Saturday, August 16, 2014


On my way home from work yesterday (Early! On a Friday! Yes!) I was thinking to myself "Isn’t it about time for Reeves to spring another surprise on us?"

I get home, log on, and there she is:

Bonjour, Cosette. (Photo taken from Breyer website and slightly cropped and formatted to fit here.)

(Collector Club homepage.)
(Direct order link for CC members.)

I don’t know what this release "means". A return of the Hagen-Renaker Love molds? A random Classic Special Run Thing, like the Flurry? Using up old bodies in the warehouse? Some sort of special stay-at-home promotion for the WEG 2014 (in Normandy this year)?

The last one seems most likely to me, though honestly I don’t know any more than the rest of you. The "Collectors Club members get early access" and "Limit two per order" in the web site banner suggest that she’ll be a fairly substantial run.

I do know is that there has been some discussion - initiated on Reeves part, I believe - about how to make the Classics molds more appealing to collectors in general.

The Classics Arabian Mare? In an elaborate Pinto paint job? Designed by Tom Bainbridge? If Cosette is in any way related to that effort, then Reeves certainly started it off with a bang.

All those years of packaging and marketing them to a slightly younger market, as toys, has taken its toll on the Classics scale’s reputation. They’re seen as unsophisticated stuff, suitable for little kids. Ironic, considering the noble origins of the originals.

When the Classics Racehorses first came out in the 1970s, I was a little indignant that these portraits of Awesome and Famous Racehorses even my Dad knew were smaller than some of the wholly imaginary ones in the Traditional line.

But I got over it and bought them all, eventually. The smaller scales also meant I could buy more. More horses = good!

Yet there still remains a strong bias in the hobby against anything non-Traditional scale, independent of the quality of the molds themselves. For me, a good model is a good model, regardless of its size or scale.

One thing I think did hamper the appeal of Classics was the lack of product development. There was a flurry of new molds in the first few years after the Classics were introduced - the Andalusian Family, the USET Set, the Black Beauty Family, the Black Stallion Returns …

Then for the next nine years? No new Classics molds. When they did return, with the Mesteno Series in 1992, they were not greeted warmly by hobbyists. The Western Performance Series then followed shortly afterwards, also to a somewhat lukewarm response.

It wasn’t until very recently that Reeves put more effort into expanding and revamping the Classics line, also with mixed success.

And now we have…Cosette? Interesting. 


LostInAn80sFog said...

Ooooooh.... pretty horsie! Models like her make it hard to stick to my self-imposed "no new Breyers" edit.

Kristian said...

I love Love molds. So much expression! Can't say I'm in love with this one.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right that it's not very likely, but I would love to see the H-R classics return. Maybe it's because they were originally made for china pieces, but they had so much more grace and fluidity than the Hess molds.