My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic features oodles of glitter, pastel coloured ponies, and liberally uses the words friendship, love and magic at every possible opportunity. It seems perfectly formulated to earn the affection of six-year-old girls, but has somehow managed to entrap an unlikely fan base- educated adult males who claim to be attracted to the show's simple, beautiful storylines. They call themselves Bronies, a mix of the words "bro" and "ponies".
The fact that they say it without a hint of irony seems so odd that it has sparked several studies, the results of which make the phenomenon even more baffling. According to Wikipedia, an informal survey puts the total number of Bronies at anywhere between 7 and 12.4 million. Another independent survey claims that 84% of Bronies are heterosexual, and 70% of them are currently in school. A number of them even serve in the US Armed Forces, and use the ponies' "cutie marks" as part of their uniform.
Hasbro, the maker of the show, is quickly realising that a fan base with adult-sized pockets can be greatly beneficial. The Bronies not only run several websites with fan art, music and stories, they have also planned a BronyCon - a convention exclusively for My Little Pony fans over the age of 14, to be held in New York, in April 2013. They have even launched the Brony Thank You Project - a drive that collected funds to buy a television commercial thanking the creators of the show. They are equally demanding with the producers - after the show edited some lines that seemingly changed the character of a pony named Derpy, 40,000 Bronies signed a petition in protest.
Even though Hasbro doesn't seem to have given in to their demands, the protest seems extremely polite and cordial. After all, friendship is magic, and magic is friendship, and love is rainbows, and so on.