Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fishing Expedition

There is absolutely nothing special about this horse, other than I found it on the clearance section of the store I stopped at on the way home from work last night:

He’s only my fourth "new" model this year, and two of those have already been relegated to the future sales list. I figured I was entitled, especially at 75 percent off!

This regional store chain has in recent years carried a small but decent selection of Stablemates and Classics. Since it appears that we're facing a shortage of some of the newer Stablemates molds (the Chrome/Andalusian, and the Rivet/Mustang), I thought I’d check and see if this store had ‘em.

I had some reason to hope: a similar situation occurred here a few years ago, when a local farm store chain was apparently hoarding all the Zenyattas the rest of the hobby was desperately clamoring for. And several years ago there was a local Toys ‘R’ Us that Reeves apparently consigned all of its oddball stuff to. ("Is this supposed to be glossy?")

No such luck on the Stablemates, at least not yet.

As far as the shortage of Chromes and Rivets go, I don’t think it’s a permanent or long-term one anyway. Reeves just underestimated the demand for those two, and is probably parceling out what little supply they have left until the next batch comes in.

They might have also been conservative with their initial orders, too, on the notion that it’s better to have a shortage of a high-demand item, than an abundance of low-demand items that they’d have to stuff into grab bags for years to come.

If something is selling well, you solve the shortage problem by making more. Getting rid of unwanted merchandise is the bigger problem. Though it’s one that Breyer has dealt with in the past several times before - and solved primarily with repainting, rather than by price-cutting or box stuffing.

Like what they did with the leftover Family Arabians in the late 1970s: all it took was a little - okay, a lot - of black paint, and voila! A new and exciting Special Run! (Relatively speaking. We weren’t all that picky back then.)

And, as we now know, it’s what they did with all those unsold 1960s Decorators they had inhabiting the warehouse: they "chalkified" them, slapped on better-selling colors, and away they went.

Though I do wonder exactly how long those Decorators sat in storage. Another topic, for another day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whoever picked the colors for those two new SMs had good taste, nothing like a nicely shaded solid black on a Spanish type, and the Mustang's flashy whites go very well with his red roan body color. (my favorite is the flaxen liver chestnut TWH, though, hands down)