Friday, June 20, 2014

Perfect Compliance

Long week; no need for details, really.

All I’ll say is that is that I don’t think I’ve ever looked this forward to going to Kentucky than this year. It has nothing to do with the theme, or the models, or what I have planned. I just need to get away, and shrink all my troubles down to the size of the model horse hobby.

I haven’t been home or online much the past couple of days, so the post about the history of the Classic Quarter Horse Family knockoffs will be up on Saturday, Sunday at the latest. The carpet in the office is getting cleaned anyway, so it’s probably best not pull the necessary references and add to the chaos.

I have been skimming the pictures of the BreyerFest auction models. Cheapskate me has no plans on bidding, of course. But the past few years of auction models have served as previews of concepts to come, so I’m viewing them more as a "Coming Attractions" trailer.

My favorite so far is the Red Dun on the Latigo mold: I can imagine that color looking good on any number of molds. I love the minimal pinto on the Bluegrass Bandit, too - in fact, one of the few customs that I did for myself way back when was a Family Arabian Stallion in a very similar pattern. But as a production run item? I don’t know if it’s feasible. (Bully if it is!)

I noticed today that the Blab discussion about the Auction pieces has basically descended into a Volunteer SR speculation thread. I have no plans on joining in there; I wasn’t picked this year, so it’s a moot point for me anyway.

Though I secretly hope for a Silver Filigree Family Arabian Stallion - I think it would be very appropriate for an Anniversary theme, and harken back to the first Volunteer Model, the Silver Filigree Proud Arabian Mare - it will be something more mundane. Matte, Realistic, a modestly popular mold that doesn’t require a base, and possibly something from their warehouse body stash.

(Though the FAS is among the body-stashed. Hmm.)

Another mold to cross off the list will be the Midnight Sun.

I will confess that I did break down and buy the Reissue Red Bay "Redmond", more as an historical curiosity than for any specific love of the mold. It most likely represents the last release of this mold, ever. The paint job is also very, very nice - and one I wouldn’t mind seeing on other molds, either. (Vintage ones, especially!)

I think the fact that Breyer spotlighted the "Walk on Washington" on their Facebook page earlier this week makes that abundantly clear that they are aware of the mold’s history, and have no intention of making any more. The Redmonds were made from warehoused bodies made back when, and that this release was a way to use up them up.

I’ve seen some talk - again on Breyer’s Facebook page - about calls for "retiring" the Midnight Sun mold entirely. I’m not sure what people are asking for here: the mold is "retired". It hasn’t been in production since 2002.

A floridly-worded public statement? A video of them throwing it into the Atlantic Ocean? A by-invitation-only regrinding party of any Midnight Suns still in the warehouse?

(Okay, I would actually want to attend the regrinding party, as long as we got to throw models in ourselves. And it’s not limited to Midnight Sun.)

I do think they missed an opportunity with the Redmond release to use it as a way to generate funds and awareness for Walking Horse advocacy groups.

Something along the lines of "When this mold was released back in 1972, there was a lack of knowledge about the abuses going on in the ‘Big Lick’ industry. We have not issued a regular production item since 2002; we have not molded any new pieces since then, and have no intention of doing so in the future. The recent Internet-only Special Run item ‘Redmond’ was generated from previously-molded and warehoused bodies. A portion of the funds generated by the sale of this item will go towards [charity/group name here]."

It wouldn’t make some portions of the model horse hobby happy, but some of those portions are never happy, and like to make a public show of it.

It’s good to encourage a company to do the right thing, but it’s unrealistic to expect perfect compliance from a company you neither run nor own.

1 comment:

LostInAn80sFog said...

If I may play devil's advocate for a moment: Breyer makes plastic horses that sometimes represent real horses, including many historical horses, and real horses and their treatment aren't always as we wish them to be. As horrified as many of us feel about big lick walkers, there is still apparently a considerable number of real horse people who perpetuate it, and I'm sure they buy plastic horses too. If I were a big company, I'm not sure it would be a wise move to wag my finger at any group of horse people who might purchase my product.

Besides, where would it stop? Famous dressage horses known to be trained using rollkur? Quarter Horses who developed navicular? How about that HYPP H/H Appaloosa breeding stallion they made a portrait of a few years ago - and even stated in JAH that none of his offspring had the disease, when in fact genetically they *all* had it? (They may not have been symptomatic, but that's not the same as not having the disease).

Not a slippery slope I expect any for profit corporation to embark on.