Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Stablemates Riders

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been getting so many e-mail offers from Reeves lately that the e-mail servers now think I live in New Jersey! No, really, I don’t need to know what the weather is like in Mt. Laurel…

Last week’s most interesting e-mail was a special offer for a Free Stablemates Rider with purchase of 25 dollars worth of Stablemates merchandise. A little weird, but I thought maybe they just had some leftover play set "rigid" riders they wanted to get rid of in a creative way. Today they sent out another e-mail about them: nope, apparently they are a thing they are selling separately now.

Interesting. I haven’t done a comprehensive search yet to see if the paint jobs are unique, or if they can be identified from specific sets. I can’t tell right off because I haven’t been buying many Stablemates lately, outside of vintage pieces to fill in collection gaps, upgrades, and Special Event/BreyerFest ones. (Though I’d like to buy more!)

Regardless, I don’t know if I now need to classify these as separate mold releases or continue to treat them as accessories. I guess it’ll have to depend on how long the program runs.

When I saw the original e-mail, the first thing that popped into my mind were the smaller-scale (about Little Bits/Paddock Pal size) Horse and Rider sets that Hartland released in the 1960s. Like these guys:

The horses to these sets I find occasionally, but the riders I almost never do, which is another reason why I’m reluctant to pass up on the Stablemates Riders. If it is an experimental thing, I’ll probably regret not getting them now while they’re still (relatively) cheap and affordable. Some of the bills for my Kentucky misadventures are starting to come in, though, so it looks like another no-can-do here.

Like Breyer is doing now with their various Stablemates Play Sets, Hartland made a lot of odd bits and quasi-accessories like that back then too, and I find them fascinating. I don’t go out of my way to collect them, but if they happen to find their way here, they tend to stay. I recently purchased a big bag of plastic animals, pursuant to another crazy idea I had rumbling around in my head. In the bag were two Hartland Farm animals, from their "Sunny Acres Farm" series. The Goat, and the Black Lamb:

So cute!

Just goes to show that there’s really no such thing as a new idea in the hobby. Just the same ideas, in endless iterations.

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