By Edie W.

              When many people hear the words “My Little Pony,” they typically think of colorful ponies prancing around. Behind these pretty fantasy creatures, though, is a world of literature, gaming, and art with an enormous fan base.
            The first generation of ponies was launched in the 1980s, with a comparatively weak storyline and simple characters and products. The second generation boasted even more “girlie” ponies, complete with glitter and accessories. The third generation marked the decline in the brand, with weaker stories and a low point in interest in the products.
My Little Pony has seen renewed popularity with their newest generation: “Friendship is Magic.” In this fourth generation, the characters are compelling, and the stellar storytelling and appealing animation make it a pleasure to watch. With the television show as its centerpiece, the generation has become increasingly popular. According to the show’s Wikipedia page, the show “premiered with an average viewership of 1.4 million per month, but expanded to 4 million per month by the end of the first season, making it the highest-rated of any Hasbro offering at the time.” The show has been nominated for Leo Awards, Daytime Emmy Awards, and was voted “Best Animated Show” on the website Television Without Pity.
Even though the demographic for My Little Pony has always been young girls, the “Friendship is Magic” generation has become increasingly popular among boys and men. This demographic has created its own label: “Bronies” (bros who like ponies). In 2011, a group of fans created BronyCon, a New York event that attracted 100 guests. In 2013, more than 8,000 guests attended the convention in Baltimore.
In addition to the television show, fans can enjoy My Little Pony fan fiction, fan-made art, a Dungeons and Dragons-esque role-playing card game, and a wealth of official and fan-made merchandise. From toys to clothes to bedding, Friendship is Magic items can be found in stores everywhere.
People often seem surprised to find that I am a huge fan of My Little Pony, but I truly enjoy the mythology behind the characters and I am grateful for how the show and its fans inspire my to create and write. I wear my Brony badge with pride!

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