Sunday, October 31, 2010


The flea market was cold and quiet today. I found a few good deals, including a quilt hoop (for a buck!) and a 1968 copy of The Care & Training of the Trotter & Pacer (with dustjacket!) There were a few models, but nothing worth the effort. I need to move more models out of the house, not into it. Gotta get cracking on the sales listings again…

If one of my pending deals goes through this week I just might buy myself a Bats in the Belfry as a reward. I love the mold, and the paint jobs on the ones I have seen so far have been exquisite.

To be honest, I never had a problem with, or really understood, the hate-on over the fuzzy bats on the original Nosferatu. The reason I never got around to buying one was because the Cigar mold doesn’t fit on my shelves. I love my Wanderlust, my QVC Seabiscuit, and my Glossy Affirmed (swoon!) but darn it, those suckers eat up a lot shelfy real estate. The Nokota Horse isn’t exactly petite either, but he’s got that multiple posability thing going on, and I can work with that.

I was making a few minor corrections and additions to my Nokota Horse file yesterday, in my ongoing effort to get my pile of research notes under control. Sigh: out of its 12 releases so far, 6 of them have piece runs of 100 or less. Here I thought the whole Esprit thing was bad. Fully half of the runs of the Nokota Horse are completely inaccessible to me, and likely always will be.

The Newsworthy mold isn’t a lot better: out of the eight releases so far, only the original release would qualify as a regular run, and even that only ran for about a year and a half. I'm not sure what to call the Enchanted Forest - a midyear release already on the Discontinue list? I guess that’s what he gets for the sin of merely being Bay.

All of these super-brief runs and micro-runs on new molds got me thinking about that question I posed earlier this year: is Reeves really heading towards a "Test Colors For Everyone!" business mode, a la Stone?

I hope not. It’d completely wreak havoc in the hobbyist sphere, where there’s already a huge issue being made over the effect that a handful of "big spenders" have been making on the hobby as a whole. What happens when they can - for a price - pretty much order whatever the heck they want?

I take a little comfort in the fact that most of the models I’ve seen come out of all of these "Make Your Own Test Color" programs haven’t been all that appealing to me. I guess it’s a side effect of being able to get whatever you want: most hobbyists are going to go for something completely, utterly idiosyncratic. It’s so completely tailored to their likes and dislikes that it won’t "fit" anyone else.

That’s also why I’m one of the lone voices out there arguing that models coming out of those programs aren’t really Original Finish. They meet all of the technical requirements - painted in the factory, with factory techniques - but in every other regard, they’re customs. They’re made to order, with a single defined customer in mind.

At best, I could concede them being another category: the Factory Custom.

Most shows are starting to break the RR and SR categories into further subdivisions - separating earlier Regular Runs from later ones, and low-piece count Specials from the more plentiful ones. I suppose, in the not so distant future, they’ll have to have a Factory Custom/OOAK subdivision, too.


Anonymous said...

"Collectability" classes will become more or less meaningless if Breyer goes down the "tests for everyone" route, at least as they're judged around here. I remember when Stone first adopted this business model and suddenly a stone OOAK of unremarkable demeanor could beat a mint Florentine Five-Gaiter simply because its piece count was, by definition, lower.

Anonymous said...

You're not the only one who doesn't agree with those Factory Customs being in the OF classes. What part of "Custom" are people not understanding here? If it's just a tweaked mane or tail I can live with it being OF, but once they take a heat gun and move body parts--usually in a deformed way BTW--then it's no longer OF despite coming from the factory. If they change the conformation from the original sculpture, then it's custom.

eva said...

We're doomed.

And what does idiosyncratic mean?

TankDiveGirl said...

In Region 5, we do have classes for the FC/EFC/OOAK stones AND Breyers, in both breed and collectibility. There are guidelines as to what goes in there and what doesnt (Design A Horse, for example, go in the RR classes, but stone "you call it" ooaks go in the Test/VLR/OOAK classes)

But then, we tend to split things out pretty thoroughly here, even dividing some of the biggest RR classes by color and gender...