Most girls discover My Little Pony in preschool, but my daughter was a latecomer, eschewing the trend until her early teens when, in a DIY frenzy, she started customizing the pastel prancers. Her passion for the craft was unstoppable, sending her to thrift shops to rescue discarded ponies, to crafts stores for Sculptey and beads, and to online forums for detailed instructions on how to reroot pony manes one strand at a time. To this day, my most treasured gift is a custom garden pony with messenger bag, flower tattoo, and jaunty straw hat. I call her Miss Bloomer. (That's her to the right.)
If you don't know that every MLP has a name, then the My Little Pony Fair Collectors Convention isn't for you. But if your love for the little ponies is, well, a little obsessive, head straight for the Memphis Cook Convention Center for a national gathering this weekend of like-minded enthusiasts. Now in its fourth year, the convention is finally endorsed by Hasbro, which introduced the first generation of ponies (now there are three) in 1982. Andreas Bernhardsson and Maria Wallin, creators of the online Pony Island game, where visitors can raise their own ponies, will give a talk. The convention includes a custom pony swap, pony "Jeopardy," lots of cool pony merch, and more.
My Little Pony Fair Collectors Convention, Memphis Cook Convention Center, July 28th-29th, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. One-day tickets are $12; two-day tickets are $20. See www.mlpfair.com for more information.