Yes, yes. But.
June 23, 2012 7:23 PM   Subscribe

Do little girls like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?

This question has proved surprisingly hard to google. I have heard much of this brony phenomenon, but I wasn't sure if the show was actually a hit with its intended target demographic: Small girls. Parents? Are your daughters into this like woah, or what?

I know the original version of the product was a huge fad in the early 80s, and that Hasbro was attempting a revival with this new cartoon. But it seems all the coverage I can find about this show (at least on the internet) is commentary on, or of, the brony fanbase.
posted by Diablevert to Society & Culture (32 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's a blockbuster hit with kids, according to the ratings cited in this Hasbro press release, and in this bit from a blog devoted to analyzing children's TV.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:32 PM on June 23, 2012

My 4.75 year old daughter has not voluntarily watched anything else for weeks. Every day, when 4 o'clock comes around, she gets to watch a show. It is always MLP:FIM. Always. My other daughter (19 months old) has the words: pony, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, Apple Jack, etc., etc. in her vocabulary, and can sing a toddler-y approximation of the opening theme song. They love it. They really love it.
posted by fancyoats at 7:43 PM on June 23, 2012 [7 favorites]

My daughter's nine, and we have many friends with little girls--age range from about three to twelve, say. Out of maybe a dozen kids in that demographic, only one of them doesn't like it, and she's probably close to thirteen now, and sort of too cool for a lot of "kid" things. So anecdotally, I'd say yes, the intended target audience loves it.
posted by MeghanC at 7:45 PM on June 23, 2012

Anecdata: Our soon-to-be 2-year-old daughter is pretty ambivalent about the show. Her older brother, when he was 2, really went nuts for it. He still loves it, and thus we have a bunch of MLP toys around, and our daughter likes playing with those every once in awhile.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:46 PM on June 23, 2012

(Father of two girls ages 3 and 5)

Yes. It's had a pretty good run in our house as a popular show. They generally get to pick one half hour show each per day and they choose carefully. Scooby Doo is still the most popular and has been for some time, but MLP is the only other show that's spawned significant amounts of make believe play.

I get into long discussions about which pony everyone is, and which pony I am, and the relative merits of Unicorns and Pegasus-es and regular ponies. We go garage sale shopping for pony figures. The older one has started to get more into actual horses and has stopped choosing MLP when she gets to pick what to watch, but I believe it's still popular among her school and circle of friends.

They also got me a Rainbow Dash T-Shirt for Fathers day and the 3 year old keeps asking why I don't wear it to work. She doesn't quite get business casual yet.
posted by true at 7:46 PM on June 23, 2012 [24 favorites]

Video evidence of at least one fan from the intended demographic about 1:40 into this video. If nothing else, it's a hit with her.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:47 PM on June 23, 2012

My four year old does!
posted by GaelFC at 7:48 PM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mine would happily watch it all day. When they updated, one of the things they did was get the team that did Power Puff Girls (spelling??) to work on it. It's still rates about a Barney as far as I am concerned, but I am not 5.
posted by Ys at 7:56 PM on June 23, 2012

My friend's two year old and six year old girls love it. I've seen it multiple times, and I am not there all that often. :-)
posted by guster4lovers at 7:57 PM on June 23, 2012

Our 5/6-year-old is mad crazy over MLP, though she doesn't really get the themes sometimes.
posted by moira at 8:01 PM on June 23, 2012

My 6 year old *loves* MLP.
posted by Wolfie at 8:10 PM on June 23, 2012

I'm watching MLP with my 4.5 year-old right now! (well, she's watching, I'm reading Metafilter :)
posted by harkin banks at 8:27 PM on June 23, 2012

Oh hell yes. My four year old daughter regularly watches one or two episodes a day on Netflix (and her six year old brother loves it almost as much). Just today she was informing me that I should refer to her as "Rainbow Dash." (She has since gone back to her given name.)
posted by chinston at 8:28 PM on June 23, 2012

Anecdata: I was waiting in line at Target behind a random mom with little girl around 6-7. Girl spotted a MLP plushie left behind on a register, shrieked "TWILIGHT SPARKLE!", and grabbed it in a strangle-hug. Then she bounced around talking to Twilight Sparkle and talking about Twilight Sparkle's awesomeness to Mom and Cashier for the 10 minutes until Mom finished checking out, while I was trying not to crack up. Mom made Girl leave plushie behind, which she did with a mournful "GOODBYE, TWILIGHT SPARKLE" straight out of Shaaaaane.

We'd parked next to each other in the lot, so Mom and I commiserated over adorableness of PONYSQUEE while we unloaded groceries. Mom: "Even my husband loves to watch it with her!"
posted by nicebookrack at 8:30 PM on June 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

My eight year old daughter absolutely loves it, she and I are total bronies together with no shame.

My nine and a half year old daughter cultivates a serious sophistication and claims to think MLP:FIM is just completely stupid, but all that means is that she won't turn it on herself; she will totally sit and watch it for episodes on end, and has a best pony and everything. She just isn't ready to be open about the fact that she's a full on pegasister.
posted by padraigin at 8:31 PM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

As far as the coverage goes? "Little girls love My Little Pony" is not news. "Adult men love My Little Pony" ... is. The high-profile online discussion, at least, will be necessarily slanted towards the latter aspect.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 8:50 PM on June 23, 2012

My 6-year-old daughter likes it a lot, though the Octonauts are her current favorite show. Some of the MLP episodes are a little scary for her (she has a very low tolerance for dramatic tension), but she loves most of them. We even made her a Fluttershy costume for Halloween last year.
posted by mogget at 9:04 PM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

My 3-year-old daughter loves it. It was my husband's idea to show it to her, though! I like it too, though, I think it is a very positive show with nice messages about friendship.

P.S. mogget, great costume!
posted by sutel at 9:48 PM on June 23, 2012

My five year old niece has the toys. I don't know whether she watches the show, or even whether she has the toys because she's asked for them/is a huge fan vs. they're just the standard $8.99 kindergarten girl birthday present at the moment.

I was the prime age for the 80's fad and remember having a ton of them, but only a passing interest in the cartoon itself.
posted by Sara C. at 10:00 PM on June 23, 2012

My six-year-old daughter loves it, as does her older brother. But not any more than she loves Shaun the Sheep, Garfield, Diego, Dora, or Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:09 PM on June 23, 2012

My daughter, who is nearly three, asks to see "the ponies" all the time. When we are dumb, and start looking up actual horses for her to look at, she corrects us: "No, baby ponies! Talking baby ponies!" She has a couple of pony related things, and Pinkie Pie is her favourite.
posted by Kaleidoscope at 11:29 PM on June 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

My four year old gets to pick one netflix show a day. She and her brother went through a pony phase a couple of months ago but it didn't last long. They only watched about ten episodes before moving on to other things. It isn't one o her favorites.
posted by Area Man at 2:04 AM on June 24, 2012

My boy/girl twins are almost four years old. They both like the show (although it is not their favorite), but my daughter in particular is the one with the pony toys. They are going to a "pony pals" day camp this week through our county rec center, and I suspect they may be disappointed when the real pony is (a) normal-colored and (b) doesn't talk or fly.
posted by candyland at 3:17 AM on June 24, 2012

(sigh) I tried hard to keep us away from licensed characterland; eventually daughter (almost 5) got S Shortcake (earlier version) and MLP. We are overrun with multi-hued plastic ponies and "into this like woah," yes. One poor purple pony has been re-named Princess Luna, who is a baddie in some episodes, and the "Magformers" (magnetic construction toy thing) keep turning into THE ELEMENTS OF HARMONY! which is needed to sort out Princess Luna, and... We have been utterly pony-mad for just under a year now; the ponies were appealing on their own but the show did its advertising job and cemented the appeal.
posted by kmennie at 4:15 AM on June 24, 2012

Thanks, all. I had seen the ratings numbers, but I wasn't sure if something that was a big hit for a third-string cable channell actually was the talk of kindergarten lunchrooms across the land, or whether the adult cult following was sustaining something actual kids were pretty meh about. Googling for the show minus -bronies didn't work because pretty much every pop-culture site that talked about it at all mentioned them.
posted by Diablevert at 6:31 AM on June 24, 2012

James Lileks' daughter was a big MLP fan.
posted by Bruce H. at 7:07 AM on June 24, 2012

Huge with our just-turned-4-year-old and -2-year-old girls -- the latter calls it "My Ponies," and when anyone else refers to it, she shrieks, "No! MY Ponies!" This is how we know she's mastered you/me pronouns.
posted by palliser at 7:55 AM on June 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

My 4-year-old likes it, but not as much as Scooby Doo, Jem and the Holograms, or any type of superhero show.
posted by FergieBelle at 8:26 AM on June 24, 2012

Data point - My girls are 11 and 8. They love it.
posted by erebora at 10:01 AM on June 24, 2012

My 4 yr old likes it and often chooses it for her screen time option. She also wanted to name the new puppy Rainbow Dash.
posted by hms71 at 12:22 PM on June 24, 2012

My Twitter avatar is Pinkie Pie, and this happened.
posted by mendel at 3:29 PM on June 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

My daughter loved it when she was eight, but neither she nor her friends seem to have had any real interest in the show over the past season. This doesn't seem to have anything to do with season two, I think they all feel that they're too mature for ponies anymore.
posted by lekvar at 12:05 PM on June 25, 2012

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