Thursday, May 16, 2013

Another Episode of Obscure Variation Theatre

Gosh, I’m in a weird mood today. Don’t know if it’s the nice weather, or the entire bag of Haribo Gummi Smurfs I ate earlier.

(FYI: Smurfs taste like raspberries and strawberries!)

Didn’t get an Apollo. No surprise there. He seems way more popular than I thought, though it might be the proximity to BreyerFest that’s making it seem so. (Folks trying to drum up travel cash.)

I’ve been more jealous of all the big flea market scores people have been bragging about on the Internet recently. I’ve found a few odds and ends, and while I’m not doing too shabbily in other venues, there’s just something to finding goodies in the wild, you know? Even if it’s something you already have, in multiples.

I don’t think there’s any shortage of stuff in my area, I just haven’t been as motivated as I usually am. I already figured on drawing whatever sales items I need for BreyerFest from my ongoing herding culling - and from the duplicates/upgrades/box lot purchases I’ve been scoring on eBay.

My nifty late-night Buy It Now purchase arrived yesterday, but it’ll be another day or two before I finish "processing" it. I already had most of the contents within, but there were variations and stuff, my favorite being:

Another Western Prancing Horse, in Black Appaloosa! With the original box this time! Something I did not realize I had a pressing need for until I saw him. (Funny how that works.)

The "gold foil sticker" boxes were another one of the numerous box types Breyer was experimenting with in the 1970s. In this case, it was a box type unique to 1973: they’re the earliest form of the lidded "white boxes" used throughout the 1970s, and remembered with great fondness by hobbyists of my generation.

The only difference is that the earliest boxes had gold foil stickers with the number and color of the item printed on the sticker, instead of being printed on the box itself.

The thinking was that they’d save money by printing up a single "generic" box for each mold, and just slap a sticker on it. It seemed to make sense at the time. Until they discontinued most of the multiple color options at the end of 1973, rendering the idea kind of silly. Why spend the extra case to print up separate stickers for items that came in only one color, anyway?

I suspect that consumers were also confused by the packaging as well. If you see a Smoke Western Prancer on the outside of the box, you’re going to assume that that’s what you’re getting on the inside of the box, gold sticker or not.

I’ve been tracking the gold foil sticker boxes - just like all the other box variations - and this is the first Western Prancer box I’ve found with a "No. 115 Appaloosa" sticker on it. I suspected they existed: I’ve collected enough data to conclude that most, if not all the Traditional horses issued in 1973 came in some sort of stickered box.  

Still, me being the dork that I am for the Western Prancer mold, I just had to have it. The horse himself is pretty nice, too - just enough of a variation to add an extra layer of "justification" to the purchase.

The rest of the stuff that came with it wasn’t bad, either, though most of it won’t be sticking around, if I know what’s good for me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have have had the appaloosa in one of those boxes for years! I didn't even know it was rare. Funny thing is my smoke prancer with ribbon sticker is in a plain cardboard box!