Sunday, May 31, 2015

Judgment Calls

I got lucky on eBay last week a scored a good - and cheap! - body box lot. When I mean good, I mean it included (a) better than average Classics, and (b) a couple of bodies I could use. Also included in this lot were these two pieces:

The Running Foal is a very loved and abused Chalky from the 1970s; it was the most damaged item in the lot, naturally. Yet in today’s superheated Chalky market, even a model in this condition is worth something.

That wasn’t the case even a few years ago, when I found myself selling a very sad-looking Chalky Adios to someone who fully intended on customizing it. I really didn’t have much of a choice in that matter; I needed the money, and no one else seemed interested in him.

As far as other models that fit this equation - rare, but trashed - I really don’t have a firm opinion on what should be done with them. Of course I’d rather have someone keep them Original Finish, but body quality is body quality: sometimes you have to let a few go.

In regards to the question of restoration, I am neither for it, nor against it. My personal preference is for minimal restoration: repair the breaks, unyellow it, clean it up, stabilize it (add a leg to stand on, if necessary). I might do a few touch ups, as long as they’re not obtrusive.

But if someone wants to do a full restore on him, I’m good with that, too. Which is why this guy is going on the regular portion of my sales list, and not being tossed in the body box like the rest of the lot will be. Might as well minimize any further damage, right?

The Kelso is a little better - rough, but in a less breathtaking way. What’s interesting about him is that he’s an early Classics Racehorse without the mold mark; the first batch or two of the Racehorses didn’t get the mold stamp.

We’re not sure why the mold marks happened later - either it was forgotten in the rush to get them to market, or (my theory) they were still hammering out the legal details of the leasing contracts. This lack of a mold mark sometimes works in our favor at the flea market or yard sale: no mold mark = not a Breyer!

He has the beautiful body shading typical of the early Classics, but he also has the rough seams, burrs, fuzzy gray overspray, and sloppy detail work that was also part of the package back then.

He’s going straight to the body box, though: he’s not someone I need right now, and he’s just common enough that he doesn’t merit shelf space. He’s got excellent mold detail, and is a Love Classic, so I doubt he’ll stay in there long.

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