Since busy daddy was, well, busy this afternoon, I flew solo and took the boy and his pal Ben to BronyCon by myself. Since we’ll be going back to BronyCon with busy daddy tomorrow and I don’t want to bias his opinion about the event, I recommended to him that he should probably wait until tomorrow to read this post.
OK, so my immediate first impression of BronyCon when we arrived at the Expo Center was, White folks be cray. Seriously, I’d guesstimate that 93 percent of the attendees were white (not that there’s anything wrong with that), while the remaining 7 percent were a mix of peeps of color and others of indeterminate species of origin. The organizers warned that the place would be packed, and gosh, it was a major cluster fudge of cosplaying
weirdos enthusiasts and basement-dwelling fanboys hopped up on Too Many Skittles.
Naively, I thought it would be more family-friendly than it actually was. In fact, the average age of attendees appeared to be north of 27-years-old. The boy and his pal Ben were easily the youngest Bronies in the joint.
I’m not sure what I expected. I mean, I’ve been to a ton of business conferences and trade shows, but this was my first consumer expo. I guess I thought it would be more professional and stuff. Instead, it was like a trade show for an array of “artists” who create sincere, MLP-inspired
crap fan art of dubious artistic merit. The pricing schemes were weird and all over the place. You could buy buttons for a dollar or posters for $10 to $20 or hats and t-shirts for $25 and beyond.
You know how when you’re at Disneyland and you’re starving and you get to the random food stall and it’s, like, $30 for a bottle of water and a hotdog? But you happily buy that shizz anyway? Yeah.
I’m pretty sure the organizers piped atomized Ecstacy into the exhibit hall. That, or everyone was just really happy to see each and be among their fellow Bronies and Bronnettes. I was just really thirsty the entire time and kept asking the boy to hold my hand to make sure that I was still there.
Pretty much everything could be made on-demand. And why not? All you needed to be an exhibitor was an inkjet printer and a button-maker, and you were good to go. Sheesh, I’m making
the rave BronyCon sound like it was a complete freakshow. Really, it wasn’t. It was fun! I’m just crabby and stuff because my glo-sticks ran out of juice halfway through our visit.
Hand-made fleece hats were big sellers at BronyCon. You could pretty much find a fleece hat designed to look like any number of MLP characters. Did I mention it was, like, 100 degrees in the suburbs today? Despite the wicked heat, the de rigueur head gear for BronyCon attendees was a damn fleece hat. I haven’t seen as many people wearing fleece hats in the summertime since I accidentally stumbled into a Grateful Dead concert in San Francisco when I was high on Ecstacy the summer before grad school. I’m kidding! I’ve never been to a Grateful Dead concert, silly!
The boy and his pal Ben both got rainbow tails, which they wore throughout our visit to BronyCon. Because, um, rainbow tails are obvs the only appropriate cosplay option for five- and six-year-old boys.
Did I mention that white folks be cray? And what’s with the fleece hats again, sheesh. It’s 100 degrees out! I was sweating just looking at all of the Damn Fleece Hats.
Maybe I’m too cynical to enjoy this kind of stuff. To me, the whole otaku-ness of it all kind of creeps me out. I suppose it’s nice and completely normal for
nerds fans to express their passion for something, even if it’s My Little Pony. I dunno, I just don’t really want an adult man dressed in a furry unicorn outfit to be hanging out with my kid. Unless it’s me dressed up like a furry unicorn, natch.
I asked the boys what their favorite part of BronyCon was, and they both agreed it was the part when they bought stuff. I said, But we could have bought this stuff at Target or the dollar store or made it ourselves. But they both insisted that spending $30 on a yard-and-a-half of rainbow-colored fake fur fashioned into a pony tail was epically fun and totes worth the price of admission.
Tomorrow, I’ll have busy daddy do a guest post on his impressions of BronyCon!