Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dating That Flier

Okay, this has been bugging me for a while, and today is as good a day as any to get it out of my system. Recently Reeves sent out a color copy of this flier to Vintage Club members:

I can’t recall if this black and white copy is one I received either directly from Marney, from Reeves themselves, from someone else, or was bought as part of a package of copies that someone within the hobby was selling. The buying/selling/trading of Xeroxed ephemera was quite the booming little business back in the 1980s and early 1990s, when good reference materials were hard to come by.

Some of the earlier and more exotic pages, I later discovered, were copies of the actual archival materials Breyer had, presumably made by Marney herself. So there’s a strong possibility that even if I didn’t get this copy from Reeves, it might be a copy from the very same source material.

There are two things that bug the bananas out of this fresh bit of ephemera, however.

First is the dating: anyone who has dabbled in Breyer history could tell you that Reeves’s claim that this piece of ephemera is from “circa 1963” is wrong, on a couple of levels.

The Old Mold Mare and Foal – later known as the Proud Arabian Mare and Foal – were out of production by 1960, due to the legal dispute with Hagen-Renaker. While photos with the Old Mold Mare and Foal did float around for about a year or so afterwards – presumably by advertisers and retailers using up older PR materials – Breyer had stopped using images of these two molds themselves by early 1960 at the latest.

A more accurate date for this flier, I think, is ca. 1959, and it was designed to announce the arrival of the Family Arabian Stallion and the introduction of the color Bay. My copy of the flip side of this flier shows the Alabaster version of the Stallion all by his lonesome, though listing the Mare and Foal and all the various combos that were available:

I also have a copy of a 1959 press release from Eastman Chemical – Breyer’s Cellulose Acetate supplier at the time – that announces the release of the Bay set:

(Click to enlarge, to read.)

It is also a little troublesome that this bit of ephemera might have been cropped and retouched for release to collectors, unless there was a slightly different copy that I was not aware of without the bottom address and flip arrow. There are other early pieces of ephemera that come with slight variations of format and copy, so it is possible. 

I cannot, for the life of me, remember the exact details of the flier in Reeves’s possession when I saw it oh so long ago. So my fuzzy memory can perhaps give them a bit of a pass on that issue.

But still, guys, the date is Breyer History 101 kind of stuff. You can do better.


Susan said...

I love the wording in the old advertisements. Very dated. I find the ones for makeup, women's clothes, and household items (all obviously marketed for women) especially amusing.

ANDREA said...

Actually, most advertising copy back then for retail items was geared towards women - even back then, they were the ones making the decision on what was purchased, even if they ultimately weren't the ones making the actual purchase.

(Remembers when Dad used to get an "allowance" from Mom, even though he was the primary wage earner....)

Anonymous said...

"Startling resemblance" Yes, I had to put my PAs in storage, I was tired of jumping and screaming every time I happened to glance at them on the shelf.