By Tony Lopez

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — This week, CBS13’s Tony Lopez takes on Bronies: Grown men who love the animated series “My Little Pony” and everything that goes with it.

As Tony found out, these fans enjoy their fantasy world, and they’re not afraid to show it.

You’ve seen the commercials, and maybe spotted the merchandise, or your children have checked out the animated series “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.”

It’s colorful, soft and fuzzy with a great message, and girls love it.

And so do some grown men.

Say hello to Bronies. We caught up with about a dozen inside this Sacramento-area comic book store.

“What exactly is a brony?”

“A brony to me is somebody who is somebody who really goes into it and buys the comics and buys the toys..goes into the internet forums and listens to pony music.”

Yes, he said pony music.

From songs to characters to story lines to comic books, Bronies—adults, mostly men between the ages of 18 and 25—are emerging from the shadows and unafraid of talking about their obsession with “My Little Pony.”

Carlos Alfaro is president of the Sacramento State Brony Club.

“I would say it’s a pretty big part of my life,” he said.

A life that gets complicated  when he and the rest of these Bronies have to explain their love for all things Pony.

They can recite the reactions in their sleep: “Boo. You guys are lame. My Little Pony? Seriously? Oh my God.”

But the quick response to those quick to criticize: “Why do you  guys have to look at this at a very superficial level when you don’t know anything about us?”

That’s true, so we went looking for answers to what many might call a bizarre question: Why would a grown man be drawn to My Little Pony?

Jason says it’s the storyline, where everything is based on friendship as the ponies help each other overcome life’s problems.

“It’s fun and it’s sweet, and it’s a strong moral thing. I think more people could benefit from it if they gave it more of a chance,” he said.

Jeremy, 18, giving his Pinky Pies a pony ride, says he never misses an episode.

What else draws these grown men to Pony-dom? The animation and the artwork in both the cartoon and comic book they say is second to none.

Oh, and you can’t forget the figurines and the character voiceover work, which Bronies have been known to mimic.

We know it’s none of our business, but we still had to ask: How do they respond to people who are going to say that this is weird.

“Umm, have you heard about it?”

More people are hearing about it. There’s been a Brony documentary made, and last year’s Brony-Con drew 8,000 strong, sending a strong message about stereotypes.

It’s a fantastic journey into a fantasy world that might leave most scratching their heads. But the Bronies are itching for more.

Dave Downey owns World’s Best Comics in Sacramento.

“I didn’t see it coming,” he said about the appeal of My Little Pony to men. “I gotta say, I’m surprised.”

What matters most to these Bronies is friendship, and fantasy.

“We’re just like normal people who just like these things.”

Tony Takes On airs every Friday at 10 p.m.


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