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Fans of 'My Little Pony' may not be who you think

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A cartoon television show has quite a loyal following and it's growing here in Phoenix. But the audience isn't who you might expect.

"I think it's brilliant," Gabriel Blaksley said.

"I watched both seasons in about four days," Tim Runyan said.

"I've seen every episode over and over again," said Aria Shapiro.

This seems to be quite the devotion for a TV show. But to them, it's not just any show.

"They have great character development as well as the music, too, and also there's pop cultural references," said Joe Plate.
 
"It's vibrant, it's colorful, it stands out," said Blaksley.

And its characters are anything but ordinary.

"Rainbow Dash, Pinky Pie, Apple Jack, Fluttershy, Twilight Sparkle and Rarity," Plate said.

They're talking about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a show on The Hub that first aired in 2010.

"It kind of started as a joke on the internet," Plate said.

He is the founder of the Bronies of Phoenix, a group with 420 members and growing.

What's a brony? Combine the words brother, and pony, and you have your answer. They meet about once a month, sometimes more, and the group is mostly made up of college-aged guys.

So what do they do when they get together?

"Watch episodes and discuss what we like about the show [and] what we didn't really like," Plate said.

Some of them had doubts before joining the bandwagon.

"This is ponies, this is for little girls," Blaksley said.

Many of their friends felt the same way.

"My ex-girlfriend when she figured out I was a brony she was like, 'You're a brony?'" Plate said.

In fact, David Coleman, owner of Crusader's Retreat in Phoenix where the bronies meet, still has his doubts. His concern?

"Other than its a television show for little girls?" Coleman asked; fair enough. 

For the participants, it's more than a TV show. It's a community. They make art and stuffed animals.

"I've seen one on eBay go for over $4,000," Runyan said.

Some even dressed up as the ponies at this year's Comicon.
 
"It's an escape for a lot of people from the world," Grae Ellman said.

The bronies are saddling up for a new season due out this year. As far as where they go from here, Runyan said anything is possible. "The sky is literally the limit," he said.

They are trying to organize an event for bronies sometime next year; they plan on calling it Desert Ponycon.

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