Monday, July 27, 2009

Toby and the Illusion of Rarity

We'll be back to our more-or-less normal, three-posts-per-week schedule starting today. As was patently obvious, neither my head nor my heart was into it last week. I spent most of my free time pulling weeds, quilting, and obsessively following San Diego Comicon coverage. (Still in shock over the fact that Marvel now owns Miracleman. And I SO wanted to see the sneak peek of the Jonah Hex movie ...)

Moving from that universe back to this one … here's another overlooked SR from this year's Fest: the Glossy POA Toby. (Don't read anything into the fact that he's still in his box: I just haven't gotten around to de-boxing everyone just yet.)

Even though he was newly-remodeled mold, and glossy, with an intricate paint job, of rather limited quantity, and less expensive than most of the other Fest specials, he didn't sell out. Normally, any one of those factors could have sparked a hobbyist feeding frenzy. But he wasn't rare enough, unusual enough, or exclusive enough: he got lost among the rarities available to the rabble this year at BreyerFest.

It's really a shame, because Toby is a really, really nice model with a beautiful paint job. It's almost Connoisseur quality: well shaded, with neatly stenciled spots, carefully striped hooves, eyepinks, chestnuts, the whole nine yards. All for only $35!

There were 750 of these little beauties available for general sale in the the Sales Tent (125 boxes, with 6 pieces to a box: 125 x 6 = 750.) That's about half of a normal JAH Special run, and 300 pieces less than the Line Special Cupcake, the gloss bay Newsworthy.

Oh, the mysteries of popularity! And to think, just a few years ago we were on the verge of breaking each other's arms to grab that last Peruvian Paso Magnifico. Maybe it's a good thing that we're not so hung up over the concept of Store Specials now: I think it's a great idea to have exclusive, Traditional-scale horse available for general sale in the tent. Casual or last minute attendees have the chance of getting something special too, without the expense or the bother of getting in the line.

I wonder, though, if the way the Tobies were sold may have affected the way other hobbyists perceived them: the thinking there being that they couldn't possibly be that rare if just anyone could walk in the store and buy them, right? (The topic of what makes a model “rare” I will leave for a future discussion, however.)

The Newsworthy “Cupcake” may have played a factor, too: some hobbyists may have found themselves looking hard at their budgets and flipping a coin to decide which of the two shiny new ponies to take home. Cupcake didn't sell out, either: in fact, only Gala, Sprinkles, the new Arabian Mare and the SM set did. Darn economy! (The Surprise QH Geldings would have sold out, too, if the “surprises” had launched properly, but I'll discuss that in another post.)

I don't know the status of the Tobies that remained unsold; they may just be held back until next year (like last year's SM-scale Tang Horses, which made a return appearance in the Tent), end up on Shopatron (like the Romanticos), or get dumped into future Grab Bags, if that program ever gets restarted.

I got a chance to see the UK Pippins, too – I'm a sucker for a nice bay roan, and he didn't disappoint in person. Unfortunately I was unable to escape my room at the HIN to procure one. My chorus line will have to remain incomplete for now, alas. (No, I don't have the no-one-can-find it Black Blanket Appaloosa SR, either – you know the drill: 'nother story, 'nother time.)

(And yes, I did make a cursory run through of the Tobies in the tent to check for random Matte Finishes. No dice!)


bubbasmom said...

First of all, I love your blog! So glad I found it:^)

Second, my favorite mold is that old-style QH with the molded-on halter. I have a whole conga line of those. I had no idea they didn't sell out, but I need a dun one to complete my set;^)

I see exactly what you're saying about little Toby. I love that mold, & if I had gotten to go to Bfest he would've been mine, too. I love your perspective on the rarity issue!

Kelly Weimer said...

I went through the Breyer store on Sunday at 9:30 and was still able to get a Surprise QH. I tried again at 11:20 so I could get another and they were most definitely sold out.

I did not get a Toby and still regret not purchasing one. Shiny pony, limited run, what's not to like? I agree poor Toby may have been lost in the shufflee

Tehana said...

I spoke to Arlene Newmann on Thursday night and she quoted the run at 1750~ so part of me thinks the sign might have been printed incorrectly and have been missing a 1, there were more Toby's than I would have imagined 750 looked like.

Lori said...

When I went through around noon on Sunday, I don't remember seeing any Surprise QH. I do think they might have sold out. What was left was Buttercream, Cupcake, Poodle, and porcelain Shire.

With Toby, I'd thought about getting a 2nd one, and there was only one left on the table at that point. But someone was looking at him and ultimately walked off with him. I didn't see any more in there (though I didn't check back after the raffle as I needed to leave). @Tehana - interesting that the run was told to you as 1750 - wonder what the real number is?

I think some of the issue was the sign placement. I don't think people saw the "500" sign at first for the SM set, and I'm willing to bet they didn't see Toby's sign, either.

I was disappointed the tote bags were gone on Sunday as well. I really wanted a couple but thought it looked like they had a lot on Saturday. Ah well. Maybe they'll have more next year.

Oh, and Pippin should still be available through the Utterly Horses website. Nothing indicates that he's gone. I bought mine before BF - it turned out to be easier for me.

Christine said...

I must be the odd duck, loving everything no one else does. Like the poodle at BF. I was dying to get one, got two. Yes, I still like them. I purposely pounced on Toby also, being a POA mold freak (29, just need to get my greedy little hands on Pippin yet!). I love Toby, he is adorable and well worth the money and fret to get him.

Got my after BF purchase of the dun QH Surprise today...gosh he is fantastic!!!

I finally unboxed/bagged the last of mine today so you are in good company. And my garden is weed free, LOL.


PS, I don't know if you ever look at my blog but I am doing a bunch of random oldies of my collection from the 70's on. Not too much mold history but plenty of personal model showing etc. history, LOL.