Tuesday, November 18, 2014

USA FAF

Here’s something you don’t see everyday:


No, really! Though it’s what you don’t see in this particular photo that makes all the difference. This Palomino Family Arabian Foal has a USA mark:


(Sorry for the blur. There’s no easy or dignified way of taking a picture of that area!)

Unlike most of the Breyer molds that did receive it ca. 1970, the FAF’s USA mark vanished very quickly, probably within a year of receiving it. Why? I’m not sure. It’s possible that the FAF mold went in for another round of maintenance not long after the USA mark was added, and the mark was lost in the aftermath.

Although the placement of the circular Breyer mold mark itself - aka "the copyright horseshoe" - on that leg does not change (once it migrated there!) its orientation has, suggesting that that particular area of the mold had some maintenance issues before. (Want to lose several hours of time? Got dig up all the FAFs in your house and check out which direction the "C" in the mold mark is pointing.)

Perhaps in the process of revamping that area that time, they put back the circular mold mark but forgot about the USA part, since it was probably a separate mold stamp.

Although all five of the Matte colors the Foals were in production ca. 1970 - Palomino, Alabaster, Bay, Charcoal, and Appaloosa - I have only seen the Appaloosa and the Palomino with USA marks. Recently someone on Model Horse Blab reported that they had a Ranchcraft Woodgrain FAF Lamp with a USA mark, but I haven’t seen it personally to confirm. Seems fairly plausible, though, since some of their Woodgrain Running Mare and Foal Lamps have USA marks too.

We have lots of circumstantial evidence suggesting that many (if not most) of the Lamp Woodgrains were items made specifically for Dunning Industries after all but the Fighter were officially discontinued. Until at least 1970, it seems. But we’re getting a little off track here.

Mold variations are sort of a funny thing in this hobby; unlike most color variations, earlier mold variations tend to hide in plain sight. They don’t get noticed until someone finally stands up and shouts "Hey, look!" And suddenly it becomes another Thing to look for. Much like what is now just starting to happen with the early "Supermuscular" Quarter Horse Geldings.

And remember this: this is the Family Arabian Foal, a model as common as dandelions in an ill-kept lawn. They are plentiful, ubiquitous, and practically invisible. Seen, but not noticed. No one expects much from the Family Arabian Foal.

So here is my shout out, for you variation hunters, lovers of Foal molds, or of Family Arabians in particular: these Family Arabian Foals with USA marks are something you might want to add to your want lists, before the rest of the hobby catches on. Take a second look. Expect a little bit more.

3 comments:

Dressagekid said...

Very interesting. I think you may be able to help me with something. How rare is the chalky Clydesdale stallion? Mine is the bay with red and white bobs. I had never realized he was chalky until a friend gave me a second one. The "new" horse is defiantly not a chalky and has a shiny coat but nit glossy. Almost a semigloss but not quite. The horse in question, Bud, is darker and his coat is thicker when you touch it. I was just wondering if it was rare or really common. Thanks for reading and for future help!

Desrai Englot said...

Very interesting, none of mine have the U.S.A. Stamp. However, my matte palomino, glossy charcoal and glossy palomino have an upward facing "C" (the open part of the "C"is facing up) but, my glossy palomino with a blue ribbon has a downward facing "C" hmmmmm.

Malia said...

I actually have a matte Charcoal FAF with a downward facing "C" and a USA stamp. Too bad his front leg broke off!