SEATTLE -- On the first Sunday of each month, inside the Red Room at Ballard's Card Kingdom, grown men (and one woman) meet to talk ponies. My Little Ponies, to be exact.
The Seattle group is part of a growing international movement that intensely follows the revived TV show from the 80's "My Little Pony." The new cartoon, slick with modern animation and story lines, currently airs on the Hub Network.
Men who love the show and the ponies are affectionately called "Bronies." It's a trend that's even been written about in the Wall Street Journal.
"The show has fantastic merit and so it's really no surprise," says Austin Hedeen, a local Brony in Seattle.
"I have some friends I haven't told yet," admits 27-year-old Richard Castro.
The men watch the show, discuss it online, and even collect figures sold in toy stores. One man said he keeps a brush on his key chain to brush his ponies' hair.
The "Brony" phenomenon is so new, most sociologists do not want to give their professional opinion just yet. However, one theorized it has to do with childhood desires that were repressed.
"It's okay for girls to like boys stuff but it's not okay for boys to like girls stuff," says Chris Myers, a 27-year-old Seattle Brony.
"All these people I met are not doing this because they're weird deviants," says 30-year-old Gerod Watson, "they love the show, they love animation."
They are ridding themselves of who they are expected to be and instead being who they are.
"It's really cool to think how it's breaking those social boundaries that have been placed into children throughout the years," says Hedeen.
This summer, the Seattle group plans to hold a Brony convention right here in the city.
"If you had asked me last year if I would have gone to something like this I would have said, 'You're absolutely nuts!'" says Castro.