Children, casual fans of Hasbro's hit series “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” and diehard Bronies alike came together this past Easter weekend for the Bay Area Brony Spectacular (BABSCon) at the Hyatt Regency near the San Francisco Airport. As the first Bay Area convention devoted to “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” local fans used BABSCon to truly show their love of this animated series that features positive messages for children, imaginative character design, and some clever writing. And Bronies (adult fans of the series) traveled from around the country to share in that fandom.
Attendees had a variety of ways to publicly show their love of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” Attendees found ways to make or buy various pony paraphernalia to wear showing that they were Bronies and proud of it. Talented artists and entrepreneurs found clever ways to create crafts and artwork of beloved characters and products based on in-jokes within the series. Now even BABSCon has an exclusive WeLoveFine.com San Francisco Mane Six shirt until May 9.
Others took it a step further by dressing up in cosplay. Whether they chose to cosplay as an official character from the series or cosplay their own original characters, attendees of BABSCon were pleased to see the colorful display as the cosplayers posed for photographs. The costume contest was a high point where attendees could show off their “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” cosplay for recognition and prizes.
While cosplay would appeal to Bronies visually, the NEIGHhem Festival featuring various “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” themed musicians like Eurobeat Brony appealed to them audibly. Remixing themes from the series and creating a few original ones, attendees got to rock and dance the nights away.
As a family friendly convention themed around a show aimed at children, BABSCon provided ways to make sure said child attendees would remain entertained. Themed after the Cutie Mark Crusaders, the CMC Adventures had a variety of pony-themed activities like creating original characters and singing along with Pinkie Pie. Voice actress Nicole Oliver assisted children further by herding them all to the front row during the voice actor panels so they could get a better view.
This kind of consideration for others was recurring during BABSCon. It was easy to notice in simple things like attendees helping each other locate panels within the hotel or complimenting each other's outfit that showed their fandom. Or it was seen in a philanthropic scale as Bronies outbid each other during the auction benefiting charities like the San Francisco SPCA and San Francisco Suicide Prevention. By the end—whether they were children, fans, or Bronies—everyone who attended BABSCon had something in common: A love for a series that does show how friendship is magic.