#82) How long do you think "Friendship is Magic" will last for? What is a good amount of seasons? Honestly, I want it to go on until at least Season 8.
Answer: Season 8 is a stretch. This is really a two-part question. The first part is about how long I realistically think that the show will last, based on speculation and circumstantial evidence. The second is about how long I personally believe the show should last, which is a different matter altogether.
To engage with the first part, we know that the show at least has in front of it another 13 episodes. After that, more might be made, or the show may maintain its success based on repeats. I can't predict when the show will end exactly, but it's pretty much a given that when Hasbro update the toy-line again, the show will be replaced. It's impossible to talk about "Friendship is Magic" without discussing it directly in parallel to the toys, as they both run off of each other and help to sustain one another. There's no set time that a particular generation of the product can last; I imagine that Hasbro update their range based on demand. With "Friendship is Magic", they may well adopt a 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach for a few more years.
This is quite possible, considering that they're marketing to a wide audience and My Little Pony is both running its objectively best show so far and the toys are selling pretty well. Hasbro's financial reports seem to be positive, with My Little Pony way up there as one of their most profitable intellectual properties, and the show is reporting high ratings for the Hub. I believe the Royal Wedding episodes broke new audience records on the network. Add on top of that the copious amounts of merchandise marketed at kids – dolls; bubble blowers; colouring books; bedsheets etc. – and the merchandise now being aimed at older audiences – comics; DVD boxsets; more expensive dolls – and it's easy to see that Hasbro are being remarkably industrious on their end.
Whether this is because they want to get as much out of the franchise as possible before the inevitable reboot, or because they've finally 'found their groove' with My Little Pony as a brand remains to be seen. They might keep this generation going for many more years – if it continues to turn a solid profit and maintains an active fan-base, the real question is: why not? It's hard to predict when the show will end, but there's a good amount of logical evidence – profits and marketing strategies, mainly - to suggest that Hasbro will keep it going for a while yet. It doesn't seem to be slowing down, at any rate.
Now, onto the more contentious point: how long do I think it should go on for? Plenty of animated shows are still entertaining after many series – "South Park" and "Futurama", for example. However, both of those shows feel as if they've had their heyday, and that anything that comes from now on will be good without living up to when the shows were at their peak. I imagine the same will be the case for "Friendship is Magic". Even if the show did make it to Season 8 – which I highly doubt it would – the episodes would likely start to feel less nuanced. It's possible to have too much of a good thing, and I imagine an over-saturation of ponies would be no different.
That said, a diverse group of changing writers could keep things interesting between seasons, and the characters are interesting enough – and the world rich enough – to justify a whole bunch of episodes. If the show ended with Season 3, I'd consider it to be a pretty solid run for a show that was cancelled slightly prematurely. Remember that "Friendship is Magic" started airing in 2010 – for it to finish in 2012/2013 wouldn't make such a successful show very long-lived.
I think at Season 4/5 I'd be happy to say goodbye to the show. I don't think it should go on for much longer, given that the subject matter could grow stale. However, for now, I'm happy to say that the show still seems to have plenty of life left in it, and it's reasonable to assume that more ponies will be on the way after this upcoming season. If not, it's not the end of the world, though – good things can quite often come in small doses.
#83) Why don't Hasbro release "Friendship is Magic" plushies that are as nice as the fandom plushies? The official ones suck and there's no excuse for it.
Answer: This is a common complaint I seem to see a lot among dissenters. To me, the answer is obvious, but I guess some people just need that extra push. Plushies – the best in the fandom – are usually quite expensive, but with good reason: they take a while to make; the materials cost money; the people making them need to be able to financially justify the labour; people are willing to pay for them (supply and demand); and some of them are of a really high quality. That's why some plushie-makers charge anything from $250 upwards for great plushies. Some go for thousands on eBay, but as far as I've seen, not many plushie-makers charge that on commission – that's overzealous bronies ramping up prices in an auction, rather than a set price.
You can get a good quality plush in this fandom for a few hundred dollars, which is expensive, but people are often happy to pay it to have a cute plush in return. Plushies can last a lifetime – the price might seem high, but over the space of however many years you live, it isn't all that much in the grand scheme of things. Now, as for why Hasbro don't release plushies of the same quality, it seems fairly obvious – do you think they'd be able to charge $250+ in a toy shop?
Hasbro are still primarily marketing for little girls. Little girls don't have $250 to spend on a soft toy. Neither do their parents, who could just as easily buy them a teddy bear for $10. Hasbro are focused on turning a profit – making plushies of the same quality as the best plushies in the fandom would be a lot more expensive, and thus they'd have to charge more. It's not realistic to expect them to do that. The ultimate aim for toy-makers is to keep prices and material costs as low as possible - while maintaining a decent product - so that they can make the biggest profit. Does that mean that their products still suffer? Arguably, but they'd suffer a lot more if they did release ridiculously expensive toys and couldn't ramp up enough sales to make them viable. Making cheap products means that people can buy cheap products, which is a system that works.
Outside of that, if Hasbro did hypothetically release official plushies of a really high standard and undercut the fandom plushie-makers, it'd be giving the brony plushie-makers less chance of making a decent income off of them. As things stand, the plushies might seem expensive, but a lot of plushie-makers work hard and in return receive a good income from their creative skill. This is one area where it's better that Hasbro don't get involved – it allows for the fandom to flourish, and you tend to end up paying for what you get. If you spend hundreds of dollars on a product from a reputable fandom plushie-maker, chances are it'll be a fine plush toy. That kind of transaction keeps the whole brony 'economy' moving, which, during these troubled economic times, is no bad thing.
And, to be honest, apart from the spaghetti hair, those new Hasbro plushies aren't bad.
#84) [Answered by my good friend TurkeySM] So, I'm in a few pony groups on Deviantart because I like seeing some good art now and then. But what really bothers me is the painfully large volume of art that seems to be... Less than adequate? I can get someone's sketches or new efforts, but what I mean are ponies with boobs in bikinis, and other stuff pushing the edge of Rule 34.
Why do people look at this, why do people make it, and why does anyone feature it? Certainly I can't be the only one who doesn't want to see it!
Answer: While I am not particularly well-versed in the sexualized, dark side of the MLP fandom, I can attempt to answer your question with the basic common sense I have.
I can understand your frustration. It's rather annoying to see large-breasted ponies that are poorly drawn with a quality that reflects a poor understanding of human/pony anatomy. As to why people look at or make these kinds of images is a question that requires multiple answers. Some make or view these Rule 34 or Rule 34-esque pictures because they truly elicit sexual pleasure from doing so. It might be a pony/anthro fetish or it might be because the breasts and flanks are attractive regardless of the species, but either way, it's something that particularly stands out in this fandom because the series is aimed at young children.
This leads in to another reason: people simply enjoy perverting and corrupting things that are meant to be pure and innocent. The people who draw or look at these pictures might not be sexually attracted to the ponies at all, they just get a kick out of seeing something so good become something terribly wrong. They might get a kick out of it because they have a dark side to their personality that they are exercising or maybe because they just like to see these images make people such as yourself go "what the heck?!".
Sexualizing and corrupting things is unfortunately a big part of human nature, so these kinds of Rule 34 or Rule 34-ish pictures reach out to the not so noble parts of the human being, making such pictures rather popular. And because they are popular, they're going to be featured. Just as many advertisements these days sell the image and idea of sex, a group can become popular or well known if it's featured or best advertising section contains sexual pony pictures. This refers to general or semi-general pony groups. Groups that specialize in featuring sexualized ponies may exist for the same reasons listed above: catering to a fetish or general lust, providing a shock/corrupting factor, and trying to be popular.
Of course, there might be other, more obscure reasons people indulge in this kind of pony art, and there are also people who enjoy this stuff due to a combination of the aforementioned reasons, but either way, with them around, you're going to see this stuff and kind of behavior on Deviantart and other art sites. You are definitely not the only one who doesn't want to see it--many, many young children come to mind as well--but so long as several parts of the fandom or perhaps all of humanity keep thinking with their loins rather than their heads, perverted pony art will be present in groups and Deviantart in general.
Brony Advice is both an active collaboration with artists and an advice column, in the simplest of terms: I want you to send me notes if you have any problems, secrets or comments on the pony fandom of any nature. It doesn't matter how embarrassing, offensive or vicious they might be - if you want someone to comment on them in an unbiased way, send them over. Maybe there's something within the fandom that you particularly despise, or perhaps you're feeling sad and need to hear some friendly advice? Whatever the motive, send me a note with your comment or question.
I'll then respond with advice and commentary and post the answers up in future installments. Users will remain anonymous, so you don't need to worry about your feelings and thoughts getting out onto DeviantArt. You may find that some of the things that you've personally been feeling will be addressed.
Feel free to note me if you would like your questions and observations to be answered in an upcoming edition. Every edition will be engaging with three issues. The above three featured today were submitted by anonymous deviants.
In this issue, my friend *TurkeySM contributed an answer. As Brony Advice is collaborative, I thought it fair to get some answers from other people connected to the fandom, to give some other interesting perspectives on issues. Many thanks to him for his contribution!
Artwork by the wonderful *Rannie-kins. Go check out her stuff!
In response to your eight seasons business, have you by chance heard of a show called Aqua Teen Hunger Force? It is a animated adult cartoon on Adult Swim staring three fast food items who basically try to accomplish nothing to the best of their abilities. I think they are in season eleven now and I still love the show as much as I did when it was in season one.
Its all down to the writers if a show can last, let us hope that IF My Little Pony; Friendship is Magic lasts for more than four Seasons, the Writers will do a good job in keeping all of us (Children and 'Us') entertained.
In response to question #84, I can guarantee the vast majority of those viewing and producing pony rule 34 images either have a fetish, or wish to cater to that fetish. The fetish does not even have to be specifically for anthro/pony images either, as many fetishes can intersect in deviantart works. As a man who used to have a fetish, I know quite well how the community works.
For those that have the fetish or a related fetish which leads them to see pony rule 34 images, they will see nothing wrong with it at all; they will see it as hot, and that is as far as it will go. The best defense they have for these images' existence will likely be that just because the images exist, does not mean you have to see them. It's not a bad defense, but it doesn't cover all the bases, seeing as many younger viewers will sign up for deviantart and lie about their age in order to allow the mature content filter to work. We know it happens, and it likely puts them at risk, especially if they join large pony groups which allow questionable material through. I suppose as long as the material isn't too questionable, it's okay to post, but creators of such art should consider what they're doing when they submit to huge pony groups.
As for the creators of these images, many will share in the fetish or a related fetish, and won't stop because they enjoy satiating their desires. Even if they don't have a fetish, they will continue making this kind of art because they likely receive a net positive response to it, and requests for "moar please." This is especially true if they do commissions, as they receive payment for satiating the desires of fans. This also occurs for those doing requests, as the psychology of humans shows that people very much like to be thanked and praised for favors they do for others. Even when the show ends, the works will continue to flow out, because the fetish won't die and never will.
Hmmm... I think the Brony fandom needs more things like this column. We need more reasonable well grounded opinions/ personalities to evaluate/ lookup to and help diminish the zeal of all the 14-16 year old boys. Which apparently make up the bulk of the BRONY fandom (Yes, it seems even in the Brony fandom those >20something of age are as rare as unicorns, Which I'm fine with Unicorns rock^_^).
I mean one example of this disturbing zeal; Go to any vid on you tube of that "Gryphon the Brushoff" episode. Find one that has had enough time to accrue a "robust" comment section and just see the vitriol being spewed at that Gilda... A cartoon character... You bet there are many instances describing torture, assault and even threats of death to her fictional persons.
I mean suuuure she roared at poor cute lil Fluttershy and made her cry, Gilda's a meany mean mean bully pants after all that's how she was written you are supposed to dislike her. But gee's guys, good grief... Death threats, really? Then again this could be a case of the scene invoking powerful memories, seeing them selves in little Fluttershy's distressed cries. But even then that still doesn't warrant the kind of rage you see in the comments.
When you are threatening a cartoon gryphon with death you kind of need to see a therapist of sorts... Just saying.
All in all, good to see some rational level headed Bronies running about.
#82 I agree with the assessment of 4/5 seasons being a good run without over-doing things or getting stale.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a good example. So far, they've managed to keep the stories fairly fresh and good, with only a handful of stinkers in the lot. They've got a broad range of episode types, from pure slapstick to fairly dramatic stories (the one about the clone who just wanted to be left alone to raise a family gets me every time), and this season is the fifth. It's been a blast so far three episodes in, but some people are complaining about certain decisions, such as the decision to resurrect Darth Maul. He's a cool character, but the idea that someone could survive being chopped in half, even with the assistance of the Dark Side of the Force, is a bit of a stretch. They also messed with the established design of the Z-95 Headhunter and made it more cartoony and less interesting overall. This makes me think that it will probably come to an end either this season, or else next year.
MLP will probably be the same way. The writing is of the same caliber overall, and this leads me to believe it will have a similar run of five to six seasons. This is best for the series as a whole, because it means that quantity is sacrificed for quality.
Besides this, there are always possibilities for things like a web series done on YouTube after the show ends to keep it alive. Many fan films of many different series have been done, with varying degrees of quality, but I can point to three that I think demonstrate that this is a viable option: IMPS The Relentless for Star Wars, Star Trek: Phase II, and The Joker Blogs series. There are also professionally done series that are exclusive to YouTube, such as the new H+ series, a good sci-fi yarn.
Bottom line, the best thing for the series would be to end at a peak instead of continuing long past its prime and ending up jumping the shark. If the fans want it to continue, there's plenty of talent in the fandom to keep it alive for as long as the momentum is there to keep it so.
#83 This is a great example of how in people who do manufacturing design and engineering must compromise.
I am studying engineering, and one of the classes I've had dealt with processes of manufacturing. Things like how injection molding is done, blow-molding, explosive hydroforming (basically using dynamite to blast a piece of sheet metal underwater and force it to conform to a mold), etc. We also covered some rudimentary design stuff, in which we discussed how parts are designed.
It's always a compromise between what the part needs to do and what the customer can afford. An ideal bracket for instance would be made from high carbon stainless steel or a titanium alloy. Maybe even carbon fiber. But can the customer afford a $100 part that must be duplicated ten thousand times across a bridge at that price? Of course not. So they go with a lesser grade of steel which can do the job at the bare minimum and only cost about $20 per part to manufacture.
It's the same story in every single industry, including the toy industry. Sure, they can definitely create high-quality plushies which are show-accurate with accurate manes, posable heads and wings for pegasi, etc.
But can the customer afford that? With each step in the manufacturing process you increase the cost to make the product, and each of those steps would be an additional expense that Hasbro probably doesn't feel would be worth whatever return on investment they would get from selling them.
Let's look at show-accurate manes vs. the spaghetti manes we've got. Spaghetti manes are basically a piece of fabric which has been cut into strips. This involves stamping a stack of fabric with a die which cuts the piece and the strips simultaneously. One simple step using a cheap tool that doesn't need to be replaced that often because the pressure generated by the press is what does the cutting (with enough pressure even a butter knife can cut through fabric. It won't be pretty, but it can be done). Then all the factory has to do is sew it on the assembled plushie and it's good to go.
Contrast this with what it would take to do a show-accurate mane. Let's skip over the design aspect, which incidentally would be much more complex than the spaghetti mane. It would involve two halves of fabric, which means you get half the number of manes per cut from the press. These are sewn together, then stuffed with a bit of foam or stuffing, and then closed up, any patterns sewn into it with an automated machine, then finally the mane is sewn to the incomplete head so that the stitches may be hidden by the fully assembled part. This creates complications, which means this step must be done slowly, making the total number of complete plushies much lower than it would be otherwise.
Can you see why this would make the cost go through the roof? And that's just the mane. A more accurate body and head would require more patterns and longer manufacturing time because there would be more to sew. And I didn't even mention what it would take to do swiveling heads.
This is something pretty common in the toy industry, and once you understand how they are made you will understand the reasons behind the design decisions.
#84 This was answered pretty completely in not only this answer, but a previous answer dealing with R34. It's something I personally can't stand, because I just don't like that kind of art and because it gives bronies a very bad name and a reason for people to dislike us.
You have an incredibly broad range of knowledge about a variety of subjects. Your response was a fascinating read - backing up my above answers with a whole plethora of extra information. I should add a 'click to read more' or citation at the bottom of question #83 and link to your comment...if such a thing was possible
I've mentioned a few times in several places (though I don't think it was in this column) that I'm a lot like Twilight Sparkle: I spend a lot of time reading and watching educational videos on different subjects. My idea of light reading is an astronomy textbook.
I've been this way since I can remember, and actually, much like Twilight, it affected my value of friendship because I thought books were far more interesting. Plus they didn't judge me for being an "egghead". That's one reason I love being at a university. The people here appreciate knowledge and wisdom rather than attempt to tear it down to make themselves feel better (I've got some baggage from mean kids doing that when I was a boy, but the scars are mostly healed).
I've been thinking about writing a fanfic on Twilight's childhood which would explore how kids would treat a nerd like me when I was a child, leading to Twilight valuing books and studying more than social relationships, then bringing it back to her first experience in Ponyville which changed her paradigm of social relationships.
Guess what guys! I'm
reopening my stores
(Etsy and Storenvy)
and commissions, I
can finally announce
that I'm getting
married and I need
to save as much as
possible for the big
day, July 27th.
before anyone asks,
the wedding is not
been planning it for
a long time...
Sorry, I can't
believe it's been so
long since I've done
this "orzEdit: I
forgot, but my
friend here's having
it's about your
with your favourite
food. It can be your
own character or
away time is back
:D! This time I've
got 1500pts to give
away c:The last
giveaway was really
well received so I'm
doing another! After
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panned out, one
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of is to PLEASE
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guidelines so you
can be properly...
FIRSTLY: thank you
so much for all your
kind birthday wishes
and little gifts!
:hug: you made me
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;)and now we move on
to the first part of
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More