Saturday, July 25, 2015

American Pharaoh, et al

I did pretty well this year, sales-wise, but I won’t know how well until I finish unpacking and inventorying. So far I’ve only made it through the miscellaneous stuff (china, ephemera, bodies); the Traditional Plastics I’m saving for a burst of energy sometime next week.

I did better than anticipated, actually, though I think some of that was me being a hotel homebody. I simply didn’t get the chance to wander or shop much. (Something I definitely want to rectify next year.)

As has been mentioned in the comment section here and elsewhere, the American Pharoah model was announced while most of us were away: it IS going to be on the Ruffian mold. Interesting.

The paint job, however, is somewhat different from the auction piece, and has a modified tail. So it is still unique – or nearly so – just very similar to the production item.

That’s one of the reasons why I am so apprehensive about dropping a large wad on any given auction piece; there’s always a chance it could go into production later, as-is, and then you’ll find yourself endlessly explaining that no, really, it is a Test Color! 

Though I actually prefer models like that – and have several in my collection. Why wouldn’t I? They are historical artifacts of the production process!

I also happen to have several because they tend to be cheap, or go for cheaper later on: many hobbyists, especially some of the newer ones, operate under the notion that the only good and/or worthy Test Colors are unique, and nothing else. Even a similar paintjob on a completely different mold is seen as suspect nowadays.

That seems so silly to me. That’s the purpose of a Test Color: to test things. Anything else falls closer to the category of Factory Custom. Factory Customs may be pretty, and generate a lot of money for charity, but they don’t “mean” much else.

Anyway, the flier for the American Pharaoh release is posted in multiple places on the Internet, but I’m not going to link to it, mostly because many of those posts also come with comment sections that consist mostly of people ranting about the repurposing of a old mold.

Sigh. The Internet seems to make everyone an expert at everything, doesn’t it?

There have been many technical advances that have allowed for more complex and detailed molds to be produced. Regardless, injection mold making is not cheap, it’s not easy, and it’s not quick: if it were, we'd be getting a dozen or more new molds every year, not three or four.

Anyone who pontificates otherwise has been drinking too many fruit-flavored malt beverages.


LostInAn80sFog said...

I share your appreciation for production line test colors. Somehow there's a feeling that they were so special that, of all the possibly choices, *that* was the one that was chosen.

I recall back in the day Marney didn't consider the ones she sold me to be very special; in fact, I think I paid body price for the grey app SSHF she'd fished out of a trash barrel earlier that week because he was rubbed and "this is what they're all going to look like anyway." He's very close to the production model, but has a different shaped star I don't believe was ever used on this mold in any of its permutations, and has a much darker grey base color. Still, had he turned up at random without any backstory, he could easily be mistaken as yet another production run variation.

My two "tests" for the black point PAS are even closer to the production run. Again, their base grey coloring is noticeably darker than any of the production run pieces I've seen, but otherwise they're identical and could easily be mistaken as variations within the regular run. Doesn't matter to me, they're still *my* "special little snowflakes."

Carrie said...

Even three or four brand new molds per year amazes me. The sheer effort & cost of getting that many new molds into production boggles my mind, nevermind the fact they chose to do in a public-involved format like the Premier Club, & indefinitely! That's just for the Traditional line, eek! Huh, perhaps it's a perk of being part of a larger company.

Remember when one new mold every 2-3 years (or longer) was A Big Deal? Ha. I feel old.

Little Black Car said...

Seriously, I can't believe people are complaining about reusing the mold. I would much rather they reuse a mold than rush a new one into production. The last time they rushed a new racehorse mold we got . . . John Henry. Whom I love, sentimentally, but whom nobody will pretend is an artistic masterpiece. A zillion great racehorses have not gotten new molds. Not all of the triple crown winners have been made, at least not in Trad scale. I'm from Texas--I'd like to see Assault (1946), but no. (I'd also like to see the Paint racehorse Painted Joe. Smarty Jones in black medicine hat. You can't tell me that wouldn't fly off the shelves.)

Highadventure said...

Oh no...we've brought you the DARK SIDE...
We also like to call them "sissy beers"....
Oh, we were talking about MODEL HORSES..weren't we??

Anonymous said...

Well if Breyer actually did decide to make a new mold, the same people would bleat about how long it was taking for the model to be released.

Breyer wants to put out an AP model ASAP, folks. They want to be in on the hype in order to sell as many models, and make as big a profit as possible. And I think a tweaked Ruffian mold is the perfect choice, her pose matches that on the iconic SI cover.

ANDREA said...

Hey lady, I come from a long line of rum runners and two-fisted drinkers.

FWIW, there's no sissy beer in this house.

Katy said...

Meh, not a fan of the American Pharaoh model...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we might be getting a new mold (or two!) of AP after all: