• The Brony Fandom Will Never Die - Why Ponies Will Last Long Into the Future!

    With the 5th season under our belts, and the internet adjusting to its aging pony inhabitants, we are once again seeing a lot of gloom and doom out there calling for the end of cartoon horse. Friendship is Magic is a whopping 5 years old now, and there have been quite a few radical shifts in fandom activity throughout its domination of nerd culture.

    Right now, we have a sixth season and major movie release on the horizon with rumblings that these are the last. Is there any evidence of this? Not yet. People care about ponies though, so it's only natural to be worried. Earlier in the year, I wrote up a piece on the fandom's overall health, which helped quite a few people put their fears to rest. I guess this can be considered the long awaited part two?

    Below the break, let's dig into the current hiatus, future of the show, what Hasbro may or may not be planning, and even some EQD stuff!

    Full Speed Into the 5TH GREAT HIATUS

    It's no secret that gaps in pony episodes stifle certain parts of the brony fandom. We've traveled through a few of them now, and as more and more content falls into that "already created" category, it becomes harder to keep the buzz going while waiting for new episodes. Despite this, we have seen the fandom survive almost an entire year with nothing but Equestria Girls to live off of, and that tends to only last a week or two for the core pony audience.

    Hiatuses suck, but the nature of Friendship is Magic helps us keep active. The fact that we have this incredible world to build off of, with all of it's potential side stories and ideas and easy to use pony templates for original content means the show thrives even without canon to build from.

    The less enthusiastic fans may shift focus to other things, but even they will come out of the woodwork from Youtube subs spamming their email boxes or a major convention nearby. A hiatus slows things down, and may even shrink the post-hiatus numbers a bit, but the core fandom sticks around. That core is what keeps the train rolling right up until we get new episodes and the flood returns.

    Fandoms in General

    Early on, many people thought this sudden surge in interest for pony was just going to be a short lived trend. Even I, way back when EQD was first formed, expected a year or two before I'd be off doing something else. Obviously that didn't happen. At some point in the 2011 pony uprising, we crossed the line between "silly internet trend" and "full blown community", leading to what we see as the current brony fandom that continues to thrive 4 years later.

    The idea behind this is nothing new. If we look at it from another perspective, the Star Trek fandom is one of the major reasons why a show originally beginning in the early 60's is still invading theaters in the 2000's. A strong enough interest in any property will motivate a company to keep supporting it. I think it's safe to say that pony is now securely in this category. And unlike the early Star Trek fandom, we have the incredible power of the internet to help fuel us. People can actually make a career out of talking about ponies on Youtube, and with things like Patreon, even a humble artist can make a decent amount of money drawing for a ravenous fan base.

    We aren't as big as we were back in 2013 when it was "trendy", but we do still have a huge amount of people loving ponies in a more permanent way. This is the real fandom. These cartoon horses have become a part of all of us, and while people will always come and go, the solid foundation is going to take a lot to actually break.

    What Might Hasbro Do With Pony After the 2017 Movie?

    The major key point to Hasbro's continued investment in My Little Pony is merchandise sales. The original intention for Generation 4 was to sell more modern looking toys and supplement their new TV network. With The Hub getting the axe, it is now more important than ever that we continue to show interest in their collections of plastic figures and plushies. While I'm sure the majority of you are sick of re-buying the mane 6, there are still alternatives out there to help keep the Hasbro appeasing cash infusion going.

    But what if these sales dry up completely? What if Hasbro suddenly found that they can't even give Twilight Sparkle toys away? I think a lot of people forget that Friendship is Magic isn't the first My Little Pony IP that was successful. While it didn't start the "brony" following and become an internet sensation, the original early generations of the show did have a relatively large fan bases, and big retail presence among little girls.

    Said little girls have since grown up, had kids of their own, and passed on the pony torch. This new market is picking up the brushable Twilights (and humanized doll variants that many of us ignore). When that stops, Hasbro isn't going to just end pony there. Especially now it has become a nerd culture phenomenon. I'd imagine their goal would be to keep pony relevant, even if they need to ditch the mane 6 and start on a new series altogether with a 5th generation.

    But how will they handle that? Can we trust them with another full on update? Hasbro has learned a lot from Friendship is Magic over the past five years. They have made some... questionable decisions in the name of milking the IP as much as possible, but I think they have a relatively good idea of what they can do with it going forward. I doubt we will see another Generation 3.5 monstrosity follow it up. A look at the surprisingly dark season four and five finales gives a good indication on how far they are willing to veer away from Rainbow Dash always dressing in style.

    If season 6 is the final Friendship is Magic season followed by the movie, the dream is a quick shift into generation 5, with a new cast of characters for the sake of fresh toy sales, but a similar concept to what we have now.  This show has an extremely appealing style, from the ridiculously adorable curvy anime eyed characters, to the world itself. Hopefully Hasbro has realized that and doesn't change things too much once they feel the need to start up the next generation.

    The future of the fandom, and EQD!

    We have a lot of new stuff on the horizon with Season 6, the 4th Equestria Girls movie, and finally the 2017 big budget theater film heading our way. This show is still a MASSIVE success compared to the majority of stuff out there aimed at kids.  Can you imagine how well the actual cartoon portion of their IP would do on a bigger, open channel like Cartoon Network?  But even if season 6 is the last,  and generation 5 doesn't happen, the fandom isn't going to just up and stop.

    As for us here at Equestria Daily, things have been pretty much stable for about a year now. There are dips and rises based on what is happening, but overall it's business as usual. Unfortunately a site like this has the negative of being built around sending people away. We send you to people's Youtube channels to sub, or DA pages to follow. How long that will work has been a mystery since the site first saw the glorious light of the internet. It's no secret that this EQD can't survive without all of you visiting it. As long as you are out there supporting us, it will continue. So keep sending things to the submit box! Comment on posts! Give us feedback! Everything you do helps.

    The thing about fandoms is how timeless they tend to be. Everyone out there that has been exposed to the show, especially those of us still here five years later, now have a portion of our lives dedicated to it. If you are reading this, you are probably one of the die-hards like the rest of us. Welcome to the core! Some of your close pony friends may drift off to other topics, especially while we wait for new official stuff, but that doesn't make them ineligible to return. Unless some major event happened that made them absolutely despise pony, they probably have the same awesome memories you have involving cartoon horses. And they probably want to experience even more!

    So stop worrying! We have another two years of guaranteed pony, and I doubt Hasbro wants it to stop there. Keep celebrating cartoon horses wherever you may find yourself, and cherish all of those bonds you have made over the years. Quite a few much less successful fandoms with shows or topics that have long since ended are still going strong on fan content, and if there is one thing this pony thing rocks at, its creation. From "ponifying" everything else, to the rise of OC ponies during these episode gaps, It's going to be nearly impossible to end the Brony world! So stay active and have fun with it! Pony isn't going anywhere.

    And draw me some Sweet Velvet~