Friday, October 26, 2012

Lumpy, Bumpy, Scratched and Dinged

Looks like the Lionhearts have shipped this week after all. Which is fine by me, since I lost big on an auction I was bidding on today anyway. I sliced my finger open yesterday while walking the Vita Monster, and I deserve a pony for my suffering, darn it!

(Finger got caught up in the leash just as the Fuzzy Little Ball of Rage happened to spot vermin running across someone’s yard. She's usually pretty good about not taking off like that on her walks; the cooler weather does put a bit of pep in her step, though.)

I didn’t win a Luna, either. I only entered for her once, so it wasn’t like I was heavily invested in winning. Would have been nice, but we have the "Winter"/Black Friday/Cyber Monday Web Special to look forward to in a few weeks, right? (Who shall wear the lovely Silver Filigree coat this year?)

Reeves put up the "official" sneak peeks of some of the 2013 releases yesterday, too, confirming my suspicions about the Vintage Western Pony. Sigh. I’m sure she’ll be quite pretty in person, but the only thing "vintage" about this release is the fact that it’s a Western Pony. She looks more like a glossed 1990s release, almost a "Mini Me" of the Western Horse Royal Te.

If they wanted "Vintage Appaloosa" they could have gone with the Western Prancing Horse Black Splash Spot Leopard, the Performance Horse Roan Semi-Leopard, or even a Glossy Gray Whatever a la the Fighting Stallion or Traditional Mustang (provided they get away from the polka dots that plagued the Harlequins, of course.)

It just feels like Reeves is conceding to the "Glossy = Vintage!" people. Fooey.

You think I’m being a whiner? The online commentary about the Northern Dancer release makes me look like an amateur: you’d think that Reeves just committed a marketing disaster on the same level of "New Coke".

I really do not understand the antagonism in some circles of the hobby over the John Henry mold. Other than the lumpiness - which has been largely remedied - the only great sin I see with the mold is the uninspiring paint jobs he’s come in: Bay, Bay, more Bay, Bay Pinto, Bay Roan. Bleh. (The ELCR releases on Red Dun and Gray did break the pattern a bit, but the point holds: the dude's got a rather limited wardrobe.)

To be fair, some of those Bays are pretty nice. I’m still trying to track down - for a reasonable price - an early "Brindle" Bay John Henry. All the ones I find are either beat to heck, or out of my price range. It didn’t help that he was also a rather unexpectedly popular mold among the younger set at BreyerFest this year. Don’t know why that was, it just was.

(Though nobody saw fit to make an offer on my rather nice Cincinnati. Their loss!)

As with most new Thoroughbred releases, we’re being bombarded with the usual arguments about how This Very Important Race Horse needs - no, DEMANDS! - an entirely new mold of his/her/its own. Anything less is a travesty of justice, yadda yadda blah blah. 

Look, I’m not arguing that a few more nice Thoroughbred molds wouldn’t be appreciated, but we go through this discussion Every. Darn. Time. If Reeves had to create a new mold for every latest and greatest legend in the racing world, they’d be doing nothing but Thoroughbred molds.

I don’t know about you, but I'd rather they get hopping on a new Draft Foal, a more correct Akhal-Teke, and a few more Ponies of the British Sort, first.

On a positive note, I do like the Sergeant Reckless on the Galiceno. That mold deserves more releases, and the chestnut paint job  - what can be seen of it - looks appealing. Might have to make some room on the shelves for that one.

And the sparkly, translucent Stablemates are so full of win, it hurts. Now that’s the kind of "girly" stuff even this self-confessed tomboy can squeal about.


Christi said...

I only have two problems with John now that the lumpiness is better. That right front hoof makes my teeth hurt just looking at it, and if you look at him head-on, his eyes are freakily lopsided. Those two things aside, he looks like a nice sane horse that I'd love to ride. And, if I ever venture into performance showing, one of my JHs will be a starter dressage horse. I just put him on the shelf at an angle to avoid seeing the lop-eyes. :)

But yes, I'd love to see him in something non-bay. Palomino, buckskin, even a light chestnut would be a switch. I hadn't notice until now, but they have overdone the bay and bay-variants with him.

Kirsten Wellman said...

My main problem with the John Henry mold as Northern Dancer is that in terms of body type, that mold looks nothing like tiny, roly poly ND. Smarty would have been a closer fit. Which is why I resort to painting my own TB portraits. :)

Anonymous said...

I love my John Henry, he makes a great performance model. Pooh on the whiners, I'm getting an ND, my Seabiscuit needs a pal. <3

Anonymous said...

I have been really curious to what the story is behind the John Henry mold anyway. Why is it so lumpy? I heard something about the mold being unfinished, but that is all. And I agree, some new, fresh colors will help with his popularity a great deal.

Christi said...

I think the story I heard was that John Henry was sculpted by someone who worked mostly in bronze/metals, where that lumpiness is more common. The recent releases have been smoothed out quite a bit; I think Seabiscuit is the earliest of the smoothed JHs I have. But I also remember hearing some story about an oven and the Breyer rep showing up early - was that a JH story, or another mold?

indianacowgirl said...

My early John Henry (JCPenney dark bay western horse released 1994) is quite possibly one of the poorest quality molds I've seen. He absolutely will NOT stand by himself because his right hind is bent in so far, his hooves are horribly mis-shapen and the body is lumpy. I also heard that the original mold was released unfinished, and then reworked later, which would explain the poor quality of the one I have. I am the original owner on him and he is in very good condition, but am thinking of reworking him myself, but have heard this edition is "rare" I know that there was 6700 made, but is that really that rare? He could be sooo much prettier and correct.