Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wyatt and the Premier Club

Aside from the fact that it was October, and kind of miserable weather-wise (there are no "good" days with sleet in them!) the events of the previous 24 hours highlighted the stark contrast between the different parts of my life. And the realization that there’s nothing I can do, right now, to fix the parts that don’t work without also messing up the parts that do.

I guess this is more of a fair warning in case the tone here gets a little more melancholic over the next couple of weeks. I’m dealing with some heavy stuff again, people.

Don’t worry, the model horse stuff is mostly working. Some parts of it are actually way fabulous, but we’ll get to that a little later in the week. First up: let’s talk about the Premier Club.

I haven’t talked too much about the Premier Club, for a couple of different reasons. First, it’s a club all about first releases on brand new molds: there’s not a lot of history there to talk about, yet.

Second, it’s the drama: gosh-almighty, some of the online arguments about the latest Premier Club releases make the goings-on on the NAMSHA-Discussion list look quaint and dignified.

I know I’m going to sound like a total tool for saying this, but Reeves really does care about the quality of the product. They have a problem not dissimilar to mine: the different parts of their company "life" are in conflict, and there’s no good way to disentangle the two without one or the other suffering.

As important as the hobbyist market is, the general retail market will always come first. It has to: that’s where the bigger money is, and where new hobbyists come from.

Brishen might not have been a success in the niche of a niche market that the Premier Club is, but the money that they invested in that mold will pay off for them in the long run in the retail market. Little kids who love horses don’t love them for their anatomical correctness, they’re buying the fantasy of a horse. And like it or not, the more recent Moody molds like Brishen are the epitome of little-kid fantasy horses.

The profits of molds like Brishen end up funding molds like Latigo - the third release in the 2013 Premier Club - and Wyatt, the first release of 2014. And look at him!

(Note: It’s a photo taken from the web site, slightly reformatted to fit here. Copyright and all that Reeves International. The mold was sculpted by Morgen Kilbourn, if you didn’t already know.)

He’s so awesome it’s making ME contemplate signing up for the Premier Club, which is crazy. I still haven’t completely finished the herd culling to accommodate this year’s acquisitions. And next year’s Vintage Club. And some of the just announced 2014 releases, and the new Appaloosa Performance Horses, and…

As big as a hit as he appears he will be, Wyatt is not going to be as profitable a mold as a Brishen, at least in the short term. He’s on a base: bases cost money, and they get lost, warped or broken. The parents of our hypothetical nine year old proto-hobbyists are going to look at a future Regular Run release of Wyatt and find themselves thinking that a Regular Run Brishen might be a more sensible choice - with his thicker legs and lack of a base. (The Wyatt mold strikes me as a fancier kind of thing that Grandma or Santa would bring, anyway.)

Loving Moody molds isn’t going to damage those budding hobbyists later on in life. Most of us grew up in the Hess mold era: frog eyes, sketchy genitals, bowed tendons, and husky-looking Palomino Arabians. We turned out fine, in spite of it all.


Anonymous said...

Hi, could you provide a link to Latigo and new 2014 releases for those of us less adept at finding out model horse news? :) Wyatt looks amazing!

Anonymous said...

Or failing that, a description of these new models?

Anonymous said...

Amazing how many people forget Breyer is a toy company.