License Magazine is an organization (and magazine!) that researches, analyzes, and ranks the top company brands in the world. As of 2012, Hasbro sits at #7 in their rankings. The license is valued at 5.2 billion dollars, and up a full 1.5 billion from last year, the company continues to grow by bounds, even managing to leapfrog properties such as Major League Baseball and Sanrio (the Hello Kitty company).
This shouldn't really come as a surprise in the wake of 2011's movie blockbusterama pushing brand awareness up huge percentages while (at least in the case of Transformers) also racking up record breaking box office sales. But where do ponies fit into all of this? From a business perspective, the answer is fairly nebulous. Ponies have continued to be labeled as a core brand of Hasbro, therefore drawing core brand focus. Specifically, Friendship is Magic rated as the top show on the Hub for 2011 (see page 7 of the 2011 issue), and "continuedd to be popular with consumers of all ages" heading into 2012 and beyond (see page 6). But while the excerpt mentions the success of pony merchandise in the area of clothing, publishing, toys, and accessories, it does not mention any new plans for the franchise (while it does for several of Hasbro's other mainstays).
Of course, too much speculation on this issue is an exercise in madness. Although mum has been the word on the company's further plans for this particular core property, My Little Pony has had its fair share of breakthroughs in terms of marketing opportunities, including the upcoming first print of the new comic line, the freshly released vinyl figurines, and even the increasingly impressive repertoire of We Love Fine products. If 3rd party licensing is the way of the future for the franchise, then virtually anything is possible.
Regardless of circumstances, it would appear that Hasbro is continuing to achieve its goals of expanding and reinventing its flagship properties, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a major part of that success. Only time will tell what, precisely, that means for the consumer base.