Is this Britain’s biggest Brony? Man forks out £12,000 on My Little Pony obsession
A man has forked out more than £12,000 – on his MY LITTLE PONY obsession.
Barmy Ian Taylor, 32, from Ripley, Derbys, has spent almost five years collecting the 80s plastic toys – and even has a custom-made pony suit to dress up as one of his favourite characters, Lyra Heartstrings.
His home is packed with expensive collectables of the ponies – which cost up to £80 each from a specialist model shop – and his man-made pony costume takes pride of place in his living room.
Single Ian, who works in a fish restaurant to fund his pony fix, only saw My Little Pony for the first time aged 27 – when he watched a video his mate had posted online.
Ian said: “I never watched My Little Pony when it was first on when I was a child – I preferred Transformers, and colelcted all the toys.
“But now My Little Pony is my life.
“My house is completely full of my My Little Pony collection – the living room alone is half taken up with stuffed toys.
“I’ve spent at least £2,000 a year on my collection and go to the pony conventions every year, so it all adds up, but it’s worth it.
“Whenever I tell people that I’m in to My Little Pony, they always look at me like I’m a bit strange, and say that it’s for little girls.
“But that’s comletely not the case. Loads of adults love it too.”
In addition to Ian’s mammoth plush toy that dominates his living room, he has over 300 figurines of individual ponies – including his favourite, Twilight Sparkle.
Ian added: “I love Twilight Sparkle because I can relate to the character. She teaches you that you need to believe in yourself and follow your heart.”
He first watched an episode of My Little Pony after watchng a clip a mate had posted to Facebook – and quickly became addicted.
Within a week, he’d watched the whole back catalogue of My Little Pony episodes online, and was looking into buying his first figurine.
And that year, he attended his first My Little Pony convention – where meeting like-minded ‘Bronys’ only fuelled his obsession – leading him to travel to other conventions in the USA, Germany and Finland.
He said: “There is more to My Little Pony than just what you see on the screen. I was first attracted to the television series because the animation was so good – I’m a dress and costume maker too, so it played to that.
“A lot of the jokes and the humour in the television shows are aimed at adults – it has things that parents would get while they were watching with their children, so it’s not just a kids’ show.
“I loved the idea of actually dressing as a pony, so I made my own costume, which I wear to conventions – it goes down a storm.”
To make sure that the £300 suit fitted like a second skin, Ian wrapped himself from head to toe in gaffer tape, before cutting it off his body and using it as a template to cut the fabric.
He is mobbed by fans wanting to take a selfie with him whenever he wears the costume in public.
Ian said: “My suit is great and so many people come up to me to have their photo with it, but I can’t go to the toilet in it.
“I made it a couple of years ago, when I wanted to use my skills in costume making. It meant that my suit was more personal to me and I always turn heads in it.
“I have to get completely changed when I want to use the loo so don’t go for eight hours at a time. I can’t have anything to eat either.
“Over the time that I’m at a convention I spend about five and a half hours cleaning my suit.
“It is very hot and I sweat a lot in it, so at the end of the day I use a lot of hair spray and comb all of the fur by hand to make sure nothing is caught up in it.
“I once travelled on the underground with the head of my suit on. I had a suitcase in one hand and oyster card in the other, so had no choice but to wear it.
“Everybody in the carriage was giggling to themselves but also trying to ignore me. Then the tannoy came on saying to report any suspicious behaviour and people just cracked up.
“A lot of my friends think that my love of My Little Pony is silly and that it is targeted towards children, but I think that sport is stupid and rib them for that too.