Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bubbles

Hobby resolutions: focus on collecting/upgrading the dogs, upgrading my pre-Reeves Proud Arabians, and completing the Roemer collection; finish sorting and archiving the latest ephemera acquisitions; and finally, doing a 5 percent herd reduction for space reasons.

That last item might not sound like much, but that will cull about 100 pieces from the collection, mostly Traditionals and Classics. (No Stablemates! I can hide those anywhere.)

I got home late from work yesterday, and I’ve spent most of my day off sorting through my giant box of unfinished sewing projects (another resolution), so the Glacier who arrived yesterday will not get his glorious unveiling until Monday at the earliest.

Though I’m a little scared to even open him up, at this point. Not out of possible disappointment - that's an uncomfortably narrow box he's in - but because of the prices realized by a couple of them on eBay this week.

I’ll be up front with y’all and confess that I come from a working class background: my family thinks splurging on an occasional Big Gulp and a bag of Doritos is wanton excess. Investing more than $250 on any model makes me uneasy, even if I know it is worth more - or will be in the future.

And I’ve also spent a lot of time at flea markets, yard sales, estate sales and antique shops, and I’ve seen the fallout of collectible "investment" bubbles everywhere, new and old.

The current prices for Glacier are part of a bubble. That bubble will pop soon, if it hasn’t already, but it will leave us with a legacy of Glaciers listed at hyperinflated prices for a while.

The 1984 Just About Horses Saddlebred Weanling was like that for a long time. Because of the flawed way they were distributed (by mail, and not limited to one per person), it created a lot of frustrated demand. The prices at one point reached the $200-350 level - and that was in the late 1980s and early 1990s!

I went without one for years (decades, actually) until the prices finally dropped to the $100 level, which seemed more reasonable and fair for a Special Run model with a 1000 piece run and some historical significance.

Prices will come down, eventually, because they have to. The hobby does not have enough hobbyists at that income or intensity level to sustain them.  The handful of buyers who can afford them don't want them or already have them, and the buyers who do want them can't afford them - or justify the purchase financially.

It might take a while; we've all seen certain models on eBay and MH$P that have been there for years. (In some of my more annoyed moments, I find myself gesticulating at the screen and yelling "Just cut the darn price and let it go, already!")

Glaciers will never be "cheap" - he was a 40 piece Special Run, in a popular Decorator color, on a mold with very few releases - but they’ll become affordable. Or at least, not unimaginably unattainable. (Still waiting for that moment on Marshall, probably in vain. Alas!)

7 comments:

Sandra said...

I could have just cried when I missed Glacier after missing Ghost, Banff, Rolly and, well, all of the web specials and no luck with the drawings. What does one have to do?! I have lurked on Breyer's web site since Ghost constantly, too. I've always had a fondness for the non-horse molds and maybe some day the prices will come down and I will have a Glacier or Ghost.

Dressagekid said...

Breyer will forever kill me. I was on one night and they had enchanted, Tesoro de Roo, and Raja on there among others. Funny how I currently have no model horse budget. Breyer!!!!

Christi said...

Working class family here, too. I can never tell my family how much I spend on a secondary-market Masquerade, after taking a month to talk myself into spending that much on my holy grail horse, because they'll spend the rest of my life reminding me that my first "real" horse cost less than that Breyer. (I would trade Masquerade in a heartbeat to have my gelding back, though.)

We won't even mention what my one and only custom-painted resin cost. They still remember the 80s, when Breyers were under $20, and they haven't mentally adjusted for inflation.

Anonymous said...

Sandra, a great way to find these specials is to lurk on Blab. Love it or hate it, it's always got the latest information.

Anonymous said...

I'm mentally singing "Some day my antelope will come" (to the tune from Snow White). I only recently broke my self-imposed rule of not spending more than $200 on a single horse (for Aspen). I doubt Glacier will ever be in my range, so now find myself wondering if I could buy a body and paint my own. I might take a stab at it.

bubbasmom said...

Here's hoping Banff will suffer the same bubble-popping! He was the one I was really hoping for. He would've looked so nice with the Christmas horses. ...sigh...

Sandra said...

bubbasmom: I think the bubble has popped. Banff does not seem to be selling at asking prices now as well as Rolly. The only one still moving is Glacier. Rolly seems to be the only micro-run not moving well at inflated prices. It's interesting that the non-horse molds have been so popular. One day I hope to snag a Glacier and Ghost.