Monday, September 19, 2016

Appaloosa Aztecas

And here is the second beautiful creature from that box lot:

The rare “Appaloosa” variation of the original #85 Azteca!

The #85 Azteca release ran from 1980 through 1987 and is well-known for the number of distinct variations it has: Semi-gloss, Matte, dark manes, light manes, white tails, gray tails, heavy dappling and sparse.

But the earliest, rarest, and least known variation is the “Appaloosa” one, featuring light roany dappling over most of the body, and cornflake dappling on his butt similar to the spotting seen on the original Gloss releases of the Dark Dapple Gray Running Mare and Foal.

I was vaguely aware of the existence of this variation much earlier, but I had written them off as Test Colors, Oddities, or some sort of Marney-related thing. Until I acquired some reference materials – a page from the 1980 Aldens Christmas Catalog, to be precise – that confirmed that they were actually the earliest variation of the Azteca:

There he is! (Click on image to enlarge.)

Pictures for Christmas Catalogs were taken fairly early in the year, so seeing prototypes or early variations wasn’t all that unusual – and often led to some disappointments when the product didn’t quite match its advertised appearance.

(The sighs you may hear faintly in the distance are of those collectors of a certain age still pining for a Dapple Gray Classics Ruffian.)

That didn’t happen with the Azteca, as far as I remember. The Aldens catalog didn’t have the same circulation as the Montgomery Wards, JC Penneys or Sears catalogs, and the picture was small and of low-resolution. So this bit of documentation simply passed from hobby memory.

Until I acquired both a model and this documentation, and did the math.

I’ve found just enough of these variations to confirm that they were, indeed, a production variation, and not just (or only) part of a lot made as Salesman’s Samples.

It did take me a while to finally find one that was in this fine of a condition: due to the nature of Dapple Gray paint jobs in the early 1980s, early Aztecas of all variations are very prone to rubbing.


Carrie said...

I had no idea. That dude is fabulous!

Denise said...

I have never seen this variation before either! Awesome! Another variation to hunt down....

Truson said...

New Halloween Collector Club web special is up, open to everyone!