
Dapples, Dapples, I love you!
Since it's been suggested that the Pony Gals line was created, in part, to replace the Dapples/Ponies line, and there was an attempt to market Dapples on Cartoon Network, a logical (but admittedly tenuous) assumption would be that the Pony Gals might be heading in the same general direction.

Believe it or not, someone did actually make a cartoon series that featured a model horse as the lead character. The series was called Luno, the Flying Horse, and it was produced by Terrytoons in the early 1960s. A boy named Timmy would command his model horse to take him places, with the magic incantation:
Oh winged horse of marble white,
take me on a magic flight!
Here's a link to prove to you I am not crazy:

Yeah, I know, it's not exactly Academy Award material. These cartoons were made at the tail end of the theatrical market for cartoons by a company known industry-wide for its cheapness; some of them went directly to TV. I got lucky and found a couple of collections of Luno cartoons on VHS sometime in the 1980s. I have no idea where to find them now, except on YouTube.

(BTW Reeves, just to let you know: if you do plan on making a pitch to the Cartoon Network in the near future, please note that they're moving away from actual cartoons. No, I don't get it either.)


Carol said...

I have a VHS tape of "Luno" cartoons! I looooved that show when I was a little kid, I thought I was the only one who remembered it! I found it in the bargain bin at some discount store.

GWR said...

Ah, I remember "Luno"! My sister and I watched it on the Armed Forces Network when we lived in Germany. (this was in the 1980s, AFN showed a lot of old TV shows)

Anonymous said...

I too have a VHS copy of the Luno cartoons. That was one of my favorites, as well.