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We Survived A Brony Convention

BronyCon brought together over 4,000 adult fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Here's what went down.

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Darius, a brony in the National Guard. The crowd cheered for him and his friend when they entered the convention in uniform.
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Darius, a brony in the National Guard. The crowd cheered for him and his friend when they entered the convention in uniform.

At this past weekend's BronyCon — a gathering of "bronies" at a convention center in Secaucus, New Jersey — you could buy My Little Pony hats, pins, art prints and even nail polish. You could go to a panel discussion with Lauren Faust, the creator of the cartoon show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. You could play a Magic The Gathering-type of card game that was My Little Pony-themed, or if you were really hardcore you could participate in a game of pony themed LARP (live action role play) game that went on for hours in a room with a tightly closed door. Or you could just hang out with the 4,000 other bronies and discuss the Derpy Hooves controversy.

A brony is an adult man who is a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic — not just the little plastic ponies that little girls have been playing with for decades. (Adult female fans are sometimes called "pegasisters," though I prefer to use the brony term universally.) They've developed an intense (some might say creepy) adoration of the show, which is aimed at young girls but is packed with clever jokes and sophisticated characters that appeal to adults, with a theme about the importance of friendship that resonates with teenage or college-age geeky guys.

Darius, a brony who's a member of the National Guard, was wearing a Rainbow Dash patch on his sleeve. “We barely made it up to the top steps and everyone outside was cheering for us. I didn’t know they were cheering for us, I thought one of the other guys had showed up, I thought it was [voice of the character "Dischord"] John de Lancie or Lauren Faust. I started clapping because I figured if everyone else was clapping I’d do it too. Then my friend was like, ‘no dude, they’re clapping for us.’” Apparently bronies also love a man in uniform.

Bronies have plenty of spaces on the internet — Tumblrs, Deviant Art, brony blogs — to communicate with other bronies, but getting to hang out with other bronies in real life seemed to be the most exciting part of the convention.

Another highlight of BronyCon was a screening of the second version of a video mashup called Ponies: The Anthology. A team of video editors worked for months splicing clips from the TV show with popular music and other dialogue to create a jumpy masterpiece filled with pop culture references and inside jokes from the show. The crowd loved it.

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Here are more highlights from BronyCon, from vendors and their DIY merch to girls in evening gowns as part of pony cosplay costumes.

Photo by Chris Ritter
Pinke Pie cosplay
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Pinke Pie cosplay

A security guard in bulletproof vest talks into his wireless mic.
Photo by Chris Ritter

A security guard in bulletproof vest talks into his wireless mic.

Photo by Chris Ritter
Photo by Chris Ritter
Photo by Chris Ritter
A vendor selling MLP needlepoint crafts.
Photo by Chris Ritter

A vendor selling MLP needlepoint crafts.

Photo by Chris Ritter
"My Little Pony" card game.
Photo by Chris Ritter

"My Little Pony" card game.

Photo by Chris Ritter
Photo by Chris Ritter
Photo by Chris Ritter
Photo by Chris Ritter
Customized ponies for sale
Photo by Chris Ritter

Customized ponies for sale

Photo by Chris Ritter
Fans listen to a panel discussion from voice actors from the show.
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Fans listen to a panel discussion from voice actors from the show.

Bottles of soda decimated by brony LARPers
Photo by Chris Ritter

Bottles of soda decimated by brony LARPers

Cosplay based on a popular fan video where Fluttershy kills Rainbow Dash with a chainsaw.

Cosplay based on a popular fan video where Fluttershy kills Rainbow Dash with a chainsaw.

Princess Celestia cosplay LARPer
Photo by Chris Ritter

Princess Celestia cosplay LARPer

Stereo backpack
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Stereo backpack

Rainbow Dash cosplayer.
Photo by Chris Ritter

Rainbow Dash cosplayer.

LARPers
Photo by Chris Ritter

LARPers

Photo by Chris Ritter
Photo by Chris Ritter
Photo by Chris Ritter
Pony hats were a popular item.
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Pony hats were a popular item.

Fedora unicorn
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Fedora unicorn

Deal with it.
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Deal with it.

Fluttershy cosplay
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Fluttershy cosplay

Rarity cosplay
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Rarity cosplay

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