Friday, March 9, 2012

On Uniqueness

Since my scheduling situation was only partially resolved, I’ve been spending most of my free time over the past two days trying to get my tax paperwork finished up. I’m hoping for a decent sized tax refund to make up the shortfall in the meantime. I needed to do it anyway, but the sooner, the better.

So, Reeves released a "clue" about the next Vintage Club release the other day:
Hint #1: "Had unique feature that no other Breyer had."
Depending on the degree of specificity you take it to, almost any vintage mold could be said to have a "unique" feature. The Five-Gaiter was the first mold to have molded in horseshoes. The Western Prancing Horse was the first to have an "overo" paint job. The Fury version of the Prancer came with a paper saddle. The Elephant was the only Nonequine mold to have a rider (Corky!)

For some crazy reason, most hobbyists seem to be fixated on the Old Timer. Sure, he’s the only horse to come with his own separately molded hat, but he’s not the only Breyer mold. Most of the molded/rigid riders did so, too - like Davy Crockett, the Cowboy, the Indian (sorta), and the Canadian Mountie. Corky and Robin Hood had hats, too, but they were integral to the mold.

While I’m certainly not averse to the idea of an Old Timer - my avatar is the Old Timer’s hat, after all - I think the Fighting Stallion is a far more logical choice in the "unique" feature department. It was the only model that came with factory footpads.

From time to time other Breyer models turn up with footpads, but every one that I’ve seen or personally inspected has turned out to have store bought pads made out of felt, cork or flocked paper. You can still get ‘em today at your hardware or home improvement store of choice, if you’re so inclined.

(I’m not, but I always smile when I see them.)

It’s true that the Fighting Stallion has a limited range of colors to choose from; there have been roughly 40 releases on him so far, and that’s not including the variations. But there are still a few notable vintage colors he hasn’t been seen sporting, yet.

For example, there’s the old Buckskin paint job that was featured on the Quarter Horse Gelding - and for a brief time, on the Running Mare and Foal. Just think how nice old "King" would look in it, complete with a bald face, dorsal stripe, eyewhites and a satiny, semi-gloss finish. Love it!

Or Matte Black, a la the Stretched Morgan and the Grazing Mare and Foal, sporting a bald face, four stockings, jet black hooves, and lots and lots of body shading. Or if not that shade of Black, one of the original "Black Beauty" paint jobs originally found on the Western Horse and Pony would also do: solid Gloss Black with gold hooves, or Gloss Black with chalky/overpainted stockings and facial markings (either starred, or with bald face).

Then there’s one of my personal favorites, the "Slate" Gray color found on the original release of the #191 Bucking Bronco, again with lots of body shading, bald face, four stockings, and with a slightly darker mane and tail.

Like I said above, the clue is vague enough that could pretty much encompass any vintage Breyer mold. The first thing that popped in my mind was the Fighting Stallion, and until I get other clues to the contrary, I’m sticking to it.

Back to my spreadsheets. Bleh.


Anonymous said...

I guess it depends on how you read "unique feature no other Breyer HAD".

I'd love a Fighting Stallion, I mean, there is a reason they picked him to be on the Vintage Club shipping boxes, right?

jjfbreyer said...

I received a Fighter with pads as a birthday gift when I turned 16. And promptly tried to peal them off because I didn't realize they were factory. Sigh. It was the late 80's adn I wasn't totally well versed in these yet. =)

However I made up for it the other weekend landing a grey appy with remants of pads. Mint otherwise, seeing the remants of the pads is pretty nice.

Kismet Lodge said...

Ya learn something new every day!! I didn't know about the 'pads' but that will be what the funny residue stuff is on teh bottom of my fighting boys hooves, I always wondered what it was, but it will be the remants of his pads!!! Thanks for the great posts! ;)

Chester's Mom said...

You heard it here first folks:

Scratching Foal.


"Itching for a clue" points the way....