Monday, December 5, 2011

Scary Christmas

This is what we have to resort to in order to have a Christmas tree this year:

Everything (except the fort) is made from felt, fabric or gold lame. We may eventually replace the deck furniture with some picket fencing or that plastic lattice you put under your porch to keep the groundhogs out, so we don’t have to spend out days chasing the canine version around the house with her latest treasures.

Speaking of Christmas, here’s your "Scary Christmas" craft item for the year, from my vintage craft archive:

It's Frosty’s Cousin Slushy!

It’s from an otherwise tasteful book of simple, understated holiday craft projects called Christmas Magic, written by Margaret Perry, and published by Doubleday in 1964. I had high hopes for the book when I picked it up last year at the local book sale - if they thought a drunken snowman with a mace was worth putting on the cover, it had to be good, right? Alas, nothing else in it was quite as frightening. Bummer.

I started listing more stuff on MH$P this week, again; more average stuff, nothing especially noteworthy. Then again, their lack of spectacularness just might make them stand out. How many people are selling their Thrillseekers and Fall in Loves, anyhow? I understand needing to make a quick buck around the holidays, but the odds of selling aren’t so great when you’re competing with 15 to 20 other identical items.

(I’m still mulling over the right way to sell all of my extra bodies. I might just list most of the less trendy/correct ones together and have people mix and match their own assortments.)

I suppose I should have something a little bit Breyer and/or history related here, for a change. So here’s something that's also vaguely Christmas-y, a nice old Breyer #77 Elk:

This example is actually quite early; he lacks the USA mold mark, which means he’s from 1968 or 1969. That’s pretty much the only way you can distinguish an early Elk from a later one, unless you’re lucky enough to find one with a Blue Ribbon sticker. The paint job on the original release of the Elk, which ran from 1968 through 1997, didn’t vary much. Earlier ones tend to be a little more brownish, and later ones a bit more reddish, but neither the variation nor its correlation with age is strong enough for most collectors to bother with.

His giant rack doesn’t help, either. Like the Moose or the Longhorn Bull, he’s another one of those models that eats up way too much valuable shelf space.

I put off getting an Elk for several years, hoping I’d find a nice, cheap one at the flea market eventually. Despite the model’s long run, though, I never did find one at a suitable price or condition there.

I found the Elk of my dreams on - where else? - eBay.

In a fit of boredom or curiosity one day, I started clicking on Breyer Elk auctions, and happened to find this fellow - complete with a detail shot of his mold mark, sans USA. Normally I make fun of eBay listers who post mold mark shots, which I usually mock as the sign of a Breyer amateur. (Silly peoples, most of us clicking on the auction don’t need no mold mark shot to tell us it’s the real deal.)

In this case, it was actually helpful, since it provided me the one real clue to his true age. He didn’t have a sticker, but that was his only real negative. The price was right (very cheap) as was the condition (very near mint.)

You know, come to think of it, I still haven't found a whole lot of Elks at the flea markets around here, since then. Interesting.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I must have gotten the quota for the year, then - picked up a nice elk on the Garage Sale Trail this summer. The dealer even gave me a dollar off 'cause I had to wait for a lady to pack up her croquet set!