Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Banff and Other Not Brown Buffaloes

Well, there’s that last crazy-weird-awesome special of the year I feared: a Silver Filigree Buffalo?!

I want to be ridiculously excited about Banff, but after what happened with the Polled Hereford Bull Marshall, I have to temper my excitement just a bit. Even if the piece run this time is 300, not 40.

It’s true, according to the e-mail Reeves sent, that most previous Buffalos have been some shade of brown. Even the two nominal Decorators - the Connoisseur Tortoiseshell Taima, and the Ranchcraft Woodgrain - were brownish.

The only established releases in not-brown (outside of Test Colors) were in white, or nearly so: the #380 Tatanka from 1992-1993, and a very low piece special run made possibly as a tie-in or promotional item for Dino De Laurentiis’s 1977 film The White Buffalo.

If the posters and online reviews are any indication, it’s basically Jaws in the Old West - starring Charles Bronson and an animatronic Buffalo. Sounds like my kind of film!

These older special runs are grayer - almost Smoke - and don’t have the red handprint that the Tatanka has.

There may have been a Post Production Special Run of the Tatanka made in 1995, to commemorate the birth of a real white buffalo in 1994. The details about that SR are a little sketchy; all we know for sure is that they don’t have handprints either, and are probably hand-numbered.

The Tatankas used to be one of those hot must-have items that regularly commanded three-figures on the secondary market. He’s still pricey (for a Buffalo) but not unreasonable for a scarce nonhorse mold. The two handprint-free SRs, early and late, I can’t judge: they are so scarce that I can’t remember even seeing one for sale recently.

As for the alleged "Bronze Glo" Buffaloes - Bronze-colored Buffaloes that may have been a part of a paint test/experiment in the 1970s - I am about as skeptical as I am of the Mobil Red Pegasi. While a few of them may indeed be the real thing, some (if not most) are not.

I’ve seen too many "Bronze Glo" models claimed to be real for all of them to be real, unless it was one very large bucket of paint that Peter Stone and Chris Hess were playing with that day in the factory. Stranger things have happened, but fakes (innocent and intentional) happen, too.

As with anything claimed to be exceedingly rare, caveat emptor.


timaru star ii said...

Hi Andrea! I conga-line buffaloes so this guy is a pushover for me. What do you think: movie FROZEN has got Breyer's brain!! But when I first saw him I thought: how did they know I've always wanted to see a Charcoal Moose??!! Banff is right up my line.

Corky said...

He's neat! I like how they only applied the silver filigree to his hindquarters where the mold is smooth--the effect would have gotten lost on all that shagginess up front.

I'd love to see more special runs on nonhorse molds. How about a Deer Family in that parti-color pinto color that deer sometimes have? I'd be all over that.