Friday, May 23, 2014

Size, Shape, and Scale

Wait a minute, I won an Athena? How did that happen? I only entered once!

Dang, there goes my persecution fantasy, straight out the window. And with a release that seems to be pretty popular, too - until they start arriving on hobbyists’ doorsteps, and the magnifying glasses come out.

(I have not even remotely touched any discussion of the Wyatt, anywhere. It’s been a not-half-bad week for me, and I don’t want to spoil the good mood I'm sailing on into a pretty three-day weekend.)

The only other Ruffian I have is the original release (a lucky half-price-at-Marshall’s find). I did have a BreyerFest SR Heartland at one point, but in a moment of weakness, I sold her to a friend who now adores her.

There haven’t been any other easily available Ruffian releases that have really captured my eye; they’ve done some fabulous Test Color Auction pieces that I wouldn’t mind owning, and the Buckskin one that’s a prize in the Open Show this year?  Sigh.

But a lightly dappled Red Chestnut minimal overo is a very nice consolation prize. No complaints!

The only issue I have with the mold is that, like the Running Stallion, the Traditional Black Beauty, and Cigar, it doesn’t fit on my shelves very well. It hasn’t stopped me from collecting these molds - the Cigar and the Running Stallion, in particular - but every one I do add to the collection does accentuate certain storage and display issues.

Speaking of size and space issues, let’s get to the promised topic: the Giant Size Foal-Thing. (I think everyone's calling her "Foalzilla" now? I like my name better, but not everyone is going to get the joke.)

Like the Wyatt, I’ve been trying to step away from the online discussions and evaluate it cleanly, without getting caught up in other people’s opinions. Whether other people like it or not shouldn’t be a consideration in the first place, anyway.

The scale of "Foalzilla" doesn’t bother me: it’s 1:6, rather than the standard Traditional 1:9. As others have pointed out, it’s the scale used by military modelers, and there’s been some speculation that the Foal is a precursor to Breyer’s entrĂ©e into that very profitable market.

If it’s one thing that Breyer has never been consistent on, it’s scale. Many of the earlier molds were adapted from a variety of sources, and none of them matched each other in scale. They didn’t even start classifying molds by scale until the mid-1970s, shortly after they acquired the leases for the Hagen-Renaker molds.

While the size may just be an artifact of the resin it was adapted from, "Foalzilla" is still approximately the same size as a Traditional Adult Horse. It might look a little weird standing on the shelf next to your other models, but it’s still going to fit.

Another thing worth considering is the economics of it all: Foal molds sell really well. Because they are smaller in size than an Adult, but require almost the same amount of effort to product, I’m guessing that the profit margin on them is considerably slimmer. Making a larger scale Foal mold that you could ask a Traditional Adult price for makes a certain amount of business sense.

If they sell well enough, other molds in this scale may follow. Or not. The hobby has more or less adapted itself to the 1:9 scale, so if there are any further "Supertraditional" releases, they may be tailored to the military model market’s specific needs and wants, and not necessarily our own.

Sometimes a Foal is just a Foal, and not the death of Traditional Scale models.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow! I didn't know this guy was coming out until I read your blog. Of course I immediately Googled him.

I think I am in love! He/she is gorgeous and very foal-like. I really look forward to seeing these guys in real life, and maybe customizing some as well. Beautiful baby!

RowanMorgaine said...

I just wish they'd also released her in traditional scale, or they come up with another foal soon, since we're sadly lacking on recent foal models. I want a new trad. foal, dang it!

Christine said...

I loved her the second I saw her and pre-ordered all three.