Monday, May 12, 2014

Beautiful Things from Scary Boxes

The flea market made everything better yesterday. All the Breyers were boring and body quality; on the plus side, they were cheap. But so were these little guys…

All found loose at the bottom of a shoebox of other miniatures, on a junk table! Mostly vintage Hagen-Renakers, with a few Josefs and Japans mixed in. The ones on the left are probably staying, the ones on the right are probably going. Some might be upgrades. I haven't had the time to sort it all out yet.

(Yes, that’s a Toadstool up in the corner. Mine, mine at last!)

From the releases and the quality of the paint jobs, it appears most of these little ones are from the mid-1970s, or earlier. I’m having a hard time believing what nice shape they're in. Most of them did have Sticky Wax or putty on their bottoms, so I figure that they were well cared for before their brief stint in the Shoebox of Doom.

I did pass on a couple of chipped pieces, which I later found out to be a bad move, since one of them was quite rare. Actual Rare, not eBay Rare. It’s usually the other way around for me, regarding H-Rs: I’ll toss in something extra to round out a box lot, and it almost always turns out to be the one ridiculously scare or desirable thing.

It’s a dealer who’s a semi-regular, so maybe I’ll luck out again next week. It’s not like I "lost out" on a huge amount of money, but it’s going to bug me anyway. The ones that get away always do.

As you can see from the relative size of the left side (keep) compared to the right side (sell), I’m not going to be making bank on this deal. I thought I was, at first, until I started doing the research and realizing that these were not the pieces I assumed I had.

My overall knowledge of Hagens is good, but I don’t have the deep knowledge like I do with Breyers. Whenever I see miniatures at the flea market, I rely on this simple equation to solve most of my problems:

Cute + Cheap + Possibly H-R = Buy It!

Rarely fails.

Then I found this on top of the used book dump bin at the local Salvation Army today, on my way home from work: Big Red of Meadow Stable: Secretariat, the Making of a Champion:

It’s not in the best condition, but it’s a first edition with intact dustjacket. I didn’t realize how scarce this book was until I did a quick search on Google when I got home. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it now - put it on the shelf with all of my other vintage horse racing books, or go for the bucks on eBay? Money good, but the odds of me finding another in the same or better condition for the same price is nil.

Argh! But a good argh.


Anonymous said...

That's weird that they dropped the first half of the title in later editions (I have a not-very-old paperback of "Secretariat, the Making of a Champion"). Wonder if the contents are still the same or if the more recent deal has been cleaned up/abridged?

ANDREA said...

The more recent edition has additional material, so I've read.

Looks like I'll be keeping it, BTW.

Heather said...

You should keep it, ones horse library can never be big enough!!

Christi said...

Keep it, at least until you find another one. Avoid the regret. :)

LostInAn80'sFog said...

Nice find on those minis, especially that JO leaping frog. I've collected frogs for many, many years and think I've only ever found one myself.