Pony Parlors

Hasbro is hatching hair salons that help young girls and their moms look like their favorite ponies, reports Anne Marie Chaker in The Wall Street Journal (12/18/13). My Little Pony Parlors are actually kiosks – about 40 of them – "operating in US shopping malls and airports.” As the name would suggest, they are based on the "candy-colored My Little Pony characters … Tweens and teens, and their mothers, can buy colorful hair extensions priced at around $20 and crystal hair barrettes at about $25 and have them applied to their hair."

"They asked what kind of pony I wanted to be," says 7-year-old Chase Lovett. "I chose Pinkie Pie." Her mom "says she spent about $150 on headbands, butterfly barrettes and a hair extension. Attendants offered to put them in Chase’s hair, and after about 30 minutes, Chase emerged from a chair with curled hair, a French braid and a pink hair extension." Her mom opted for "one of the sparkly barrettes," and commented: "It’s not overly juvenile … You could have fun with it as an adult." The concept was developed in collaboration with "Los Angeles fashion designer Kidada Jones."

Kidada says the kiosks work because they don’t go heavy on My Little Pony branding and instead are simply "inspired by the brand." This is important because tweens and young teens both "want to embrace their childhood" but also "sometimes … shy away from it." In a related initiative, Hasbro last August introduced "Equestria Girl dolls, which transform the beloved ponies with candy-colored manes into human teenagers who wear above-the-knee skirts, tall boots and pony tails." Instead of feet, the dolls have "pegs that click into boots" because girls want to play with innumerable shoe options.

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