Wednesday, December 2, 2009

He Who Must Be Possessed

Yes, I succumbed to the power of the almighty FAS. There it was, a quarter to three in the afternoon, and suddenly wave of nostalgia washed over me, and I realized I was in desperate need of my credit card. I slept through Music City, and hesitated on Frappe: I wasn't going to miss this pretty boy.

I'm another old fart who grew up with the Palomino FAS. And an Alabaster FAS is partially responsible for getting me in the hobby. (Not my own: it's a long story, best told by itself.)

It seems pretty remarkable, given the Family Arabians 50 some years of history, that this model represents the first official release in any kind of pinto. Plenty of Appaloosas, but no true Pinto releases: all we've had before were some test pieces, and the ultra-elusive Ford Pintos, seen here in a photo from Marney's album.

There are believed to be two complete Families, and an unknown number of Foals, distributed to team members who worked on the Ford Pinto Design Team. I live in an area filled with current and former Ford employees, some of whom probably knew and worked with those guys, so I still have a tiny sliver of hope that I'll run across one of those Foals locally.

That airbrushy style of pinto is best known for its appearance on the ever-popular Indian Pony, though it has cropped up on test pieces since then. I know crisp, tightly masked pintos are all the rage among the young whippersnappers right now, but I certainly wouldn't bypass a small SR or two of airbrushy chestnut pintos, especially of the older molds. (QH Gelding, or Stretch Morgan, or dare I say it, even Old Timer himself?)

There haven't been many intentionally unrealistic colors on the Family Arabians either: Charcoal and Woodgrain are the only two that come to mind, and I'm not so sure that Charcoal wasn't considered “realistic.” Being something that was probably targeted more towards the younger set, I don't think its likely they were even considered for inclusion in the original Decorator experiment. (Actually, we don't know much of anything about the original Decorators, period. Another post I'm working on, coming soon.)

Some hobbyists have gotten pretty jaded about piece counts, and thought that 200 pieces was a “high” piece run for this model. Piece counts are all relative: 200 might seem like a lot for a hoity-toity exclusive event, but not so much for a wider release. That was a non-untypical piece count for Specials in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and many of those model had little problem selling – and still don't. Prices may not be what they once were, but you can still get a decent return on your money for something like the Chestnut Congress PAM, especially if you purchased it firsthand.

Poking around the online hobby community, I saw all the right kind of reactions; factoring in the nostalgia, I figured the Anniversary FAS would be a brisk seller. And he was: gone in less than four hours.

Not as brisk as the Silver Snow from last year, but the online model horse community had an entire weekend to freak out about him, not a single weeknight. There were also no order limits back then like there are now – something that had to be instituted because of what happened with Silver Snow.

Now to make room for my sparkly little pony. I wonder if I can hide him in the holiday decorations somewhere...

1 comment:

Latter-Day Flapper said...

I think I would consider killing somebody to get my hands on a family of those.

I'm kidding. Sort of. OK, not really.