Who among us knows the allure of My Little Pony? Maybe it’s the oversized eyes or the adorable manes or the childlike innocence. Maybe it’s the animated features and incessant marketing that creates a seemingly unending line of My Little Pony toys and accessories.
Or maybe it’s just hard not to love magical cartoon ponies.
Whatever the psychological reasons, My Little Pony has expanded far beyond its early days as a 1980s-era Hasbro toy. The latest example of the franchise’s enduring popularity is the three-day Grand Brony Gala in Tampa. Last year’s event was so popular that two days were added this year and the convention moved to a larger venue at an Embassy Suites USF.
Bronies, a nickname that’s a mash-up of “bro” and “pony,” are the teen and adult male fans of My Little Pony. Female fans sometimes are called “pegasisters.”
Brony conventions are becoming more common in the U.S., but the Grand Brony Gala is said to be the only one in the Southeast.
The convention runs through Sunday. Single-day tickets range from $20 to $30. A portion of proceeds will benefit All Children’s Hospital.