Thursday, January 16, 2014

Grab Bags and Trakehners

As I was going to or coming from work on Tuesday (possibly simultaneously!) the notion of Grab Bags popped into my head. As in, "It wouldn’t surprise me if they broke out a Grab Bag offer while I was away."

Of course they did! I was home just long enough - and at the right time - to order one if I wanted to. I decided to take a pass on the offer because I haven’t had the time or energy to deal with the small handful of packages I’ve gotten in the past two weeks. Another box of stuff could possibly send me or my family over the edge.

(Even Vita. The little weirdo loves to peel and eat packing tape off boxes.)

Generally I’ve had pretty good luck with the Grab Bags in the past. I think some people are being overly optimistic on what "special items" may be contained within, though. I’m guessing it’s more along the lines of BreyerFest SRs, Mid-Years, recently discontinued items, Blossoms and other web site doodads - you know, similar to before.

Cigar Aintrees and St. Bernard Beethovens, rather than Vintage or Premier Club anythings. (I’ve been wanting a Beethoven, but they’ve been trying to sell the leftovers in the NPOD for the past few years at original retail, which I thought was a tad high.)

The super rare or desirable stuff has tended to be the exception, not the rule.

Here is a picture of my fabulous #54 Trakehner, who I received for Christmas in 1979. I’ve shown him around before, but I think you can understand why:

Most models have some degree of variation in their paint jobs, as a consequence of having multiple painters over multiple years of production.

The original release of the Trakehner seems to have had more variation than most in his six year run (1979-1984). I’ve seen him light and dark, brown-based and red-based, with extensive shading and none at all.

The earliest ones, like mine, were a bit fancier and more seal brown than the others, but the other variations I haven’t been able to date and track as closely, nor distinguish quite as distinctly. Sometimes I think they painted him the shade of bay they happened to have leftover from whatever they were painting the day before.

Whenever the topic of "The Trakehner Society" Trakehner comes up, though, I always take a deep breath. Like the Kansas City Shams or the Florida El Pastors, he’s another one of those models for whom many are claimed to be, but few truly are.

In fact, I don’t think there’s been a single verified one outside of the one with the unassailable provenance. The paint job is a solid bay - somewhat different than many/most #54 Trakehners, but not that far out of the normal range of variation we see on the original release.

So unless someone is able to give you some solid, inarguable documentation or provenance, the best answer to the offer of a Trakehner Society Trakehner is "No, thank you."


LostInAn80'sFog said...

I'm so glad you posted a picture of your old Trakehner. I'm sure I saw him back in the day but couldn't recall what he looked like, and kept forgetting to ask to see him. I used to have an insanely large collection of these all in differing shades. FWIW, in terms of chronology I found first the shaded seal bay like yours, then lightly shaded dark bays, then near black, then solid red base. As I was finding them at this store and that, that's no guarantee what I found them in "correct" order of release but it's food for thought.

Little Black Car said...

I just got one of these recently after pining for him since 1984. No joke. The one I scored on eBay came with his original picture box and plastic bag, and a girl's handwritten notes on the Trakehner breed on the back of a school permission slip. Ha, ha! Mine is very dark with red undertones; more of a brown than a bay and very different from the one in your post.

ANDREA said...

Ooh, pretty!

Mine is actually somewhat darker than the photograph shows - my camera tends to lighten stuff up a bit. But he's nowhere near as dark as yours!

Denise said...

What is the Florida El Pastor? Never heard of that one! And what is the difference to the regular run?