Monday, July 6, 2015

Common Praise and the Walmart Mestenos

Some sad news on the passing of Rowland Cheney, best known in our corner of the world as the sculptor of Breyer’s Mesteno series:

I had seen the story on the news about the plane crash; I had no idea that it would later turn out to be model-horse-related.

The Mestenos were not received warmly when they were released in the 1990s, but they’ve grown in popularity since then. A lot of that has to do with their wide availability and the wealth of fascinating (possibly experimental?) colors they were issued in as a part of the Walmart Wild Mustang Series.

As hobbyists, a lot of us get caught up in tracking down the oldest, rarest, weirdest and prettiest things, when it is common-as-dirt models like the Walmart Mustangs that are the real foundation of the hobby.

We start collecting with what is available at hand, and what is available is usually the most common of any given item. That’s just how the odds are: if there’s 490 pieces of one, and 10 of another, you’re simply more likely to find the former than the latter.

Sometimes we get lucky and stumble across the rarity, but often we only find out about it in retrospect. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought something at the flea market because – ooh, it’s a Breyer and it’s cheap! – and a few days or weeks (or years) later I discover that it’s something else – in happy cases, something even better.

Actually, when I’m out horse hunting, I like to think of every model I run across as unique, and in possession of a special and/or secret history. If the price is right and it doesn't seem particularly rare, that's generally my rationale for buying it. 

If it sticks around long enough, I’ll either discover that history – or by staying here a while, add to it (via provenance).

Time to get back to the BreyerFest prep.

1 comment:

Denise said...

I too had heard about the plane crash in Alaska and had no idea that it would be model-related-a death of a Breyer, etc. sculptor! My condolences for his family-and for our Breyer family too.