Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dollar Store Fun

I had a little fun at a local dollar store earlier this week, while picking up some inexpensive craft items. The first thing that caught my eye were these stickers, in the store’s rather well-stocked scrapbooking section:

Hello, Mr. Family Arabian Stallion - fancy meeting you here!

What cracks me up most about these stickers is the sheer randomness of the shapes: hearts, arrows, badges, banners, butterflies, a rotary telephone and a pair of Family Arabian Stallions. (A telephone?) It’s like they had all these leftover patterns, and they stuck them all together on one sheet so they wouldn't go to waste.

Breyer-inspired imagery in scrapbooking and other craft materials is nothing new, though most efforts try to dress it up (or down) a little bit and make it a little less obvious than this example.

(I might buy a couple more sheets for some actual crafting purposes, so if anyone’s interested, let me know and I’ll stock up.)

In the party favor section of the same store, they had some delightful (to me) little knockoffs of the G1 Silky Sullivan, Thoroughbred Mare and Seabiscuit. They are about half the size of the Stablemates they are loosely adapted from:

The purple and blue "dappled" Silky and That Thoroughbred Mare are my favorites. The Silky is at least attempting (awkwardly) to simulate a real horse color, either a Leopard Appaloosa or Dappled Something (Grape Charcoal?)

That TB Mare, on the other hand, appears to be painted like a dinosaur, complete with glowing red eyes. Now there’s a Decorator concept that hasn’t been explored yet!

It’s easy to make fun of these little guys, but it’s important to remember that for the first decade or so of its model-horse-manufacturing days, Breyer was basically a knockoff company too, reproducing mold from other manufacturers and painting them in peculiar or unnatural colors.

They eventually grew out of it. They even - in the case of the G1 Stablemates and most of the earliest Classics - went on to partner with one of the companies they knocked-off from.

Who knows? Perhaps one of these companies producing these knockoffs will branch out into original molds, and develop their own set of modified "Decorator" colors.

One other important point to make here is that for most of the public, there’s not that much difference between these funky little fellows and any other brand of model horse, except the price. If you’re buying party favors for a horse-crazy little kid, you’re more likely to stock up on the blue and purple lizard horses at four for a dollar, and not the four dollar Stablemates, or the two or three dollar Blind Bag Mini Whinnies.

Because for most kids, horses really are a phase. Some of us just happen to grow back into it.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I have some scrapbooking paper from Michael's covered with FAS's.

Heather Forrest said...

I've got a set of those party favour SM knock-offs, too. My pack included a modified G1 Morgan Stallion as well as the rest. None of them are quite as spectacular as yours, but one of the TB Mares is an interesting highlighter yellow mutant frame overo on a bay base. :)

Susan said...

What a fun find. I love the Family Arabian Stallion and the telephone. And those polka dots on the Silky Sullivan (my favorite G1 mold) are too cute. :)

Yvonne said...

"Because for most kids, horses really are a phase. Some of us just happen to grow back into it."
And some of us, unfortunately, have clung to the 'phase' and refuse to let go!