Friday, April 30, 2010

Rejoice, and my Opinion of Opinions

The birthday was not unpleasant; I got a new paper shredder, some spendy cash, and dinner was topped off with Bumpy Cake. (A local delicacy - basically a giant chocolate cupcake with two layers of frosting. Add a scoop of chocolate ice cream to that, and you’ll be napping to bedtime. Which is exactly what I did.)

Then the mail came and my new driver’s license was in it. Gah! The makeup didn’t help. It’s not awful, per se, but I definitely don’t look well - I look more like a potential organ recipient than a potential organ donor.

Speaking of bad photographs, the usual nattering nabobs of negativity are ripping up the newest Connoisseur model - a homozygous bay pinto Rejoice, named "Pandora" - based on what’s clearly another awful photo job. How many times do we have to go over this, folks? Never judge a Breyer by its PR photo.

(And c’mon Reeves, you’re no better! It takes all of what - fifteen minutes? - to lighten, brighten and do a little minor color correction in Photoshop. I’m still trying to figure out what color Hollywood Glamour is supposed to be!)

I prefer the Rejoice mold to the Clock Saddlebred. It has nothing to do with anatomy or breed correctness: she’s more lively and animated than the Clock Saddlebred, who seems a little bit like a poseur to me. I think I have the same number of examples of each in my collection, though with BreyerFest (and maybe, the Connoisseur drawing) that may change soon.

One of my all-time favorite BreyerFest Specials is my lovely, lovely Gwendolyn, one of the more desirable specials for 2005. She was already at the top of my list before I arrived in Kentucky that year; her scarcity and striking looks made her many hobbyists’ top pick, as well. I got lucky and managed to snag one of the last ones in my line time:

I love her color - whatever it was supposed to be. I presume it was an attempt to create a shaded black with a metallic sheen, since it’s not too dissimilar to Summer Solstice, and the Bluegrass Bandit "Devil’s Food Cake," who were both advertised as such. Whether it’s actually realistic or not is not a concern of mine; she looks good in the paint job, and that’s all that matters to me.

As far as the "metallic" debate goes (which - good grief! - managed to ooze over into Haynet during Blab’s down time last week) I’m not a hater. Sure, there have been a few instances where I think Reeves has gone a bit overboard with the metallic paint, but I think that’s been the exception, not the rule. A healthy horse, well-groomed, does shimmer; a little touch of metallic in the paint actually adds to the realism.

I wish I could find the picture I took at a BreyerFest several years ago of the Haflinger Aristocrat TOF to illustrate my point; you’ll just have to trust my word and my memory here. He and a few other guest horses were walking past the crowds assembling near the tent for the raffle drawing; the light of the afternoon sun raked across his chestnut coat, and at that moment he looked just like a living, breathing Golden Charm. I remember turning to the person next to me and remarking "And some people say that Decorators aren’t realistic!"

From the commentary on the boards, though, you’d think that metallic paint was the Worst! Idea! Evar! in the history of model horsedom. I suspected that the reality was a little bit different, and probably more in line with my closer-to-neutral opinion.

Not because I think my opinion is always right, but because I don’t think Reeves would be doing something for so long if the models weren’t selling.

A poll on Blab from several months back backs me up on my opinion of the opinion. As I’ve explained before, I don’t normally hold most online polls in very high regard; they’re just too easy to manipulate. This poll was a little bit different: it only allowed a user a single vote, and the voter’s name was attached to it. You couldn’t "swing" the poll one way or another, unless you managed to persuade your compadres to vote likewise.

And the majority opinion? Most folks were fine with metallics, as long as they were done well, and within moderation.

So what explains the disparity?

I've struggled for half a day trying to come up with an elegant, inoffensive way of putting this, but the brain just isn't cooperating, so I'll just plow right to the heart of it, instead: just because a small handful of people - or even one person - expresses the same opinion over and over (and over and over ...) does not mean that their opinion represents the majority. One opinionated person expressing the same opinion twenty times is not the same as twenty different people expressing the same opinion, even if it takes up the same amount of bandwidth.


Carrie said...

Yes, Aristocrat TOF! The most metallic looking live horse I've ever witnessed. That was one of the few years I regret not having a camera w/ me at BF - I actually went to look at him multiple times so my brain could continue absorbing the fact such a sparkly horse existed.

And I, for one, agree about metallic models (& about Gwendolyn!).

Latter-Day Flapper said...

I like a little metallic. My Stone "Chrystalline Cross" would be just another dark bay, except she has a metallic undercoat that is just lovely.

I like Rejoice, too. Oddly, I don't own one, but I she's such an elegant model. I haven't seen the new Connoisseur yet (Oh, JAH, where art thou?).

SubaruWolf said...

Firstly, I must say that I highly admire the massive amounts of info you have gathered over the past several years all and your willingness to share it with us in this blog. Your dedication and passion for the history of Breyer horses is inspiring and intriguing to a collector nut like myself.

In response to this post, I'm not one for Decorator models (or even the glossies) though I purchased the Wal-Mart set 750212 for the frolicking bay foal and was surprised to find that it was ever so slightly metallic. I was even more surprised at how attractive it was. It was done simply and done well and I love it. I've even gotten to the point where I find myself greeting photos of particularly attractive metallic Traditional sized horses on the internet with a sharp intake of breath as I just sit there staring at the sheer beauty of the model.

Perhaps it's the "ooh, shiny!" mentality of my human nature but, I admit, even if glossies are still not my thing, I find many of the metallics to be attention grabbing and utterly gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of Rejoice's tail. I do like the color, though.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why people are complaining about "another" pinto on this mold. Out of what, 20 releases? this mold has seen, only THREE have been mass-released in pinto: the original bay tobiano, the QVC palomino pinto in the same pattern, and Gwendolyn up there.

I think she looks great in this new pattern, but I still want to see better photos. Breyer needs to better train their photographer(s), they never get the model from the best angle.