Monday, May 9, 2011


Finally, a good weekend! I was so excited about the magnificent weather, I had to suppress the urge to rip off my coat and run around the market grounds screaming for joy. Instead, I opted to go with giddily mumbling to myself, and buying random crazy stuff like bullwhips and auto shop name patches.

(I’m not kidding about buying the bullwhip. Next time, kids, next time.)

All told, I bought nearly a dozen horses: a few bodies, some decent vintage Regular Runs, and one okay Chalky - an Appaloosa Yearling with chipped ears. Nothing spectacular, but it did scratch that itch. I left a ton of stuff behind, too, including a few things I probably shouldn't have, but I was feeling good, and wanted share the joy with some of my fellow hobbyists.

Some of you have already met one of my "keepers", but he’s too good - or perhaps, too bad - not to share with the rest of the world. Meet my lovely little Toad:

At first I thought he had been the victim of a fire or some other sort of household incident, but when I picked him up and got a good whiff of him, I realized he was no accident victim: he was a Shrinky. Possibly the worst Shrinky I’ve ever seen. He’s not just shrunken, discolored, smelly and cracked, he’s lumpy: Lumpy and warty, like a toad!

Hence, his name.

I’ve seen some pretty messed up Shrinkies in my time, but this guy’s right up there with the worst of them. I’ve never seen lumpiness on a Shrinky like that before. Was it a consequence of the plasticizer pooling on the surface of the plastic? Was a "good" batch of plastic mixed in with a "bad" batch, with the lumps representing the unshrunken "good" bits?

I found him in a fairly large (60 piece) collection of contemporary (late 1980s-early 1990s: i.e. The Shrinky Era) pieces, most of them in good or better condition. There were a few other Shrinkies in the herd, but most of them were just smaller, smellier, and a little discolored - nowhere near the same horrifying level of deformity of my little Toad.

Some folks on Blab have speculated that something must have happened to Toad to make him this way, but I’m not so sure of that. It could be that like some people, he "lost" the genetic lottery, and just happened to get made out of a particularly bad batch of plastic, at a time known for that sort of thing.

He’s not oozing or weeping, at least not anymore, though I am hesitant to give him the "taste" test. I already suspect I got a contact high the other day from handling him so much. It’s not like I need to confirm what is already very obvious to my eyes, and nose. (Did I forget to mention that you can smell him a couple rooms away? That boy is pungent!)

Oh yes, he’ll be coming to BreyerFest this year; I’m thinking about setting up a little "kissing booth" for the Toadster and run some sort of fairytale-style promotion. "Kiss the Toad, and get a prize?" Hmm.

(Too bad I already have a great idea for the "Happy Endings" contest, because he’d make a great - and super easy - "Frog Prince" entry. Just set him up next to an unshrunken Rocky, with "Before Kiss" and "After Kiss" signs, and voila!)


Stockstill Stables said...

Hes great and definitely should be at Breyerfest.

eva said...

I honestly think he's kind of cute. I like toads.

Anonymous said...

I'm not nearly brave enough to bring a shrinky home. They are, after all, contagious.

ANDREA said...

Actually, they're not contagious.

The fumes might jump start other models in the early stages of shrinking, but the other 98% of your models who aren't will continue to be just fine.

Anonymous said...

I've heard differently. That and half my collection is from the right time period.

eva said...

That's an interesting link, though I wish there was a bibliography so I could check the sources myself.

Rebecca said...

I have the exact same model, and his shrinky is even WORSE than "Toad". The bumps that he had were so huge they look like tumors, not just warts. I just sanded them off so he looks semi-normal now.