Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Playing the Game

Lots of topics I want to cover this week, but I suppose y’all want to know what my take is on the third Vintage Club release is, right?

The first clue seems to be a pretty vague one: "Was a woodgrain."

But in reality, it isn’t: it narrows it down to a rather finite list of models. And with a little thinking through, the list can be winnowed to an even smaller list very quickly.

I’m going to assume that Reeves isn’t going to pay attention to any of the items – such as the Buffalo, Polled Hereford Bull, and possibly the Elephant – that were done as Woodgrain special runs for the Ranchcraft Lamps in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their status as Breyer releases is still slightly controversial for some reason, plus most of them were either rerelease or Nonequines, anyway.

Now we eliminate the molds that have been released so far: the Clydesdale and the Fighter. Because, duh.

Then we eliminate all the molds that were a part of the 2013 Members-Only Poll: presumably, that means all the molds in that poll won’t have had Vintage Club releases in 2012. So that eliminates the Five-Gaiter and the Quarter Horse Gelding, since the Man o’ War and Running Stallion never officially came in Woodgrain.

Then we eliminate the Nonequines: Longhorn Bull, Horned Hereford Bull, Brahma Bull, etc. I don’t think they would spring a Nonequine on us this early in the game, and the (very small, and very vocal group of) people who inhabit the Breyer web site forums have made it very clear that they shouldn’t happen, ever.

Certain molds either don’t exist anymore, or are no longer "available" for molding. So that eliminates the In-Between Mare, and Old Mold Mare and Foal.

The smaller scale molds also get the boot, such as the Western Pony and the Racehorse. They’re just not as popular as the larger scale molds, and it’s harder to justify a $100+ price tag for for what are essentially Classics-scale models. I suspect that most of the smaller molds, if Reeves does do them as Vintage Club SRs, will be of the Made-to-Order type like Gus.

The Foal molds are also out, for the same reason – and also because it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll release the Foal without the matching Mare. Yeah, they could release it as a separate Made-to-Order, but they already have one in process this year. So the Running Mare and Family Arabian Mare are out, too. (Though I think the Running Mare is a strong candidate for next year.)

So, when all is said and done, that leaves us with five possible candidates:
  • Family Arabian Stallion
  • Shetland Pony
  • Belgian
  • Morgan
  • Mustang
The Family Arabian Stallion is a strong sentimental favorite. However, his fan base, while devoted, is not as numerically strong. He's already had an Anniversary release in a "vintagey" Gold Charm Pinto not all that long ago. Plus, the Family Arabians have come in just about every conceivable color already, so it could be difficult coming up with something original there.

The Shetland Pony has more potential, but size might be a problem. She’s not technically Classics-scale, but she is little. A dearth of available colors might be an issue here, too.

The only problem I can see with the Belgian is that I doubt they’d follow up the Clydesdale with another Draft mold so soon.

The Morgan is a very strong candidate: not only was there the Appaloosa one in the photograph they sent in the Vintage Club newsletter (front and center!) we also have, inexplicably, a Morgan as an Early Bird Special Run for this year’s BreyerFest. (Representing "New" England, I’m supposing.) So there have definitely been some Morgan bodies floating around the Reeves offices recently.

The Mustang, however, seems like the strongest candidate. It’s an earlier mold than the Morgan – 1961, instead of 1964 – and I can see that working in his favor. (The Clydesdale came out ca. 1958, and the Fighter ca. late 1960-1961; maybe they’re trying for a chronological approach?) He’s come in a bajillion colors, but there are lots of vintage colors he hasn’t been seen in yet – including, in that aforementioned newsletter photo, a yummy Gloss Honey Palomino. (A clue, or a tease?)

If not the Gloss Palomino, I’m thinking something in the Bay or Black range, and/or something spotted – dappled, Appaloosa, or Pinto. Could be either Gloss or Matte, though I’m thinking there’s a slight preference for Gloss, based on the reaction to King.

So there, that’s my reasoning for the as-yet-unnamed Third Vintage Club release. Subject to change, pending further "clues".


jjfbreyer said...

I have to say I think the Mustang in that performance horse Appy pattern would be very nice!!

Anonymous said...

based on everyones reaction to that appy pattern as of late, I would say it's in need of a comeback.