Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Messing With Our Heads: The Early Years

I’m feeling ridiculously tired today. I suspect it’s the massive amounts of Easter candy I’ve been consuming the past three days: if I get too much processed sugar in my system, it totally wipes me out.

Having eaten little to no processed sugar for the six weeks prior probably lowered my tolerance level, too. Which is a good thing, I think. The stuff the Easter Bunny brought this year was primo - mostly from Belgian chocolatiers - so I want to make it last. Gotta stretch that budget, too: I’ve got some big, nonhorsey purchases I need to make in the next month or so.

I haven’t done much model horsey stuff in the past few days, other than to start giving a little more serious thought to some of my plans for BreyerFest this year.

Every year I tell myself I’m going to get things done early and relax, but I think y’all know how well that works out: several weeks of waking up from panicky dreams about not getting everything done in time. (Where are my clothes? Where are my horses? Did I pack spoons? Gah!!!)

Continuing on our adventures in ClassicsLand, here are a couple more semi-obscurities worth exploring further - the Classic Arabian Foal in Alabaster, and Slate Gray:

They were a part of the #4000 Classic Arabian Foal Blister Pack Assortment that was available from 1973 through about 1982 or ‘83. The Gray and the Alabaster are much, much less common than the other colors available in the assortment, which also included Chestnut, Palomino and Black. So much so that they are frequently mistaken as variations of later releases.

So, what’s up with them? Why are those two so much harder to find than the other colors?

Would you believe that it was an early case of Breyer messing with our heads?

That’s what Marney said, or at least that’s what I heard through the grapevine back in the 1980s. As the story goes, Breyer made limited quantities of the Grays and the Alabasters early on - probably in the first couple of batches, if that - as sort of an early version of a Treasure Hunt. They even went so far as using the Gray version of the foal in the 1974 and 1975 Collector’s Manual:

As I wasn’t formally in the hobby at the time of this daring experiment, I couldn’t tell you how well it went over then. But they didn’t repeat it with the #4001 Quarter Horse Foal Assortment a year later. The Chestnut one in that assortment is a little bit scarcer than the Palomino, Black and Bay, but not outrageously so. I occasionally hear rumors about Gray and Alabaster Quarter Horse Foals, but I think they're mostly wishful thinking.

1 comment:

Little Black Car said...

Aargh! I've been looking for those for years. I actually was starting to think I'd imagined them. Now I know.