My Little Pony is nothing new. The toys and cartoons have been around for a long time.
The show, to me at least, was pretty typical 80's fodder. Chatty, constant background music, and it seemed to lack enthusiasm. The characters all sounded bored. And with the strange fad lately of reviving 80's cartoons, the new show is...well, it's actually a lot better! Take a look at some of the characters. These are ones that were both in the old cartoon and the new cartoon.
80's era Spike the dragon didn't seem to serve much purpose, but neither did the ponies. They all mostly talked. And talked.
So maybe 80's cartoons, and toy-driven cartoons can be good. We just need people like Lauren Faust behind them!