Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Other Rare Pluto

BreyerWest is on the other side of the country, and I am kinda broke, so the fact that it slipped my mind until about yesterday isn’t shocking. I do have a few relatives out that way I could have tapped for a pickup on Fortuna, but I really have to stick to my budget, now that work has officially entered the "slow" season.

I’m currently hemming and hawing on what to do next - another seasonal job, or ramp up the Internet biz? The former would be better for the budget, but the latter is long overdue and may eventually provide a small, year-round income stream. One more thing to think about…

Here is an example of another mold we’ve rarely seen in recent years - the Traditional Lipizzaner Pluto:

This one is the Pluto made specifically for "The Wonderful World of Horses" touring show, in early 1997. The show had been selling the Pluto for several years before it was discontinued, and I assume that Reeves continued to produce them for the show for some time after.

How do I know that this piece is from early 1997? Aside from the 1997 Collector’s Manual it came with, he has factory bi-eyes - a feature that didn’t start appearing until late 1996, and was discontinued by the end of March, 1997. The original #475 Pluto was discontinued at the end of 1995.

The sticker on the upper left hand corner of the box also identifies it as an "Exclusive 28th Anniversary Edition for The WONDERFUL WORLD OF HORSES Starring the ‘World Famous’ Royal Lipizzaner Stallions" (the funky punctuation and capitalization theirs, not mine.)

However, the box label reads "#475 Pluto, The Lipizzaner" - in other words, identical to the Regular Run - so I’d probably classify it more as a "Post Production Run" than a Special Run: a Regular Run item made after its discontinuation, per a standing order from a good (i.e. paying) customer.

Regardless of his status, you don’t see these guys too often; the vast majority of whatever quantity was made were sold as souvenirs to attendees of the show, and not specifically to hobbyists. Hobbyists walking past the sales booths wouldn’t have thought of them as anything other than ho-hum Regular Run Plutos.

Outside of his box, I doubt many would recognize him as anything other than the Regular Run. You’d think that the bi-eyes would be a big "tell," but a lot of collectors seem to be a bit fuzzy on their significance. That’s part of the reason why he’s one of the handful of models I still keep in its original box. If it ever comes to me having to sell him, I want to make sure there’s no mistaking him for a standard #475.

(FYI: that’s a bit of protective foam paper behind him, to prevent box staining.)

I found mine on eBay in late 1999 - not long after they were made. He was a little on the pricey side but well worth it, I think, since I so rarely see them for sale. He’s scarcer than the Spiegel Pluto, at any rate. (That I don’t have. Sigh.)


Anonymous said...

I was pretty surprised to see the Holiday 2011 mold #470 which was introduced in 1991 as Misty's Twilight.

Anonymous said...

I have a Breyer from the Lipizzaner show, but it's the calssic Lipizzaner (I recall it came in a box with a sticker noting it as a special run). I would have received it in 1996 or 1997... I recall seeing the Plutos there and liking the classic guy better.