My Little Pony Smackdown: Girls vs. Bronies

June 28th, 2012

My Little Pony galloped into the world in 1983 on a cloud of pink and purple sparkles, bent on winning the hearts of little girls. Set to a saccharine jingle, commercials showed pigtailed girls admiring these pastel-colored vinyl toy horses, unicorns, and pegasus, lovingly brushing their unnatural neon manes. And love them girls did.

Now, nearly 30 year later, My Little Pony mania has exploded again. But this time, the main drivers of the craze are teenage boys and 20-something men. Known as “bronies,” these bros fell under the Pony spell thanks to a clever new cartoon, “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic,” which airs on children-centered digital cable channel The Hub.

Top: Shaun, a.k.a. Sethisto Scootaloo (left) and Summer Hayes (right) appreciate My Little Pony in completely different ways. Above: Toys at the My Little Pony Fair.

Top: Shaun, a.k.a. Sethisto Scootaloo (left) and Summer Hayes (right) appreciate My Little Pony in completely different ways. Above: Toys at the My Little Pony Fair.

Soon after the show was launched in 2010, My Little Pony references sprang up all over the Internet, particularly on fan sites for anime, comics, and video games. “Friendship Is Magic” fan conventions began to pop up last year, as bronies went wild making custom fan art, from online images tweaked in Photoshop to handmade plush toys. The idea for a documentary about BronyCon—a major brony convention taking place this weekend in Seacaucus, New Jersey—raised nearly $350,000 through PayPal donations and Kickstarter, an online platform that helps artists fund their projects. As of today, the BronyCon documentary is the second highest-funded film on Kickstarter ever.

All of this has more than a few people scratching their heads. But perhaps the most confused are hard-core My Little Pony collectors—largely women in their 20s and 30s—who first developed a starry-eyed mane-combing devotion to the toys back in the ’80s. As many of these women have held onto their childhood treasures for decades, longtime Pony devotees tend to bristle at the fact that only when young men started making noise about My Little Pony two years ago, the world began paying attention.

Rocker Andrew W.K. bridges the gap between bronies and '80s nostalgia junkies.

Rocker Andrew W.K. bridges the gap between bronies and ’80s nostalgia junkies.

“It was just so bizarre,” says Summer Hayes, the 30-year-old author of six My Little Pony collecting guides. “Here I’ve been a lifelong Pony fan, and all of a sudden this ‘Friendship Is Magic’ show comes out, and it’s like, what? Where do these people come from and why?

“I know a lot of My Little Pony collectors who don’t care for the bronies,” says Hayes, who lives in Indiana and helps run the only annual U.S. collectors convention, My Little Pony Fair. “They feel that they put so much time and effort into this niche collecting community, and then all of a sudden bronies come out and start getting all this attention. And it’s like, hey, well, what about us? We’ve been here forever, and nobody seemed to care. But now that there are all these guys in their 20s that are crazy about it, it’s suddenly important and it means something.”

The logo for the 2012 My Little Pony Fair recalls vintage '80s advertising.

The logo for the 2012 My Little Pony Fair recalls vintage ’80s advertising.

Despite openly airing her friends’ frustration, Hayes herself feels no animosity toward the bronies. “To the bronies, I say, I think My Little Pony is awesome, so more power to you,” Hayes says. “I love Ponies. You love Ponies. It’s all good.”

“Now that there are all these guys in their 20s that are crazy about My Little Pony, it’s suddenly important.”

Also, Hayes says she gets why people love the “Friendship Is Magic” cartoon, which is tied to the fourth generation of the Hasbro toys, and she appreciates its strong female Pony personalities, as reimagined by Lauren Faust, known for her work on “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.”

The new cartoon follows six My Little Pony friends: Twilight Sparkle, an earnest, bookish unicorn; Rainbow Dash, a feisty tomboy pegasus; Rarity, a haughty, girly unicorn; Pinkie Pie, a buoyant party-loving “earth pony”; Fluttershy, a bashful, animal-loving pegasus; and the hard-working cowgirl earth pony called Applejack, a character who was in the original first generation Pony line.

The new cartoon, "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic," focuses on Twilight Sparkle (center) and (clockwise from left) Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Fluttershy.

The new cartoon, “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic,” focuses on Twilight Sparkle (center) and (clockwise from left) Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Fluttershy.

As much as she likes it, Hayes still can’t get her brain around why teenage boys, specifically, are so drawn to it. So we asked Shaun, a 24-year-old brony who makes a living running his “Friendship Is Magic” fan blog Equestria Daily from Arizona, to explain in an email interview.

Shaun says he first became intrigued by My Little Pony when he saw “Friendship Is Magic” memes popping up all over image-driven sites populated by comics and gaming geeks. Then, he watched the show and became enamored with the look of the animation, the characters, and the references to mythology, and so was inspired to create his fan blog.

Some bronies—who, despite the “bro + pony” origins of their name, can be male or female—even take the ideas presented in the show to another level, Shaun explains. “They turn it into a creed to live by, filled with love and tolerance.” Well, sure, why not?

Some bronies, as this brony convention poster shows, take the message of "Friendship Is Magic" very seriously.

Some bronies, as this brony convention poster shows, take the message of “Friendship Is Magic” very seriously.

Equestria Daily gets between 80,000 and 100,000 unique page views a day and makes enough money through Google ads to sustain itself. The blog is filled with fan-generated tributes to “Friendship Is Magic,” from images and animations to songs and games, often “mashing up” the fourth generation My Little Ponies with other pop-culture phenomena like “Mad Men” or “Harry Potter.”

“We only get 22 minutes of Pony a week when it’s actually in season, so the custom stuff helps drive it forward between episodes,” Shaun explains. “Crossing it over with other geek-culture things is a good way to get noticed and spread it beyond the current fandom.“

A fan-generated "mash-up" from the Equestria Daily blog spoofs "Mad Men."

A fan-generated “mash-up” from the Equestria Daily blog spoofs “Mad Men.”

Most bronies, Shaun says, have zero interest in the Ponies that came before “Friendship Is Magic,” the first three generations of the toy, or the two girly My Little Pony cartoon series that aired in the ’80s and ’90s.

“A good majority of bronies don’t have anything to do with the older stuff,” says Shaun, who goes by the Pony name Sethisto Scootaloo online. “‘Friendship is Magic’ essentially made Ponies ‘cool.’ Lauren Faust wanted to make something everyone could enjoy, and did an amazing job of it. It’s not too surprising that kids of both genders would be into it. I’ve always compared ‘Friendship Is Magic’ to a Pixar movie: It’s filled with stuff only a more mature viewer would get, but still keeps it carefree and fun.”

But why do bronies get so much attention? Shaun has some ideas. “Traditional media sites love reporting on the armada of young adults who can’t get enough of sparkly unicorns and rainbows. They rarely dig into the actual show, and a lot of them actually link to or play scenes from the ’80s cartoon, which isn’t very popular among us. Still, brony culture does grow at an astounding rate. It’s hard to go anywhere on the Internet without at least catching a glance at some Pony stuff.”

The term "bronies," short for "bros who love Ponies," can be used to describe female fans of "Friendship Is Magic." But most of them are boys and men.

The term “bronies,” short for “bros who love Ponies,” can be used to describe female fans of “Friendship Is Magic.” But most of them are boys and men.

While Shaun and other bronies are uninterested in the Ponies’ origins that first inspired Hayes and other longtime collectors, rocker and motivational speaker Andrew W.K., who’s 33, seems to bridge the divide. In an interview with Dan Solomon at MTV Hive, Andrew W.K. talked about why he will be speaking at Canterlot Gardens, a brony convention happening in Strongsville, Ohio, September 28-30, where he will discuss the party philosophy of Pinkie Pie.

“I remember quite clearly when My Little Pony first came on the scene,” he says. “I was always, always really into the Ponies because, one, they had soft plastic skin. They had chubby feet — their legs get broader and broader toward the base, which I imagine gives them more traction for when they gallop or trot. And they had really nice, fragrant hair. It was mostly girls who liked it, so I was able to spend a lot of time playing with very beautiful girls, some of whom were kind enough to give me their Ponies, or lend them to me for extended periods of time.”

This 1985 Butterick pattern with My Little Pony transfer was posted on Patternpalooza's Flickr. Right, unearthed this vintage French ad.

This 1985 Butterick pattern with My Little Pony transfer was posted on Patternpalooza’s Flickr. Right, unearthed this vintage French ad.

Of course, it’s likely that multitudes of boys, like Andrew W.K., grew up secretly loving the original ’80s My Little Pony toys.

“They are marketed to girls; you can’t deny that, with the pinks and the purples, the babies and the bottles,” Hayes says. “That’s what little girls are supposed to like, I guess. But then again, they’re just a fun toy.”

At age 2 in 1984, Hayes received her first My Little Pony, and became obsessed. By the time the first generation of Ponies were out of production, she had amassed about 400 Ponies, which lined her childhood bedroom walls. She also had all the play sets, which she would use to build a “whole Pony city.” And as she became a teenager, she put it away but still kept it all.

Summer Hayes in a family snapshot with her My Little Pony collection, 1987.

Summer Hayes in a family snapshot with her My Little Pony collection, 1987.

“Growing up, I had a boy cousin, the same age as me,” she says, “and I remember being with him at my grandmother’s house when we were little. I, of course, had Ponies because that was my thing. So we played with them together, underneath the trees and in the pool. It’s funny because he would make He-Man and his friends ride the Ponies. He’d be like, ‘Whoa, Masters of the Universe doesn’t really have enough horses for guys to ride on, so we’re going to put them on an army of Ponies and charge to Castle Grayskull.’ I don’t see anything wrong with it. I played with his Hot Wheels when I was a kid, and nobody said anything about that.”

The changes My Little Pony has gone through, starting with the first generation in the top left corner to the anime-style G3.5 in the bottom right. Images via Summer Hayes.

The changes My Little Pony has gone through, starting with the first generation in the top left corner to the anime-style G3.5 in the bottom right. Images via Summer Hayes.

Those iconic chubby and doe-eyed Ponies made in the United States from 1983 to 1992 are known to collectors as the first generation, or G1. Under the Kenner imprint, Hasbro reintroduced My Little Ponies with strange new skinny bodies in 1997, and this second generation is unpopular with most collectors, Hayes says.

The third generation, debuting in 2003, was closer to the classic My Little Pony mold. Then in 2009, Hasbro revamped the Ponies again producing only the “Core Seven” characters with a more anime look, a line collectors dismiss as G3.5. But when “Friendship Is Magic” was launched in 2010, the new fourth generation’s anime-style grew more accepted. Hayes has ’em all. “I’m a completist, and I really enjoy all Ponies. I practice all-generation appreciation.”

This rare vintage My Little Pony called Rapunzel was only available through mail order in the 1980s, and Hasbro didn't make enough to meet the demand. Image via Summer Hayes.

This rare vintage My Little Pony called Rapunzel was only available through mail order in the 1980s, and Hasbro didn’t make enough to meet the demand. Image via Summer Hayes.

One might think that a collection of mass-produced and widely distributed plastic toys would be relatively easy to complete. But Hasbro produced limited-edition mail-order Ponies, like the ’80s long-tailed Rapunzel Pony, which now goes for as much as $800. And outside of the 600 U.S.-issued Ponies, Hasbro has licensed My Little Pony molds to toy companies all over the world.

“Unknown Ponies keep showing up,” Hayes says. “As recently as six months ago, collectors discovered a whole separate line of Ponies that were produced in Venezuela that we never knew about. Someone found a stash of mint-in-box ’80s Venezuelan Ponies, and of course, they went on eBay and sold them to collectors. We don’t know everything. I’m sure we’ll get to a point where there’s no new information, but it seems like every couple of years we find a new country or a new variation.”

Summer Hayes holds My Pretty Pony, the 1981 predecessor to My Little Pony, in her Pony Room.

Summer Hayes holds My Pretty Pony, the 1981 predecessor to My Little Pony, in her Pony Room.

Now Hayes has more than 2,000 Ponies and their accessories, which are showcased in their own “Pony Room” at the home she shares with her Star Wars collector husband and their 17-month-old son. Her toddler, no surprise, doesn’t seem to know these toys are meant for girls.

“My gosh, he loves them!” Hayes says. “But I don’t let him go into the Pony Room. Isn’t that sad? I took him in there once. And he’s at that age now where he’s like, ‘Ahh!’ and he’ll just run to the shelves and try to clear them off in one handful, you know, to get all the Ponies on the floor. I’m like, ‘Mmm, this isn’t going to work for me. This Pony goes here, and this one goes here.’

“But I do have a lot of extra Ponies,” she continues, “things that I’ll pick up at yard sales and shops. Even if I have the Pony, I usually buy them to trade with other collectors for accessories or things I might need. So I’ll get those out for him. He thinks they’re pretty great.”

A Portland-area brony flaunts his collection of the current, fourth generation of My Little Pony. Image by Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian

A Portland-area brony flaunts his collection of the current, fourth generation of My Little Pony. Image by Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian.

It’s not especially shocking that little boys like miniature horses, or all toddlers are drawn to pink and purple sparkly things. Unfortunately, according to Shaun, bronies aren’t breaking down the gender barriers much further.

“Traditional media sites love reporting on the armada of young adults who can’t get enough of sparkly unicorns and rainbows.”

“I think brony culture is making specifically My Little Pony more acceptable, not so much the other stuff,” he says. “Kids’ shows marketed toward girls aren’t too popular among bronies when they pop up on the official Hub or My Little Pony social-media pages.”

Indeed, bronies are fierce in their devotion to the show, connecting in real life at conventions, the oldest of which is only two years old. This year, nearly a dozen of these brony conventions are scheduled to take place all over the United States and Europe. The much-ballyhooed BronyCon happening this weekend in New Jersey will feature series creator Lauren Faust; John de Lancie, who played “Star Trek’s” Q; and popular “Friendship Is Magic” voice actors like Tara Strong. With the help of those Kickstarter funds, this BronyCon will be documented on film for ages to come.

Applejack, shown in her first-generation incarnation, is the only original My Little Pony to become a main character in "Friendship Is Magic." Image via Summer Hayes.

Applejack, shown in her first-generation incarnation, is the only original My Little Pony to become a main character in “Friendship Is Magic.” Image via Summer Hayes.

By contrast, there are exactly two major My Little Pony collecting conventions. Hayes’ My Little Pony Fair, which is in its ninth year, and its sister convention, UK PonyCon. Even so, the Pony collectors beat the bronies to the big screen: Hayes and other old-school Pony collectors were featured in the 2011 documentary, “My Little Obsession,” which, Hayes says, screened at several brony events last year.

And Hayes has noticed the registration for this year’s My Little Pony Fair, happening July 7 and 8 in Orlando, Florida, has shot up from around 350 to about 450—in all likelihood thanks to the brony movement. Hayes says she welcomes all Pony lovers, but also wonders what the bronies, most of whom don’t collect the Hasbro toys, will bring to the collectors’ table.

“I’m really anxious to see how it will turn out this year,” she says. “Last year, when we had the Fair in Rhode Island, we did get several bronies, but they seemed to be the ones who were already interested in Ponies before this trend hit. These new bronies, the ones that have emerged just last year, they’re really into the show. I don’t know what they’re expecting from the My Little Pony Fair. I would hope that the bronies that are coming to the convention do have an appreciation for the toys. Otherwise I don’t know why they’re there.”

This smaller Blind Bag version of Twilight Sparkle is more appealing to bronies: She looks more like the cartoon character, and you don't have to comb her hair.

This smaller Blind Bag version of Twilight Sparkle is more appealing to bronies: She looks more like the cartoon character, and you don’t have to comb her hair.

Shaun says he does buy smaller plastic Hasbro Ponies known as Blind Bags, because they “come with molded hair that is more true to the cartoon look. I never was into the ones that require brushing. The more show-accurate out of the box, the better.”

So perhaps this tidbit is drawing bronies to the My Little Pony Fair: Hasbro representatives, as usual, will be there, and they’ll be bringing a limited-edition fourth-generation Pony, made specially for the event, with them. The same Pony will be available at UK PonyCon in October.

However, bronies are more likely to collect elaborate fan-made custom plush toys, which are unlike anything Hasbro produces and sell for hundreds of dollars each on eBay. Hayes says customization, the practice of repainting a traditional vinyl Pony and re-rooting its hair to make your own character, has long been a part of My Little Pony fandom, but the bronies have taken it to the next level with their plush toys and memes.

An example of a fan-made plush toy of Pinkie Pie, currently for sale on eBay.

An example of a fan-made plush toy of Pinkie Pie, currently for sale on eBay.

While Hayes and her collector pals may seem dwarfed by the enormity of the brony movement, as an unstoppable viral force, they are actually a part of a much larger pop-culture phenomenon: Gen-Xers who are obsessed their own childhoods. Hayes’ other friends collect Star Wars, He-Man: Masters of the Universe, and Strawberry Shortcake.

“The ’80s were, like, the best time to be a kid, ever, because everything was all about kids,” Hayes says. “I have a 17-month-old, so I’m out looking at the toys today. There are some okay toys, but to me, these are nothing compared to what we had.”

Rainbelle, a custom Pony seen at the My Little Pony Fair. A fan repainted her and rerooted her hair.

Rainbelle, a custom Pony seen at the My Little Pony Fair. A fan repainted her and rerooted her hair.

But even if you still have your first-generation Ponies—and they’re not totally beat up—it doesn’t mean you’ll get big bucks for them. “I see people at flea markets, who are like, ‘I have this Pony; I’m going to put $20 on it,’” Hayes says. “And it’s a Peachy, which is probably one of the most common Ponies ever. You might be lucky to get 2 bucks out of it. It’s best to do the research before you go slap a crazy price tag on it.”

And those ’80s Ponies are losing their limelight, as the decades-long My Little Pony collectors struggle to hold on to their identity in a world where the bronies seem to be taking over, driving the Ponies into their future.

A poster for last year's BronyCon, featuring Shaun from Equestria Daily. It was designed by Timon1771, an animator at

A googly-eyed pegasus appeared as an extra in Episode 1, and became a brony favorite they dubbed Derpy Hooves. She dominates a poster for last year’s BronyCon, designed by Timon1771 of

“A couple weeks ago, I was in Ohio with my friend Mary, who also likes to collect Ponies,” Hayes says. “We were in line at an Old Navy, and she was explaining to her husband about one of the events at the Pony Fair. The cashier by the counter, who was wearing a Star Wars shirt, goes, ‘Are you a brony?’ It was just really random, like, ‘Wow, a cashier at Old Navy knows what a brony is.’ That is wild. But Mary was like, ‘No, I’m not a brony. I’m a collector.’”

50 comments so far

  1. My little derp Says:

    I have no problem with people liking the new pony show, but I have a problem with the attitudes of some of these “Bronies” who claim to like a show that encourages being friendly. Hate message from them about classic MLP are very annoying. If they are too ashamed of liking a show that was meant for little girls that they are driven to go out of their way to insult the origins of their fetish, then they don’t deserve to be pony fans. The pony porn is another issue I have, because this is a show aimed at children. I don’t care what they draw, but I care that and where they post it. Not all of them are like this, but those that are give all pony fans, new and old, a bad name.

  2. Snappy Says:

    Hey I’m 33 and a guy and love the new series but in the 80s I liked that old cartoon too though I preferred MoonDreamers , Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite. I loved these alongside He-Man, She-Ra, Jem, Transformers, Thundercats, Scooby-Doo, Flintstones, Jetsons, GI Joe, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and Care Bears. I guess I didn’t get socially conditioned to one or the other. I hope that fan bases of both can come together in harmony. For too many years it has been cool and ok for girls to like boy cartoons but those of us guys that liked girl cartoons kind of had to live in shame or something. I love what I love, always will and hope my kids, when I have them, get to experience all of that. They would get both MLPs and HeMan, Rainbow Brite and Transformers. Looney Tunes as well.

    Now about the other girl cartoons and targeted programs like Hannah Montanna or the Strawberry Shortcake update, well there seems to be very little care or craft going into them. Not the same care that goes into the current My Little Pony, not the sharpness and just pure genius in it. But also not the art and craft that went into the old My Little Pony, and the overwhelming wow factors inherent in it that captured kids minds.

  3. aerieness Says:

    See, I agree and I don’t. I guess I don’t like generalizing people, though I see where you’re coming from. I had a few ponies growing up, and hit the pony train some time in G3, yet, it never really took off for me, I was a kid, I didn’t have money to invest in my own collection and my parents weren’t going to indulge me with ANOTHER collection. When Friendship is magic was released, I fell head over heals. I love the show, the art, and the new generation of toys. Now that I have the space, and the disposable income, I decided to collect My Little Ponies like I always wanted. Yet, I stick to G4. There’s already too many G1-G3 to catch up. I’m a completionist, and knew I could never have them all. G4 was then my outlet for pony appreciation. I do consider myself a brony, but I’m also a collector. To the “pony porn”, older gen haters, etc, those aren’t real bronies. Those are kids into a fad. It’s normal. Ponies are cool now, give it time and these people will disappear. There’s a meme on the Internet called Rule 34: If it exists, there’s porn of it. Unfortunately with something becoming so mainstream, there will be more creepy things unearthed. I think collectors should embrace bronies as they secured the next generation of toys! They might be a little invasive, but it won’t last forever, trust me. The shady things will pass when it stops being funny to them.

  4. Grazianimator Says:

    I haven’t seen the old MLP show in a while, but I do remember it being incredibly boring–and it was supposedly aimed at me, a little girl in the ’80s. Faust’s show, by contrast, is not only well-designed and well-produced, it’s well WRITTEN. It’s interesting! It’s character relationships and plot, not tea parties ringing with brainless giggles. It’s something I’d want my kids to watch (boy or girl).

    I’ll have to watch the old stuff again to see if my memory serves, but remember this: entertainment in the ’80s is not the same as it is today. Generally, entertainment that is 4-quadrant (i.e. aimed at a general audience) does better than anything one- or two-quadrant (i.e. aimed at boys/girls of a specific age group). The new MLP wound up being 4-quadrant simply because it contains universal characters and well-executed stories. The old MLP was single-quadrant, and, by the way, made by [mostly] dudes.

    Mindless cuteness has its place, but not on my TV, thanks.

  5. Dave Says:

    “…what about us? We’ve been here forever, and nobody seemed to care.”

    Hm. Sounds like that Hayes gal is…jealous.

  6. Sakky Says:

    Wow, great article! This is really insightful and helpful when trying to explain to people why suddenly their are ponies EVERYWHERE. A lot of people I talk to don’t even realize that it’s a recent reboot of the series, they just seem to think the 80s are invading for some strange reason. :P

    I am also a collector (though not of ponies, Sailormoon is my childhood obsession factor) so I can relate a bunch of what Summer says. Some of the same thing is happening in our fandom as the manga is revived and new fans learn about the series and old fans rekindle their love for it (though not nearly to the extent of MLPFiM).

    I can see how people who have been in a fandom for a long time might feel a bit resentful towards newer fans ‘taking over’ in a way, but no matter what the series is, more attention to it is a good thing! After all, it probably means more merch to collect. ^__^ Old fans can try to encourage the new fans to learn about the history of the series, but also understand that it just might not have the same catch as the new stuff.

    I’m a new fan to ponies. I am 28, but I don’t have any specific memories of playing with or having ponies as a kid, though I probably did, they weren’t a central part of my play. But I really like the new series! I just bought my very first pony figure ever this weekend. Who knows where I will go from here? (Though my husband insists ONE pony is enough. :P)

    Happy collecting to collectors and bronies alike!

  7. Goblin Scribe Says:

    I’m a brony, and I’ve never cared for the older generations because the art style seems less pleasant. Haven’t actually watched any episodes, but I’ve heard they’re a little…predictable? Anyways, I don’t want people to think I’m a fan of the old versions, because that simply isn’t true. I like shows that are clever, compelling and funny. Friendship is Magic pulls that off. The older generations? Debatable, but not by me.
    Anyways, in response to My Little Derp, most bronies don’t send hatemail, and most bronies aren’t associated with what we call ‘clopfic’. But this is the internet, and the noisy get noticed a lot more easily.

  8. Sparkledash Says:

    This was a really good article really insideful and really fair
    i am a 22 Year old and i am a Brony since 10 Months and i also have been to a Brony Meetup
    it really is an interesting Phenomenon which i really like being part of even though i am not the kind of guy who likes to follow the crowd
    i also take the lessons of this show to heart because i think these are lessons that notjust kids should learn but also grown ups and the show in general is also awesome be it the jokes the action or the awesome soundtrack by Daniel Ingram
    also about the bad Bronies out there
    its true there are some but every other fandom out there has them i just tolerate them and i mean i really tolerate them
    so to all the Bronies out there i just say what Tara Strong (VA of Twilight Sparkle) once said
    “don’t listen to haters or negative people because they are not TWILIGHTLICIOUS”
    take care Bronies ;)

  9. SuperGiantRobot Says:

    I personally find the term ‘brony’ ridiculous. I am a fan of the show. That’s all. Becoming a fan did not make me ‘love and tolerate’ any more than I used to, which -admittedly- isn’t very much. This fandom HAS however brought out a few skills I was unaware of: specifically I have some skill at fanfic writing, something I would have – and did – considered a combination of embarrassing and pointless.

    My first episode was Sonic Rainboom. The opening did it for me. ‘Cheering training’ made me smile all day. Do you have any idea how good that can feel?

    I have read the stories. As a fanfic author (Yes, I’m THAT SuperGiantRobot) I have always understood that even though I am moderately popular there are better than me and I have read stories that have shown me this, including more than a couple that have reduced me to tears:—The-Collection-Of-My-Centerpiece

    I have heard the music. A fair amount of it is ‘flavor of the week’-ish but there’s a lot of stuff out there that is inventive and worth keeping. I have heard actual radio-plays on the subject. Fallout Equestria is one radio play that I particularly look forward to, and one that has been fleshed-out to such a degree that it actually has commercials for the in-story background radio banter:

    I have seen the sights. Again, inventiveness abounds. Again, yes, a lot of it is ‘flavor of the week’ but a lot more of it is astounding:

    As for some of the…less savory aspects – the sniping, the porn, et al – I simply don’t care. It’s the equivalent of walking into someone’s fight and being told to choose a side. The easiest and least damaging thing to do is to simply leave.

    No, my primary interest is in the things about this fandom that impress me.

    And that’s a lot.

  10. TimeBaby Says:

    I got into the “brony” scene relatively recently, as I’ve been transitioning out of video game collecting. I watched FIM on a whim, and completely fell in love with the animation, writing, and the depth of the characters (at least for a kids’ show). I’m now collecting the G4 toys, which has been really liberating in a way. As a kid in the ’80s, I was always equally interested in toys marketed to girls and boys, but my conservative religious parents weren’t into the idea of their son having both G.I. Joe and Rainbow Brite (or MLP) toys. I’d like to think that brony culture will help change those attitudes at least a little, but that’s probably naive.

    Whether I keep collecting MLP after the FIM fad dies down depends on how good future toys/shows are. For now I’m just happy that the show and toys have rekindled my interest in drawing and writing, which was getting eaten up by adult responsibilities.

  11. Umandsf Says:

    I was never a fan of the older series and have become a big fan of the current one, but it’s articles like this that bring out my own version of completionist and always makes me want to watch the older stuff. I may or may not find it interesting, but I’m always one to learn anything I can about something and it’d be nice to learn the older roots of this franchise and maybe better understand how it came to be today.

  12. Spekkio Says:

    From the article:

    “They feel that they put so much time and effort into this niche collecting community, and then all of a sudden bronies come out and start getting all this attention. And it’s like, hey, well, what about us? We’ve been here forever, and nobody seemed to care. But now that there are all these guys in their 20s that are crazy about it, it’s suddenly important and it means something.”

    Transformers fans (incidentally, also a Hasbro property) felt the same way when the Michael Bay movies came out. We stuck with TFs the whole time, through good toys (Masterpiece Optimus Prime, Alternators) and bad toys (Armada Sideswipe, most of the Energon Autobot deluxes). We watched all the cartoons (well, OK, I stopped watching the Energon series…it was really bad) and fought over major issues like “trukk not monkey” and “RiR/FiB / RiB/FiB.” We knew the original animated movie backwards and forwards and – without intending to – memorized the lyrics to Weird Al Yankovic’s “Dare to Be Stupid.”

    Then Michael Bay shows up…I’m not going to say he ruined anything, because I think the movies reinvigorated the franchise, produced some cool toys, and made a lot of the stuff we now enjoy possible. Many claimed that Michael Bay was ruining our childhoods, but I think that’s going way overboard. But it’s still like, “Oh, you think you’re a big Transformers fan? What’s your oldest toy? Oh, 2007, huh? I go back to 1984, baby.”

  13. Shotdown Says:

    A well written article; unusually fair for things that involve bronies. Anyway, I can certainly see why pony collectors would be annoyed by bronies, I imagine that our fandom seems very much like a perversion of their show that they’ve loved so dearly for so long. It almost seems unfair, really, that they are almost forced to be subjected to the creative minds of the bronies, who, in all reality, create some rather…obscene things. However, the brony phenomenon certainly isn’t all bad, and many of them (including myself) take the phrase “Love and Tolerance” seriously enough to at least attempt to shape our lives around it, even though the phrase was originally used to bat away trolls on 4chan. You’ll have to excuse me if I sound as though I attempt to live in some sort of wonderland, but MLP:FIM brings back ideals from our childhood that many adults could use a refresher course on, and for that reason, I love the show and everything that it represents. I apologize for the wall of text that this comment managed to turn itself into.

  14. Acton Says:

    I would take issue that male collectors of the original My Little Pony did not exist. Before Friendship is Magic, I was talking to one over my, as a grown man, liking and collecting Hello Kitty and Sanrio items. He admitted he collected My Little Pony item since the 1980’s and keeps a collect in his Pastor’s office. and know the felling of awkwardness.

    As fro Bronies my guess why some are not interested in older Pony items is both a cultural issue with the millennial generation, they relate only social groups and do not venture outside side them, and the 1980’s show was so0 bad.

  15. Kobrakin Says:

    I am one of the bronies that will be attending the MLP Fair in Orlando this year. I won’t lie, my primary motivation is a chance to get this year’s Fair Exclusive Pony, but I am also very interested in learning more about the world of MLP collecting. I have an appreciation for any franchise that has stood the test of time, and even though I didn’t play with ponies when I was younger, they still bring back fond memories of the golden age of toys.

    I can also understand why collectors would feel a bit resentful of bronies; after all, they’ve been passionately dedicated to the MLP franchise for years, only to have the sudden flash flood of rookie fans seemingly overshadow them. Well, I for one salute the passion of collectors, and I think they have probably played a significant role in keeping My Little Pony alive and kicking for so long. I am of course no expert on the matter, but I imagine that if there was not such a thriving collector market, Hasbro might have been less inclined to attempt the revival of the franchise that gave us Friendship is Magic!

    So, from a brony, to collectors: thanks! You guys have been loving ponies way longer than we have, and even if the brony bubble eventually pops (although I hope it doesn’t!), I have no doubt you’ll all still be there, reminding Hasbro that you don’t need to be a kid to love toys. :)

  16. Hyou KitztaBane Says:

    I do like Friendship is Magic but I am a hard-core collector of 80s ponies and have a serious obsession with the very first My Little Pony TV Special: Rescue at Midnight Castle.
    To me, Friendship is Magic will never compare to that. I mean, Tirac is so evil and gorgeous. The animation is beautiful and sends shivers down my spine, as does the underlying music track. I was confused when bronies came into the picture, usually these people would seem to be the type to scoff and hate on that sort of thing. It’s like they’re being brainwashed. I know eventually the craze will die down, but I’m hoping that the true fans will stay, add to our family.

    Also, I cannot stand when these bronies ridicule the G1 cartoon. Sure, it’s aimed at little girls, but there’s more action than in FiM.

  17. Derek Says:

    There seems to be a bit of a deviation here…

    How much are these older generation fans into the original cartoons? There’s a difference between being die hard toy collectors, and fans of a well made show.

    The primary thing that the brony fandom is centered around is the actual SHOW. We love the cartoon, we love the characters and how they act, we love the environments, the mythology, the lore, and the world, which is all the primary driving force for most of the artwork and fan fiction. We don’t like the show because “ponies!”, in fact it was the show that made us fall in love with “ponies!”

    It’s just something odd that I found in this article. It’s a good read, certainly, and I have deep respect for the toy collectors from decades ago. But it isn’t much of a comparison if the motives are different, aside from both groups liking something that happens to be related to technicolor ponies.

    Some of us may be toy collectors, but we’re collecting in the spirit of our fandom for the show, I’m just wondering how much of it is the same for these older generation fans.

  18. Mr Moon Says:

    I my self only watch the show since I don’t have money to buy merchandise, I personally would rather buy plushies or t-shirts rather than the plastic ponies but the show is still great I might not have seen the older shows and probably never will but I also said that about “Doctor who” but recently watched a few of the episodes from the first season so I may never know but anyway I would just like to say I liked the article so thank you Lisa Hix for making my day even better.

  19. Party Favors Says:

    I may have gotten into MLP via G4, but I watched some of the original show out of curiosity, and I don’t see why so many bronies hate it. It’s a decent show, even if it is very 80s.

  20. Anon Says:

    To the people complaining about mlp porn, whilst there is more of the newer and more popular series, there is still a lot of porn of the older generations. It’s just a fact of the internet, some of your number perverted the series long before bronies came along.

  21. Dan Says:

    Not all bronies hate the old shows and ponies.

    They all have their own charm. G1 had some awesome stories with almost Lovecraftian villains. (Rescue at Midnight Castle, Somnambula, Return of Tambelon, Ghost of Paradise Estate)

    Pony Tales is a cute slice-of-life show.

    G3… It’s cute and entertaining enough when you’re bored (or drunk). I like the G3 characters. Particularly in FIM crossovers.

  22. The Mineff Says:

    Well am a typical guy I thought MLP Was girly and I was teasing my friend who was a fan of the first generation of MLP but then I got a bit hook first on the MLP FiM then on the first generation considering it was kind of like the GIJoes I watched as a kid, Yes it is for little girls but it was good for something back then it had a story about good and evil, yes I hated the singing but it is something I’ve never been into for any of the shows as for the Toys that came with it, I have grab bags of MLP FiM with different Chars that I have on my dashboard. I have respect for the MLP Collectors out there who spend their time searching it is like me collecting horror movies from around the world.

    This is a great article and even if MLP Fad dies I will still be here for I’ve been pulled into this heard we now call Bronies. P.S. Patches is the best Pony of them all (MLP:Tales)

  23. OneBrokePony Says:

    This was a pretty good article. It’s been about a year since My Little Pony really started catching my attention. I’m a brony (pegasister if you like, but I don’t mind brony). I’m almost old enough to have grown up with ponies, but I didn’t. I wasn’t unaware of them, but I didn’t have any or watch their shows. FiM– and my need to know everything about anything I’m interested in– caused me to go back and discover the older shows and take a look at the older toys. There are things to like about the older gens, and I’ve developed a fondness for My Little Pony Tales as well.
    Anyway, I get that older collectors would get a bit frustrated with the attention bronies get, I know why we get the attention, but I get that people could be annoyed by the press acting as if the entire “older fans of the franchise” thing is brand new when they’ve been here since the start.
    Hopefully, the bronies and the collectors will be able to come together, because I’d like for us all to be friends.

    Also, props to Summer Hayes for having the original Pretty Pony. I’ve heard it’s hard to find those in good condition.

  24. pony Says:

    I’ve only seen the old MLPs a few times. It was boring, the acting was wooden, and none of the characters seem to have any personality. I was interested in FiM because I thought the art style was great–it was bright and colorful. The ponies themselves looked very cute. I watched a few episodes. I’ll admit the first two FiM episodes didn’t get me hooked on the show because it was cheesy, but the episodes after those were really amazing. All of the characters in FiM, even the background ones, have more character than all the older MLP characters.

    And face it, FiM is extremely better than all the older MLPs, which is why it has the most attention, and why there is a subculture of “bronies”.

  25. ProfessorOats Says:

    As far as I know, most bronies who have seen G1 don’t hate it. It’s just not really our thing, though we do appreciate the level of action and want more of that in FiM. We really only hate G3, especially Newborn Cuties (those things were seriously creepy)

    That does suck that older fans only get 2 conventions. I’d hope you guys would feel welcome at some of the newer ones. I’m sure some bronies would love to hear tips on styling the toys’ hair and discussing some of the cooler aspects of G1

  26. Bethany Says:

    Despite being a girl, when I was a kid I loathed My Little Pony with a fiery passion. (Mind you, I hated *anything* pink and girly…) But in October of last year, I started stumbling on more and more random pictures that actually made me laugh, and talk of how good the show was, and encouragement to just give it a go and see for yourself.

    …I was laughing in disbelief as I searched for the first episode on Youtube. I couldn’t believe what I was doing. Me, watching My Little Pony? Pfft, get real.

    But it was *good*. It was cute, yes, but it was actually *good*. I laughed at the funny parts and d’awwwed at the adorable shy pony who reminded me so much of myself and I gasped at the exciting (and kinda scary) reveal of the evil villain. The credits rolled. It was a two-parter… I just *had* to find out what happened. So I loaded the next episode. And then another, and another. I was shocked at just how much I genuinely enjoyed the show. And before I knew it, I’d watched 30 episodes.

    Now, nine months later, I’m obsessed. I’ve collected 17 different pony toys, made a plushie, bought a T-shirt, ordered some pony bed sheets, decked out all of my devices with pony wallpaper, saving up for a plane ticket to the next pony convention and a cosplay to wear, converted at least five friends, and probably a ton more stuff that I can’t remember off the top of my head. I frickin’ love ponies. :D

  27. Tyler Henderson Says:

    I’m a brony. I own several MLP:FiM items. I did honestly try to watch the older generation but I just can’t see why people liked it but that doesn’t mean I have any problem with them, quite the contrary actually. I think you should always persue the things that you enjoy even if others don’t understand.

    I was in a flea market the other day and saw quite a few of old generation ponies. I’m sure several years from now, I’ll walk into one and see generation four toys and I’ll squeal with joy like I’m sure many collectors of old generations do today.

  28. PinkiePiePony Says:

    Before I became a Brony AND a collector, I was a just a collector. I started liking MLP when G3 came out. I tried watching the older show. It was cute, but it didn’t really catch my interest. When FIM came out, I liked it better than the Gens before. When I found out about Bronies, I didn’t think it was weird at all. Why can’t we all just be friends? I’m involved in both the collector community and the Brony community. I respect both groups. We should all Love and Tolerate.

  29. Dann Says:

    Props to the older gens for sticking with it and enduring some of the impolite detractors of the newer crowd. I haven’t seen anything pre-G4, but I wouldn’t be against doing so.
    Also, rule 34 exists for G1-3 MLP as well, so please don’t bring that up as some sort of attack against those who do produce or enjoy it for gen 4. They are human beings too and deserve some respect, even if we don’t agree with them.

    I can’t wait to see where all this is heading in the next few years. I don’t think Friendship is Magic is a fad, as suggested by some. We can probably all agree that MLP is awesome, so it could be strictly due to that fact that it’s taken off so well.

    Here’s to the herd.
    /) * (\

  30. LEon Says:

    THis is a good write up coming from a G1 fan. I have to say the reboot of the new MLP is a success that using simple drawing and good pacing. The toys maybe targeting on genders but the new cartoon doesn’t seems to.

  31. Julian velez Says:

    while i didnt really watch the old series i alwayss had this sort of liking to it for some reason and now with the 4th generation ive been colleting just about every official toy and hope to at the very least get 70 – 80% of all the official toys cause i love ponies and gen 4 made me finally realize that and imo even though i didnt like g3.5 i appreciate the older gens cause even when i didnt like the actual show the characters,art and all around atmosphere was great for me especially since i would use to have a lot of female friends as a kid and spent time with my cousin which i used to play pretend and with her toys,and eventually learned that even if it’s not aimed at your demographic it doesnt matter i myself love to talk about ponies with anyone and im not ashamed of it cause im sure of what i like and im proudand i also want to give props to all the old fans for making such a great fanbase even before us bronies existed so thanks for making the series live rock on!

  32. Matt Says:

    Bronies, despite the seeming obvious origin, actually comes from the \b\ forum on 4Chan. Girls can be bronies because it has nothing to do with “bros” at all.

  33. James Says:

    Being fairly connected, I feel you may have overstated the ‘hate’ that Bronies have towards the earlier generations. There’s a number of fans among us (mainly G1), and among those of us who aren’t, it’s more of just not being interested than an active hate (except maybe G3.5, which was loathed by my female friends when they were younger anyways). There’s a small but loud group that causes the collectors issues, and a small group of them, but the vast majority of us stay out of each others’ way. Why we can’t all get along still baffles me.

    Also, while I have only watched FiM and all my merch is G4, I’ve been finding some of the earlier ones a little interesting. Ones that are in decent shape and affordable seem to be a little hard to find.

  34. Chrys Says:

    “They feel that they put so much time and effort into this niche collecting community, and then all of a sudden bronies come out and start getting all this attention. And it’s like, hey, well, what about us? We’ve been here forever, and nobody seemed to care. But now that there are all these guys in their 20s that are crazy about it, it’s suddenly important and it means something.”

    Sadly, it’s a man’s world. You have to actually own a pair to get noticed. That’s why Hasbro is bending over backwards to please these new “bronies” and forgetting all about the collector gals that made them relaunch their dead MLP line in 2003.

  35. 1980s Pegasister Says:

    The first toy I can remember having as a child was a hand-me-down well-loved 1983 G1 Medley My Little Pony. I’ve been completely obsessed with all things Pony since then. I still have that first G1 Medley… sitting in the midst of a G1 collection valued at more than $10,000 (over 300, a lot of them rare, in a complete set, or hard-to-find). I collect, I restore, I sell and trade, I customize My Little Pony toys as a hobby. I have never seen a problem with the new fans of G4 (Friendship Is Magic line) ponies, and I myself am completely in love with the new show! In fact, if anything else, I’m glad that the series gained such a huge following. I’m dating a confessed brony. My (straight, male) best friend helps me design and build custom ponies. Several of my friends have become recent bronies because of the new show. My younger siblings who were born in the G2-G3 era, are both into the new MLP show as well.

    We have so much in common right now, please embrace the universal message of love and friendship that ponies have portrayed since the 1980s!

  36. Rainbow Lily Says:

    I’m a Pegasister, and people who have a problem with us liking the show prejudge us, which I dislike very much! People can be very stupid when they are devoted to something, which I completely understand, by that is no reason to disrespect us. To the collectors, I am glad you have stuck with us the whole time, but if you want to see somethng amazing, go to these site:

    Fimfiction and My little pony fanfiction

    Just google those and pick the first one that comes up. I am on both of those sites, and they are all dedicated to friendship is magic, including me. These people make thier own stories, it’s amazing.

    So if the collectors think that they get all of the attention, go on these sites, and you will see why. These are original and deserve the attention. My name on Fimfiction is Rainbow Lili and my other one is Rainbow Lily. Read these and comment on them, I want you to.

  37. D. G. D. Davidson Says:

    I consider myself a brony, but I’m just old enough to have watched the original series in the ’80s. I still had fond memories of it in adulthood, mostly because of its surprising grit. The scene in which Megan defeats Tirek made quite an impression on me when I was a kid. After G4 and the brony phenomenon started, it was fun to revisit that series; though not quite as spectacular to me now as it was to me then, it has its merits.

    I get the impression that brony virulence against earlier incarnations of ponydom is beginning to die down as the new fanbase grows. Many older people are bronies now, and many of them aren’t appreciative of hate for the earlier generations. Many bronies admit the merits of G1 even if reception of G3 and especially G3.5 remains cool. Assuming this fandom can outlast the eventual end of Friendship Is Magic, I predict that bronies and collectors will one day live together in harmony.

    I can understand why the collectors are annoyed at the attention bronies get, but the sudden growth of this fanbase really is remarkable, and of course it’s more sensational when men are into girls’ toys than it is when women are, so that’s what makes the news.

    The porn is most unfortunate. Many bronies try to pass it off as a minor part of the new fanbase, but it’s so prevalent and visible, and even has defenders amongst prominent members of the fandom, that I suspect it’s more pervasive than many would like to admit. Hopefully, it too will die off as the fanbase matures.

  38. Daniel Kalmbach Says:

    >We liked it before it was cool.

    Yeah I like videogames before they were cool, and now all these “gamer gurlz” are getting a bunch of attention. What about us hardcore gaming fans that have been around since video games started?

  39. SuperGiantRobot Says:

    What about you? I play video games because I enjoy them, not because I care about what other people think.

  40. Sarah Says:

    I am a girl and into the G4 My Little Pony. I prefer to be called a Pegasister, rather than a Brony. I just like how Pegasister sounds and I like the Pegasus ponies.

    I grew up in the 80’s (an ’85 baby!) and loved the My Little Pony toys that my cousins had. Unfortunately, because we were poor during my very early years, all I could do was pretty much just admire them. I had two MLP toys that I remember distinctly. Creamsicle the giraffe and one of the seahorses that came with a frog-shaped floatie. The last memory that I had of MLP toys was being at a cousin’s house and thinking that her ponies had the new tail extensions that I was seeing on TV, where you could pull their tail and their hair would grow longer… and getting in a lot of trouble when the tail popped out! After that it was memories of reruns of the original MLP tv series with Megan. I watched My Little Pony Tales as well and actually remember that one a lot better than the original series.

    After that, well, I forgot about my love for ponies and moved onto Sailor Moon and Littlest Pet Shop. At first, when I was told about the new series, I thought it was going to be a terrible reboot of something awesome from the 80’s and 90’s (it’s a trend lately and most of them are full of suck) so I stayed away from it. Then I saw how popular it was getting and raised an eyebrow. I finally had to question my original decision to stay far away from it when a friend, whose judgment that I trust completely when it comes to TV shows since we have very similar tastes, said that I had to watch it. So I took the opportunity to watch the first episode with some friends on our bad movie nights and… it wasn’t that bad. Then I kept wondering what happened in part two! So I started watching it on my own. Turns out that my husband had been secretly watching it on his own since that particular night we watched it with our friends!

    Now we watch the show together and we’re excited for the upcoming season in the fall. I’m on a collection run to collect all of the G4 toys, customize my own toys to fit some fan characters that I’ve thought up, and to grab the ones that I had as a child. It’s become a bit of a sudden hobby, but it doesn’t surprise me as I had started repurchasing toys and books from my childhood, such as certain teddy bears, Land Before Time puppets, or Rose Petal Place books. My ponies have taken up space right beside my Evangelion toys, my Sailor Moon toys, my Hello Kitty/My Melody toys, the remnants of my Littlest Pet Shop toys from childhood and my husband’s very large Godzilla and Lord of the Rings toy and figure collection. My husband, who loves to customize toys, made me a custom Derpy Hooves and is customizing his own figure to fit a equine character from his original comic book.

  41. BronyRyder Says:

    Rule 34 has been around for decades. MLP is not the first franchise aimed at kids to fall victim to it, and it won’t be the last.

    I myself am completely indifferent to the pre-FIM era.

  42. Katye Says:

    I am sixteen and love then newest MLP. When I was young I saw some of the other generation pony movies on kids channels and HATED them. Each of the pony’s personalitys were to similar and none of them seemed to stand out also as a kid i wasn’t into “girly” things.
    I used to love powerpuff girls and fosters home and lots of other cartoons where the characters had personality and when i saw FiM i loved it because everypony had good traits and flaws.

  43. Douglas Says:

    I was one of those boys who actually had Barbies along with my GI Joes, and after a while I grew out of it. I also recall after that phase I hated anything pink or what I thought was girly, I also wanted to grow up as I didn’t like being in my child status having no pull anywhere I went. Now as an adult I feel like MLP:FiM has helped me to be more like my actual self, other than this it also has kind of saved my relationship with me and my brother as we can talk about MLP:FiM for hours and have fun. I’m glad I became a Brony, it opened my horizon to other things. Now I watch the new Pound Puppies and Littlest Pet Shop as well as the previous generations of MLP, I enjoy them thoroughly. When I started collecting the toys I didn’t realize it, but I’m just like when I was a younger kid. Not caring what others though of me and just enjoying life and being optimistic, and I feel so much more of myself then I ever have been. I will always call myself a Brony, and when I have kids I will enjoy the next MLP generation with them and then with my children’s children. This may just be a T.V. show, but it has helped me to become a better person. In my mind all fans should be accepted and no one should be hated.


  44. Austin Christensen Says:

    I am a hardcore brony and My faves are Celestia, The mane 6, Luna. and the rest of royalaty. not blueblood…

  45. No One Says:

    What I don’t get is why people don’t really care that girls like Star Wars or Call of Duty, but when a boy likes Hello Kitty or Barbies. :/

  46. MintCCLuver Says:

    I’ve loved this generation!! I’m almost thirteen and I love MLP:FIM! My parents are trying to get rid of my collection and sell all of it!! I don’t want my Rainbow Dash to go!! :( Anywho, I love this generation!! By the way, girls over the age of twelve are called PEGASISTERS, not bronies. I’m a pegasister!! <3

  47. MintCCLuver Says:

    Also, I’m excited for season four!! WHEN IS IT COMING?!!?

  48. megan Says:

    I like the new series and I love the original made for TV movie, Rescue at Midnight Castle. One thing that doesn’t seem to have been researched in this article is that the the G1 universe had some pretty dark themes and some parents buying the older series on Amazon have even complained that it was too scary for their kids.

    As a kid, I loved it. Not just because of colorful ponies but because these ponies had actual adventures. They sought out and fought evil. Perhaps the adults never caught on or maybe commercials led non-watchers astray but My Little Pony was not all saccharine. They were a bunch of girls risking their lives for their friends which was something extremely unique for the times.

  49. S.Stern Says:

    I just wanted to leave a thought as to why Bronies got more publicity than the old school MLP collectors from the perspective of an artist that’s done custom work for them.

    With Bronies, they are more interested in the characters of the Mane 6 et al, instead of them as just objects or toys to be collected or a set to be completed. This tends to spread out from just collecting Hasbro official toys, to getting unofficial objet d’art custom sculptures, plushes, jewelry, clothing, and general swag of their favorites. It brings in more artists, writers, websites, etc into the fold instead of just staying in the small niche of collecting the old ponies just as pieces of a set.

    It’s the difference between a Bronie being obsessed with, say, specifically Luna, as an example – instead of getting the few Lunas that Hasbro makes and calling it a day with a complete collection, he’s in the market for a t-shirt, or a big custom plush, or a fancy handmade figurine of her, specifically. I’ve found that some bronies don’t like the low quality toys that Hasbro has been making, and look outward to artists for their swag. This is why it spread out so far and gets so much attention – more people are hired and exposed to the fandom.

    There’s also the added concept of creating their own fancharacters, or ponysonas – where Hasbro can’t provide custom toys they seek out makers , creators, and artists to help. There’s just more to the newest wave of MLP fans than ever before, compared to the older collectors that stay within their own niche.

  50. Brandy Says:

    I hate the stupid, vapid, vaguely disturbing anime-ish look of the new ponies. Also, I know I am stumbling upon this article many years too late but it irks the hell out of me when someone diminishes or dismisses someone’s concerns by accusing them of being “jealous.” No, when she asks the question, “What about us?” it isn’t because she’s “jealous.” It’s probably frustration due to the fact that we women have ALWAYS been ploughed over, shoved aside, trampled on, patronized, appropriated, condescended to and run roughshod over by men for millennia, and we’re getting just a teeny bit tired of it.

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