Saturday, June 2, 2012


Last night was the first chance I had for a good night’s sleep in over a week …and of course, it had to be interrupted by the most disturbing BreyerFest nightmare ever. I won’t go into details - too weird, too personal - except to say that I’ve had to go outside several times today, in the rain, to settle myself.

My "dream life" has always been very vivid; when I was younger I briefly experimented with lucid dreaming, in an attempt to tone down the intensity a bit. With my schedule not getting any better, and with BreyerFest rapidly approaching, I may have to start looking into it again just so I can enjoy those rare occasions when I can afford a decent night’s sleep.

(On the plus side, the imagery has done wonders for my fiction writing.)

I went through my body box the other day, and it blew my mind just how many bodies I actually had. I knew I had a lot, but …yikes! Looks like I might have to change my mind on selling them, yet again.

One of the bodies is a later issue Ruffian. I was sort of excited when I found her a few weeks back: the original release #606 Ruffian is a fairly popular model among hobbyists and nonhobbyists alike. Even thought the "profit margin" wasn’t going to be huge on her, she’d at least be a quick and easy sale. Then I noticed her legs: all chewed up, presumably by a dog.

I didn’t notice them at first because they were rather expertly retouched; I was vaguely aware that she had some "irregularities" when I bought her, but I assumed they were due to the era in which she was manufactured. The late 1970s and early 1980s - despite popular nostalgia - were not the high point of Breyer’s quality control.

I briefly considered keeping her (before I noticed her problems) because she’s a variation: the earlier Classic Ruffians have a very small, lozenge-shaped star that’s a little more in keeping with the real-life Ruffian’s actual markings, while this later example has a larger, more irregular one:

The later piece is also significantly lighter than my earlier ones - much more of a standard bay than Ruffian’s actual dark bay/brown color. She’s very similar in color to the later Lula, who came with two hind stockings and no facial markings.

I don’t know when the star on Ruffian changed; once I got my original Ruffian - and then, a few years later, an early mint-in-box one - I didn’t feel the need to track down any additional ones for my collection. The original mask could have worn out, or got lost, or they decided to simplify things and just substitute one mask for another. They weren’t super-concerned about accuracy or consistency back then.

The difference in color is merely a consequence of a lengthy production run (1977-1990); the longer the production run, the more variations in color you’ll see. The earliest Classic Ruffians do seem darker - and more matte - than later pieces, but that’s about as much as you can generalize about it.

I should be able to make my money back on my dog-chewed Ruffian, even as a body box item. Classic bodies - including the non-Love molds - have been easier to move than most Traditionals, recently.

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