Thursday, February 21, 2013

On His Way

How is it Thursday already? Stupid cold is just messing with me now. It’s not super-serious - just enough of a bug to make me tired, cranky and a little hoarse. It's nothing a little soup and sleep can’t fix. On the plus side, everyone at work has been giving me tons of personal space, except for a new person who may not understand the concept. (But will, soon enough!)

It appears that the Traditional Totilases will be stateside soon - here’s a video of Stephanie Macejko at a British trade fair earlier this week with a sample in hand:

I don’t know what the holdup was; I get the impression there might have been some sort of legal hangup somewhere, but since I have been feeling a bit addle-pated this week, it might just be the soup talking. (Campbell’s Chicken Won Ton today. Hey now, don’t judge: I needed comfort food.)

This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. It was, in fact, a fairly common occurrence in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Take this example from the 1980 Dealer Catalog:

We didn’t actually start seeing the Classics USET Gift Set until the Fall of that year. The molds were so not ready that Spring that they had to use stand-ins for them for the 1980 Christmas/Holiday Catalog photo shoot: a Chestnut Kelso for Keen, a Bay Swaps for Jet Run, and a Dapple Gray Ruffian for Might Tango. This is what gave rise to the "Dapple Gray Classics Ruffian Special Run" rumors that ran rampant through the 1980s.

(From the 1980 Sears Wishbook. Montgomery Wards had the complete set with the Ruffian, but my copy of that is even worse than this one.)

I don’t know what the problem was with the USET Gift Set, either - whether it was legal, technical, or chronological. I think it was (mostly) chronological: Chris Hess was really cranking out the molds back then. In addition to Jet Run, Might Tango and Keen, other new molds that premiered in 1980 included the Hanoverian, Morganglanz, the 4-piece Classic Black Beauty Family, and (possibly) the Sea Star.

(I’ve speculated before - based on the dating on the original box, and some odd mold marks - that the release Sea Star might have been delayed for up to a year.)

Here’s the little seen clip art of the USET Set, probably drawn up when the catalogs and other ephemera were being assembled in late 1979. Little seen because, well, obviously:


Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a full color pic of the 80's Ward's page. You may have to cut and paste.


Anonymous said...

Oooh, thank you for sharing! So neat to see these old catalog photos, Ruffian looks sharp in dapple grey.

I wonder if these are in an archive room somewhere.