Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Little Brony: A Book Review

It seems the Brony craze is alive and well as its culture continues to fascinate and puzzle. It permeates art, music, films, and now fiction with the book, My Little Brony An Unofficial Novel about Finding the Magic of Friendship, written by K.M. Hayes (no relation). The novel, which is written from the perspective of a high school boy struggling with social acceptance, brings the reader into the world of Bronies. The writer successfully gives a brief history of the movement while also portraying gender stereotypes and how they negatively influence the central character in both his family and social spheres. With the help of a quirky female classmate, the main character learns to embrace his love of My Little Pony ultimately resulting in a newfound self-confidence and positive outlook.

 I feel that this book would be best suited for Young Adult readers and that it may speak to those who may have encountered similar struggles in their own lives and perhaps provide them with encouragement. In fact, shortly after completing this book, I sent my copy to a friend’s son to enjoy. My only criticism, is the use of strong language in one passage of the book. While, I understand the author’s choice to convey emotion, I feel that the book could have benefited from a wider audience without utilizing words that can be polarizing and would then have been an excellent candidate for school libraries or anti-bullying curriculum. Still, this novel was an enjoyable read and I feel that Bronies will appreciate the fictionalization of their shared experience.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fair 2015- Thank You!!

The 12th annual MY LITTLE PONY Fair took place over the weekend and I'm still attempting to catch my breath. We couldn't have imagined that we'd have such a successful year with a total of over 2,200 individual people in attendance. In 2014, we hit just over 1,200 attendees, so this was quite an increase over the previous year's numbers. I was pleasantly surprised that we had such a large crowd, but proud to say that the Fair Staff handled the influx without any hiccups. I seriously couldn't have run this event without so many awesome helpers.

The following people deserve Special Shout-Outs and my endless gratitude:

Mary and Jenny- You both helped out so much this year with things before and during the event. Without you two, the T-shirts would have been the wrong colors, the trivia participants would have had to navigate through the outdated question bank, our Vendor Hall would have been a chaotic mess, and the Fair Staff may well have starved.

Amber- Thank you for communicating with all of the program advertisers, this helped take a piece off of my plate and regain some of my sanity when things were getting wild. Also, the gallery was able to come together due to your mad case-building skills. UKPonyCon, here we come.

Matt and Steve- Thank you for being awesome PONY husbands. Seriously, how Mary and I managed to get you both involved AND have a good time is beyond me, but I'm happy you keep coming back. From Game Show Hosts, to Registration Gurus, to band members, to general fix-it guys, you both probably wear the most hats of the crew and it wouldn't be a Pony Fair without you!

Jewel- Your videos are always amazing, but this year you truly outdid yourself. I can't wait to see the footage from this year's Fair as part of your new projects!

Rose- You were amazing in your role as the Game and Volunteer Coordinator! Seriously, I cannot thank you enough for managing and scheduling all of the game volunteers. It is such an involved job and you handled it so well, even finding time to put your own twist on the volunteer badges. Your attention to detail is admirable and irreplaceable.

Autumn and Renee- Wow! You were a terrific tag team in Sugar Cube Corner and beyond. You happily accepted every new "challenge" that was thrown your way and were super hard workers. I'm so glad that you both were able to join the Staff this year!

Kevin and Michael- THANK YOU for willingly dealing with this craziness year after year when you have nothing to do with PONY other than me. :) You both are amazing friends and I'm so glad that you are able o share in my adventure each year.

Renae and Jen- Amazing job on the schedules this year! You took something I dread doing each year and made it fun and easy for attendees to use. I'm so happy that we were able to expand to an online schedule this year and get PONY Fair more tech savvy this year. Thank you both!

Cayci- Thank you for making our special guest feel at home during our event. You have a way with people and I'm so glad you choose you share your talents with us!

Karen H.- Thank you for sharing your photography skills with us. You and your husband were so enthusiastic about our event and I'm so glad that you were able to capture the convention!

Vanessa (and family!)- You all were SO helpful! It was such a terrific surprise getting so much help with everything from unloading, to game set-up, to running the gallery, and always with smiles on your faces!!

Sarah, Ashley, and Jeff- Thank you for stepping up and making the gallery your own when we needed a little extra coverage. You all are absolutely lovely and I look forward to seeing you all back again next year in 2016!!

Sharon- You are super creative and I'm so glad that you chose to share your talents with us this year through your panels, discussions, and participation in our events!

Toni (and Jenn)- Thank you so much for your ongoing support of our collector focused event. You work so hard to make sure that we can be the best we can be.

Bonnie and Susanne- Thanks for allowing us a glimpse into PONY's past, and letting us get to know the people behind the ponies. You'll always be welcome at PONY Fair!

Andrea- Thank you for coming to experience the other side of the PONY fandom. You were gracious and a true joy to be around!

Jenn B.(and Alex and Susanne) - So happy to have you back for a second year to share your art and style with our attendees. You add so much! Also, thank you for stepping in to "guard" the Hasbro table. ;)

Andy and Karen- Thank you for being our Fair Dinner hosts. It helped us so much to be able to step back and actually enjoy the dinner for once.

Angie and Steve- Thank you for covering things as needed, especially the run to drop Matt off at the U-Haul!

Alicia and Deborah (and Jen)- Thanks for stepping in and covering our "royal" bases. You helped make the event extra special this year.

NY PonyCon Peeps- Thank you for throwing so many panels and presentations in my lap. You really helped round out our offerings this year! Thanks to everyone for your help especially with the Costume Contest( Molly), running the Crafts (Stephanie), being an impromptu DJ (Keith), filming events (Bill), and being all around lovely (Karen).

Our Corporate Sponsors and Supporters- Thank You!! You allow us to put on the best PONY Fair experience for our attendees by showcasing your terrific products each year and we feel so fortunate to be able to work with each of you.

Monday, March 16, 2015

MY LITTLE PONY Fair 2015 Updates!

Tickets for the 12th annual MY LITTLE PONY Fair went on sale last Tuesday and we had record sales for our opening week. Several of our ticket packages sold out within hours of being released. It was craziness! I felt like I was selling tickets to a rock concert! We still have plenty of general admission and children's tickets available, so don't fear if you didn't get your tickets right away.

Today, I've been busy answering emails... so many emails! I think we may need to add a FAQ section to the website this year. I'll be right on that after I get all the game, event, presentation, and contest information moved over from the old website. Speaking of which, if you haven't had a chance to check out the new and improved www.mylittleponycon.com head over and give it a look. I really like the way it turned out.

I'm doing much better delegating Fair duties this year, or at least I'm on the way to being much better. We have an official Game Coordinator (RuthAnn), Advertising Program Manager and Contest Coordinator (Amber), Program Designer (Jenn), Digital Events App Developer (Renae), and then the amazing, Mary is awesome at taking the reins and helping out whenever I get underwater and things get crazy. We're also adding the fabulous Jenny to staff this year, but she doesn't yet have a fancy title.

2015 is on track to be the biggest and best Fair ever and I couldn't do it without the help of these wonderful people!

Saturday, March 7, 2015


This press release landed in my inbox today. I'm ready for a new season to begin and to meet even more new MLP characters! I'm especially excited to see the Pony that Lena Hall will be voicing. My husband and I were actually at the Tony Awards last year to see Lena win her Tony and make her acceptance speech with a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic shout out.

"Pony fans, rejoice! An all-new season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the beloved series created by Hasbro Studios, debuts on Discovery Family April 4, with two back-to-back premiere episodes beginning at 11am ET / 10am CT. Packed with new adventures, characters and self-discovery, Season 5 kicks off with a very special one-hour premiere, as our favorite ponies continue to explore the true magic of friendship only possible in Equestria.
“Season 5 will really delve more into how the magic of cutie marks and friendship can impact those around you,” teases Hasbro Studios Executive Director, Brian Lenard. “You’re going to see a lot of new and exciting characters this season, and first and foremost is Starlight Glimmer.”
In the Season 5 premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the Mane 6: Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity and Applejack meet Starlight Glimmer when they are summoned to solve a friendship problem only to find a utopian village in which everyone has given up their Cutie Marks. At first look, the ponies in this village appear happy, but it soon becomes clear that Starlight Glimmer has a vastly different and rather sinister view on friendship and the individual talents that make Equestria’s ponies so special. The season is full of Cutie Mark Magic!
This cliff-hanger episode heralds a season filled with surprises and special treats for viewers, including the appearance of celebrity guest voice Tony Award-winner Lena Hall, the series’ exciting 100th episode, fun holiday specials and several new, original songs soon to be fan-favorites. In this season, viewers will be introduced to new characters and see background characters brought to the forefront for the first time, all as part of a journey that embraces such themes as individuality, coming of age, facing fears and achieving your dreams.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has amassed an adoring fan base that truly spans all ages,” said Tom Cosgrove, General Manager of Discovery Family. “We’re delighted at the opportunity to keep this audience entertained while sharing the series’ enduring and positive messages of friendship.”
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic follows the magical Princess Twilight Sparkle and her trusted assistant Spike, who live in Ponyville in the enchanted land of Equestria, along with her colorful pony friends – honest Applejack, generous Rarity, kind Fluttershy, loyal Rainbow Dash and fun-loving Pinkie Pie. Together, they teach one another valuable lessons about the most powerful magic of all – the magic of friendship.
About Discovery Family
Since its debut in October 2014, Discovery Family has grown its viewership by double digits in daytime, attracting children and their parents to Hasbro Studio’s popular animation programming, including MY LITTLE PONY, LITTLEST PEST SHOP and TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS.
Available in nearly 70 million U.S. homes, Discovery Family is a joint venture of Discovery Communications and Hasbro. The smart entertainment choice for families, Discovery Family offers award-winning children’s animation programming in Daytime with the highest-quality, real-world content that appeals to the entire family in the Natural History, Adventure, Animals and Science genres at night.
About Hasbro Studios
Hasbro Studios is responsible for entertainment brand-driven storytelling for Hasbro across television film, commercial productions and short-form content.  It develops, produces and distributes TV shows based on Hasbro’s world class brands, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, LITTLEST PET SHOP and FAMILY GAME NIGHT.  Many of these shows air on Discovery Family Channel and on networks in more than 180 territories globally.  Since its formation in 2009, the studio has received nine Daytime Emmy wins.
On the film side, the studio has developed and produced a number of features based on Hasbro’s brands.  In addition to partnering with leading studios, the Company intends to make movies based on new and existing Hasbro brands for audiences globally through the Allspark Pictures film label.  Films in development or planned for release, including CANDY LAND (Sony), G.I. JOE 3 (Paramount), JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS (Universal & Allspark Pictures), MAGIC: THE GATHERING (21st Century Fox) and an animated featured based on MY LITTLE PONY (Allspark Pictures). "

Monday, February 2, 2015

Toy Fair on the Horizon and New Canterlot Castle Playset Coming Soon!

Toy Fair is coming... which means we get our first glimpse of the upcoming 2015 product line. This year's theme is Cutie Mark Magic and as a result, the regular brushable Pony figures have extra designs on their bodies (similar to the G1 Twice-As Fancy Pony line.)

G1 Twice As Fancy Ponies * Photo by UKPonycon

G4 Cutie Mark Magic Ponies * Photos by MLPMerch

While these girls (and others in their set) are already available in stores, there are many other products that are yet to be released... Personally, I'm super excited about the Canterlot Castle Playset!! The following photo popped up on the German Hasbro Newsroom website and I'm pretty excited about it.
Canterlot Castle Playset * Photo from German Hasbro Newsroom Website
Not quite sure where I will be able to fit this behemoth playset yet, but we'll tackle that problem in time. I desperately want to see the front of the playset as I hope it has some of the amazing detail that is present in the cartoon depictions.

Here's to hoping that Toy Fair shows us some awesome new additions for our collections!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Aurora Plush Ponies with Brushable Hair Now Available!

It seems that those beautiful Aurora Plush Ponies with brushable manes and tails are now available! They are currently being sold online through Zulily. I was super excited when they released their press release announcing their foray into brushable hair. I've always been impressed with the quality of their products, but I am even more impressed that theses new plush ponies seem to have their hair styled to match their character. Twilight has blunt cut bangs, Pinkie Pie has crazy curls, etc.

Follow this link to place your order and see all of the other great items currently available as part of Zulily's My Little Pony Collection sale!

Monday, January 12, 2015


Planning for the 2015 MY LITTLE PONY Fair is full swing! As you may know, we coordinate this event each year with the help of our awesome community and the terrific marketing team at Hasbro, Inc. I am a contracted promoter of the MY LITTLE PONY brand and as a result, the MY LITTLE PONY Fair is the only MY LITTLE PONY convention event that can boast support and collaboration with Hasbro.

 In the past several years, the MY LITTLE PONY Fair has grown exponentially. In 2014, we had attendance of upwards of 1,200 attendees. Considering that our attendance in 2010 topped out at 300, I'd say we are headed in the right direction and doing something right! Unlike, other more Brony-centric PONY events, we have aimed to have slow sustainable growth each year and expanded our programming to reflect the needs of our attendees. While we do cater to the current Friendship Is Magic audience, our primary focus is, and always has been, the MY LITTLE PONY Collector. We provide panels, discussion groups, and workshops highlighting MY LITTLE PONY licensed products, collector resources, and the history of MY LITTLE PONY. 

This year's MY LITTLE PONY Fair offerings will include appearances and small group sessions with MY LITTLE PONY creator, Bonnie Zacherle, and MY LITTLE PONY: Friendship Is Magic vocal talent, Andrea Libman. In addition, artist Jenn Blake will host a presentation for those with an interest in MY LITTLE PONY artwork.

 The MY LITTLE PONY Fair Marketplace continues to grow in 2015, hosting over 100 vendor booths teeming with officially licensed MY LITTLE PONY products, vintage MY LITTLE PONY collectibles, artist offerings, and upcoming brand products.

 Join us on a journey of the History of MY LITTLE PONY in our curated exhibit: MY LITTLE PONY Through the Years. Key items and artwork from the rich 32 year history of the brand will be on display including the original MY LITTLE PONY prototype figures that were hand painted by Ms. Zacherle.

The MY LITTLE PONY Fair offers several opportunities for attendees to play interactive games and participate in contests for a chance to take home goodies and prizes. Games are designed to reflect a typical “fair” atmosphere with both games of skill and games of chance for all ages to enjoy.

In an effort to include our youngest MY LITTLE PONY fans in the festivities (and those young at heart), we will be again hosting our popular Sugar Cube Corner Crafting area where attendees will have the opportunity to make and create MY LITTLE PONY themed crafts, and use provided art supplies to color and decorate their favorite MY LITTLE PONY characters.

Participate in our annual MY LITTLE PONY Costume Contest and Parade by either dressing in costume, or by voting for your favorites. Our annual MY LITTLE PONY Custom and Art Contests showcase the many talents of our amazing community artists and entries are on display throughout the weekend.

Round out your MY LITTLE PONY Fair experience by taking home a piece of the magic in the form of one of our officially licensed MY LITTLE PONY Fair event souvenirs. Items range from Special Edition Premium MY LITTLE PONY figures, event T-shirts, logo mugs, logo totes, collector lapel pins, event lanyards and other items you cannot get anywhere else.

We hope you will join us in 2015 for the 12th annual MY LITTLE PONY Fair on June 27th and 28th in Chicago, Illinois. Event tickets and ticket packages will be available for order in the coming weeks. Pricing will be released soon. Book your hotel room at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg Hotel now to secure our $99 room block rate. Details can be found on the official MY LITTLE PONY Fair website: www.mylittleponycon.com

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


This just in from Aurora:

"12 New Ponies Hit Shelves January 2015 Growing Aurora’s Total Collection To More Than 50 Ponytastic Styles

Los Angeles – January 5, 2015 - Leading plush toy, gift and doll manufacturer Aurora World Inc.® today announced its award-winning MY LITTLE PONY plush collection of more than 50 styles gets a sparkling addition for 2015. Aurora’s 12 new ponies feature styled, “brush-able” hair with glistening, mylar accents, adding to one of the largest, MY LITTLE PONY soft toy collections in the toy and gift industry. PINKIE PIE, RAINBOW DASH, APPLEJACK, RARITY, FLUTTERSHY, PRINCESS TWILIGHT SPARKLE, PRINCESS LUNA and SPIKE THE DRAGON highlight Aurora’s diverse offering that already includes seated and standing plush, jumbo plush, keychain “clip-ons” and pony carriers.
“We strive to be a one-stop-shop for high-quality, high-value, distinct plush and styles that stay true to the MY LITTLE PONY characters,” says Michael Kessler, Aurora’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. Aurora also offers various MY LITTLE PONY merchandising programs that include full signage and display racks designed to increase sales at retail. “Aurora will continue to expand its diverse MY LITTLE PONY plush collection to meet growing market demand.” says Kessler. MY LITTLE PONY is one of Aurora’s best selling licenses in a portfolio that includes thousands of “everyday” and seasonal plush toys and dolls.
Aurora’s 12 new styles feature six characters -- PINKIE PIE, RAINBOW DASH, APPLEJACK, RARITY, FLUTTERSHY and PRINCESS TWILIGHT SPARKLE -- in the popular size (6.5”) and all new medium size (13”); all ages -- SRP: $8 and $29.50, respectively. Earlier this year, Aurora’s MY LITTLE PONY - PRINCESS TWILIGHT SPARKLE won a “Seal of Excellence (Plush Toys Category)” from Creative Child Magazine."

So... what do you think? Do you like the brushable hair better? The Aurora Plush Pony quality is wonderful and I like that they will have brushable hair much like the G1 Hasbro Softies. I approve!