HASCON Announced for September 2017

HasCon LogoHasbro has announced the creation of HASCON, it’s official “fan and family convention” for September 8-10, 2017, at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI. The three-day event is billed “featuring a celebration of Hasbro’s powerful characters and stories, including live interactive experiences, exclusive products, talent appearances, panels and much more.” In addition to My Little Pony, other Hasbro brands such as Transformers, G. I. Joe, Magic:  The Gathering, Nerf, Play-Doh, and Monopoly will also be featured in stage performances, previews of movies and TV shows, panels, meet-and-greets, and other interactive experiences.

“Hasbro is home to many of the world’s most recognizable brands, each of them with their own group of passionate and engaged fans,” said John Frascotti, President of Hasbro Brands, in the press release. “HASCON will deliver an extraordinary peek behind the curtain of our brands, storytelling, and iconic characters while giving us the opportunity to invite fans and families to our hometown for the most memorable, unified Hasbro experience ever.”

As of now, HASCON is the same weekend as Equestria LA is scheduled to return. This year, both BronyCon in Baltimore and the Hasbro-sponsored My Little Pony Fair in Schaumburg, IL were held on the same weekend this past July, but the effect that had for either conventions attendance is questionable given other factors such as renovation of the Baltimore Convention Center scheduled in August and attendance at MLP Fair was capped this year after both conventions experienced record crowds in 2015. MLP Fair is expected to occur in 2017, but reportedly with attendance capped at 1,000.

Transformers had their own Hasbro-sponsored convention in the form of Botcon which ran from 1994 to 2016. However, it was announced at Botcon 2016 in Louisville that it would be the last “in its current format,” possible an indication of HASCON at the time.

It will be fascinating to see what happens in 2017 with this new venture from Hasbro as there are also upcoming movies for both MLP and TF as well as big projects for the rest of their franchise brands in the future. There will still be plenty of Brony conventions in 2017, including a new one in Las Vegas set for the weekend of the MLP Movie release.

Whatever way you look at things, the year 2017 promises to be an interesting one for MLP and the rest of Hasbro’s franchise brands.

StatManDan

 

 

Pointless Ponies Update (10-15-2016)

And now a word from StatManDan.

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The map has called Twilight and Rainbow Dash to Wonderbolt Academy to solve a friendship problem. They come upon a pair of pegasi named Sky Stinger–who is very confident, but lacks skill—and Vapor Trail, who has skill, but lacks self-confidence. The reason the former has skill is because Vapor Trail has been giving him a boost. Vapor’s so focused on making Sky look good, that she isn’t focusing on her own skills.

Of course, both Twilight and Rainbow have different ideas on the problem. Twilight wants Vapor to come clean with the truth while Rainbow prefers fixing things without telling them because that could jar their confidence. After the backstory of Sky and Vapor, they try Rainbow’s way first with Twilight helping Sky while Rainbow helps Vapor. The latter comes out ok, but Vapor is clearly struggling. The truth ultimately comes out and Sky’s confidence is shot.

Twilight and Rainbow return to their respective charges to work on their confidence and then help each other make it in the Academy. Friendship problem solved!

Here’s a unique conflict compared to previous episodes. Vapor has the best intentions, but what she is doing is holding both her and Sky back. Sky cannot be bothered to learn and improve on the basics because he doesn’t feel he has to, and Vapor is so focused on flying with Sky, that she isn’t focused on what she wants for herself.

Both Twilight and Rainbow have different ways of teaching, but there’s a reason why the map has called both together. Twilight was once not so good at friendship, but improved with the help of her friends and she’s now the Princess of Friendship. With Sky, practice will make perfect. Rainbow likes to bring out the best in everypony—especially flyers under her wing. So, Vapor must emerge from Sky’s shadow and the both have to help each other instead of one propping the other.

I feel this is the best of this season’s three map episodes as it has both T-Sparks and the Dashinator (I had to get that in there sometime) in mentoring roles and introduces two characters with a interesting backstory. It’s definitely the best map episode since “The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone”. We get to see the best in Twilight and Rainbow just before the Season Six Finale. We’ll see how many map episodes we get in Season Seven and whether Starlight (or anyone besides the Mane Six) will get called by the map. But for now, we get to enjoy a top tier episode for this Season before the finale.

Pluses and Minuses:

  • +  Twilight and Rainbow in mentoring roles
  • +  Great comedy
  • +  Two new interesting characters with an interesting backstory
  • +  A Make-A-Wish pony (Angel Wing)

GRADE:  A+

StatManDan

My Little Pony 624 – Top Bolt Episode Guide

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624 – “Top Bolt”

Written by: Joanna Lewis, Kristine Songco
Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle are sent to the Wonderbolt Academy to help two friends, Vapor Trail and Sky Stinger, solve a friendship problem that could prevent them from getting into the academy.

Transcript
Direct Video

Guides

OnDerpmand→

Preview for “Top Bolt”

For those of you who haven’t already watched the episode after it aired in the UK earlier this week, here’s a preview of tomorrow’s episode!

Opinion: From a Show ‘For Girls’ to ‘All-Inclusive’ Brand

(NOTE:  This opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of DerpySquad, Spazz, Marimo, or Sprocket.)

When asked about potential challenges in marketing MLP as it is “limited” to the girls’ aisle at NYC Toy Fair 2016, Hasbro Brands President John Frascotti had this response:

“It’s all about “Friendship is Magic”, said Frascotti. “As we look at expanding that across audiences, what we find is that the brand has a credible authenticity. Last year in out licenses which we now call Consumer Products, [MLP] was one of our fastest growing opportunities in all types of aisles from apparel to consumables. As we look to expanding to Preschool and “Guardians of Harmony,” I don’t think we should think about Pony as being ‘limited’ to the girls’ aisle. In fact, we look at viewership in the United States, over 30% of viewership is actually boys.

“So the brand is evolving into an all-inclusive gender brand. And while it traditionally started as a girls’ brand, it really has the legs to go just about anywhere.”

 On Tuesday, Friendship is Magic Supervising Director “Big” Jim Miller tweeted an open letter after a tweet about the show being “for little girls”. Some interpreted the tweet as an admission of a “lack of effort” in what they believe to be a lackluster season in Season Six. My Season Six Review will come after “To Where and Back Again” airs on October 22nd in the US, but looking back at the grades I have given Season Six episodes, I have give three episodes an A+ (“Gauntlet of Fire”, “A Hearth’s Warming Tale”, and “The Times They Are A Changeling”). An additional 10 episodes were graded A or A- (so far). Compare that to a total of 12 episodes receiving A+, A, or A- in Season Five. Admittedly, I’m not the harshest reviewer of episodes, but that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

I feel all of this is less an issue of the show being “for little girls” than “fans” who feel entitled and feel the show should cater to them exclusively. If these “fans” bothered to recall the moral to “Stranger Than Fan Fiction”, they would realize that different people can like the show for different reasons. Indeed, the target demographic for the show is girls aged 6-12 and still is today and there are simply some things that the show will not be allowed to do unlike shows such as Steven Universe or Star vs. the Forces of Evil. It is a testament that many people outside that demographic enjoy the show, inspired by the show, and even felt their lives were saved by the show. All of that perhaps led to Hasbro declaring MLP an “all-inclusive brand” earlier this year.

For “fans” and “analysts” who feel the need to nitpick anything and everything on the show and go ballistic when it smashes their precious head canon, it really does come of as entitlement or being incapable of getting off their high horse (or really a certain other ungulate that I shall refrain from using on here) because the show is not Ben-Hur or Batman:  The Animated Series. It’s insulting.

It is especially insulting to believe that just because some TV shows have females are the main characters and is set in a universe that is predominately female and the primary target audience is female—they are automatically inferior to shows where a male is the central character and most if not all the females on the show are one-note. I’ve gone on record saying this show is one of the best of this decade—if not the best this decade.

On a side note, I’ve repeatedly spoken out against harassing show staff whether it is concerning this show or others. Frankly, I feel more people in the Pony Media and prominent members in the fandom should do the same. It’s far too easy to say “just ignore the trolls.” Sadly, some people continue to act like jerks go out of their way to be jerks towards show staff or the “horse famous” in the fandom. Conversely, everyone has their own way of dealing with this garbage. Unfortunately, there are times where ignoring them is simply not an option and that additional steps need to be taken root out such misbehavior.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a show whose target audience is girls aged 6-12 that so happens to have a massive following outside that demographic. Girls deserve quality entertainment like “Big Jim” said and I still feel they and those who aren’t girls aged 6-12 are getting it through this show. To suggest that because the show is targeted towards the target audience in question somehow automatically makes it inferior, is an insult and is ridiculous.

StatManDan

PS:  Below is the full text of Big Jim’s note:

Source: MLP:FiM Season 1, Episode 1

Source: MLP:FiM Season 1, Episode 1

Happy Equestrian New Year!   (Yes, I realize that, in some parts of the world, midnight has come and gone, which makes me a bit late, but please bear with me).  6 years ago today, our universe was forever changed when a children’s show called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic tore a hole in the spacetime continuum and offered us a glimpse into another realm – a place populated by small colorful horses – a place saturated with bright colors, bright music, and even brighter morals.

My Little Pony, the show, has had ups and downs.  A lot of us like to argue our vastly contrasting opinions regarding which episodes were great, and which episodes were not so great – which season best captured the essence of what Pony can and should be – which writers, etc. etc. etc.  One thing has remained objectively consistent throughout all of that – optimism.  My Little Pony has given us six straight years or passionate, relentless optimism.

Today is the first of the year 6 A.E. (Anno Equi), and in celebrating it, we celebrate not just the show, and the fandom, but also that optimism.  We celebrate the world of Equestria itself – what it stands for – what it means to us.  We celebrate the millions of lives touched by My Little Pony, and the thousands of lives it changed in a truly transformative way.

Today is the sixth anniversary of the day when two great truths were first revealed here on the planet Earth: the fact that friendship is magic, (it is); and the fact that the sun and moon are steered, not by science and math and stuff, (as previously believed), but rather, by magical horse princesses who smile down on us through the celestial bodies that they control via a rift in the spacetime continuum that leads to the horse dimension.

Happy Equestrian New Year, everypony!  Happy 6 A.E.  Here’s to six more.

-Sprocket

You can also follow Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! on tumblr, on FimFiction

And on Patreon.  Please contribute if you are so inclined.   No pressure.