In case you missed its premiere Monday as part of Logo TV’s What!? documentary series, the cable channel has made Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony available online.
The documentary, which explores the phenomenon of bronies — adult- and teen-male fans of the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and its merchandise — got its start with series voice actor John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation), who discovered that a majority of his fan mail seemed to come from adults. He soon teamed with Michael Brockhoff, Friendship is Magic creator Lauren Faust and voice actor Tara Strong to spearhead a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the documentary, which features interviews with bronies from around the world as they head to My Little Pony conventions.
In case the Brony Herd Census released earlier this year wasn’t enough to convince you the sparkly threat is real — it pegged the U.S. brony population at somewhere between 7 million and 12.4 million — we now have irrefutable evidence that it’s attempting to infiltrate the business world: May we present what is, by all accounts, an honest-to-goodness My Little Pony-themed resume from an unabashed brony.
Bronies are, of course, the adult- and teen-male devotees of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a nearly three-year-old animated series (based on the Hasbro toy line) that has already spawned a spinoff, comic books, a video game, a collectible card game, and who knows what else. It’s wildly popular, and attracts a male following large enough to 1.) have a name (“brony” is a combination of “bro” and “pony”), and 2.) rate its own conventions and meet-ups around the globe.
It’s somehow appropriate, given the news earlier this week that Hasbro is expanding its My Little Pony brand with Equestria Girls, that ICv2 should draw attention to the 2013 Brony Herd Census, which is exactly what it sounds like: a tally of how many male devotees there are of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
So, just how many bronies are there in the United States? As many as 12.4 million, if we go by this survey. Or, in the words of the website, “Thus, we can state with a 95% confidence that between 4.0% and 6.8% of the internet-using US population strongly identify as bronies, or approximately 7 to 12.4 million people.”
If you can’t quite fathom the renewed popularity of Hasbro’s 30-year-old My Little Pony franchise — in animation, comics and merchandising — and the accompanying “bronies” phenomenon, you may not be ready for what comes next.
According to The New York Times, the toymaker is extending its brand with Equestria Girls, which recasts the characters from the animated My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic as human teenagers. It will launch with My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, a full-length animated movie premiering in June at the Los Angeles Film Festival before being released in 200 theaters nationwide. Naturally, a DVD will follow.