The Sunday Age had an excellent article by John Elder yesterday about teen and adult males who like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - they’re called Bronies. Besides providing an excellent insight into a fascinating phenomenon, the article also opens an opportunity for newsagents to understand that plush products can be sold to more than what we consider to be the traditional customer.
An informal survey at herdcensus.com places the U.S. Brony population at somewhere between 7 and 12.4 million. Using this as a base we can estimate the possible size of the community in Australia.
Whereas in the past we would have created a My Little Pony plush and toy display focussing on your girls, we now need to be open to a more inclusive display. We also need to consider that the factors which make My Little Pony popular with some males could also drive popularity of other plush lines.
I know from my own experience that plush items are purchased by a broad cross-section of people, certainly broader than what newsagents not selling plush tell me they would expect. For example, I have a guy in his thirties who comes in regularly for new Ty branded plush. He’s collecting because he loves the brand.
The Brony phenomenon is something for us to understand and embrace as newsagents are well-placed to serve this community.