Friday, August 19, 2016

Running, Jumping, Crunching

Earlier this week I ran my personal budget numbers; it’s not that anything is necessarily amiss, but this does tend to be my most expensive time of the year. I was hoping to see if there was room for some of the surprises that Reeves inevitably throws out. Because I had a feeling they were planning some doozies.

Then not one, but two of those doozies got thrown at us this very week: an unusually plentiful BreyerFest Leftover sale, and news of the next Exclusive Event.

The Leftover Sale is a bit different this time, in that they posted items not just from this year, but from the past several years – including pieces like Tunbridge Wells, Aintree, Champagne Wishes, and the Silver Anniversary Stablemates – and some were also discounted, sometimes rather deeply (the porcelain Dances with Wolves is only $35? Really?)

Depending on how a few pending deals go this weekend, I might indulge myself, especially since it looks like the weather is going to put a kibosh on flea marketing over the next few days.

The Exclusive Event – “Chasing the Chesapeake” – well, it’s theoretically possible. Timing isn’t an issue, since my job is very flexible in that regard, but everything else is iffy. With money being the biggest if.

On the plus side: it’d be an opportunity to have a “do over” of the less-than-optimal Chicago event; I already have a (hilarious) costume idea in mind; third, it’s drivable (though I’d do a rental) and fourth: Michael Matz!

Earlier this week, I was getting a little bit of work done on the car (again, routine stuff, nothing to worry about) and while I was waiting, I managed to catch some coverage Team Show Jumping at the Olympics – and of Cortes ‘C’, whose model is one of the ones I was hoping to schedule into my budget for the rest of the year.

(BTW: Get well soon, Tiny!)

Anyway, it made me flashback to the early 1980s. One of the perks of living in the Detroit area was being able to catch Canadian programming locally; this included some slightly demented children’s shows (Mr. Dressup, anyone?) and coverage of sporting events that U.S. stations didn’t deem worthy of airtime, like darts and curling.

That also included a lot of equestrian events. Anyway, one day I was home by myself and watching some show jumping – I can’t remember what event it was, specifically. The first horse I saw was Jet Run (and Michael Matz, of course).

This was shortly after Breyer had released the USET Gift Set in 1980; I had read about them, but hadn’t seen them in actual (live!) action before. So I was dorked out beyond words. I think that was all I talked about for the rest of the day, much to my family’s chagrin. (Me: “I saw Jet Run on TV today!!” The Rest of the Family: “What on Earth are you talking about?”)

Anyway. So there’s all that.

But the money and the planning are a huge issue, and tied to the reservations I have about these “Exclusive Events” in general. Especially now that they seem to be a yearly thing.

(In short: they run contrary to my notion of the hobby being a being a more egalitarian and affordable alternative to the “real” horse world. But I don’t have the energy for that conversation today.)

I have a lot of time off in the next couple of weeks – it’s always a bit slow this time of year at work – to crunch more numbers and see if I can make it more doable. If anyone wants to volunteer to carpool or splitsies on a room, let me know. It might help.


Anonymous said...

Why should this hobby remain at one level?? The opportunity for it to grow now is better than it ever has been. The fact that it is expanding and that people are willing to pay to go to the events means that it will continue. There will always be people who whine about being able to afford things in ANY hobby...why should they be holding back others who aspire to bigger and better?

ANDREA said...

I'm not saying there shouldn't be these events, but that they should scale back on the frequency; too many of them, and/or heavy handed promotion of them, can give the impression that they value higher-end or more highly-involved customers more.

(When, ironically, the exact opposite is true when it comes to their bottom line.)

Anonymous said...

I'll have to respectfully disagree about the frequency. For myself, I'd like to see them giving more attention to the higher-end/more highly involved, because not only does it allow the hobby more resources for expansion (like the Premier club, affording more molds to be done) but it gives more opportunities for involvement to the longtime hardcore collectors away from the more youth-oriented activities of the Breyerfest. Nothing wrong with adult-oriented collector activities, I think they can expand enough to do both types well. :)

Ponyscribbles said...

I was amused by the thought that even these exclusive events are still *technically* more affordable than the real horse world...I mean sure, you /could/ buy a real horse for $500 off Craigslist or something, but everything else that piles in on a horse owner? Yike$.