Monday, October 17, 2011

Equus Non Grata

I didn’t go to the flea market today. Work didn’t go well the night before (everyone was at each other’s throats, for some reason), the weather was iffy (overcast, drizzly), and I didn’t feel all that awesome to begin with (an unfortunate choice of snack foods, I think.)

I need to get cracking (again) on the stuff I already have to sell, anyway. Life sort of got in the way of me putting things up on eBay, so it looks like I’ll be starting up the MH$P sales again. Like before, nothing impressive, just the usual middle-of-the-road shelf sitters and collection fillers.

Everything sells eventually, but some models are harder to sell than others. One mold that’s become an incredibly difficult sell of late is the Midnight Sun:

For obvious reasons, of course: in light of the recent attention being paid to the continuing practice of soring in the TWH show community, the mold itself has become (justifiably) something of a pariah. Few hobbyists dare to sneak any into their showstrings nowadays, lest they get labeled as condoning the practice.

We haven’t seen a new release on in the Midnight Sun mold since 2002, and I rather doubt we ever will, again.

Other molds have fallen "out of fashion" before, such as the Appaloosa Performance Horse and the Quarter Horse Gelding, but that was due more to shifting tastes than the increasing awareness of abusive showing practices.

I suppose one could still sneak Midnight Suns in under collectibility; an historical entry would require way more ‘splaining’ that it’d be worth. Especially since the true historical type of Tennessee Walking Horse is closer to the Bluegrass Bandit or even the G3 Tennessee Walker than the Midnight Sun mold - which itself doesn’t even really depict Midnight Sun!

And again, the mere existence of such an entry would also bring up the insinuations of acceptance on the shower’s part.

In some ways, the situation with the Midnight Sun mold has become somewhat analogous to the situation that exists with some of the more offensive forms of African-American memorabilia. Should they be preserved purely as a matter of historical interest, or should they be shunned - or even destroyed outright - to actively discourage that line of thinking from ever arising again?

As someone who considers herself something of an historian, I fall somewhere in the murky middle. Blotting out any part of our history may feel right or good, but it rarely works. Even if you manage to eliminate it entirely, it still leaves a hole, and a hole can be as problematic as the thing that once filled it.

I suspect what will actually happen to the Midnight Sun molds will be more of a continuing diminishment - of both interest, and of controversy - to the point of it becoming an embarrassing footnote. Most of the releases of the Midnight Sun, save for the 1984 Model Horse Congress SR, are plentiful enough that a spike in interest due to rarity will probably never become an issue. (Unless hobbyists get all crazy and start using their spare Midnight Suns as kindling.)

I have a small number of Midnight Suns in my collection - mostly variations of the original release, in black - and I have no intention of tossing them in the nearest bonfire. They’re a part of the historical record, for better or worse. I won’t go out of my way to acquire more, unless they happen to fall into my lap somehow, or have some historical significance (i.e. a Marney Test.)


Anonymous said...

Gee! I like Midnight Sun! I didn't know I wasn't supposed to!

Anonymous said...

Meh. He's got nostalgia value for me, at least in the older colors, but I wouldn't mind seeing the mold retired and replaced with a better representation of the real horse.

plastiqueponi said...

I like him, but I don't have more because he's so darn tippy. He can domino a shelf faster than Rejoice....

Anonymous said...

I love and conga the Midnight Sun mold. Whatever to the politically correct police.

Anonymous said...

I have just Blackberry Frost. But the tippiest Breyers I have come to own by far are The Weather Girl Series 2011 Treasure hunts and the "black beauty" mold which I have as Sir Wrangler. I had to use my dad's heat gun to fix the weather girls and Wrangler.

Julie said...

Excellent blog post!!!! Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

It is isn't about political correctness, it's about standing against a cruel practice that results in the unnatural gait the Midnight Sun mold exhibits. Yes, it's not the mold fault, but it doesn't hurt to take a stand against such cruelty by not popularizing a mold that

Anonymous said...

represents the result of cruel training practices.