Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sentimental Favorites

You guys are making me so jealous of all your crazy awesome finds lately. Poor little me couldn’t even find the time to make it to my local town-wide garage sale today.

Though I did recently go on a road trip for work with a coworker and discovered that he also enjoys horse racing and going to estate sales. He’s somewhat familiar with Breyers and Hartlands, and asked for some reference materials on Hagen-Renakers. So perhaps some nice finds will be winding their way to my house soon.

Let’s get back to the Classics Racehorse discussion.

Since I tend to think that most modern collectibles are a dicey proposition for investing in the first place - with some rare exceptions - I try to avoid telling people to buy certain items for investment purposes. Hobbyists and collectors are exceedingly fickle, and what’s hot and pricey today could literally be almost worthless tomorrow.

Most Classics are not that valuable. There’s some residual value in most of the Hagen-Renaker Classics - like the Arabian and Quarter Horse Families - as customizing fodder, but outside of Test Colors and Chalkies, most of the value is sentimental.

Even when the piece runs are rather limited and/or hard to come by - like the Bay Andalusian Mare, the German Special Runs, or some of the BreyerFest SRs - the prices remain rather modest. Of the more modern pieces, the only exception here is probably the Classics Shire, particularly the head-down "B" version: there have been only a limited number of releases, none of them easy to acquire even when new.

But when it comes to the Classics Racehorses - the original releases on the original 5 (then 6, with Ruffian) molds - I think there is some genuine potential there. Especially pieces like this - a Silky Sullivan with a Dumbbell sticker.

(Though to be completely honest, anything with a dumbbell is a sound investment. Mine certainly would be, if I harbored any thoughts of selling him. And no, I don’t.)

In the case of the Classics Racehorses, it’s not just a Breyer: it’s also a portrait of a famous racehorse on a mold that has not been and probably won’t be in production again for some time. Throw in additional goodies like boxes and tags, and voila - the closest thing you’ll have to a sure bet, monetarily.

Not Decorator or Rare Woodgrain money, but not everything can be.

What’s nice about some of the earlier Classics Racehorses, too, is that can be identified by their lack of mold marks. I don’t know why that was; perhaps there some legal quibbling over the terms of the lease with Hagen-Renaker, or a technical difficulty, or they were in such a hurry to get them to market that they simply forgot. The Proud Arabian Foal, various members of the Classics Family sets, and some of the Stablemates were also mold-mark-free.

Regardless, the absence of the mold marks can be a boon to us at the flea market and garage sale level. No mold marks = can’t be identified as a Breyer = cheaper prices (usually, and only if box-free, naturally).

I know Reeves has been putting some thought into trying to make the Classics more collectible again; my only thoughts in this regard is that if they want to go the celebrity race-and-sport-horse route, Classics may be the place to go back to.  


Denise said...

Never seen one of these "dumbbell" stickers before! Were some sold without a box? Ones I bought as a child when the classic racehorses were first released came only in a box-atleast in the stores in my area. Neat find!

ANDREA said...

They were a ca. 1980 experiment, I think, of selling models without boxes.

The sticker itself has a sticker on it from Woolworths.

Not many survived, naturally.

Denise said...

Thankyou Andrea! Was this a similar experiment like the see-through blister pack boxes of around that same era? I guess that's what you would call them-an open box with the model shrink-wrapped inside without a lid.