Saturday, May 3, 2014

What Is, and What Is Not

Almost finished with that ginormous quilt top that’s been occupying my random bits of free time this week. I could have finished it today if I pushed it, but I didn’t because that’s when mistakes get made. One of the caveats of working with vintage materials is that you can’t just go out and buy another piece at the store if you get a little too scissor-happy.

(Measure twice, cut once: sound advice for both carpentry, and quilting.)

Once it’s done, it’ll be nothing but model horse related stuff from here through July. First trip to the dirt mall tomorrow, if the weather holds!

I’m not looking for anything in particular this year, other than the usual: anything good, cheap, or interesting. I learned a long time ago that if I went to the flea market with a set shopping list, I’d be going home disappointed more often than not.

As you might have guessed from the photos you’ve seen me post here, I’ve done all right for myself. But relying on luck and the local markets for the bulk of my collection (and being cheap) has also led to some rather distinct gaps in the collection.

Please note: this is not a "want list" type of post. I’m just clearing up misconceptions some of you might have regarding what is and is not in my collection, and to partially explain the range of topics and items I cover here.

As I noted before, I don’t have a lot of Woodgrains. They’re just not that plentiful around here, outside of the Fighting Stallion. It took me until the 1990s to start finding the Family Arabians, even. I don’t know if it’s a regional thing, or just bad luck. I’m not averse to buying them on eBay, when the price has been right.

I have no vintage Decorators (Woodgrains are Decorators, technically, but you know what I mean). A handful of them have been found in this area, but I have not been the one to find them. It’s unlikely that I will in the near future, either, given the current hyperinflated prices they’re bringing.

While I have a complete set of Old Mold Stallions, the only Old Mold Mare and Foal I have are the Alabasters. The Bays have been found around here, so I think it’s just bad luck/timing in this case, again. The prices on the Bays on the open market - even the ordinary non-Chalky ones - are too rich for my blood.

I have no Presentation Series pieces. I’ve come close a few times - there used to be a number of Standardbred farms just north of here, and Presentation Adioses are not an uncommonly found thing. Again, I’m not the one who finds them.

There are not a lot of Flockies in the collection, but that’s because I find most Breyer-issued Flockies to be kinda creepy. The few that I’ve found over the years tend to go straight to the saleslist, to fund less creepy things.

I have a healthy collection of vintage Chalkies, but that’s because I was collecting them before they were cool. They turn up with decent frequency around here, too, oddly enough.

My Stablemates collection is complete only to about the mid-1990s. (Well, nearly: I don’t have the Poop Paperweight or the Silver Anniversary Saddlebred.) I missed a couple of the Christmas sets, and I haven’t had the energy to keep up with the seemingly thousands of releases issued since then. I would if I could, but so many releases! Gah!

All the Connoisseur models I have were ones that I "won" - with the exception of the Buffalo Taima, who was the Photography Sample in Just About Horses. (Yes, via NPOD.) I wouldn’t be averse to buying or trading for others ones that I like on the open market, but all the ones I want are on the pricier end, alas.

I do have a lot of Test Colors, or models that are Possibly Test Colors. Some were straight from the source (Chicago collectors, Model Horse Congress, Marney, etc.) and some were lucky finds on eBay. I have no Test Colors from any Benefit Auctions. I did attend a few of the BreyerFest ones before the prices shot out of my league, but I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity then, because dumb.

I have only three Volunteer models, because I’ve only volunteered three times. Technically I volunteered a fourth time - sort of, before there were Volunteer Specials. I wasn’t uncompensated: I did get a couple extra Celebration models that year. (It was the Mustang Turbo). Not Glossy or anything, just regular models, long since sold.

I have only one Glossy Prize Model: the All Glory, from the 2010 BreyerFest Costume Contest. I don’t show at live shows where they are generally awarded, and while my other Costume Contest entries have been very memorable, the Powers That Be have not thought them prize worthy.

I have one other Contest Prize: the 2008 Pinto Bouncer Seren, for my Belgian Chocolate Belgian entry. I entered faithfully for years before and afterwards, without success and with only some annoyance until the 2012 Contest made me cry. I might try this year, if I can find the time to execute it.

One raffle model is in my possession: the 2000 Dapple Gray Morgan Showboat. I won him with my usual ten dollars worth of tickets. I haven’t come remotely close, before or since.

I haven’t been to any of the numerous Exclusive Events, at the factory or elsewhere. There are a bunch of reasons why, most of them having to do with time and money. I have a few models from these events, but they came to me via other routes.

I went to the factory once, back in 1992. I haven’t seen the inside of the facilities since then. I only brought back memories, and some papers. No models, though there were many lovelies sitting on desktops, even then. (Matte Alabaster Five-Gaiter, where are you now?)

That’s it, I think. My luck - where luck is the deciding factor - has been about average. Patience and perseverance have been bigger factors in my success, however you measure it.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Your collection sounds very similar to mine-mostly pieces acquired over 30+ years scouring fleamarkets, antique stores, etc. Am a bargain shopper myself-no auction test colors here! Though you should post pics of your collection (shelves) if possible-I know you have an outstanding collection regardless!