Thursday, October 14, 2010

The SHM at TSC

Our local Tractor Supply finally got their Holiday stuff set up; in the past, they’ve been among the first to get the goodies in, but not this year. I had no plans on buying anything - hello, painfully-tight budget - but I did want to inspect the goodies for, you know, research purposes.

The Ranch Horse "Popcorn" was way nicer than I expected him to be; those dark, muddy promo photos did him no justice at all. In terms of chestnut paint jobs, I still prefer the SR Easy Jet, but I wouldn’t turn a Popcorn down if he just happened to end up in my mailbox or under the tree this XMAS.

He’s unnumbered, except for the export serial number mumbo-jumbo, so I assume he’s an open-ended run (limited to orders, not to a set quantity.) That doesn’t necessarily mean that there’ll be more of him than the limited-to-quantity exclusives; indeed, there might be considerably less, considering that sales haven’t been all that great on some of the more recent TSC exclusives. Popcorn’s nice, but I don’t see him generating the extra sales that a tie-in like John Wayne or Bonanza would.

Stores might be order less, and stock up on items with quicker movers. Like maybe those Classic Stock Horse Families? Boy, those sets are nice. (And more of the Tail Up Foal! Yes!)

Man, it was really hard not walking out with the Prince Plaudit one. I like how they mixed it up and included all of Breyer’s different Appaloosa paint techniques in that one set: you’ve got splash spotting, airbrushing and masking. A nice, subtle nod to collectors there, I think.

When I walked out of the TSC today, though, it was one of the other SRs that stuck in my mind - Templeton Thompson’s Jane, a Stock Horse Mare who comes in a rather nice shaded chestnut, too. She also appears to be another open-ended run; I’ve been told that she’s another TSC exclusive, but you know how it’s been with some of these farm-store SRs lately.

While the Stock Horse Stallion does have a few deficiencies, he’s not completely unattractive as is, especially with the right paint job. The Mare, on the other hand, well I … the nicest thing I can say is that the potential is there. I know it because I’ve seen it: several years ago at Model Horse Congress, D’arry Frank had an amazing custom of a SHM for sale I would have bought in a heartbeat, if I hadn’t been a destitute college student at the time.

What amazed me was that she wasn’t a "drastic" custom - and this was back in the day when that word actually meant something. Just some corrections, a slight head tuck, legs moved slightly, and she wasn’t just pretty, she was beautiful. Beautiful enough to make me actually flip over the price tag and take a look, even though I knew she wasn’t anywhere in my league, financially.

Yeah, I know, it’s D’arry Frank we’re talking about here - one of the few customizers who could make a Khemosabi live show competitive. But when you see something like that, it makes you realize that every model horse is beautiful - or at least has the potential to be.

I have no idea how well Jane will sell; she’s clearly another item that’s geared towards the non-hobbyist portion of the model horse buying public. Ironically, she might end being more "rare" than the Popcorn, though it’s more a matter of time and space, than numbers. Something I’ll talk about in greater detail in my next post.


Anonymous said...

I did walk out of my TSC with the Prince Plaudit set. :) And I'm not an appy fan! I had intended on allowing myself 2 of the sets, but unfortunately, rubs are going to be an issue with the Go Man Go and Far Ute Keno sets.

Oh, and BTW, other farm stores have the Bonanze set, and one of our local ones has it for $15 *cheaper* than TSC. so shop around if you're looking for that one!

Little Black Car said...

Oh, I like her!

Hmm. I wonder if I need dog food. Might be time for a TSC run!

Carrie said...

Reading your blog reminded me to go take a look at our local TSC & you're right, those stock horse families are nice! I did notice, however, that the single Prince Plaudit set my store has features all splashed spots. Tiny speckles on Prince, big blops on the foal & something in between on the mare; still nice but certainly not masked like the promo pic!