Still cleaning, still sorting. Took a couple more extended naps, too.
The signal-to-noise ratio on BreyerFest rumors and gossip is never great, but this year it was positively abysmal. The "intel" I received prior to Fest was good - right on the money, in many instances, down to specific pieces - but the information getting passed around at the actual event ranged from "kinda off" to "not even on the same planet."
It got so bad at one point that I thought sunspots might have been involved. (There was a full moon. I’ll blame it on that.)
One of the rumors floating around prior to the event was that Samples from the Sample Room cleanout earlier this year would be present. It was not an unreasonable one: not only had they dumped Samples in the Pit in years past, they had made the announcement earlier in the year on their Facebook page, requesting hobbyist help in regards to the Sample Room cleanup.
Anyone paying the least bit of attention could have put it all together.
There’s been some controversy over what distinguishes a "Sample" from a "Test Color." In the case of the pieces in the Tent this year, most of them would be considered "Samples," which are pieces identical to the production run, made prior to full production for minor corrections and approvals. "Sample," basically, is just another term for "Preproduction." (There are some minor differences, I guess. I’m still in no mind to finesse these.)
Prior to the introduction of the VIN numbers, Reeves Samples/Prepros were almost indistinguishable from Regular Run items. Occasionally you’d see some dating and notations on some - "VQS" meaning "Vendor Quality Sample," for instance. Sometimes you’d see some minor change or correction to the piece, added detailing on the hooves or eyes, etc. The kind of little subtleties even most nerds wouldn’t pick up at first glance.
Because the differences are so subtle, provenance is absolutely essential with items like these. Sadly, in the case of many of the Samples thrown into the Pit in prior years, their specialness has been lost to the ages.
Luckily for me, I’ve been pretty anal about keeping most of the loose, free-floating goodies I’ve found in the Pit over the years. That’s because I get picky: I try to stick with molds and colors I already have a fondness for. That way, if it does turn out to be something truly ordinary, it’s no crushing blow. One such example, from this year: a Kennebec Count "Chili"!
I’m pretty sure he is a Sample, but I’ll still love him if he ain’t. You know me and the Kennebec mold.
Still trying to decide on a name, though. I keep thinking I should name him after a Red Hot Chili Pepper, but he looks more like a Bono to me...