Monday, October 10, 2011

Rin Tin Tin

Did you hear about the new book about Rin Tin Tin? It’s Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, by Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief. I was doing a little research on the book itself (to wit: was it worth putting on my holiday gift list?) when I ran across this text on the author’s website:
When I was very young, my grandfather kept a Rin Tin Tin figurine sitting on his desk. I wanted desperately to play with it, and even more desperately I wanted to have a German shepherd dog of my own, a dog just like the star of "The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin", which debuted on television in 1954. I knew nothing about Rin Tin Tin other than that he was the perfect dog, and that he was a character on television. When by chance I learned that Rin Tin Tin was a real dog, not just a television character—a real dog with a real life that was extraordinary—I was drawn into the story and eventually to the idea of writing this book.

So I’m guessing that you’re thinking what I’m thinking - that’s the Breyer figurine she’s talking about! I guess the book is worth my time, though I will have to wait until Christmas or thereabouts before I get my hands on a copy. (No room in the budget for fun stuff until then!)

You’d think it’d be logical for Reeves to re-release the Rin Tin Tin figurine, wouldn’t it? You have a well-reviewed biography by a noted author, who just mentions in passing that a Rin Tin Tin figurine partially inspired her to write the book in the first place?

Nice idea, but I’m not counting on it. For one, he’s a dog, not a horse. While Reeves has not been averse to re-releasing the older dog molds, they’re not big sellers. They’ve seemed particularly averse to re-releasing the Rin Tin Tin mold: we haven’t seen it since 1973, when they discontinued the #327 German Shepherd after a brief two-year-ish run. (Like the Proud Arabian Mare, he was prereleased in late 1971 to/for hobbyists.)

His absence is something of a mystery to me, since the German Shepherd has consistently been one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, far outpacing both the Collie and the Saint Bernard in terms of registrations.

Yet both the Lassie/Collie and the Saint Bernard molds have seen a couple of re-releases in the not-too-distant past! Hmm. (Also puzzling: Wire Fox Terriers are only 97th on the list? Our little brat certainly doesn't act like it.)

Second: just because I think it’s such an obvious idea doesn’t mean Reeves does. I thought a Pancreatic Cancer benefit horse was a far better - and more appropriate - idea than a Breast Cancer benefit horse (hello, Patrick Swayze!) but the more conventional idea won out.

It could be that Reeves got caught a bit flat-footed about the book; I only found out about it a couple months ago myself. It’s not too late to time a re-release of the mold with the inevitable paperback release of the book sometime next year, though. Could be a nice addition to one of their various "horse and book" series, like the Breyer Horse Collection. (One of the lamest names for a series ever, BTW. Isn’t every series basically a "Breyer horse collection"?)


Julie said...

The Rin Tin Tin mold is nice, but like most the trad sized animals, he's not in the "show" stance that German Shepherds are seen in.Personally I like the mold and would love to see it again, but much like the zebra, I'll just have to wait.

Sky Octo LNB said...

This book is a fascinating tale of real life, Rin Tin Tin and his master, Lee Duncan as the dawning of the entertainment industry from silent movies and vaudeville to reach every television. We also learn the enormous contribution of World War I war effort animal and the Second World War, the United States finally bringing the use of dogs trained in World War II.

Anonymous said...

I for one am glad Rin Tin Tin was based on a real, working GSD, and not one of those roach-backed, hip dysplasia-ridden "show" dogs.

Stockstill Stables said...

I came across a decent model of old RTT at a local fleamarket. Price of 5.00 wasn't bad either.

I will say tho, before I bought him I did check to see if it was the hartland Bullet 1st I think they were both out about the same time