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Bonnie D. Zacherle is an American illustrator and designer who hails from Norwood, Massachusetts and now resides in Warrenton, Virginia. She is the daughter of US Army Col. (Ret) George H. Zacherle, Jr. (d. 1992) and Betty Jane Zacherle (d. 2008) of Carlisle, PA. [1]. She is best known as the creator of the best-selling My Little Pony toy line and also created Nerfuls.

Bonnie has done some outside consulting for Bliss House (a top American Licensing Consultancy) on the graphics and product development side. [2] In 2003, she became a member of 'Women In Toys' [3]

My Little Pony

My Little Pony patent, 1983 (U.S. #D269986)

In August of 1981, Bonnie, along with fellow inventors Charles Muenchinger of Providence, RI and Steven D'Aguanno of Greenville, RI sent Hasbro a design patent for "an ornamental design for a toy animal". The patent (U.S. #D269986) was granted in August of 1983. [4] [5]

The look of the My Little Pony toys has varied over time. But, in general, the toys have had brightly colored or rainbow-colored manes and tails. Different patterns and symbols were painted on their bodies. My Little Pony was one of the most popular collectible toys of the 1980s, and was featured in a television series and a full-length animated film, My Little Pony: The Movie. [6] [7] There are many online collector websites for the popular toys as well as various collector's fairs. [8]

In 2003, the product line was relaunched with a corresponding Pony Points program, which has since expired (12/31/06). Some product packaging contained “points” that could be clipped and redeemed for exclusive merchandise by using a mail order redemption form available at the Hasbro website, MyLittlePony.com. [9]

Nerfuls

Officer Bob Nerful patent, 1987 (U.S. #D292818)

In the mid 1980s, Bonnie submitted a series of patents which would later become known as the Nerfuls. [10] Nerfuls were produced by Parker Brothers in United States, Kenner in the United Kingdom and Cromy in Argentina from 1985-87. These small toys consisted of 3-pieces - hat/hair, ball-face and plastic body. All the parts were interchangeable and the ball-face itself could bounce. [11] There were eight characters in the original series of Nerfuls. This was followed up by more Nerfuls, playsets and accessories. [12] [13]

Sources

  1. ^ Ewing Brothers: Betty J. Zacherle Obituary
  2. ^ Bliss House: Resources
  3. ^ Women In Toys Newsletter, Spring 2003
  4. ^ About.com: Inventors
  5. ^ FreePatentsOnline.com
  6. ^ Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ About.com: Inventors
  8. ^ Rhode Island News, A pony tale: 100 million sold and climbing
  9. ^ Hasbro: My Little Pony
  10. ^ FreePatentsOnline.com
  11. ^ Ghost of the Doll
  12. ^ Ghost of the Doll
  13. ^ eBay Nerfuls Review
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