Monday, February 6, 2012

Factory Tours

Even though there’s no snow on the ground, I can tell it’s still winter, because I’m way more cynical than I ought to be. I tried remedying it a bit by taking the dog for a walk, but an encounter with a spiritually unattractive neighbor wiped all my progress away.

As evil as she may be at heart, Vita is still a darn adorable dog on the outside - and with other people. She’s like a canine version of Gunther the Penguin, from Adventure Time:

It is unfathomable to me that someone has determined her to be uncute.

I’ve already had a factory tour - a million-billion years ago, in New Jersey - and looking over my records of what I managed to score over the past year, I’m not hurting in the rarities department either. (I did darn fine, in fact. Better than I thought!)

But a lot of other hobbyists haven’t, and didn’t, so in my current frame of mind, it was only natural that my first reaction to reading about the Breyer Kids-Only tour/event ( was: how are the "adults" going to goof up this up, too?

The model that comes with the tour package is "not exclusive" to the event, but no mention is made of what could be lurking in the warehouse - or serving as giveaways and prizes.

Regardless of the quality of the goodies, wherever goodies are made available, mayhem usually ensues.

There’s probably some sort of legal issue that rules the following concept out, but I’ve always wondered why they couldn’t have "factory tours" on a regular basis. You wouldn’t have to throw in all sorts of bells and whistles: a quick tour of the facilities, a walk-through of the archives/sample room, a painting demo, ending with a stop in the warehouse to pick up a little "souvenir" of your visit.

Kind of like what DC Comics used to do: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Even though most production has moved overseas, I think a mighty large percentage of hobbyists over the age of 14 would love the opportunity to see the place where Breyers are (at least) conceived - whether there were any goodies involved, or not.

I almost got a chance to "do" the original Breyer Tour, back when it was in Chicago. Alas, it was canceled at the last minute; I think it was the same year that they were purchased by Reeves, so there might have been some conflicts there. The closest I ever got to the actual factory was the inside of Marney’s garage, a year later during Model Horse Congress.

The notion that you could "score" a test color or sample during the tour was sort of out there, but it wasn’t the primary motivation for going: all of us wanted to see where Breyers were born. Everything else was gravy.


Ionn said...

I'd pull the nail off my left pinkie to get a Breyer factory tour & who cares if there were any 'goodies' involved! The experience would be far & away enough. It will be interesting to watch this kids' tour thing evolve.

Also: This is the least likely place I would have ever thought to see an Adventure Time reference! Thank you for making my Tuesday.

Christine said...

I went to Marney's garage tour too and that was tour enough, digging through barrels and barrels to find test runs, unfinished horses etc. We'll never have another like that, will we.

I think it would be nice if Reeves would do tours on a more regular basis. I wouldn't go over for one but if I was in the area that would be interesting to see.

Anonymous said...

It is quite sad for some kids who this meant the world to. Especially those that cannot afford to own their own ponies . Why can't they find it in their schedule to offer a simple tour more than once every few years, charge people anything. Those will pay ... It would be a great way to promote a healthy activity for kids. It is just extremely disappointing to kids who did not get a ticket to the factory tour.
I guess it's like Willie Wonka but I guess Breyer needs no advertising or promotion of their products...