>Because for the longest time, there have been cartoons made that were based on a toy brand, that were just awful.
And also ones that have been great. See: Beast Wars Batman Beyond (yes, that started as a toy line), Transformers Animated, Exo-Squad, War Planets, and so on.
>The creators assumed that kids were stupid and that they'll buy anything they see on TV.
No, that's what the networks assume. It's up to the people who made them to make them all they can be. You really think that Disney wanted Gargoyles how they got it? That was Greg Weisman.
>But MLP is more than that. It represents a milestone in which a franchise cartoon was actually made with effort, and they don't treat the audience like morons.
>There are real jokes,
As opposed to what? A fake joke?
>there's real charm, the characters are likeable and fun.
Yes, and how does this explain the massive obsession. A lot of things also have these attributes, but you don't see thousands of posts about them a day.
>Not to mention the subtle humor in the show only guys like us would get.
That's called projection. Shippers and Avatar fans do it all the time.