Thursday, December 16, 2010

The First Rule of the Flea Market

Hesitating is for losers.

You go to enough flea markets - especially the open air, "live chicken and car parts" ones - and you learn that rule hard and fast. If you find something even remotely interesting, or think it might be something good but you’re not 100% sure of it - your decision has to be made right then and there. Once you walk away from the booth, chances are good it’s not going to be there when you make up your mind a half an hour later.

That’s just how it works at the flea market. The first person to offer a vendor the amount of money he or she is looking for an item, it’s gone. It’s nothing personal: vendors appreciate your interest, but they’re much more interested in your cash.

Considering the white-hot intensity that’s accompanied the past few exclusives, it only made sense to treat the Breyer Holiday Grab Bag deal just like a transaction at the flea market, especially since they put an extremely charitable "8 per household" limit on the purchases.

No room for hesitating. I know my fellow hobbyists all too well. Some of them are just crazy enough to buy that maximum - especially the ones that might have missed out on the Alpine.

So I got up Tuesday morning, logged on at the designated time, click-click-clicked, then went to lunch.

Needless to say, I was a little shocked when I logged on an hour or so later to see that they sold out in less than 15 minutes. I was expecting a quick sellout - within an hour or two. But 15 minutes? Whoa.

The fault here is obviously in the household limit: if these Grab Bags were of "extremely limited" quantities, an 8-piece limit is ridiculous. Four would have been more reasonable - isn’t that what the previous buy limit on Grab Bags was?

Just how limited was "extremely limited," though? There was a rumor floating around initially that pegged the quantity of Grab Bags at 50, but I find that extremely dubious. A Grab Bag purchase poll on Blab is already up to 90, and that’s only counting folks who are on Blab.

If I were to hazard a wild guess, I’m thinking a 150-250 piece estimate is more likely (or 160 to 240, if you’re looking for a "multiple of 8" number.) Blab is awesome, but it does not contain the entirety of the model horse universe within it. Half, maybe.

Like everyone else, I’ve been watching the commentary on Breyer’s Facebook page about the Grab Bags with all the fascination of a car wreck. It reminds me of why I’m not on Facebook: almost everyone on it is either emotionally or physically about 12 years old (if that.) I’ve got enough emotionally stunted people in my life to deal with, thank-you-very-much.

(In case you get curious and look it up: someone with my name IS on Facebook. It’s not me: I think it’s a distant relative in Hungary, but I’m not entirely sure. My knowledge of Hungarian is limited to food items.)

While I think it’s more than fair to call out the more egregious whiners on Facebook - and elsewhere - I’d caution my fellow hobbyists on going too far in the calling out. Posting kissy-face "Shut Up, Everything they do for us is Awesome!" messages everywhere is (a) unproductive, (b) a little nauseating, and (c) untruthful. Reeves HAS been making a lot of boneheaded mistakes lately.

And they do need to be reminded of that.

But there is a difference between holding someone’s feet to the fire, and burning them at the stake.


Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of these things will have those hideous WEG waterglobes in them. Ick.

I wish I could have bought one, but I'll have to be content with living vicariously through others.

Little Black Car said...

I'm almost completely checked out of contemporary model horse culture. I'm far too old (as far as I can tell) for Blab and I've stopped keeping track of what's new at Breyer. The few times I've been on the website, it's seemed to me that it was pretty out-of-date and I couldn't find the new things for which I was looking, anyway. I can't afford the expensive SR's and I'm really tired of of the general competitiveness. I'm a Palomino FAM girl in a Factory Custom world.

Gotta say, though, that the model horse people I've "friended" on Facebook are a prize bunch. It's fun getting to know them outside of a model horse context, and (the older--and by that I mean 30+ years old--hobbyists, at least) are hilarious and smart as whips. You just have to pick your friends wisely.

BreyerRose said...

I LIKE the water globe!!!!!!!!!!! I have it right next to my Esprit on the shelf, and I have the stablemate shadowbox set hung on the wall.

BreyerRose said...

.....but of course I'm one of the OLDER folks. My first Breyer was the Black Western Horse, brand new at the local bookstore. I think he cost $8.00, which was a lot in those days.