Monday, September 19, 2011

Stock Market

Good, good day at the flea market today - lots of cheap, cool stuff, just the way I like it. I could have easily blown my whole wad, without much effort, on things like "Pajamas of Oriental Splendor" (seriously, that’s what the box said!), a chunk of petrified wood, or an animatronic Elvis head (no joke.) I decided to stick to my core competencies: Breyers, books, and minis.

(No pic today - it’s late enough as it is, and my time management skills apparently went on vacation sometime last week. Anyone who’s still waiting on a package or e-mail from me, I am working on it!)

Other than the indiscretion with the Valentine and Heartbreaker set, I’ve been so good with my money over the past two weeks. I’ve been rooting around the deepest, darkest corners of my closets before venturing out shopping, and rocking the coupons when I do have to set foot in the nearest enclosed retail compound.

Money is probably my least favorite topic to talk about in regards to the horses, especially in the contentious area of estimated price or value.

I am not completely uninterested in how much certain models are worth, but I am a little disturbed at how obsessed many hobbyists are with tracking prices - creating spreadsheets, graphs and flowcharts, like it’s the stock market. It is, kinda, but I’ve never been one to think of my horses as that crucial a part of my investment portfolio. (If I come close to breaking even, I’ll be happy.) Its mutable nature also turns me away: my time is better spent tracking down the unknown - and there’s a whole lot of that, in Breyer History - than keeping track of the unknowable.

When pressed, I can spit out the necessary numbers for you, and I’m usually not too far off the mark. I work in inventory services, and any one who works in that industry develops an almost savant-like ability to estimate price and quantity with just a quick glance. But as a general rule, I’m more interested in figuring out the "why" than the "how much".

Like with the Traditional Spirits and Rains: I do not particularly care in how much they’re "worth," except for the fact that their going prices are preventing me from adding them to my collection. I already have a Rain - the Lady Liberty BreyerFest SR from a couple years back - but I never got around to getting a Spirit when I could. (Technically I did own a Ringmaster - for about a week. It was a pick-up for a friend.)

I think there are a number of factors in play with the Spirit and Rain prices. One, neither mold has been in production for three years: that’s an eternity, nowadays. Two, there have been limited number of releases on each mold - two for Rain, and three for Spirit - and because of the cartoonish aspects of the molds, not a lot of future releases seem likely. And three, it’s the movie, silly: movie merchandise sells, and animated movie merchandise sells really well. A quick visit to the toy department at Kmart, Target or Walmart can tell you that.

The fact that the models are fairly good representations of the characters as they appear in the film also helps. (As they say in the industry, they’re very "on model.") That would help explain why the secondary market for the Classic and Stablemates Spirit merchandise isn’t quite as superheated. Out of its proper context (box and/or accessories) there’s nothing to distinguish them from any other Breyer Classic Mustang releases. There’s no mistaking the Traditional Spirit and Rain for anything other than what they’re supposed to be.

That’s also another reason why I have to roll my eyes whenever I see a hobbyist kvetching about Spirit’s eyebrows: you know, if it wasn’t for those eyebrows, you wouldn’t be able to sell your MIB Spirit for 150 dollars now, would you?

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