Apparently in 1987, a decision was made to draw the Little People more like actual cartoon figures and less like toys.
So, which one was better? That is a matter of opinion. Personally, I prefer the earlier drawings of the Little People that looked more like the actual toys. However, many excellent Little People stories were done in the later style and it definitely retained the spirit of the Play Family Little People and Fisher Price. Ultimately, I am thankful for any Little People books and stories that were made during their vintage era in any style.