- This article is an overview of the franchise. For the Hub cartoon, see My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
My Little Pony or MLP is a popular toy line produced by Hasbro, Inc. It consists mainly of small, plastic ponies and mythical equines that come in a variety of colors and have unique symbols, called "cutie marks," stamped on their bodies. Started in the 1980s, the line has gone through four different incarnations, and has a larger following than most people would think, among them several PPC Boarders. Currently undergoing a fanfic explosion due to the sheer unexpected popularity of the fourth generation (see below).
The majority of My Little Pony fans care little for fandom and instead express their love of the toy line by buying every single pony they possibly can. This can be extremely hard, not to mention extremely costly, since there are a few hundred ponies to collect, some of which are much more rare and/or sought after than others. Still, this does not deter collectors, who eagerly dole out more money for MLPs than the
infidels portion of the populace who don't collect ponies deem sane safe appropriate.
However, with the introduction of the Friendship Is Magic TV show, this has changed. It has attracted a extremely large number of people to the MLP fandom and to fanfiction, expanding the fandom significantly beyond Mad Collectors and Part-time Writers.
There are four incarnations of the My Little Pony toy line, referred to as generations. Each generation has its own canon.
Generation 1 (G1)
G1 ran from 1982-1992. It is known for its wide variety of ponies and imaginative ideas. The G1 cartoon series depicted Ponyland as a magical place filled with both good and evil forces. The ponies oftentimes found themselves in danger of being enslaved, turned into creatures of darkness, or kicked out of the land, and thus often fought back against the forces of evil. Naturally, they always won.
Generation 2 (G2)
G2 was extremely short-lived, lasting only from 1997-1999 in the United States and a few years after that in Europe. They had no cartoons or movies and little canon. Only a few people actually collect them, and hardly anyone writes fanfiction about them.
Generation 3 (G3)
G3 started in 2003 and ran until 2009. Unlike the G1s, G3 cartoons depicted the My Little Ponyville as a peachy-keen, happy-go-lucky place where the crisis of the day was no worse than burning the cookies you made for your slumber party or not coming up with a special dance in time for the Friendship Ball. This irked a number of collectors, particularly those who grew up watching the ponies in G1 cartoons kicking evil's behind.
Generation 4 (G4)
- For more about the show, see My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
G4, or Friendship Is Magic, started in 2010, and continues on to the present. G4 cartoons are somewhat of a mix between G1 and G3, with there being definite elements of peril, but oftentimes episodes will concentrate on more innocuous things. The toy line features seven ponies tied in to the TV show, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic airing on The Hub: Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity, and Princess Celestia.
In the species of Ponies, there are several unique races.
- Earth Ponies
- These ponies appear to be, well, normal. No horns, no wings, just your stereotypical equine shape. Unlike actual equines from Earth, however, they come in a rainbow of colors. It is generally accepted by fans that, while earth ponies have no control of magic nor the ability to fly, they are the strongest and sturdiest of their species.
- Unicorn Ponies
- These ponies have a single spiraled horn protruding from their foreheads. Unicorns have control of magic and are able to teleport (though the action is referred to as winking). Each unicorn also has its own unique power, from telepathy to control of the wind to the ability to create gigantic bubbles.
- Pegasus Ponies
- These ponies have feathered wings and can fly. It is generally accepted by fans that they also have hollow bones, to help with flying. On Friendship Is Magic, they are the only ponies with the natural ability to walk on clouds and move them as if they were solid objects.
- Sea Ponies
- These ponies have the appearance of seahorses. Despite their name, MLP canon portrays them in rivers and ponds more so than in the sea. Sea ponies enjoy swimming, singing musical numbers, and acting as dei ex machina. Sea ponies only exist in G1 canon.
- Flutter Ponies
- Slender in frame, flutter ponies have glittery, translucent wings. They're extremely quick in flight, and they have the power of Utter Flutter, which is beating their wings really, really fast to dispel enemies. Flutter ponies only exist in G1 canon.
- Summerwings and Windywings, aka Wingers
- Smaller than the other species, these ponies have large butterfly wings. There is no physical difference between the two species aside from their markings—Summerwings tend to have nature-related symbols, while Windywings have weather-related symbols. Wingers exist only in G1 canon.
All of these, except for dragons, appear only in G1 canon. There is one dragon in G3 canon, and several in G4 canon.
- These funny little creatures look like little balls of fur with arms and faces. They have a habit of agreeing with everything.
- Available in both small and adorable, or large and mean. No wings, but they can breathe fire. Contradicted in G4 canon, where the adult dragons, at least, have wings that are capable of flight.
- They only appeared briefly. Basically all we know about them is that they exist.
- Cousins of the Bushwoolies, these little balls of fur have the habit of disagreeing with everything.
- Kinda like dragons, only probably not sentient, and with wings but no fiery breath.
Because creativity, imagination, and uniqueness are at the heart of the MLP fandom, OCs are easy to create. Most collectors have a pony persona, and many who actually write fanfiction will write exclusively about their persona.
Another trend of MLP fanfic is the winged unicorn. There are many fanfics centered around winged unicorn OCs, despite the fact that they do not exist in MLP canon outside of G4's royal family. Also, due to the fact that the names "pegacorn" and "winged unicorn" are either too long to type or "don't sound cool," the "brony" fanfiction community has taken to referring to winged unicorns as "alicorns." The term was later adopted into canon.
My Little Ponies are also often put through anthropomorphism in fanfic in order to compensate for the ponies' lack of hands and fingers. Some people even go as far as writing about the anthropomorphized versions of ponies drawn in fan art, although this is mainly, if not always, used with the G4 series (Friendship Is Magic).
As with any obsession-based fanfics, much MLP fanfiction is riddled with poor spelling, grammar, and characterization. There are also some Mary Sues, and some bad slash. Though with the increasing number of fans (and therefore writers) stories are slowly improving and this has seen some stories, and writers, rising to stardom in the brony community (e.g. the spellchecked version of "Cupcakes" and "Fallout Equestria").
Minis created due to misspelled names take the form of Discord, a creature sporting a host of mismatched body parts who plunged Equestria into chaos during the second-season premiere of Friendship Is Magic. Agents that are assigned a mission in which numerous minis appear are warned to be careful: large groups of mini-Discords are known to cause mischief that can get in the way of an agent completing the mission.
MLP and the PPC
A word of warning to anyone who chooses to PPC an MLP fic: tread carefully. The MLP community is very tight-knit, especially with the introduction of the G4 canon and Friendship Is Magic TV show, and can be extremely sensitive to criticism. Given that the obsession in question is aimed at five-year-old girls, and that the rest of the world finds this odd, this is understandable. Many collectors understand and live with the fact that they will always be viewed as strange by society at large and admit it. The MLP fanbase of bronies is a very proud society, so a PPC mission dealing with a well-known story or a story written by a beloved member of the MLP community may be taken as an attack against the community at large, and that's a nest of wasps no one wants to deal with.
Missions in this Continuum
Missions in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic may be found on its page.