My Little Ponies, the candy-bright plastic horses with exaggerated haunches and anime eyes, have been captivating little girls since Hasbro introduced them in 1983. Many kids of the eighties and nineties spent huge swaths of their childhoods combing and braiding the toys’ flowing, nylon manes, or watching the popular cartoon series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. But after all these years, as the toy continues to be popular with children, a new and less expected fan base has emerged: grown men who endearingly call themselves “Bronies.”
This past weekend in Baltimore, thousands of fans of Pony-style convened for the fourth iteration of “BronyCon,” a safe space where enthusiasts can congregate in all their rainbow-haired glory. The three-day event included BronyPalooza, a twelve-hour concert with 33 musical acts in a variety of genres from ska to rock to rave, as well as plenty of vendors selling pony-phernalia and loads of costumed young people dressed in some form of cartoon likeness. If it sounds like your idea of awesome, you can start planning for the next one. In the meantime, the Cut sent photographer Amy Lombard to capture the spiraling unicorn horns, knee socks, contact lenses, and stubble at this year’s event. Click through our slideshow for some of our favorite portraits of the crowd.