Saturday, June 1, 2013


I made the mistake of going on the Breyer web site forums the other night. Now I remember why I avoid that place like the plague.

Look, I think that Reeves should use multiple means of distributing models to us. Some of us like the rush we get from a Black Friday-style sale, and others simply want to place their order and walk away, with minimal drama.

The solutions of letting people know what "mystery" models are for sale, and boosting the piece counts to some ridiculously high number - very popular ideas in the Breyer web site forums - completely miss the point of this kind of sale. The mystery and the rarity are the source of the excitement. Taking them away would be like taking the scary bits out of a horror movie.

If everything went to a lottery/raffle system, I would probably lose complete interest after a while. I like a little mystery and excitement. I find Breyer History fun to research because of all the mysteries, that some of them may never truly be knowable - and the excitement when I find out that it is.

And let’s face facts: raffles/lotteries not necessarily any more fair than any other means of distribution. Some people are naturally more lucky than others and that, pardon my French, kinda sucks. We all know people who seem to win every single contest they enter - and people who have never won anything at all, ever. After not winning ten or twenty times in a row, you’re going to be disinclined to consider the system "fair".

Even if it is only an illusion, some of us also like the sense that skill and knowledge play a part in our collecting efforts. Nothing cheeses me off more than the insistence, in some quarters of the hobby, that collecting is a passive activity. Not the way I - or a lot of my friends - do it!

Allegedly the overselling part of the equation that plagued the last sale of this kind was remedied, but it appears that the solution may have been the cause of the premature sell-out notification. (I’m not privy to the inner workings of that particular system, but I’ve seen similar issues with other inventory systems before.)

In other words, it was a classic "fixing one problem creates another" issue.

I’m not trying to be a suck up here, because anyone who knows me knows some of the [road apples] I’ve had to put up with dealing with Reeves in the past. This wasn’t a malicious or callous act of greed. The only thing they’re truly guilty of is underestimating us.

Again and again, it’s true, but we’re always upping the ante ourselves, aren’t we?

Let us speak no more of this affair again. I’m not even going to say anything here if one really and truly shows up on my doorstep. If I need money badly enough, I’m going to sell other, less radioactive things first.

I’m going to be home - and online, mostly - through most of the weekend, trying to catch up on some long-overdue paperwork and e-mails, so this might be a good time to ask me any questions, if you got ‘em.


RowanMorgaine said...

Yup, radioactive. I think I'm going to start avoiding the place too.

So, my question is - I have an old "palomino" Adios which is actually the colour of cheese puffs (orangey yellow). Would this have been the original shade, do you think, or did it change over time. Were any other early horses "cheesy orange?"

ANDREA said...

Those forums definitely need better moderation.

There was a lot of variability in that SR, and "cheese product orange" is definitely in the range. (Mine is slightly mellower than that.)

I haven't heard of any of those - or the Dapple Grays - falling into the Shrinky category, at least in any significant numbers, so I doubt there's been much color shifting over the years.

Palominos, when they do turn different colors, either go brown, green or pink, not orange.

Anonymous said...

I am a younger collector (25) and I have quite fallen in love with the buckskin mustang. Is there any way to tell where in the run an individual model was made based on his coloring? I have one that has almost no body shading and another that is very shaded with a partial dorsal stripe. Is there a way to know which horse is older?

I would email this question, but I only have Internet on my phone and can't find your emai

RowanMorgaine said...

Or any moderation at all. :)

Thanks for the info on Adios. I don't usually name my Breyers, but that one is now called "Cheese Puff". Although I could have gone with "Hawkin" (the Canadian version of cheezies - which are denser and made with real cheddar, btw).

ANDREA said...

I was just thinking about that myself - there's a lot of variation in the Buckskin Mustang, which isn't surprising, since it was made for almost forever (by today's standards!)

I haven't codified all of the nuances, but here are a few:

The easiest way to tell is to check for a USA mark. No USA = prior to 1970. Nubbed/trimmed front hooves are also an indication of age, though I'm not sure when that practice was discontinued.

The very earliest ones have painted eyewhites. Those are pretty hard to come by, though. (And if you find one, snag it!)

Earlier Mustangs tended to have more greyish legs than later ones, contrasted by their black hooves. It wasn't until near the end of the run that the legs were painted true black.

Dorsal stripes are another indicator of age; again, I'm not entirely sure when they stopped putting them on - early 1970s, I believe.

Earlier Mustangs also have either neatly airbrushed or masked manes; again, it's hard to date precisely. My super-early one with eyewhites has a neatly-airbrushed mane, but a mid-1970s one I just picked up recently was masked.