Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Green Plastic?

There’s been a bit of talk about a couple of Green Donkeys that turned up on eBay recently. Are they real? And what’s the deal with the rather interesting prices the vendors are trying to sell them for?

On the first question, yes, Breyer did use Green Tenite for a while: it was one of the more exotic colors they purchased during the Chalky Era of the early 1970s. I’ve seen it most commonly on the Standing Donkey mold, but the Mare from the Thoroughbred Mare and Foal Gift Set was also molded in it.

There are some Classic Quarter Horse Foals that come in a very light, limey green that may or may not have been related to the more vibrant "Kelly Green" of the Donkey and Thoroughbred Mare.

Most of the other Colored Tenite of the Chalky Era came in more naturalistic colors, like gray, brown or rosy-purple-pink: the rubs on Chalkies molded in those colors are still noticeable, but they don’t stand out as much as the rubs on Green ones do.

Although they are "real", most of the Green Plastic models I’ve seen floating around the model horse community are NOT Original Finish pieces. Most appear to be Chalkies stripped of the paint they wore when they shipped out of the factory, presumably because they were in an otherwise unsellable condition.

I guess you could call them "reverse" customs: instead of paint being added to the model, the paint is completely taken away. Obviously, I think it’s improper to show it as an Original Finish piece, though it has been done.

Are there authentic unpainted Colored Tenite models from the Chalky Era out there? Yes, of course. I have an unpainted opaque white plastic G1 Saddlebred, and a couple of "test shots" molded out of contaminated regrind (with little black floaty bits!) Those Lime Green Quarter Horse Foals I mentioned above are the real deal too, though I’m not sure if they were from the 1970s or not.

There may be a few genuine Kelly Green pieces from the 1970s. But I can’t recall seeing one that I could comfortably call "Factory Unpainted".

As for those prices - yeah, wishful thinking. They’re not that rare, either painted over or stripped.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a blueish grey plastic..qh yearling ..I got it from Peter..the seams havnt been removed...