Friday, March 22, 2013

The White Moose

Lots of news in the past few days, but I think I’ll finish up the Moose story first.

He arrived around lunchtime today, but I won’t be opening him until tomorrow afternoon, to cap off my crazy work week. I have been looking at some of the online pictures of everyone else’s, and I have to say that I’m very impressed: Reeves really went all out on the details, especially the hyper-detailed blue eyes.

It makes me wonder if the Moose - along with the Vault Sale Kitten Angel - might be precursor/harbinger/test of a super-premium Special Run program? It’s easier to manage the quality control and consistency on very small (less than 100) piece runs, and they’d also be able to offer items targeted to narrow hobbyist niches - the kind of niches that tend to have very high quality expectations anyway.

For those of you who don’t Blab, the origins of Ghost might have started in a discussion thread about the Special Run "Alpine" back in late 2010. When we first heard about Alpine - who was later revealed to be a Silver Filigree Esprit - all we had was the name. Speculation ran rampant about who/what Alpine could be, with a very vocal faction cheerleading long and hard for …a White Moose.

(Which I discussed here.)

I still stand by my assertion back then that there’s probably no way they could have sold 250 pieces of the Moose: the market for the Nonhorse molds, especially within the hobby, is not big. Most buyers/collectors of those molds exist slightly off to the side of the hobby spectrum and probably don’t bother with belonging to any clubs or programs. The only time they encounter Special Run items like Ghost is on the rare chance that they show up "in the wild" - at an estate sale/auction, or maybe on eBay.

While Special Run items for Nonhorse molds (outside of the Cattle and Pigs) have been fairly uncommon, Test Colors are even moreso. They do exist - you all know I’ve been around long enough to have seen almost everything - but when they do show up, they tend to cause quite a stir, even among hobbyists who aren’t normally into that sort of thing.

There are several reasons why Nonhorse Tests are so uncommon.

As I explained above, it’s partly because of the market: it’s not a big one. Until the advent of Internet niche marketing, there hasn’t been much of an incentive to test out new colors and ideas on these molds.

Second, the nature of the Nonhorse market prior to the Internet era was very different from the Horse market. The Nonhorse molds were slow and steady sellers: they didn’t need to change colors or experiment as often. They’d just run whatever they needed when the stock ran low, which wasn’t necessarily every year.

And thirdly, the target market for these molds wouldn’t have responded to change or variety as enthusiastically as the Horse market does, either. While hobbyists are going to be open to the idea of a White or Pinto Moose, nonhobbyists looking to buy a Moose figurine are looking for one in some shade of brown. End of story.

Wasn’t expecting Reeves to make one, but glad they did anyway. Perhaps the FAS Yellow Man o’ War of my dreams isn’t so improbable after all?


summerhorse said...

When and where did they advertise this? It's really annoying for me to join their club and STILL not get access to their specials. I think they could easily have sold 250 of him.

ANDREA said...

He wasn't advertised - he just magically appeared on the web site, just like the previous Buried Treasure Lusitano.

bubbasmom said...

Yeah, I just can't get into the habit of haunting the website. It was very disappointing to me (as a collector of the non-horses) to miss this one.