A note on grouping these as Gi-Go – this is my best estimation, based on the visual and tactile similarities in manufacture. Gi-Go makes their own brand called Wonder Pony Land, and they are sometimes named as the manufacturer behind store brands like Kid Connection at Walmart and Play Right at Walgreen’s. I believe that the majority of these share a common origin point. But since they aren’t marked and many have come to me second-hand, I can’t know for certain.
There appears to be some sort of relationship between Simba and Gi-Go. Simba’s Tootsie body (used for Dreamland series and others) is copied exactly on Gi-Go ponies (exact same hoof markings), and Simba symbols are reused on Gi-Go. Gi-Go also makes dolls, and these can be marked Simba on the head mold and Gi-Go on the sewn-in body tag. (Source: eBay listings.)
The Tootsie pose was also used for the 1990’s Talk to Me Pony from Buddy L/SLM, but the hoof markings on the Buddy L/SLM are different from the Simba and Gi-Go Tootsie-style pose. From the examples I have seen, Simba and Gi-Go are virtually identical (“MADE IN” on slightly raised rectangle above CHINA); Buddy L talking pony has MADE IN CHINA spread out with one word on each hoof. Simba, in turn, copied the Buddy L design for a talking pony of their own, and a few other styles (see pictures here).
My THEORY of order of events:
- Simba copied Tootsie pose
- Buddy L made their own independent copy of Tootsie pose with their own head design
- Simba copied the Buddy L head
- Gi-Go acquired the Simba molds, and continued on to make a few different heads over the years.
But at the end of the day, that’s merely speculation!
Other poses that Simba used and later appear in Gi-Go sets include the Lady Baby and Ember pose.
For the purposes of this showcase, my focus is on grouping ponies that share a common mold, rather than what ponies were sold in sets together. There will be some in-package pictures, but by and large it is a pose-based collection. For more information on Gi-Go family groupings, see The MLP Fakie Project. It hasn’t been updated recently, but has a lot of excellent information on early 2000’s and vintage fakies.
The majority of the ponies in my collection are modern release, post-2000. I believe most are Gi-Go (or a store brand made by Gi-Go) unless otherwise stated.
Gi-Go Tootsie Pose