What’s With All the Ponies? My Little Pony Rocks On 4


When I first heard my kids were watching My Little Pony, I raised one eyebrow and wondered if my teenage children had lost their sanity once and for all. Isn’t that a show for little kids?

IronPony, drawn by Kristen Watson

Well, the answer to that is yes, and then an unmitigated no.

Perhaps I’m just betraying my age here, but this trend among current teenagers completely caught me off guard.

My experience with My Little Pony was a vague remembrance of a TV show for little girls in the 80s. However, when the franchise got its fourth reboot in 2010, it’s audience widened to include all ages. I’m still not sure why but, as they say, “facts is facts.”

One of the most intriguing things about the new MLP revolution are the Bronies. Short for “bro pony,” a brony was originally a male fan of MLP but now includes all MLP fans. This might surprise some of you, but bronies are everywhere! The Hot Topic retail store in the mall has several MLP t-shirts to pick from and now that I’m aware of the trend, I’m finding references in several unlikely places.

And then there’s BronyCon. Yep, it’s an unofficial convention for fans of MLP. Their last gathering was a few days ago — June 30 and July 1.

(I won’t delve too deeply into a detailed discussion of bronies. Tor has done that already with a great blog post here: In Defense of Bronies — The Quest for Gender Equality in Fandom. I encourage you to check it out.)

But what cracks me up are the mash-ups and other similar things that crop up when trends meet main culture. Here’s where it gets fun. The show’s creators have created unique characters like my favorite, Time Turner (also dubbed Doctor Whooves by fans because of his similarity to Doctor Who).

And then come the Avenger/Pony mash-ups. While there is a great piece of art on the Tor page mentioned above, my favorite is shown above, my daughter’s rendition of an Iron Man pony. Tony Stark, stand aside. It’s time for IronPony!

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4 thoughts on “What’s With All the Ponies? My Little Pony Rocks On

    • admin

      No kidding! Can you imaging two teenagers watching a BronyCon party streaming live on the computer? Haha! Now that’s a sight.

  • las artes

    Pony’s a fantastic show (only a step below Adventure Time and Superjail! on my admittedly incredibly tone-variant loose personal scale of crazy, imaginative, daft, funny TV). I think the brony following is unequivocally a good thing, too. Check out any pony thread (on the forums whose mods didn’t have a reflexive fear-spasm over the notion), and compare it with other threads in the same place on similar topics. It’s a fun show in its own right, but by some confluence of time and place it’s also acted as a relatively socially-acceptable (in the sense its fans stick together and circle the wagons, at least) outlet for an absolute ton of behaviour disallowed by the masculine norms in these groups. I think in contrast to the way-too-common assertion that male feminine identities are artificial and invalid, it shows how many typically female-gendered traits and drives are present in guys but kept below the surface by masculine socialising, and maybe how much more fulfilled many feel when they’re able to let them out in a setting where they’ll be supported. Which isn’t bad for a cartoon about magic ponies and their crippling mental problems .

    • admin

      Thanks for your input! You make some interesting points. The growing Brony fan base is really quite fascinating to me, especially the way it is growing by leaps and bounds. I’d be very curious to see how much of it spilled over into the San Diego ComicCon this weekend (being in my neck of the woods, the convention is hard to ignore). That would be an interesting commentary on what’s going on there.

      Thank you for stopping by!