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~*~ UK Prototype Ponies ~*~

About 8 years ago, I bought these three ponies from a seller in the UK.  They were in an eBay lot, along with regular ponies she found at a car boot sale (the equivalent of a yard sale or garage sale).  I don't remember the seller's name or which city she found these in, but she was also pony collector and mentioned that she thought they were prototypes as well.  Another collector from the UK mentioned that she also remembered seeing these ponies a long time ago.  I paid a little more than average for the lot, but there weren't a lot of people bidding, so it wasn't an astronomical figure!

I wasn't very fond of these ponies, so they went into storage until now.  I was planning on taking pics of them, but just never got around to it.  These ponies resemble the UK Schooltime Ponies, however, they are not identical.  They have colored bases & appear to be airbrushed.  The paint is a little shiny.  All 3 of these ponies have some paint wear.

The hair is rooted the same way as a factory pony, where the strands are woven together.  No glue can be found inside the heads.  Hair feels like regular G1 pony hair.  The manes are thick and longer than average.  

Symbols are very intricately painted.  Just look at those perfectly straight lines on Music Time's symbol!

Art Time
(click on each pic for an enlarged view - huge files!)

Someone mentioned that her base could be Mummy Meadowsweet.
That didn't occur to me, since I don't own a Mummy Meadowsweet. ^_^

Eyes are very well done, but they have been scuffed from playwear.
This pony's eyes look like they were printed.  The eyes are "flat" and not raised above the surface of the pony's base.  In contrast, the freckles do look painted on.
No serial number marks.  Hmmmm.
Inside looks darker than it really is.  Maybe it could match Mummy Meadowsweet.
Non-display side has the same symbol, just mirrored.

Art Time's head is darker than her body paint.  This pony was like this when I bought her.

Woven pony hair!
Symbol looks like it picked up some dirt.
And another display side pic with her long hair moved to the side.
Music Time
(click on each pic for an enlarged view - huge files!)
Music Time has an eye rub.  Her hair is the same color as Lemondrop's.
Non-display side eye looks okay.  She has freckles too!
Her feet have some paint wear.
The inside.  Looks to be the same color as TAF Up, Up, and Away.
Here, you can see the woven hair.  And the airbrushed neck rim.
Non-display side.
And her symbol with incredibly straight lines.  Someone thought they might have been stenciled.  It does have some rubs, though.
Play Time
(click on each pic for an enlarged view - huge files!)
Playtime survived the years better than the other two.  Her paint job is mostly intact, with only a few rubs.  She's not that shiny in real's just the angle of the lighting.
Nothing unusual here.  Her feet have some paint rubs.
Another lovely eye painting job. ^_^
The inside is a coral pink color, much like Cherries Jubilee who is also available in the same pose!
Here, you can see the hair was rooted in "factory style".  But what's that metal shard in there?  I tried fishing it out a long time ago, but couldn't get at it and just left it there.
With a pair of needle-nose pliers, I fished it out.  Very strange indeed.  It looks like the tip of a needle.  However, it looks rounder than the usual sewing needle.  Could this be part of some type of rooting machine that broke off?
Symbols are very neatly painted.  The colors are reversed on the regular UK Play Time pony.
And here's her non-display side.  The hair looks a little messy.  Her tail does look like one section got a feathered trim.

Whew!  That's a lot of pics.  My analysis: I believe they're prototypes of some sort.  Why?  Well, who would go through the trouble to make these things?  The regular UK Schooltime ponies were common, even back then.  It's not like people making Rapunzel replicas.  It was inexpensive to buy a Schooltime pony.

Being a customizer myself, I know how difficult it would be to create such replicas.  Each one would need a full body re-paint, then re-rooting in factory style, then careful painting of the eyes & symbols.  The hair is very thick & long, which makes re-rooting this way tremendously difficult.  And, back then, pony hair was not easy to come by.  You would have needed to take several tails from donor ponies.

If anyone has information about these ponies, please send it my way.  Although I'm in the process of selling these ponies now (as I mentioned, they don't appeal to me), I'll pass along the info.  Since these things rarely come along, there really isn't a good way to determine how much they are worth. I picked a price that was a little above what I paid for them, to account for inflation.  In case you're wondering, this price is less than half of what I'd ask for a custom of this complexity.  It might have been too low, or perhaps demand for odd ponies has increased, because my mailbox is flooded with offers to buy all three of them!  

It would have been easy just to sell all 3 ponies to the first person who wrote in.  However, I felt sorry for the other collectors who didn't even get a chance to buy one of these ponies.  So, I've decided to sell one pony each to the first 2 people who wrote in, and then give everyone else a chance to buy the remaining pony.  That last pony will probably be placed back on eBay or auctioned off here.

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