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MLP Merch 2017 Wrap-Up and 2018 Predictions
We're back from a small holiday break for a new year! As is tradition on our website we look back to what happened last year and what our predictions for next year are. We also take a quick look at numbers and figures of in the past year and see if there are some interesting changes compared to the previous wrap-up.

Starting with that post, we made some plans for 2017. Overall we only continue 3 of our 6 plans, being LPS Merch, the magazine database and general improvements in the database. Plans for the G1-G3 and clothing database are still in the works, but we currently have no more plans for an app. Instead, we've improved the database so that browsing is quicker and takes far less data than before. We hope this is a sufficient replacement for an app, which would require a lot of time on our hands.

2017 Website Updates

2017 Website Updates
We already mentioned in before: The biggest change to the databases this year was the speed and data usage update, which came with the 6.0 update. We managed to further scale the images and ensured that images not visible on your screen are not yet downloaded. This resulted in a decrase of data on some pages from 10MB to under 1MB!
Another changes was the unlinking of the forum and the database. Biggest reason for this is the big decrease in activity on the forums. It felt like a chore to create an account on the forum, just to use the databases. The forums will stay around for now, but it's possible that 2018 will mark the end of active support.

2017 in Numbers

2017 in Numbers
We've created the same set of graphs as last year, so we can easily compare the numbers of both years. Compared to last year we made less posts (355 vs 508), mainly because we save store finds for weekly posts now. We're still on an average of nearly 1 post per day, and that feels like a good rate to keep up.
The lower amount of posts also resulted in a slightly lower amount of visits, which dropped from 3.9 to 3.4 million page views. However, in return we did see a large group of fans shift towards Instagram, on which we've just passed the 10.000 follower milestone! This also shows a large turn in the division of social media followers, as Instagram skyrocketed and other platforms only marginally increased in followers.
The popularity of the biggest two databases, Brushables and Blind Bags, didn't change much. However, the other databases (mainly the Zapcodes) dropped in visit count, except for two. The Friendship is Magic Collection and Guardians of Harmony series were quite popular, which can be see in their page view boost.
Finally, we have the option to see with which devices you use to view our site. As anyone could have expected, the percentage of smartphone users further increased in favor of PC users, but also of tablet users. PC is still the most used platform, but it's only a 1% gap with smartphones now!

2018 Predictions

2018 Predictions
In regards to merch we're going to start with a final wave of MLP The Movie merch in 2018. In addition to the brushables the reboot Equestria Girls dolls are going to be a topic of discussion throught the first few months.
More news is of course expected at the NY Toy Fair, but it's common that, one way or another, early releases of figures and factory rejects hit the web. We hope to see news that will hint us to a second My Little Pony movie, or maybe a spin-off.
Aside from the obvious we're curious to what new concept Hasbro will introduce this year. Back in 2016 we had the small digital revolution with the zapcodes, but these slowly faded away. In a world that gets more digital every day, it was odd to see that this idea did not evolve in 2017. Maybe 2018 will introduce a new hybrid way to play with MLP?

2018 Plans

Then, time for some short term MLPMerch plans for 2018:
- Starting the polls and store finds post after a small break
- A new (long awaited) fakie post
- Another yearly survey
- The results of the 2017 MLP Merch Battles
- A giveaway to celebrate the 10k followers on Instagram
- Option to add comments to your checklist and wishlist items
- Something very exciting that we're going to release (more on that around April)

Since we didn't make half of the plans that we had for 2017 we won't make any other plans right now, but if you have any suggestions for us, then feel free to let us know in the comments or any other contact method!

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