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Toys like My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop have been around for decades now, with newer generations of children embracing revamped versions of the toys and even a pony fanbase developing among adults, and Sedona parents and grandparents might be surprised to learn that one of the creative forces behind the look of the relaunched brands lives right in their neighborhood.The Gloomvanian Ghost Pony and Baby Undead Dragon are the newest additions to the independently-produced line of plush toys called Vamplets, created and designed by Sedona resident Gayle Middleton. Middleton has worked as a freelance artist on popular toy lines like My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop, along with design work in animation and merchandising.

Gayle Middleton has led a long, prestigious career as a freelance artist and designer in toys, animation and merchandising, with work connected to DC Comics, the film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and the animated “Back to the Future” series, as well as years of work with brands like Jem, Strawberry Shortcake and the aforementioned My Little Pony.

“I was actually hired years ago, probably around ’99 or 2000, to be a freelance art director for Hasbro’s fantasy sector, where they were going to take their brands and turn them into films and books, and all sorts of intellectual property,” she said. “I somehow got pulled into redesigning the world look when they finally relaunched My Little Pony around 2003.”

For the full story, see the Friday, May 30, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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