Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Lady Roxana, Revised?

With a dentist appointment, Christmas shopping, the looming CC Appreciation Sale, and the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover thing melting my brain this week, you are not going to get a whole lot out of me today, except for a picture of my Avoriaz:

It’s a Filigree! I’ve  decided to name her Etelka, after one of my Hungarian Great-Grandmother’s sisters. So this genealogy research is paying off after all!*

You know who the PC Lipizzaner Mare reminds me of? The two-point contact trot, arched neck, an artfully swished tail serving as the third point-of-contact?

She’s kind of what I imagine Lady Roxana would have looked like if Rich Rudish had had more time to actually finish and refine her!

Normally I’d just be happy with this Filigree Avoriaz as my one and only, but I think I have to acquire the Rose Gold Charm version sometime in the not too distant future. I have been considering selling off one of my previous CC Appreciation Glossies…

Not this week, though. Probably.

*(In case you want to know – probably not, but I am going to tell you anyway – that my Belgian Great-Grandmother’s name was Alida, just like the Marabella Unicorn release from a few years back. Which I assume – like the other two examples I brought up earlier this year – is just a coincidence, unless a near-future release of the new Rhenish German Coldblood mold is named after my Belgian Great-Grandfather or one of his brothers. Then I might have to have a little discussion with some people in New Jersey about boundaries.)

Saturday, December 7, 2019


Remember about a week ago, when I mentioned a basic math problem in passing: Decorator Color + Bull Mold = Winner?

Freckle Red Roan + Charolais Bull = Winter Web Animal Special Run Reuben!

Guys, seriously, I had no idea. It’s just another one of my random guesses hitting pretty darn close to the target. Again.

The old-style freckle roaning technique has been used on cattle molds before, most notably on the Longhorn Bull, like the QVC Rebel Special Run, and the Regular Run #399 Texas Longhorn from 2000-2004 that is was based on.

But Reuben most closely resembles the popular BreyerFest Special Run Spanish Fighting Bull Flint, from 1999.

Only 375 Flints were made for that BreyerFest; even though BreyerFest was much smaller then, he was still a hot commodity, and still retains much of his value now.

I know some hobbyists are a little apprehensive about committing to Reuben because of last year’s Woodgrain Pig Hawthorn. Hawthorn was perceived as not all that popular or desirable; he went through so many waitlisters, in fact, that even I eventually ended up with one, and I am somebody who never gets picked off the waitlist.

Based on the fact that I met a lot of people looking for Jaspers at BreyerFest this year, I think it was a simple mismatch of the selling method with the market. Hawthorn might have sold better – and even sold out – if he had been offered as a first-come, first-served Special, like the two previous Winter Web Animal SRs, the Longhorn Bull Olaf and the Cow and Calf Eldora and Sol.

Bulls are a different matter entirely.

The last release on the Charolais Bull, the 2012 Special Run Bowland, is one of the more popular of the recent Nonhorse BreyerFest releases, and a very casual look at recent eBay sales show that even the Regular Run releases are pretty easy sells. So throw in a well-designed vintage-style Red Roan paint job on top of a moderately popular Nonhorse mold, and he seems like a pretty safe bet to me.

I also have to say that I rather appreciate the clever pun of his name: as sandwich aficionados know, the primary ingredient in a Reuben is… corned beef!

(Corned Beef is also a very Irish thing, so the timing of this guy with the imminent onslaught of BreyerFest 2020 Celtic Fling marketing is... interesting.)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Rare Enough

Sorry guys – for some strange reason I did a little poking around the family tree just for fun, and now I appear to be knee deep in some serious genealogy research. With all the business I have to catch up on in the next several weeks, it’s not something I thought I needed to do, but here I am doing it anyway…

But I have held you all in suspense long enough with this package that arrived a couple of weeks ago already, so here it is:

A little background information: this all happened the same day that the Starry Skies Stablemates dropped on the Breyer web site. As I said before, I was a bit hesitant to buy more Blind Bag Stablemates, so I wandered over to eBay to clear my head a bit.

Aside from the fact that there were a couple of sweaters on there I was eyeing, I was also poking around on eBay because I had missed several good model horse auctions over the past several weeks previous as a consequence of my still-ongoing scheduling issues.

Perhaps lightning would finally strike for me, right?

Then, it actually happened.

I saw an honest-to-goodness Grail Model.

It had just been listed.

The seller was accepting offers.

So I made an offer.

It definitely wasn’t the price you still may see on eBay, but it was what I thought was (a) reasonable, and (b) within my budget.

I wasn’t expecting to offer to be accepted. Surely others had also seen it, and it’s something that’s on a lot of collector must-have lists. Even if I didn’t get it in the end, I figured I made an honest effort, at least.

An hour later, my offer was accepted.

I didn’t believe she was actually mine until the package arrived about a week later:

Yes, a Showcase Collection #1430 Palomino Grazing Mare!

Showcase Collection packaging (ca. 1970-1972) was one of the few examples of early Breyer packaging I had not acquired yet. Because of its fragility, it has been described as one of the “rarest” types of early packaging, but I don’t necessarily think that’s the case. Dumbbell stickers and the original Touchability Boxes are almost equally fragile, and far more scarce.

What the Showcase Collection packaging has got going for it is desirability: it’s just rare enough that even average collectors can reasonably dream of eventually adding one their own collection. And there are just enough of them turning up on a yearly basis to encourage others to dedicate themselves to actually collecting them as a thing, the same way some of us collect Chalkies, Stablemates, or color variations.

As you know by now, I am more of the former, not the latter. Though if I were lucky enough to find another, I certainly wouldn’t pass him or her by…

Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Pause Button

Other than some fabric I bought Wednesday night – because it was 70 percent off and I needed it to finish that darn project – and paying for the Avoriaz, I haven’t done a lick or click of shopping over this extended weekend.

I haven’t had much time to myself over the past three months, so it seemed like a waste to spend any of it… out shopping with strangers!

It’s also been something of a relief that there hasn’t been anything new-rare-interesting added to the Breyer Horses web site either, other than more swag. I’ve been in the market for a new oversized pullover, so this Breyer Spirit Jersey is definitely going on my CC Appreciation shopping list.

With all the other holiday promotions looming on the horizon, I suppose it makes sense to hit the “pause” button for once. I am fine with that, just as long as they don’t drop anything significant on Cyber Monday: as someone who has hit the “pause” button on her life since Wednesday night, my Monday is going to be more occupied than average. 

Since I am still in the middle of this pause and not up for any actual work or research, I’ll just mention one other thing that hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves: per the BreyerFest blog, the “BreyerFest Attendee Guide” I suggested back in August is actually going to be a thing after all.

For the record, I didn’t have any actual input into this, other than making this suggestion in public. For all I know they might have been planning this all along, and I just being prescient again.

And that’s it for today.

Next time: I open the box. With that thing in it.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Past is the Future

I was initially noncommittal when I first saw the last 2019 Stablemates Club release Corbin on the cover of this year’s Just About Horses: he really didn’t do anything for me one way or another. A bigger, higher-resolution photo on the Breyer web site changed my mind:

As just about everyone and their dog has pointed out, he’s basically a Mini Me for the 2008 BreyerFest Special Run Limerick, on the Cleveland Bay mold.

With the mold being used for the Celebration Horse Oliver this year, and as the Open Show Grand Prize Model Cassia in 2017, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the Cleveland Bay used as a BreyerFest Special Run again next year.

This new Stablemates Irish Draught mold, though, is a strong contender as either one of the One-Day Stablemates releases, or as the Pop-Up Store Stablemates Special.

I keep thinking that we’d be seeing more BreyerFest stuff on the web site by now, but I just went back into the web site archives and didn’t notice any significant news about the 2019 event until late December last year, with releases (other than the Celebration Horse) not being teased or revealed until January at the earliest.

This makes sense, because they’ve still got club memberships to promote, Regular Run 2020 releases to launch, and all of their 70th Anniversary celebration stuff, too…

And just to let y’all know, I don’t know much more about any of the anniversary stuff than you guys do, beyond what’s already been revealed for the Vintage Club. I am going to assume that there will be more vintage (pre-1985) mold releases than average, a slew of newer molds vintage colors, and perhaps even some molds and items we haven’t seen in a long time.

The In-Between Mare is back, after all: it now seems all things are potentially on the table. I know what I’d like to see, but what I’d like to see doesn’t necessarily correlate to things that would actually sell to anyone but me.

(Except for the Wedgewood Blue Polled Hereford Bull. Basic math, people: Decorator Color + Bull Mold = Winner!)

If there’s an Exclusive Event planned (seriously, I have no idea guys…) I’ll make every effort on attending, especially since I am considering dialing back – or refocusing – my BreyerFest plans next year, since I’ve obviously not been happy with the results of my competitive efforts for the past several.

I am also considering attending more than one live show next year, depending on how the first few months of 2020 go. My schedule got away from me for the past three months, so I have a lot of catching up to do on some of my other extracurricular activities that’ll probably run well into the front part of the year.

After that? The world is wide open.

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Clean Up

Woo-hoo, yeah!

My only real problem now is trying to find a place for the Avoriaz in the chaos I’m dealing with currently. Instead of cleaning up and sorting out the mess in my office Saturday night as I planned, I found myself cleaning up and sorting out my clothes closet instead.

I mean, it needed it too, but I could still close the closet door and not feel terribly guilty about what was behind it.

Whether or not I will still participate in the Collector’s Club Appreciation Sale or whatever the Christmas Bonus model now will depend on what’s being offered. Some models – and some Glossies – are more of a temptation than others.

I’m even considering selling one of my previous CC Appreciation Glosses because (a) I haven’t opened either one yet, and (b) doing so would finally put the last nail in the coffin of some debts I’ve worked very hard this year to finally pay off, anyway.

(And once I do, I plan to celebrate with sliders and onion rings from The Telway in Madison Heights. Anyone in the neighborhood who wants to come with, feel free!)

Let’s clean up a few other small bits of recent business before I get back to doing the history-type stuff.

First, most of the Vintage Club models have been revealed (sans the Stablemate, and I think everyone has a good idea who/what that’s supposed to be). The biggest surprise – and the model dropping jaws everywhere – is the not-so-long-lost In-Between Mare, in all her awkward glory:

I know there’s been some concern that new releases of what was previously Breyer’s rarest mold might cause the market for the originals to plummet, but I don’t think that’s the case. If anything, I think the renewed interest and focus on this legendary yet little-known piece of Breyer History might have the opposite effect.

I’ve seen it happen before: not long after a new Vintage Club release, demand for the originals tends to goes up, regardless of the mold used. 

I will be happy with any color I receive, though you all know my fondness for Gloss Bay.

As far as the Cantering Welsh Pony-inspired Bristol Barrington, I think my favorite part about him is his name. Most of the older fogeys among us should appreciate the reference to a certain someone who still remains a dear memory and/or inspiration to all of us obsessed with Breyer History.

And finally, the banner for the Stablemates Collector Club page on the Breyer web site has given us a clue about the other releases (save for the new mold):

A non-unicornized Alborozo, the G2 Warmblood, the Tushar-Cob, and the G1 Arabian Stallion. Nice!

I am hoping for a realistic color on the Alborozo (please!), a Gloss on the Arabian, and either the Warmblood or the Tushar-Cob as the Gambler’s Choice.

I’d also like to give props to whoever wrote the copy for the Stablemates Club home page: it’s a little over the top, but I love it and it works! (Though you know they had me at “Stablemates Club”.)

Friday, November 22, 2019

Holiday Things

Apparently there was some sort of mix up in Reeves’s database, so now everyone (well, almost everyone) who receives one of Breyer’s Holiday 2019 catalogs is getting the gift of … a new name!

This is hilarious and awesome, and I am totally wearing a “My Name Is” nametag at BreyerFest with my new Breyer Given Name “Dona” written on it.

(I was kind of surprised that it wasn’t Audrey, but that is a story best told in person....)

The only other thing worth noting about the catalog is that it includes all the Web Exclusive Holiday merchandise – the Unicorn Mare and Foal set Mira & Antares, the “Pony for Christmas” gift set featuring a Haflinger similar to Donner, his royal purpleness Zenith, and a lot of the new 70th Anniversary merchandise and other swag.

As someone who has made several t-shirts featuring old Breyer graphics and ephemera, I am definitely buying this at my earliest convenience (CC Appreciation Sale, cough cough…)

I wasn’t anywhere near my computer when Early Access to Breyer’s Black Friday sale dropped, so no Darwin for me. The only other items of mild to moderate interest were the Gettysburg (also sold out) and Celeste, a mold that I try to love and I am still not feeling it.

I seem to be in the minority of this opinion, but I like the PC Lipizzaner Mare and Foal a heck of a lot more than the PC Andalusian Mare and Foal. So it’s no surprise that I am also taking a pass on the Mira and Antares (in Chestnut and… purple?) and hitting the Enter Now button as much as legally possible for the Winter Web Special Avoriaz – the Lipizzaner Mare in a Gambler’s Choice of Rose Gold Florentine or Rose Gold Charm:

This is an entirely new Decorator color and it gets a big thumbs up from me. While I am not a fan of Rose Gold when it is used in jewelry, I love the color when it’s applied to other things – it’s even one of the few pastels I’ll actually wear!

I am a little hesitant about them applying the Gambler’s Choice option to a relatively limited (350 piece) Special Run, though: these Winter Web Decos are hard enough to win as it is. After what happened with Benasque last year, we really don’t need to encourage more people to enter the drawing with dreams of dropshipping them for some extra holiday cash.