Thursday, June 30, 2011

Now for Something a Little More Colorful

(This is how crunched for time I am right now: the following post was written in the back seat of a car during an especially long carpool. Multitasking, woot!)

I see a lot of people are upset that the next Connoisseur horse is another translucent Moody Andalusian. That doesn’t bother me so much; I sort of expected that we’d be getting a duplicate or two at some point in time. What cheeses me off is that they went with Van Gogh as their next Artistic inspiration.

Snore.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Van Gogh as much as the next person, but it’s such a predictable choice. I thought they might have had it in them to go a bit daring – Kandinsky was the first in the series, right? But I guess they just had to play it safe.

Rats. I was really hoping for a Franz Marc Belgian. (And if you don’t know who Franz Marc is, you really should.)

I wonder what’s up with this being the third Translucent release on the Andalusian mold? That’s mighty peculiar. I didn’t think there was anything chemically different between the standard White Tenite and the Clear, except for the pigments. Are they leftovers from the Breast Cancer horse? Or just playing it safe, again?

I was an Art History major in college, and this is (sort of) an Art History blog, so yeah, I’ll probably be sending in the card anyway, depending on what the money situation is after BreyerFest. Him being a Translucent isn’t hurting, either.

Speaking of colorful new releases, I’m really liking the BreyerWest SR Fontana; just the other day I was thinking how nice a pinto release on the Roxy mold would be, and voila! There she was. Like the universe was listening to my thoughts or something. (Oops, there go those delusions of importance again.)

The name kind of cracked me up a little – not that it’s all that funny, unpredictable, or has any special meaning to me. It’s just that with all these genre movies coming out lately, I’ve been letting my nerdiness really hang out: the very first thing that popped in my head when I saw the name was that there must be a serious Trekker in the Reeves offices. (If you don’t get the reference, here you go: D. C. Fontana.)

How bad has it gotten? I actually said this in an actual conversation with a coworker last week:

"I had my first LOC published in Green Lantern back when Alan Moore was still writing backups."

Fortunately, it was one of those kind of coworkers I could say something like that to and not look like a complete dork. The conversation then moved on to voiceover artist Frank Welker, for some crazy reason.

(BTW: not enough Mogo in the Green Lantern movie! The Bzzd cameo was kinda cool, though. Also cool: http://hoosierinanity.blogspot.com/2010/03/yippee-ki-yay-green-lantern.html. The comments are a hoot.)

I don’t know if I’ll actually be buying one, guess it’ll depend on the situation I’m in by the time they make the leftovers available to the rest of us. I’ve been thinking about seriously cutting back on my purchases in the second half of the year to pay for some long-overdue non-horse expenses.

Monday, June 27, 2011

That Other Saddle

A quiet and not unpleasant morning at the flea market yesterday. Nothing spectacular, just a little bit of everything, including a couple of decent Hartlands. I haven’t been seeing much of them around these parts lately, so it’s nice to know they haven’t been completely "mined" out yet. I don’t have a huge Hartland collection - basically one shelf, a bunch of Tinymites, and some religious figurines. And a couple of those Western Horses that aren’t Western Horses.

Speaking of horses with saddles - and in case you didn’t see it before - here’s a good discussion on Blab of that other saddle I referred to in one of my posts some time back, about the Western Prancing Horse:

http://www.modelhorseblab.com/forums/showthread.php?120941-Seldom-seen-or-forgotten-Breyer-item

The piece I saw was on a Western Prancing Horse, hence my initial belief that it might have been an early WPH accessory, not a Western Horse one. It does seem more logical that this saddle was a transitional one for the Western Horse, when it switched over from the snap-ons to the slip-ons. It’s basically a snap-on saddle without a cinch, molded in white plastic that’s "stained" either gray or tan, like the later slip-ons are.

These saddles were made, presumably, after the decision to discontinue the snap-on saddle was made, but before the mold for the slip-on saddle was ready. And not for long, based on the fact that they don’t seem to be all that common

The exact date on these is a little iffy; the slip-on saddles first appear in Breyer literature in 1968, but Breyer was notorious for reusing older stock photographs back then, so it could have been a year or two earlier than that.

As to why nobody notice them before - well, that’s an easy one. Hobbyists weren’t looking for it. Western Horses are, for the most part, so common and familiar that we rarely take notice of them in the first place. If we do bother to notice that the saddle seems to be a little bit different, we assume that it was either a later substitution or mix up.

It doesn’t help that the Hartland Champs came with a very similar saddle, in a very similar color. That’s what I thought, initially, when I saw that listing several years ago on eBay. "Hmm, why would a WPH have a Hartland saddle on it? Weird." I bookmarked it, then forgot to bid. I’m usually pretty good about following up on my hunches, which is why it still bothers me after all these years.

The one I saw on the WPH must have been accidentally switched out by a previous owner; it’s also not out of the realm of possibility that the saddles got mixed up at the factory. It doesn’t take much to make either saddle fit either horse, just some heat and a little pinching or pulling.

Friday, June 24, 2011

BreyerFest Resins

Found a little surprise at the local Salvation Army today, on the way home from work:


Another Kay Finch Bunny! I already had one, but this one is in better condition - even with the broken ear. I don’t go out of my way to collect Kay Finch, but if the opportunity arises, I’ll go for it. I think I have four, maybe five pieces total?

I consider them more a part of the d├ęcor than part of the herd, along with all the crazy bird figurines that have mysteriously followed me home somehow. Hence, the fuzziness on the numbers.

I probably won’t be going out of my way to pick up any of the "Surprise" Resin Specials, either - unless the opportunity presents itself. I just have too much to do this year at BreyerFest to be loitering around the NPOD all day, stalking the movements of sweaty, stressed-out interns.

(Ahem, you know what I mean.)

I especially like the little one, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice; he sort of reminds me a bit of a Daniel Mueller Carousel Horse, minus the trappings. The other two are nice, too, but nothing stampede-worthy, for me. I might change my mind once I get to see them - like I did with the Radar, last year - but again, not worth worrying about.

If it comes down to choosing between a Sorcerer’s Apprentice, or a WEG Chestnut Esprit, though, I’m going for the Esprit. It has nothing to do with quality or potential resale value, I’m just going to go with what I naturally prefer.

(FYI: I have no idea if there will be Chestnut Esprits in the NPOD. I just picked something comparably rare and/or desirable for illustration value.)

Contrary to what some people might think, I don’t have anything against resins, per se. I have some Nonplastics in my collection - not a lot, but more than you’d imagine. I’m just not too fond of some of the attitudes that seem to come with the topic. Especially the one that assumes that Breyers are merely a stepping stone towards these "better" product.

That line of thinking doesn’t wash with me. First, there are a lot of less-than-quality resins out there that give lie to that. And second, quality - however you define it - isn’t, and shouldn’t be the primary factor for collectors of any stripe. It’s only one of many.

If you’re going to collect, you should collect something because you like it, not because other people like it, or say you should. I like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, so I might get one. It's not a stepping stone to anything but a bigger Breyer collection. End of story.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Notorious

This cold is now starting to really tick me off. Normally I’d just sleep it off as much as I could, but I’ve got too much to do between now and BreyerFest to "waste" time on things like napping.

One thing that’s probably already a goner: the saleslist. It was going to be a stretch to get it done and out to those of you who requested it, but now it doesn’t look like it’ll even happen. Sorry about that. If it’s any consolation, it also looks like I might have to keep some stuff home anyway, since it doesn’t look like I could possibly squeeze everything I want to sell in the vehicle.

And also, those of you who have expressed an interest in the chinas, please note that I prefer to sell them in person. I’ve had the rottenest luck with shipping anything beyond some of the smaller, more compact miniatures, and considering the quality of the stuff I’ve been finding lately (including that black pinto Lefton foal - I had no idea he was so popular!) I’d really rather not risk it.

As far as the preparations go, they’re going. As long as I don’t contract any other major illnesses, I should be able to get done what I need to get done. The Sampler’s almost finished; all I have to do there is a major rewrite on one of the articles (about the Modernistic Buck and Doe!), proofreading and tweaking. The Happy Ending Contest entry will be started by the end of the week, but I’ll put off assembling the costume for the Costume Contest until the week before. (Oh yes, I’m doing it! Nope, no telling!)

My sleep was restless, and full of strange dreams, so I pretty much walked around the flea market in a daze on Sunday. I only picked up two pieces: a Lomonosov Penguin (note: probably not for sale) and this notorious knockoff of the Western Horse:


It’s notorious, because there are still people out there who believe - and will continue to believe - that this sorry thing is a Breyer. It’s not even really a Breyer knockoff: the details of the molded on tack more closely resemble the original Clock Horse - the (now-assumed-to-be) Hartland piece.

Back when we had less history, and less reference material to go by, this particular brand of knockoff was collected rather avidly as very early Breyers. I remember wanting a "Brown and Gold" one rather badly, and not being able to secure one at an affordable price. ($20-25 back in 1980 - you could get an Alabaster Indian Pony for only a few dollars more, then!)

I was glad that I missed out when, a few years later, I actually saw one in person. Blobby hooves, crude seams, an ill-fitting saddle - and made of styrene? I wasn’t quite the "Diva" then, but I knew that Breyer had nothing to do with that sorry thing.

Some people still thought so, in spite of all that, and even now some people still do. Bad (zombie?) data has a particularly long half-life in the hobby, unfortunately. Just when you think it’s gone for good, it bounces back to life.

I did still want one, but now primarily for research purposes. They crop up from time to time on eBay and on MH$P, but I wasn’t willing to buy one "in the market." For some silly reason I had it in my head that if I bought one, others might buy one, then some folks might get the idea that there might be something more to it, and then those rumors of its alleged Breyerness would get going again, and I didn’t want that.

(It’s a consequence of a living a life smaller than you had hoped: indulging in fleeting delusions of power and influence.)

Actually, it was more me being cheap: I didn’t want to spend more on the postage than what it was really worth, which is considerably less than what they were going for back in 1980. Even if it’s a famous knockoff, it’s still a knockoff, and not a very well constructed one, at that.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Tale of Two Belgians

I had a big day full of activities planned, but I was totally wiped after walking the dog this morning. Stupid summer cold is totally kicking my butt today. Can’t even taste the lemon bars I made as a treat for getting through this crazy week.

Hope I feel better in time for the flea market in the morning.

Anyway, here is a picture of one of the Smoke Belgians I picked up in one of those large collections I purchased recently:


Yes, he has a chipped ear. Believe it or not, he was the better of the two Smoke Belgians I had to choose from.

Condition is one of the primary criteria in Collectibility judging, but it is not necessarily the most important. The other Belgian was completely intact, but he just wasn’t as … nice. The masking wasn’t quite as clean, he had a few dings, and his shading wasn’t as soft and velvety as this one. Oh, he’s a good piece - but this guy was just seemed a little bit better. Even with a chipped ear.

The Smoke Belgian is another one of those models that seems to elude my grasp. It’s not that he’s that rare - he ran from 1964 through 1971, a decent length of time - it’s that condition has always been an issue. Every single one I’ve found had something wrong with him. Not just a ding or two, but stains, cracks, chips, seam splits - the whole litany of disqualifiers.

So this collection came with two Smoke Belgians, and I was pretty excited about the possibility of finding My Smoke Belgian between the two. What sealed the deal, I think, was when the seller gestured to the two of them and mentioned that he was one of her favorites.

"His name was Chester," she said. Dang it, he had a name. I had to keep him. I mean, keep one: she didn’t specifically point out which one of the two was her childhood equine squeeze, so I had the luxury of choosing who got to be Chester.

Initially I thought the intact one was going to be him - chipped ears are usually an automatic out when it comes to collecting - but once I got the two of them home, and cleaned up, it wasn’t so easy a decision.

I finally went with the one I "liked" better, because of all things that go into defining Collectibility, none of that matters if you don’t "like" a model to begin with.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Black Grazing Mares

Isn’t it funny how some variations drive some hobbyists crazy, while others barely rate a shrug?


The "black hoof" Black Grazing Mare is one of those kind of models. When you point out an example that has the black hooves instead of the standard gray, many hobbyists get that slightly quizzical "Hmm, I never noticed that before" look.

Such is the case with the Grazing Mare and Foal in general. Outside of the occasional Test Color, Oddity or Chalky, those molds never have rated very high in the Collectibility scale. Most collectors aren’t really looking for Grazing Mares and Foals, and what you aren’t looking for you won’t find.

I happened to notice, but only because I was one of those rare birds: the Black Grazing Mare was one of my earliest "grails." I’m not sure why; as I’ve related before I was also obsessed, back in my early days, with finding the alleged test color/variation of the "Solid Black" Scratching Foal, so I’m guessing I must have had a thing for the black horses back then.

Come to think of it, I did already have most of the ones I had already known about, up to that point. Models like the Stretched Morgan, the Bucking Bronco, several of the Stablemates - the Appaloosas and the Pintos, too. Yep, must have.

Anyway, when I found out that the Grazing Mare and Foal had come in Black several years prior to my entering the hobby, OMG, I had to have them.

It took me years to finally find them, and when I did, it was a little anticlimactic. I found a matching set at BreyerFest, for a good price. I was thrilled to have finally found them, but the drama had been drained dry by then. It took me a few years more to find a nice "black hoof" Mare, but that was mostly because my collecting priorities were elsewhere.

The "black hoof" Mare is far more common than the Foal; I’ve only seen a couple of the Foals online, and even then I had my doubts about their authenticity. It’s dreadfully easy to fake black hooves. Fake’s probably too strong a word: it implies malice, and in most cases of hoof painting no malice was intended. It was something hobbyists of a younger persuasion often did to make their favorite horse even better. A little nail polish, or black marker, and voila!

Even thought they’re not all that common, a nice example of the "black hoof" Grazing Mare doesn’t bring that much more than a standard gray hoof one. An authentic black hoof Grazing Foal might merit a little more cash, if anyone other than me was looking for one.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What to Keep

I didn’t get quite as much done on my paperwork last week, due to some last minute additions to the work schedule. I was out of state almost all day for work, yesterday - as much as I need to get my stuff together for BreyerFest, I needed the hours more. So I may continue to be a little spare on the postings this week, to catch up.

More chinas at the flea market again, today - a couple of nice Japans, and a very distressed (but still adorable) Walker-Renaker Elephant, missing most of his flowers. I’m trying not to keep any of them, but I’ll probably lose the battle on the Elephant, and maybe the Drafter:


There were some bodies and a few interesting books, too, but I gave them a pass; I figured the wallet could use a break this week. I did buy this beautiful framed photograph, though:


It’s definitely a photograph and not a print, in its original frame and matting. It’s entitled "Wild Ponies of Assateague" and it’s dated 1976; I can’t read the signature on the matting. The dealer that I bought it from tends to bring fairly high quality merchandise, so I’m guessing it comes out of the same estate sales that the rest of her wares do. I love it, but I have no idea if I can justify keeping it, especially if it turns out to be worth more than the pittance I paid for it. (Her prices? Also excellent.)

Another item that’s setting my possess-o-meter off is that Moose I picked up in one of those big collections I bought recently:


It’s not just the adorably off-kilter rack he’s sporting, or that he’s got the bubblegum pink nostrils typical of early Breyer Moose (though they don't hurt.) It’s his color: his rack is the basically the same color/tone as the rest of his body. Usually, it’s a couple shades lighter, or a slightly different color.

It’s not a rare variation, but it’s not common, either. Just different. Different enough to make me want to keep him, even though logically, I can’t. The dude’s gigantic! I think the Vita Monster takes up less space, and she’s always getting in the way. A half dozen or so more Moose - nope, not even going to think about it.

(On the plus side, the Moose wouldn’t chew on my shoes, demand to go on long walks to the park 5 or 6 times a day, or whine incessantly whenever we don’t "accidentally" drop enough popcorn on the floor.)

My problem is that I haven’t packed him away in my sales stuff like I should have. He’s a big and awkward shape, and he doesn’t pack well, so he’s taken up more or less permanent residence on the shelf where I keep the most recent sales acquisitions - the ones awaiting cleaning, processing and packing. I see him every day I walk into my office, and the more I see him, the more I think of him as my newest "little" office buddy, and not just as money that could go towards my hotel bill.

You know, every once and a while I have fantasies about being a dealer. I have the contacts, I know my stuff, I’m good at haggling, and I have a knack for finding some of the best things. But darn it, when I buy things, I buy things that I like enough to consider keeping, just in case I can't unload it later on. If something sticks around long enough, I get attached, and attachment leads to sentiment, and sentiment's not a good thing to have a lot of in that line of work.

I’m not too bad about managing my herd - the lack of time, space and money help - but I know I have too many items that are hanging around for strictly sentimental reasons. On the other hand, I could never contemplate being one of those hobbyists who only own a small handful of horses, or none at all though. That just doesn’t comport with the way I think about the hobby at all.

I really can’t keep him. I’ll have to wrap him up in bubble wrap and stick him in another room until BreyerFest.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Good Dog, Bad Dog

This is what a Good Dog looks like:


Breyer French Poodle with Dog Coat, ca. 1957. The snap on the front of the coat is the same kind of snap used on the early snap saddles. Neat!

You can’t see it, but he has a handpainted red collar - you can actually see the brushstrokes. That’s a little strange, since most of the blue collared Poodles I’ve had have had stenciled collars, and evidence points to the blue collars predating the red collars. The paint’s definitely original, not retouched.

There are all sorts of possible theories as to why they resorted to handpainting the collars. The most likely is that there was a production bottleneck: they might have had a rush order, or outstanding orders, and only so many painting masks to go around. Some of the painters at the factory had to make do with brushes. Hey, they had to handpaint the tongues anyway, right?

(Oddly enough, the eyes and nose are masked - that was a different painting station, I guess!)

I had wanted a "Dog Coat" Poodle for years - basically, ever since I first discovered they existed at all. They’re not expensive when they do come up for sale, partly because a lot of collectors don’t know about them in the first place, but mostly because it’s one of those esoteric things only the really nerdy Breyer kids go for.

This is what a Bad Dog looks like:


The little princess broke my little toe today; she had stolen yet another one of my shoes, and in the process of cornering the thief, she got a little …rough. (And even if it isn’t technically broken, it’s still a lovely shade of purple and hurts like the dickens.)

I have to work a triple shift over the next day and a half, too. Hot, tired, sleep-deprived and in pain: awesome way to start the weekend!

She's lucky she's so darn cute, or I'd be strangling her Homer Simpson-style right now.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Time Management

Another excellent day at the flea market: a Dall Sheep, the bodies I had arranged a pick up on, a giant bin of auto shop name patches, a pretty little compact, and - whee! - some H-R minis!


(The fire hydrant isn’t, but it came with.) Lady and Tramp’s puppies look about as happy as I felt when I found them. The puppies get to stay, but the other four H-Rs I already have, so they’re going on the sales list. Small, and easy to pack - now that’s more like it!

I did have to leave behind, of all things, a vintage custom Legionario by Linda Leach. That was the last thing I was expecting to see, let me tell you. I’ve found a few other "name" customs at the dirt mall before, but they were clearly body box leftovers. This one was actually salvageable - a little dirty, a few dings, but maybe an hour or so worth of work away from being competitive in a "Vintage Custom" class.

I desperately wanted to rescue him, but the dealer was all "He’s signed by the artist," and stuff. I told her I really didn’t have the money she was asking for him. This was genuinely not a ploy: I blew most of my money on the giant bin of patches!


(Anybody want some? Most excellent for crafting!)

Nope, no budging on the price. In my final parting salvo, I mentioned that I actually, uh, used to know the artist and all that, but she was not impressed. Either she wasn’t or hadn’t been a hobbyist, or she was trying to double head fake me or something.

I don’t go out of my way to collect vintage customs, especially now that they’re the thing, but it was another one of those opportunities that presented itself. It didn’t work out this time, but there’s always next week. Unless someone else gets to him first. (I know you’re out there - I might not see you, but I can see where you've been.)

Speaking of the coming week, my presence in it is going to be a bit scarce. I’m trying something new this year, where I’m going to try and get as much done for BreyerFest as I can at least a month ahead of time. I have a full work schedule, too, so it should be an interesting experiment in time management.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

On Upgrading

That thing I told you I might have to worry about? I have to worry about it. More later, as the situation develops.

Almost finished cleaning and prepping - just in time for the next round of horses! The last few were a bit on the difficult side: they were possible upgrades. How much effort did I really want to invest in them - enough to make them "saleable," or enough to make them collection-worthy?

(There’s not that much difference in those two categories, really - it’s just that that extra half an hour of work that makes that difference doesn’t usually pay off, financially.)

I used to be big on upgrading, but gave up doing it as vigorously as I had because it was too much like work. If I just happen to find something that’s a little bit better than mine, and I have the initiative of pulling and comparing, great. If not, oh well, no biggie.

One of the upgrades I did make was to my Gray Appaloosa Mustang. There’s not a huge difference between the two, when you do a casual, side-by-side comparison:


There was nothing really "wrong" with my original one, per se - good color, condition, nice spotting, and so on. I’ve liked him enough to keep him around for almost twenty years now, without even giving upgrading a second thought. He’s been a good, solid addition to my collection.

It wasn’t a matter of condition: both models have about the same level of minor condition flaws. My original - the slightly lighter one - has a slight roach back (a factory molding error), while the new guy has a strange (also factory) paint blooper on his right cheek.

The newer guy isn’t quite as charcoal-y as he is in the picture, but he’s definitely darker, and he has the cutest little spray of splash spots on his butt that you can’t quite see. It’s a little less common variation than the more extensive spotting on the old guy, but that’s not why I ultimately decided to "trade in." I just liked him a little more.

I’m not sure if the differences in the paint jobs represents an evolution, with one being earlier than the other, or if it’s only representative of the natural variation inherent in this style of painting. The two earliest references we have of the Gray Appaloosa Mustang - the 1961 Inserts, and the 1963 Dealer Catalog - show lighter models with more extensive spots. From the 1961 Insert Sheet:


It’s not something most hobbyists - even me - have given much thought to. No hobbyists were giving it any thought back when the model was in production in the early 1960s, either. In the earliest days of the hobby, hobbyists were more excited about having each other, than they were in the having the rarest, coolest or most unusual things.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Art of the Deal

Since I’ve mentioned him in the past couple of posts, I figure you’re entitled to see that Test Color Classic Black Stallion of mine:


The differences from the Regular Run Classic "Sham" are subtle, but significant: aside from being a more Golden than Red Bay, he also has gray hooves, and no heel spot. I’d put him side by side with my Regular Run one to show you, but most of my Classics are packed away, and I’m in no mood to dig.

There was no drama associated with his arrival here: I saw him on someone’s sales list, in one newsletter or another. I inquired, we briefly negotiated, I paid, and he came in the mail a few weeks later. The end.

I miss those kinds of deals. I suppose, technically, that auctioning items like him on eBay today is more fair - at least to the dealer - but I have a hard time accepting that the art of model horse trading has been reduced to a mere numbers game.

Does it always have to be about whomever has the most money at any given time? What of luck, desire and timing?

They’re still there to a degree, especially in places like MH$P, where a past working relationship can lead to some sort of alternative pay/trade/services deal, or can in turn into some other transaction for something else, and so on.

I think that’s why I enjoy going to the flea market so much, and why I like having a good bit of stuff to sell at BreyerFest. I like that delicate dance of negotiation: offers, counteroffers, the gauging of desire and motive. Sure, a few extra bucks could come in real handy, but I’d rather sell it to someone who really, really wants it, as opposed to someone whose motives are less … sentimental?

I don’t always guess right; I can remember a particularly bad deal I got myself into several years ago, regarding an unusual item I had picked up from Marney. I was in need of a little cash, and was going through one of my downsizing phases.

Someone inquired, and gave me a long, long story about how this mold was her favorite, and how having this piece would be so much to her, etc. So I let it go for a little less than I anticipated, and if it had ended there everything would have been hunky-dory. Whatever she did with it after that was her own business.

If only. A couple months later, she sent me her sales list; I can’t remember asking for it, she might have sent it to me as a favor. (We did those sorts of things back then, when we didn’t have the Internet or cheap phone rates. Sales lists were like gold.) It was no favor: that model I sold her was on it - marked up nearly 300 percent! If it had been a hardship sell, I could understand, but there was no mention of that. It was this fabulously rare item she had somehow managed to acquire, and ooh, she could swing you such a deal on it!

Going on and selling it for a profit a few months later, well, them’s the breaks - stuff like that happens all the time. I consider myself something of a "middleman" anyway, so I’m fully aware of - and accept - the fact that other people buy from me to resell. I take my cut, and my dibs, and move on.

But intentionally sending me the sales list with the item on it, a few months later - after she had professed her undying desire to have this model in her collection, forever and ever? That took some nerve.

I later learned that this person had a habit of doing that sort of thing, to other hobbyists with way more experience than me. The reality of the situation is that she probably didn’t remember that I was the one she finagled to get that little treasure.

I made a mental note not to deal with her again, and to be a little less eager to swallow what was such an obvious sob story. And it’s also probably a big part of the reason why I prefer those face-to-face kind of negotiations: it’s not as easy to lie with body language and facial expressions, as it is with words.