Technical difficulties today. Sorry about that.
I got all excited the other day – I found another test color splash spot Pony of the Americas! Well, okay, he was in the 1976 Dealers Catalog and Collector's Manual, and I wasn't actually looking for him, per se. I was researching another topic entirely, and I just happened to notice that he wasn't the same pony on the white picture box. That's how research works sometimes: you make discoveries while you're busy looking for something else.
I already knew that the POA in the catalog was a test piece – I just assumed that the one featured in the ephemera was the same one that was on the box. Silly me, making assumptions again. (Alas, he was not the same fellow in my collection, either. So that means there were at least three of them.)
I'm not sure why I have this mild obsession with the POA: I remember when it came out in 1976, and there was just something about it that I really, really took a shine to. I think it was its unique appearance: roached mane, short tail, that leopard appaloosa paint job. The POA was no ordinary, generic pony!
Like everyone else, I finally managed to get a look (via the Internet) at a “live” version of the UK SR Pippin on the newly remodeled POA mold. They “updated” it with a new mane and tail. It wasn't necessary, in my opinion; my first reaction was annoyance. They took away the crew cut and gave him an equine mullet!
I don't like mullets. On horses, or people. (I don't have a preference for crew cuts, but on the right person, it works. If I had a preference, it'd be towards the Byronic. For both men and horses. Let's just leave that discussion ... at that.)
I know “big hair” is back in style, for both horses and people, but I never really struck me as either attractive, or practical. And just like people, some look good in big hair, and some don't. The mane is fine – the mold has a nice enough neck to pull off a short mane. But that tail is weird: it's not an improvement to me.
I'm already predisposed to buy the first two near-simultaneous SR releases of the POA in spite of the less than appealing tail – because of the roany paint jobs on both the UK Pippin, and the not-quite-sure-what-it-is Toby. I love roans! Speckled, freckled, or airbrushed, I'm not fussy. And I'd seriously trample people for a freckle-style black roan – you know, like the old-fashioned red roan paint job with big honking freckles, except in black.
And speaking of trampling people, rumor has it that the Toby is an in-tent BreyerFest store special, like the Porcelain Stablemate from last year. This little nugget of information, however, came in the form of a verbal comment from an unidentified Reeves employee: as I’ve explained before, that’s not the kind of information you can completely rely on.
(I’ve received neither a thumbs-up nor a thumbs-down from the powers-that-be to my attempt to organize the Ninja Pit of Death line last year. The issue has been brought to Reeves's attention, but I’ve heard nothing personally. Yet.)