Friday, June 19, 2015

Chicago

For the record, I will be trying my darndest to get to Breyer’s "Sweet Home Chicago" Exclusive Event this year. It’s within a reasonable driving distance, and I already potential traveling companions if need be. There was some business I wanted to conduct in Breyer’s "ancestral homeland" anyway, so the trip could turn into an extended weekend for me.

I sort of suspected that Chicago was going to be the location this time around, with Reeves celebrating Breyer’s 65th Anniversary this year. It’s also an anniversary for me, of sorts: it was 30 years ago that I attended Model Horse Congress, in the Chicago suburbs.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it was like a combination of BreyerFest and NAN, organized almost completely by hobbyists, for hobbyists. It was my first vacation out-of-town, without my family.

It was wonderful, beautiful and terrifying. I’ll get around to writing about it here, someday.

While I’m sure they’ll try to incorporate a drive-by of the original factory for the Event, there probably won’t be much to see there. The building is nondescript, there hasn’t been a horse in the place in nearly 30 years, and it’s not like we’ll see the ghostly shadows of models past painted on the walls or fragments of Woodgrains embedded in the pavement.

It’d be nice if we could get a historical marker or plaque, but I think we have a better shot at either organizing a National Model Horse Day, or getting "Breyer Horses" inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame.

It’s about darn time that there was an Event in this part of the country, though. In the hobby’s earliest days, the Midwest was the hub of the hobby, with Model Horse Congress being The Event. Not having had an "Exclusive Event" there in more modern times was starting to feel weird. Sure, BreyerFest is in Kentucky, and not all that hard to get to for Midwesterners, but this is a different class of thing.

The rumor going around is that the tickets may be sold individually rather than in pairs. It’s based on some vague wording in the original announcement on the web site:
"The event will be limited to 200 Collectors Club members…"
I certainly hope this is the case. Another one of my sticking points with these Events is the "two-by-two" rule on ticket buying: it effectively shuts out all of us singletons who don’t have family members as reliable back ups.

In an Event that exclusive, I’d rather have a higher percentage of the attendees actually be hobbyists. This isn’t like BreyerFest or any other convention where capacity isn’t that big an issue. The guest list is limited, and The Event is The Event: being able to wander off and do your own thing is not a part of the package.

Whether I actually get a ticket (or tickets), though, is another issue entirely. Ironically, if they do open up the tickets to individual sales, they may sell out faster than the pairs. My work schedule changed recently, and after what happened with the last Event, I’m a little fearful that I might not be online when the announcement is made.

I’ll just have to worry about it when the time comes. I have enough to worry about now.

2 comments:

Dressagekid said...

This is my first year in the CC and I actually live close to Chicago. How do you get tickets? I'd love to go!

Lori said...

I hope they give an option, single or pair, like they used to do in the past. While my +1 is another hobbyist, her schedule is wacky so it's hard for her to get online at "normal" times. This way I can just purchase for both of us and she won't have to worry about it.