Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Flip Side

The other side of that Stablemates Flier is interesting too - and will you look at that!

It looks like I have to make a correction on an earlier claim, then: here’s another instance of those unproduced Arabian and Morgan Foal sets being mentioned in Breyer ephemera. (I previously thought they only appeared in the 1975 Pricelist - my bad!)

This sort of thing happens all the time in historical research - not just of the Breyer type. Corrections have to be made because new data shows up, and more often than not, it makes fools of us.

In this case it’s not TOO big a deal: the foals were never produced or released, and hence will (probably) never have to have documentation written up about them. (Unless they, too, show up just to spite us all. With all the things I’ve seen over the years, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.)

However, it has become something of an issue with other items over the years. Hobbyists can become overly fond of their particular history resources, and as a result some of the errors in those resources get carried forward, even when more recent editions or research corrects or contradicts those errors.

In a lot of those cases, the corrections are minor - an errant misspelling, a transposed number, confusion about actual release dates versus catalog release dates - but in some cases, they are not.

The one that bothers me the most is the Boxer. Breyer, back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, sent out a "Complete List" of Breyer Releases to hobbyists who asked for it. Although it was extremely helpful as a starting point for many of us (including me!) what we didn’t know at the time was that Breyer had an extremely small base of ephemera to work from.

The earliest dated piece they had was from 1958, so most of the earliest items were given a release date of 1958. Including the Boxer.

Since then we’ve been able to conclude otherwise: the Boxer came out in 1953 (maybe a little bit earlier, but 1953 is the earliest dated appearance in print.) That’s a five-year difference - enough to make a relatively common early Breyer even more so.

And then there’s the case of the Old Mold Mare and Foal, which Marney Walerius was convinced came out in 1956 - and which couldn’t have happened, since the Hagen-Renaker molds they were based on (and sued over!) came out in the Spring of 1957. Claiming the 1956 date insinuates (albeit innocently) that the legal action H-R was pursuing wouldn’t have been valid - though it’s pretty clear from Breyer’s actions in the matter that they most likely were.

(I say "most likely" only because I haven’t seen the paperwork, and with legal paperwork, wording is everything. That paperwork is one of MY holy grails, BTW.)

Neither one of those instances will necessarily affect the value of the pieces in question: Boxers are still going to be modestly priced and lightly collected, and hobbyists will still covet finely preserved specimens of Old Molds almost as much as the H-Rs they were derived from.

The only instance where I see it really mattering - other than in an official/popular history sense - is in the terms of collectibility documentation. If someone judging collectibility prefers one source over another - and theirs isn’t yours - well, I could see some issues there.

(Speaking strictly hypothetical here: not implying anything about anybody.)


GWR said...

Interesting, I wonder which molds they would have used.

I'm always looking at old H-R minis and thinking "Oh, man, that would have made a nice Stablemate! And that one, and that one, oooh, and that one over there..."

I hope H-R leases the molds to Breyer again, and maybe some new ones as well. I like the Moody, Lunger, and Rose SMs, but they just don't compare to the old Love molds.

Anonymous said...

I love this blog, but sometimes I have no idea what anybody is talking about.