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How has the fandom changed since you joined it?

Discussion in 'General My Little Pony Discussion' started by Loganberry, 9 May 2018.

  1. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    That's a deliberately broadly-worded question to allow people to answer in whatever way they wish. For example: do you think it's a nicer place now, or is drama more of a problem? Has the emphasis changed at social events like meetups? Is there something that you miss from the old days, or something you're glad has died away? That sort of thing, though as I say, please feel free to answer however you like. :)
     
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  2. GatewaytoGlimmer

    GatewaytoGlimmer Happy Happy Joy Joy!

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    It's a bit of a mixed bag for me. I joined the fandom where non bronies viewed fans as "Ewww, you like a little girls' show? You creep!" but it's largely died down in the past couple of years. In my early days of watching the show (December 2011), I was never really involved with the fandom that much, I just watched the show and minded my own business and at Season 3 stopped altogether.

    Came back at the start of Season 4, but this time got into the fandom more. Started collecting the toys and joined Derpibooru, which I regret as it's not a very nice place and definitely wasn't back then. There was a lot of arguing about Equestria Girls and Alicorn Twilight and it just made the place so toxic. However I started drawing ponies on my dA account in early 2014 and met some lovely people who I could relate to a lot more. I feel for me with the show itself, I got a lot more critical of it in Season 4, but thankfully by 5 I mellowed out and I think it's why it's my second favourite season after 2. I'm glad though I found this place which is so much nicer =) The drama in general has cooled down and I believe Starlight's reform at the end of Season 5 was the most recent piece of "major drama" and that happened ages ago.

    I think though collecting toys in 2014 was my favourite year. I used to head down to Forbidden Planet in London and Croydon looking for Funko Vinyl models, went around London visiting different Sainsburys, Asdas Tescos, Argos', Toys R Us' (RIP), Entertainers and Smyths' just looking for different ponies I wanted, and not necessarily needed :p However I think towards the start of 2016 this started to decline for me and I lost a bit of interest. I think the issue with this is that the fandom is not as big now as it was around 2012, which I think has lost a bit of its magic. A lot of great artists have left, merch isn't as common anymore, and stuff like BUCK ending as well has made me regret not being more committed earlier as well as I wanted to visit there so badly =( I think as well however a lot of "nasty" people I experienced in this fandom across the web have gone and it seems a lot nicer. I think as well that other fandoms like Steven Universe and Rick and Morty gathering bad reputations has drifted away people's opinions of what MLP fans are like and it's made me feel more comfortable (of course the SU and R&M fandoms' problems are with a minority).

    It's also very recently that I've been attending meets and I've loved it so far, but I can't imagine what it would have been like if I had done it sooner...

    Sorry if this post seems like a disorganised mess, it's hard to put how I've felt. I will say though, the fandom is a nicer place to be in now, but I think with the absence of things like BUCK in this country, artists moving on with their lives, retailers stocking less merch and the show not being quite as good as it was has lost some of the magic for me.
     
  3. Recurrent Trotting

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    Short answer is that fandom is still a sweet thing to me. Longer answer is that in the earlier days it was more sassy/exciting but on a number of occasions was a bit too much. Now it's less exciting but has still got its sassy parts, but feels much nicer and more comfortable to be in. Still feels good to be a brony /)

    *fidgets* I want to see you answer your own question :p
     
  4. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Let me give you a (\ -- as it happens, one tiny thing I regret is the gradual disappearance of little bits of silliness like that.
    Your wish is my command! I always intended to; I just didn't have time earlier. I think I share quite a few of the feelings that @GatewaytoGlimmer mentioned in his (very interesting) reply, so I'll expand on some of those here:

    Using UK of E as a specific example first, since I've been here right from my early days in the fandom (the tail end of S2) and been a moderator since 2013... I would agree that the fandom is a nicer place now. I don't think it was ever a bad place, but we mods/admins here certainly had more problems to deal with back then. Most of them were minor, but even so. I think those who were into ponies "for the lulz" have pretty much left the scene now, and we're left with those who simply like ponies. That probably helps keep the drama levels down a bit.

    I don't think I'd say the magic has gone for me, but some of the freshness has. It's uncommon now for me to find something in the fandom that provokes simple wonder -- for example, MandoPony's "So Much Left to Know". That song (originally released late 2011, I think) is simple and heartfelt and sincere in a way modern brony music tends not to be. I do miss the days when Equestria was this beautiful fantasy land which didn't have many of the human world's problems and where friendship was always the ultimate answer. The whole "new sincerity" thing seems to have been diluted with irony a bit now.

    I only got involved in the social side of the fandom in 2013. Looking at conventions first, the two BUCKs I got to (2013 and '14) were incredible experiences and I'll always treasure the memories. Nothing like BUCK will ever happen in the UK again, and that's sad. On the other hand, UK PonyCon has become a wonderful highlight of my year. It's a different experience, and it lacks the huge set-pieces like show guests and big concerts, but I do think its atmosphere is nicer. BUCK was just a tiny bit laddish at times in a way I don't really enjoy, and of course by the end it was very expensive.

    One odd thing I've noticed is that we've gone from people being a little awkward/embarrassed to call themselves "bronies", through a period from say 2012-15 where it was totally normal, and now back the other way a bit. Meetups have declined in number, and some of those that are still going now only happen occasionally, or are really only incidentally Pony with just a few plushies here and there while everyone talks about films or anime or whatever. My own local meetup (Worcester) is still mostly about the pones, and personally I'm very glad.

    In my favourite area (fanfic) there's still some very high-quality stuff being published, but most of it is from people who've been in the fandom at least as long as I have. I'm always delighted when I find someone new who writes a great story, but unfortunately it's not as common as I'd like. Back at the height of the fandom, there was some amazingly high quality writing help around, in some cases from the professional authors in the fandom, and some of the most famous ponyfic authors now got so polished because of that. There isn't really that coherent network any more, just scattered people.

    I have textwalled here, so I'll finish by mentioning toys. In the early days, a lot of nice stuff didn't cross the Atlantic at all. Then, for a few years while Pony was a pop culture hit, Forbidden Planet and the like used to stock heaps of it. Then that died away but the toy shops got better -- The Entertainer has a far more interesting range now than it did in 2012. It does feel as though it's starting to go downhill again now, though. Had the Fan Series figures come out in 2013, I'm pretty sure they'd have been in Forbidden Planet as a matter of course, as the big Funko vinyl ponies were.
     
  5. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    Well I joined the ride in 2013 which seems to have been at the height of fandom drama - there were people 'rage quitting' the fandom all the time, and apart from on UKofE it felt like you pretty much couldn't mention Equestria Girls or Twilicorn without stirring up an angry mob. But at the same time the fandom was very exciting to me with the whole "new sincerity" thing, I've never been fond of cynicism and to me at the time it felt like a form or rebelling against it (as well as social stereotypes), I might even describe it as being part of a social movement, of sorts. But in 2013 it felt like it was about to tear itself apart at times, and I really hoped that it wouldn't.

    Now I'm really glad that most of the drama has gone, but also some of the excitement has gone as well - I don't necessarily put that down to any broad changes in the ethos of the fandom, but time passing means that, inevitably, there's not the same 'newness' to it, I mean we're just a couple of years off going for a decade so I think that's pretty good going. I suppose it's also become more normal, we're now a fandom like other fandoms of TV shows, less of a cultural phenomenon. That said it's still a great fandom to be part of.

    I'm not complaining, I'm still proud to be a brony /), and it's still the best TV show in the world as far as I'm concerned. :)
     
  6. Eunos the Fool

    Eunos the Fool Proud Hater of Sparity

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    It is noticeble how the fandom is no way near as big as it once was.

    I attend MCM Coming Con in London every year. A few years ago MLP had a huge presence there with tons of stalls selling MLP merch and you would see plenty of MLP cosplayers, however over the years it's presence there has gotten smaller and smaller...It' still there but not even close to being as big as it once was. Heck I don't even think an MLP meet exists anymore.

    For some I guess the whole Brony thing was just a phase and that phase has since ended a long time ago..

    That said it does still have its loyal fans, I consider myself one of them.

    I first got into it around April 2011..Jumped in on the back end of Season 1.

    I still attend conventions.. I travel to Germany every year for Galacon, I went to Holland this year for Hearths Warming and have been up to Scotland for Bronyscot so it' fair to say Ibuave gotten around. I have considered on numerous occasions trying to get to a convention in the States but it either clashes or just isn't possible..Despite what it seems I'm not rich and I only get so much time a year off work.

    Ive been to Buck twice..It's a shame it's no longer a thing and would happily welcome it back..But I also enjoy the smaller conventions. Did Ponycon last year and will be back again this year, also going to Griffiths Isles this weekend.

    Still a fan of the show though I thought Season 6 was a bit of a decline but thankfully has picked itself up since.

    Have numerous merchandise thought I have toned it down a bit lately.

    Still love drawing Ponies as well, sadly my stuff isn't very popular but nevermind :)

    I've made numerous friends thanks to the show, some have lost interest in the show since which is sad but alas.

    Either way I have no regrets getting into this series and as long as it is still a thing I'm not going anywhere :)
     
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  7. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

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    I would like to contribute to this discussion thread, but unfortunately I don't think I have much to offer that hasn't already been said. I think the fandom feels a lot quieter than it did even a couple of years ago. Although it's quite hard for me to judge, as my passion for the show has slowly declined over the years, so I've been following less and less fan content. I still watch the show as a casual fan, but it doesn't hold the same magic for me that it once did.

    One thing I specifically remember; back in 2013, when I first got into the show, we had lots of big fan animation releases like Children of the Night, Snowdrop, Double Rainboom and Don't Mine at Night. At the time these really felt like global 'events' that everyone in the fandom was getting behind, which was super exciting. I just don't see that sort of thing happening any more, although like I said, it might just be because I'm a bit disconnected now.

    My involvement now is almost predominantly focuses on continuing to meet up with friends, at meetups and conventions. It's the best thing to come out of the fandom for me. Sure, I've picked up some very nice merchandise along the way, although I don't think it's likely I'll be shelling out for many more custom plushies, for example.

    To be honest, it's been really paining me while watching season 8, to realise that the show doesn't grab me in the way it once did. Although I have been particularly busy/tired over the last couple of months (what with moving house), so maybe I can refresh my enthusiasm a bit as the season progresses. One thing's for sure; I have no intention of deserting UK of Equestria.
     
    #7 Oilyvalves, 15 May 2018
    Last edited: 15 May 2018
  8. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    Having joined just after Christmas 2015, it feels kinda weird hearing about the "old fandom". Kinda makes me wish I'd joined sooner, but with the drama I've heard about, and me having been in a bit of a strange place myself around that time, maybe it's just as well. I do regret having missed BUCK especially, since I was (kinda) in the fandom duing the last one in 2016, but other circumstances meant I couldn't make it. There is quite a bit less in the way of fandom works recently compared to from 2010-2014, but they are still being made. I do read some fanfiction and listen to a little bit of music, and there is still some good stuff around.

    As for actual changes since I joined, about the biggest thing (relatively small compared to early drama, I'm sure) has been the love/hate for Starlight Glimmer, which seems to be calmer, especially since she's been less attatched to Twilight from season 7 onward. I have heard more people becoming increasingly bored/disillusioned with the show, with some leaving and others sticking around anyway. I had wondered if the release the movie would revitalise the fandom in any way, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The media seems to be bored of making a fuss over us for years now, as well.

    Compared to early seasons there is a sense of charm, or "mystique" even, that seems to feel slightly diminished recently. I'm not entirely sure if the early seasons were that different, if there's just a sense of nostalgia around them or if we're just used to the show now. Compared to early seasons, it feels like it may have lost something slightly, but compared to other works of fiction, I think it's still got it.
     
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  9. YourElectricityBill

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    Did not notice any changes x)
     
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  10. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Some really interesting comments here -- thank you, everyone! :)

    One thought I've just had: you can draw a rough analogy with the largest British convention in each era:

    In 2013, the biggest con in this country was BUCK. Like the fandom at the time, it was big, brash, bold, exciting, full of big names and with a sense that anything could happen around the next corner and probably would. Some of it (eg drama) was less welcome, but there was a real buzz. Both con and fandom drained our wallets to an extent that maybe doesn't happen quite so much these days.

    In 2018, it's UK PonyCon. Just as that's a big con but not as big as BUCK was, so the fandom is still large but not as huge as it was. The fandom now seems to share UKPC's slightly more laid-back, comfortable feel, and with G5 looming at some point there's an increasing sense that FiM is a part of the wider history of MLP rather than standing alone. It's not as exciting as it used to be, but it's more relaxed.
     
  11. GatewaytoGlimmer

    GatewaytoGlimmer Happy Happy Joy Joy!

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    It will be interesting to see what the fandom is like once G5 rolls around. It's not just a reboot for Hasbro, but for us, we could possibly get a new show (which is likely), different cast of characters and personalities, a chance to have a brand new line of toys and this could rejuvenate the fandom. However I feel if G5 isn't as good as G4, a lot more people will leave, but at the same time there will be a lot of newcomers.
     
  12. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    I think the fandom has declined in number and presence, mlp is offthe pop culture radar, and even the efforts of the film marketing couldnt restore the 2010-15 glory days (I only became a fan in 2015 so missed most of it). Places like forbidden planet have wound down their pony merch, BUCK has gone and mlp stuff isn't as common at comic cons any more. Even on here its not as busy.
    That said the result is a more stable relaxed fandom.
     
  13. Parthidens

    Parthidens Honorary Pony

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    I started watching the show around summer 2012, first called myself a brony about six episodes in, and joined here in *checks profile* May 2013, and there does seem to have been a change from then to now. I wasn't sure if that was because of a change in the fandom or just the process of getting older, but it looks like I share the feelings of others here, and something has changed somewhere along the line. As others have said, there doesn't seem to be the same excitement that there was in the earlier days, which may be a bad thing, but then, on the flip side, bronies are no longer hated by everyone (not that we've ever let that get us down, but hey). The show may not have the novelty it did to start with, but it's still pretty darned good, and my walls remain adorned with pony stuff. And the warmth and kindness and welcoming I've seen in this fandom is enough to keep me here for a while. Yeah, I'm not going anywhere. :)
     
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  14. F.I.N.E.

    F.I.N.E. Less than 50 characters.

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    I joined the fandom in between Seasons 2 and 3, which I guess makes me one of the old guard, which is a slightly odd thought! My personal experience pretty much reflects what everyone else has been saying. Speaking from my own experience, I think part of the reason FiM isn’t as “shiny” an experience as it once was is that it’s become just one of the animated shows I keep up with, along with things like Steven Universe, Star vs the Forces of Evil and Star Wars; Rebels (although the last two have sadly finished) Although FiM still has a place in my heart as the “gateway drug” to other animated shows.
     
  15. Recurrent Trotting

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    woo also old guard :p me too (I think Smile Song was the last pony ep to have come out when I joined?) but I'll always feel a bit of newby as I joined in the aftermath of people already leaving the fandom and having been aware of the pony memes for ages before that

    That's true about the animated shows for me too - pony was the first one I followed, although I was a fan of Disney, and it has been a route to more animated shows. I found SU when round at the house of a friend's friend who was a big SU fan and after a few drinks I played her a pony cross over of SU and a few eps and she played me a few songs which were amazing (eg what can I do for you <3 ). I don't think I converted her to pony but she definitely converted me to SU. I found Littlest Pet Shop directly through pone after going to a NYE meet in London.
     
  16. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    About time someone (\ to that, so there you go! :)

    It does seem to be fairly common for people to watch FiM and then "spread out" into other animated series. Slightly different for me, as SU is really the only other cartoon series I follow in any depth, and even there I'm not really involved with the associated fandom. I just watch and occasionally discuss the episodes.

    Something I left out of my earlier textwall was that I think there's an increasing willingness now for G4 fans to accept and appreciate the other generations of MLP. Possibly this is also something connected with the success and growth of UK PonyCon, though I also think the inclusion of (originally G1 villain) Tirek in the S4 finale had a bearing. It certainly used to be the case that many (not all, but many) bronies didn't talk about the earlier gens at all except to sneer or laugh. That's definitely become less common, and personally I'm glad. I think it's part of a growing recognition that we're all part of the big MLP family, and that once G5 is here, we G4 fans ourselves will be "old-gen fans". :)
     
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