Fairy Tails is a short-lived toyline of technicolor birds with combable hair made by Hasbro. The line is a Spin-Off of My Little Pony (Generation 1) and its genesis coincided with the introduction of Pony Friends, non-pony toys, to the My Little Pony lineup in 1986. The one thing that makes the Fairy Tails distinct from the Ponies and the Pony Friends is articulation. The Fairy Tails all have clawed feet that can open and close, allowing them to perch on their perch, perch on your finger, or, if open, just stand around.
Although the toyline kicked off hopeful with twelve toys, fictional support was limited to a few comics that were published in the My Little Pony and Friends series, which was used to promote several of the smaller toylines for girls Hasbro had out at that time. However, no crossovers ever occurred. Further characterization comes from the back-of-the-box descriptions. There were also four partially animated commercials that helped the world-building along.
The Fairy Tails franchise provides examples of:
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: All of the fairy tails come in bright, bold, and, above all, many colors. The brightest are the Tropical Tails, as the name spells out a tropical variant of the Fairy Tails. The Baby Flyers are distinguished by their muted pastel colors.
- Cartoon Creature: The fairy tails are Super-Deformed birds with hair (the packaging insists it's feathers), a unique mark, and sometimes fur that can come in a high variety of fancy colors.
- Chest Insignia: Each Fairy Tail has a unique one, much like earlier each Little Pony has a unique hip insignia and later each Pretty Mermaid has a unique fin insignia. Fuzzy Tummy Tails have a piece of fur instead, though that still came in a unique color for each in the American line-up.
- Cryptic Background Reference: The commercials and packaging have a different take each what the fairy tails are. The commercials claim "a fairy gave each lovely bird, happy ending fantasies", while the packaging seems to say that Fairy Tails are born from dreams. It's also not explained what these "happy endings" are. It can be interpreted as being their tails, given the pun, but it can also be interpreted as the birds being dream weavers or even having the ability to create good fortune.
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: Rainbows are the first thing referenced in the commercials and on the packaging.
- Expy: Of the Little Ponies, of course!
- Feather Fingers: Presumably a given for the species, but definitely in effect for the Baby Flyers, which toys can hold items between their feather fingers.
- Flat Character: With only the back-of-the-box descriptions as characterization, it depends on the exact description whether the trope is in effect or not. The Teeny Tiny Tails are all victims, however, as they didn't receive any descriptions.
- Fun Size: The Teeny Tiny Tails are very small Fairy Tails; smaller even than the Baby Flyers, which are the baby stage of regular Fairy Tails. They were sold as part of a jewelry set, which could include a headband, ring, or pendant all with a perch incorporated so the Teeny Tiny Tails could be worn along.
- Improbably Female Cast: There was exactly one male toy released in the lineup, and he's part of the Love Bird playset.
- Living Toys: The premise of the comics, in which the Fairy Tails toys come to life at night to help their owners.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Not counting variations, there's a total of 48 Fairy Tails and one sad unreleased Baby Flyer. Keep in mind that this line was around for only a little over a year.
- Peacock Girl: The Fan Tails, sort of. The Fan Tails each have a fan sitting atop their regular tail that can be opened and closed as if it's a peacock's tail. And of course, the Fan Tails are all girls.
- Punny Name: "Fairy Tails" is one of "fairy tales".
- Recurring Element: Between My Little Pony, Fairy Tails, and My Pretty Mermaids, it's rainbows and insignias.
- Shaking the Rump: Four fairy tails do this at the end of the first commercial. It's celebratory and gives an opportunity to show off their tails.
- Sugar Bowl: It's "the land of beautiful dreams".
- Theme Naming: All fairy tails have a name that ends on "Tails".