After opting out of going to it last year due a couple of reasons (I wasn't really impressed with the first half of Season 5; the fact that it happened after Otakon meant I probably haven't recovered from that con), this year, I decided to attend Bronycon for a third time, and like my previous trips, took a pre-Otakon trip to Baltimore to check out the "mane" My Little Pony convention in the East Coast.

Like most of my convention trips, my plan involves getting dropped at the site of the convention, spend the day checking out the sights of the con, and then picked up around the evening. This time, my time at the convention was a little more limited. This had to do with a lot of people in my family being out of town for the weekend, with the person driving me to the con being a mother who is not only timid about driving in areas that she's not familiar with at night time, but also has not yet recovered from the mess of picking me up Friday evening at Katsucon 2008. As such, to make things easy for her (and because I wanted to check something out at a Lego Store on the way home), I decided to be picked up around 7:00PM, a reasonable time for both of us (as there would still be daylight when my Mom picked me up, while there wasn't really anything during the evening hours that was a "must do" for me).

In terms of time spent there, a good chunk of it was spent looking around the dealers' area. Like most My Little Pony conventions, the big highlight was definitely the various handmade plushies that were being sold by various artists. While I was tempted to buy one myself (especially given the possibility that this could be my final trip to Bronycon), the price tag of said plushie (around $130) plus my need to save up my money for future expenditures (i.e. Otakon, upcoming video game and figure releases) had me being reluctant to do so, with one of my later purchases putting an end to said temptation. Meanwhile, I did manage to pick up one of two con shirts being offered this year (my current plan is to wear it Friday during Otakon weekend), and I found a dealer that was selling My Little Pony-based jerseys, with me picking up one based on Vinyl Scratch.

Meanwhile, when it came to panels, there was only one scheduled that day that I considered to be "must attend" event. Said panel was a live reading by the voice actresses of the Mane Six and Apple Bloom and a few My Little Pony-based Internet personalities of a MLP fanfic written by Tabitha St. Germain (Rarity's voice actress). The story involves Princess Luna get a chipped tooth on the eve of a visit to Ponyville in order to give some "dream" lessons to the Mane Six, with her trying to hide her predicament from them. With all the voice actresses on hand to read the script as their respective characters (along with a few substitutes), it's easy to follow along and imagine the events of the story happening as if this were an actual episode of the show. As for other panels, the other one that I attended a good chunk of one for a series of web videos that depict various My Little Pony analysts (yep, there's quite a number of people on Youtube that produce videos that analyze the show and its characters, and some of them are very entertaining) as characters from Team Fortress 2.

The other "mane" thing that I got out this con was finding out about a silly card game that was very popular among the people attending the con: Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder. The basic concept of the game: players attempt to ship various My Little Pony characters (be it canon characters, fanfic characters, alternative universe takes of them, or what other card ideas that people come up with) through various means, with the object being to get a certain amount of points by achieving certain ships (i.e. creating a certain number of "ships" by gender, shipping certain characters). After seeing a game in action and seeing some of the crazy cards that were available, this game followed in the footsteps of Flux and Apples to Apples in that after seeing it action at a con, I needed to pick up the game myself. As such, I went to the Dealers' Area to not only pick up the core deck, but also I stopped around some other tables to pick up the Bronycon expansion, some of the free cards that were being offered, and a card featuring the new characters introduced this season. Afterwards, I eventually joined in on a round of Secret Shipfic Folder. However, I had to cut it short due to the fact that I had to return home. However, I definitely am considering bringing the game with me when I go to Otakon and Anime USA (as it is easy to simply stick them in one of the bags that I carry with me when I go to these cons).

Finally, a few additional notes on the Baltimore Convention Center (as I'm going to be returning there next month for Otakon):

-With all the news about transgenders and restrooms, the Baltimore Convention Center has begun offering gender-free restrooms in their facility, with me being aware of the restrooms in the Charles Street entrance and the Fourth Floor. When it came to Bronycon, it wasn't really that much of a fuss, although that con is definitely less crowded than Otakon.

-Food service at Bronycon was definitely a blast, with various locations offer personal pan pizzas from Papa John's, the major food area on the third floor offering Bavarian pretzels, and a small stand on the second floor offering ice cream and churros (regular and Oreo). I really hope that these food services will be there when I go to Otakon next month (especially Papa John's, as it keeps me out of the heat when it comes to getting a meal at the con).

-Around the same time Bronycon was happening, Pokemon Go was released stateside. As such, I did look around the Convention Center (not too far, as I just stuck to the front of the place) for Pokemon and Pokestops (with me turning off the app when inside the BCC to converse the phone battery). In terms of Pokestops, among the landmarks that are listed as them in the game include that wind statue in front of the Convention Center, the bar that's across the street from it, the gates to Camden Yards, and this statue of a pig that’s Baltimore Orioles themed.

As I bring this report to a close and starting planning ahead for Otakon, here's the photos that I took during my day at Bronycon.