Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pinto Stock Horse Stallions

As you can tell, I haven’t been very motivated lately. It’s not just the WEG thing. It’s October, and October’s never been a good month for me: an unusually high percentage of my friends and relatives who have shaken off the mortal coil have done so in October. (So far, so good, but there’s still a lot of October to go.)

We’re entering the slow time of the year for the part-time job, which means less income - to cover the same amount of bills. More actually, because of the dental emergency. (Just got a friendly "reminder" to pay the remainder of that. By this Friday, I hope.)

Because of the money situation, I wasn’t terribly motivated to buy anything at the flea market today, beyond a few grocery items and a new squeak toy for Vita. There were things to buy: some nice bodies, and a herd of hilariously funky flockies that someone had enhanced with glitter and rick-rack. I don’t normally go for flockies of any kind, but the fact that someone went out of their way to "customize" them did bring a bit of a smile to my face.

So what have I been doing? Finishing up old business, putting some way-too-distracting craft projects in storage, filing and reorganizing. I’m a bit behind in updating my research notes, so I’ve put a bit of a hold on the library visits until I get caught up. I need to focus on the newer stuff anyhow; while I may be on the verge of finally untangling the greater mysteries of the 1950s, the past couple years’ worth of releases are mostly a blur. (There were what, like 60 some items for WEG, alone? Sheesh.)

One recent release I do plan on buying when the money situation sorts itself out: that awesome JC Penney’s Two-Horse Set - the one with the Bay Smart Chic Olena and one of the coolest-OF-pinto-paint-jobs-evar Stock Horse Stallion.

Most of the Stock Horse Stallion’s previous pinto releases have been pretty blah. The LSE "Dallas" was pretty sweet, and I love my Sam I Am, but all of the easier-to-get Pintos? Total snoozers.

I can remember being a little surprised - and a tad bit disappointed - when my original Black Pinto Stock Horse Stallion arrived on my doorstep in early 1981. I had ordered him based on the photos I had seen in the Collector’s Manual I had received from the Bentley Sales Company:

Him, I found exciting. I love black pintos - and a minimal, mostly black one? Perfection! In fact, everywhere you looked in 1981, you found a different Black Pinto Stock Horse Stallion. Here’s another one, from the 1981 Alden’s Christmas Catalog:

Marney might have designed that one specifically; she had photos of both sides of one an awful lot like it in her photo album:

Also exciting? The San Domingo test from the 1981 Dealer’s Catalog. I’m not a huge fan of San Domingo, but I thought he looked freaking amazing in an airbrushed minimal black pinto:

Clearly the mold itself wasn’t ready in time for the photo shoot for the Dealer’s Catalog, so the next best thing - the San Domingos - had to be substituted. The stores placing their initial orders wouldn’t have been overly concerned that the final product varied somewhat from the Dealer’s Catalog; while I wouldn’t say that it was an expected occurrence, that sort of thing happens enough to not be that big a deal. Most toy buyers at that time wouldn’t have noticed, or cared, that the molds or the patterns didn’t match. They ordered black and white spotted horses, they got black and white spotted horses. No biggie.

Now the Collector’s Manual, that was a different situation: that was going straight into the hands of hobbyists and other consumers. While the hobby, and the model horse market in general, was not as sophisticated as it is now, the difference would have been noticed. And commented on, either to the toy store, or to Breyer itself.

Evidently the shoot for the Collector’s Manual was put off long enough to get some actual Stock Horse Stallions in there. The paint jobs weren’t finalized by then, but at least it was the right mold. Breyer would get a slew of whiny letters (including mine) about the catalog paint jobs not matching the production paint jobs, but not in the same quantity, or intensity, that a San Domingo subsitution would have brought.

As for the wide variety of pinto patterns, I’m not sure what was up with that. I do know there was a genuine dispute over the pattern, partly stemming from the fact that Peter Stone apparently didn’t know (at the time) the difference between Overo and Tobiano. But did each version represent the actual, viable production item at the moment of that photo shoot, or were they just whatever random test pieces they happened to have lying around?

If any of these early test pintos happen to turn up in the near future, I’d certain consider pouncing on them, regardless of my current financial stake.


Stockstill Stables said...

This is one of my favorite molds. I was given an original bk pinto when I was in 4thgrade by a boy I gave a dinosaur toy to. Ive always had one in my collection.
I found a pic of the 2010 Penneys one on Ebay, He is a must have. Wish they had one of the other side of him tho, Id like to see his face.

Little Black Car said...

I want that San Domingo!

I confess to having an unnatural sentimental attachment to Stock Horses. The mare and the action foal are my favorites, but I really like them all, conformational disastrous-ness aside.

eva said...

He is awsome!
I never really liked the stock horses, But he looks really cool.