Friday, July 21, 2017

To The Dogs

I am about 98 percent unpacked (just a bit of unboxing and unwrapping, really) and I can confirm that my Kaalee is definitely AWOL.

Sigh. Every year there’s some sort of BreyerFest-associated loss, and I suppose $65 worth is getting off cheap, but still not any fun, no way…

I’ll call Breyer on Monday to see if there was a Kaalee that ended up in the Lost & Found – maybe she fell out of the bag before I even left the Horse Park? – but I’m not holding out much hope.

Anyway, as promised, here’s the two interesting doggies I found, one of them a grail. First up, a Basset Hound in that early 1970s “weird white” plastic. It’s a little hard to see in photo, but he’s definitely different in person:


I’ve struggled with what to call this particular class of models – Semi-Chalky? Off Whites? Weird Whites? I like the term “Milky White”, but Milky is sometimes used to refer to Woodgrains and other early Matte-finished models where the clear topcoat has started to turn opaque.

I was rage-shopping at the CHIN on Saturday when I found him, so anything that was that odd and that cheap was coming home with me, regardless.

It’s generally accepted wisdom among the hobby pros that one does not find worthy things to buy at the Horse Park, outside of the NPOD and the Pop-Up Store. For the second time in three years, though, I have managed to find a treasure. This year, it was a hand-airbrushed Saint Bernard:


(Standing next to his more conservatively painted cousin, of course. Who is also an earlier piece, just not as early…)

I found out about the hand-airbrushed Saint Bernards a couple of years ago, while doing a completed auction search on eBay. I suspect that these dogs are a lot like the early Jasper the Market Hogs, which were also hand-airbrushed until the painting masks were complete.

The airbrushed Jaspers are more common because he was just more popular mold in general: the original Jasper ran from 1974 through 2000, with multiple small Special Runs in the 1980s sold directly to breeders (more or less).

The Saint Bernard had a more modest but still respectable ten-year run, from 1972 through 1981. But in spite of a couple newer releases – Brandy in 1995-1996, and the BreyerFest Special Run Beethoven – the mold still isn’t setting collector hearts aflutter. So while I wasn’t too worried that I’d have to pay through the nose when I found this obscurity, I’m glad I found one this year, when everything else didn’t quite go my way.

And he wasn’t the only grail I achieved, but we’ll get to that one next time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Rest and Recovery

Still physically and mentally unpacking; both will take the rest of the week – possibly longer on the mental part. But I’ll get to that part in a minute.

Here’s the diorama, in case you missed it:


Yes, the cookies were edible. But they didn’t help: you’re looking at another in a long line of nonwinning entries. Judging from the reaction of everyone that saw it, I really thought I had a shot this year.

Then again, I think that almost every year.

I am now seriously considering putting my effort into either the Live Show or the Customs Contest. I am hoping my obsessive detailing will serve me better there, because it’s obviously not doing the job in this contest.

And I’ve been meaning to do more of both – customizing, and live showing – in the near future anyway. Perhaps my latest diorama failure will be my motivation.

Although I did manage to snag a few grails and oddities – including a couple of very interesting doggies you’ll be seeing very soon – there were no other special prizes, Raffle wins, Glosses, Samples or extreme Rarities for me, either. Just the Volunteer Special, who I think is lovely, though many seem to think otherwise:


I got all the Ticket Special Runs that I wanted, but of the two Bollywood Surprises I snagged, both are Matte Buckskin (I wanted Buckskin – but I didn’t need two!) and I didn’t realize until last night that my Kaalee – one of the Special Runs I was most looking forward to! – was missing.  

I’ve lost only one other model at BreyerFest before, but that was a flea market find 25th Anniversary Secretariat with a partial box: in other words, no great financial or emotional loss.

But losing the Kaalee? Man, I didn’t even get to open up the bag and get a good look at her! I am majorly bummed.

If this patch of rough luck continues, I’ll probably miss the leftovers sale in a few weeks, too. Sigh.

On the positive side, everything else executed according to plan. There were no major travel hassles (other than the Cincinnati traffic), sales were pretty good (though I didn’t sell many Traditionals, oddly), the weather mostly cooperated, and I got to meet most of the people I wanted to meet.

So, in short: while the trip was fine financially and logistically (more or less), it took a little bit bigger bite out of me emotionally than I expected.

But I got lots of love, attention from you all, and a few tokens of affection that were most appreciated (and still mostly unpacked). You guys have no idea how much that all means to me.

I’ll try to post with a little more frequency this week, but I’ll be spending most of the rest of my time recovering, offline. Bonus pic of Vita, looking like how I feel right now:


(BTW: she sleeps like that all the time. Stinker.)

Friday, July 14, 2017

BreyerFest 1990: Page Three

The third and final page of Sue’s BreyerFest 1990 report.


The Benefit Auction was a mix of stuff – some Tests, some historical/archival items, and Regular Run items that people bought just to nominally donate to the Misty Foundation.

It’d be a couple more years before the Auction would morph into a strictly Test Color/Factory Custom thing, with all other items going to the Silent Auction.

And before you get all excited – or depressed – about the auction prices, remember that this was 1990. BreyerFest tickets that year were $35 (I think ?) and the average, Regular Run Traditional would set you back $15-20.

For a variety of reasons, I never went – or even entertained the thought – of going to BreyerFest in 1990. I was in one of my rare hobby “lulls” – I was still buying the occasional model, getting Just About Horses and other newsletters, but not terribly active in any other sense.

Although I did attend BreyerFest in 1991, and volunteered at a Breyer Event in Ohio that year as well (a PEZ convention was involved! A very long story…) it wouldn’t be until 1992 that I got back into the swing of things.

And it all started with a phone call from Breyer. But that, too, is a very long story….

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

BreyerFest 1990: Page Two

As this posts I should be on my way south (more or less – construction on I-75 will be making things interesting, of course).

Since my brain is more or less fried from prep and other things, I’ll just be posting the two remaining pages from Sue Sudekum’s BreyerFest 1990 account. Here’s page two:


Worth noting: condition and quality issues on the Celebration Horse (all Breyer models since the beginning of time, to be honest).

Also, I miss the food they served at the earlier ‘Fests. It wasn’t chef-quality, but it was decent, and a nice gesture.

BreyerFest got too big for that sort of thing to continue, and some of the griping and moaning about the food probably didn’t help. (Honestly, you’d think we were being served prison food, the way some people complained…)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ruffled Feathers

It was another excellent day at the flea market – not “Hagen-Renakers in a shoebox” great, but no complaints. Most of it is heading for the sales boxes, if I can make it fit. This little bit of ephemera, however, is a keeper:


A vintage postcard from the South African Feather Company – a company that manufactured custom plumes for horses. And other (less innocent?) things, I presume; I found it in a box of risqué postcards, photographs and other naughty things in brown paper envelopes (which is apparently not the cliché I thought it was!)

(And in case you were wondering, most of it was 1950s-level tame.)

Speaking of feathers, there’s been some rustling thereof with the posting of this Auction Lot:


Many hobbyists were assuming that the Polo Pony version of the Smarty Jones mold was going to be the Bollywood Surprise, since Reeves has been dropping hints about a Polo Pony SR since the beginning, with nary a one in sight. Since it has been a while since they put one of the Surprise rarities in the Auction...

He seemed a little unlikely to me, since last year’s BreyerFest Early Bird Raffle was the Smarty Jones Polo Pony Polomar. It still might be a Polo Pony of some sort, but it might be on a completely different mold that has multiple mane and tail options.

(So maybe now Strapless? My speculating skills have been pretty off lately, so take that for what it’s worth.)

Anyway, still prepping. And still not anywhere near ready, but whatever gets done, gets done. (Actually, the diorama is almost done – it’s just the centerpiece item that needs to be finished.)

Incidentally, here’s my Vintage Club Family Arabian Stallion – I got Florentine!


I was hoping for a Gold Charm – I’ve been hoping for Gold Charm Family Arabians for years! – but the Florentines in this batch have been very nicely done.

Although Wedgewood Blue is my favorite of the four original Decorator colors, I have no preference when it comes to the modern interpretations. As long as I end up getting a nice mix of Blues and Golds, I’m good.

It’d be pretty awesome if they, at some point, offered the Mare and Foal up so we could complete some family sets. I’m not sure that’s going to happen, though: the Foal has its fans, but the poor, homely FAM gets little love outside of my house….

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Time Is Not on My Side...

Due to some last minute commitments and technical issues, it doesn’t look likely that I’ll be doing the Costume Contest this year. I might wear a part of it during BreyerFest, but it’ll depend on my time and energy, and it doesn’t look like I’ll have a lot of either to spare in the next few days.

On the flip side, I am very pleased with my Diorama entry! I am hoping to have it completely – or almost completely – done by the time I leave Tuesday morning. That will be a nice change of pace.

The itinerary for next week isn’t too different from the past few years’: a Tuesday afternoon arrival and setup, and focusing mostly on selling rather than buying. I will have a huge body box (again) and a pretty decent selection of goodies to sell, from cheap to not-so-cheap. (But mostly cheap.)

I kind of liked having that one “big” find like last year’s Man o’ War, so I’d be open to making another purchase along that line, though I can’t imagine what that’d be (Marshall, at cost? The SR 1980s Black Appaloosa POA? A Test Color Duchess?) I’ve made some pretty good finds in the past year, so I have no urgent need to score anything spectacular.

Though if it happens, I won’t complain.

Since I have to get back to the prep, I’ll leave you with an amusing bit of ephemera I picked up very recently (as in, over the weekend):


(As always, click to enlarge.)

I might post the other two pages of this vintage hobby humor by Sue Sudekum during BreyerFest, if I can find the time...

(FWIW, 1990 was the only year I did not attend, so I cannot vouch for the accuracy. But it seems pretty legit to me.)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

And Then, This Shoebox Turns Up...

Well, that was a pretty spectacular start to the flea market this morning, as I found it:


Yep, that’s four Monrovia Hagen-Renakers in a shoebox, including a DW Arabian Foal Fez, a Buckskin Quarter Horse Stallion, and a Bay Thoroughbred Mare and Foal.

Except for a tiny flea bite on the Foal, all mint. The shading on the Mare is especially pretty, too!

I don’t normally brag about the prices – or at least, give them out – but since those four aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, this time I will.

Five dollars for the whole box!

I nearly passed out, quite literally. As in, I had to lean against the car for a moment to steady myself. It’s about the best find I’ve had in years, in terms of cost-to-value.

I find the occasional broken or chipped H-R, and there are always a few Miniatures floating around somewhere – I found an Eaglet to match my Bald Eagle last week, for instance – but Hagens of this age and quality are a real rarity for me.

I knew I was about due for some good Clinkies (well, more Clinkies after the Boehm Schnauzer) but ooh boy, I was not ready for this. I would have been happy with a box containing their Breyer counterparts, for the same price. And those I could have sold, at least….

(FYI: All the other non Hagen bits are coming to Kentucky.)

The rest of the flea market was pretty darn good, too. No Breyers, but just about everything else a girl could hope for, including a cute Walker-Renaker Dog, another piece of Aquarium Furniture, an odd little wooden purse made out of an ancient cigar box and a plastic suitcase handle(!) and a beautiful little oil painting of a woodland scene that looks straight out of Tolkien. (But isn’t. Probably predates it by a couple of decades.)

So yes, a very good day at the flea market. The kind of day you want to capture in a bubble forever.

Back to my prep.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Expected, and The Unexpected

I’ve been trying to not pay too much attention to the Auction models – I haven’t won the lottery, yet, for that to even be a consideration – but ooh, I really like the Cremello Tobiano Newsworthy:


We’ve had Cremellos (BreyerFest Surprise Lonesome Glory) and Perlinos (Desatado Orion), but I can’t recall if we’ve had a production run Double Dilute Pinto or Appaloosa yet.

I think I need that to be a thing, now!

Some of the more recent Auction pieces have been previews of coming attractions, so I’ll cross my fingers and hope to see a similar paint job on something easily available and somewhat affordable…

(Also trying to pretend I didn’t see the Gloss Silver Bay Fell Pony Emma, but at least that one wasn’t as delightfully unexpected as the Pinto.)

Oddly enough, I’m slightly less enthused about the new Premier Club release Duende. Don’t get me wrong: the sculpt by Mindy Berg is beautiful, and I am all for more standing models. Some of my favorite molds – the Traditional Man o’ War and Trakehner come to mind – are standers.

But my first reaction was something I never thought would cross my mind:

Oh Jeez, Is that ANOTHER “Spanish” horse?

I love Andalusians. I was thrilled to pieces when the Legionario and the Classic Andalusian Family came out in late 1978 – so much so that I made my Aunt Arlene order them from the Bentley Sales Company for Christmas that year. (Yes, they are still here).

We have a lot of Breyer Spanish molds now. Sure, okay, we didn’t have a standing one. And I would be all over a Lipizzan doing a capriole.

But still, they are fairly well-represented across the various lines and scales. And yet we still wait for a new Traditional Shetland Pony, another Draft Foal, an updated Man o’ War, a new TWH Stallion, a true Akhal-Teke, a typey Morgan…

I know: gripe, gripe, gripe. Andalusians and their relations are flashy, beautiful, and popular, that’s why they keep doing them.

And if they put a paint job on it as beautiful as the Newsworthy, I will buy them, too.

Back to the BreyerFest prep, I guess.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Comfort Food

Since I’m deep into “BreyerFest Crunch Time” and I’m running on not that much sleep, here’s a picture the most relevant finds from an amazing flea market Sunday:


Not going to lie, the most exciting find of the bunch (for me) was the Gloss Palomino Family Arabian Stallion. He’s not particularly rare, or in superior condition, though this one does have really nice color and shading (Gloss Palomino is one of those few colors that can get away with the overspray).

No, it’s because I didn’t have many Family Arabians on the sales list, outside of my Body Box, and the Vintage Club Family Arabian Stallion Ali just came out.

Even prior to the Vintage Club announcement last year, the fortunes of Family Arabians have been on the rise, and I haven’t had any issues turning them over on my sales list. There’s apparently such a “shortage” that the past few years I’ve even had people asking for them at BreyerFest.

I’ve been trying to keep a few in reserve this year, but the temptation to sell plus the lack of local finds have left me with a serious Family Arabian deficit.

This hasn’t always been the case – even now, I’d wager, there are people who’d be more than willing to dump all of their excess Family Arabians at my door and run.

(But seriously, don’t. I’m already at “how am I going to fit all these things into my car?” territory, and my latest box lot hasn’t even arrived yet. Yikes!)

It’s a combination of things working in the Family Arabians favor: they’ve come in a ton of different colors, they’re still relatively cheap (with some exceptions), they can be challenging to find in good or better condition, and oh-so-many variations.

They’re not the prettiest, or the most correct, or very typey, and outside of a few rarities (the Sorrels, the Solid Blacks, vintage Chalkies, etc.) not very valuable. But most of us have had one, two, or a dozen in our collecting lifetimes, and the sentimentality tends to trump all those qualms.

I guess they’re sort of like the comfort food of the model horse world.

The Five-Gaiter is older with very neatly painted ribbons and is also going on the sales list; the Hartland Buckskin Polo Pony has some marks and some seam splits, but might be staying as an upgrade.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

More About Iridescence

I had a perfectly lovely day today – had a last minute work reschedule that actually gave me the day off, so I spent it doing (mostly) fun stuff, including a bit of horse shopping.

(Yes, I know I am extremely lucky that I can go horse shopping at multiple stores. I’m telling you folks, if the possibility of coming to the Metro Detroit area comes up for you, let that be an enticement.)

Here’s the thing I’ve been meaning to show you all for a while: a Poodle with an iridescent collar!


It’s a little hard to capture in a photograph, but basically it’s a red color with a translucent layer of gold iridescence on top. It’s 100 percent Original Finish, and came out of that Chicago collection with all those other odd and mysterious models that were probably factory Oddballs, Tests, Samples and Whatnots.

Since the only early, pre-Reeves models that I know about that have any factory-original iridescence on them are the Kittens – released in 1966 – and all of the models in that collection date to 1966 or before, the logical assumption is that they are somehow related.

A test of the paint before production for the Kittens? A test after production of the Kittens for possible use on the Poodle? Or someone just getting silly with the new paint at the factory one day?

The seller never provided any more context, so it’ll probably remain a mystery.

The funny thing was that when I purchased him (paired with a White one) he didn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary: the effect is hard to capture in photographs, and the seller obviously didn’t know there was anything different about them in the first place.

Needless to say, I was extremely pleased when I pulled him out of the shipping box back in March.  

On the flip side, he was supposed to be an upgrade of my other green-eyed Poodle, so now I had to make room for another. I think I have enough Black Poodles now to form a sled team...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ooh, Sparkly!

Surprise – two of the models in the bag of bodies weren’t bodies after all:


The little one is a Fontanini Nativity Horse (Schleich-like), and the other is the Majestad release of the Legionario. I hadn’t seen a Majestad out of the box and without the goofy wired garland before, so who he was threw me for a bit. Then I recognized the oddly linear shading on his face, the slight pearliness to his finish, and the lack of a brand.

In fact, for being another Aged Gray Legionario, he’s a lot more “different” than I initially thought. Props to Reeves for that! Tempted as I am, I am not keeping him, especially since I didn’t get the chance to do as thorough a herd culling as I wished this year.

(Though my body box will be almost as epic as it was last year. I am totally rocking the cheap box lots this year...)

Fiona and Rory came today, too (not the best pictures, I know):


Totally digging those little holographic blankets! I’m such a sucker for fancy, sparkly fabrics.

While on one hand I can see the Fiona and Rory merely as a part of a “series” of Classic Mare and Foal sets designed for the online market – like the Unicorns, and the Pinto Arabians – I also have to wonder if part of the reason for the existence of this series is as a way to experiment with the viability of newer paint colors and finishes.

Fiona and Rory are very subtly iridescent – not something I can capture with my weak photographic skills, but they’re definitely there, especially on the Foal.

I can’t recall seeing this bit of shimmer on any of the other, newer Black releases, but if this is something they’re thinking of implementing on other releases, I’m all for it.

(Momentarily fantasizes a “Midnight Blue-Black” Valegro. Mmm.)

Incidentally, iridescent paints are not something new, or newer, in the world of Breyer: the first time they were officially used – however briefly – was on the original Kitten releases back in 1966! Most, but not all, have iridescent eyes.

But more on that next time.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Different Kind of Blind Bag...

I wasn’t planning on going to the flea market today – it rained last night, and that tends to scare off some of the more delicate flowers – but I threw caution to the wind, and I was rewarded for my efforts:


Not quite the “blind bag” I was hoping for, but I’ll take it!

Don’t freak out, they’re mostly bodies. I got them inexpensively enough that I didn’t object when the lady decided to stuff them all in a single bag. One of two of them might end up in my personal project box, but the rest are going to ‘Fest.

And here I was worried I wouldn’t have as plentiful a body box as I had last year! Piffle…

Incidentally, I have now reached the point of my BreyerFest prep where I want to do nothing more than hide in the basement and work on my quilts.

Everything is actually going fairly well and according to plan. The only hangups I’m having are my sales list – I haven’t had the time to dig through my storage boxes as I planned – and the costume, which I am just not feeling right now. I know what I have to do with it, and I have all the supplies on hand, I’d just rather work on other things.

There have been a few scheduling issues at work that have been distracting me too, but there’s nothing to be done on that front until after Kentucky.

Not much else I want to say today, other than I finally broke down and bought the Web Exclusive Fiona and Rory set. (Still available on the Breyer website, though you do have to do some searching.)

I had a little extra cash in the Paypal account, and I’ve been really good this year, budget-wise. So I figured I was entitled to a couple of sparkly black ponies!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Blue, Not Blue

Apparently there’s a new “surprise” in the Blind Bag Stablemates Assortment that hit Cracker Barrel Stores this week – a metallic blue with black points on the G4 Endurance - Arabian mold.

But the two nearest Cracker Barrels to me are 45 minutes to an hour away, and judging from the reaction he’s causing online, I’m not even going to try. I just can’t take that kind of time out of my day anyway, this close to BreyerFest.

So that makes two “rare” Stablemates that were basically not distributed in my area. The Breyer supply here is good enough that I really can’t complain about getting my fair share of ponies, but I did “cut my teeth” on Stablemates back in the day, so it does hurt a little bit, nevertheless.

I had a ton of other stuff distracting me this week (and coming weekend), so here’s another short tidbit to keep you while I get back to the proverbial grindstone:


This is not the same Buckshot one auctioned off on eBay this week. When I saw the price that one went for, I blinked a few times and went “Oh, really now?”

(As handy as a thousand or so dollars could be right now, mine’s not going anywhere.)

But he’s a useful example to illustrate this point: very few Test Colors are truly unique, especially “vintage” ones. The only thing that really distinguished these two Buckshots from the standard production version is the absence of one step in the painting process: the blue base coat.

So is it possible that there might be more like these guys? I wouldn’t rule it out! Especially when you realize that a model like this is a result of less work being put into a piece, rather than more: basically, they are culls that present as “finished”.

For what it’s worth, the fact that something isn’t unique doesn’t necessarily diminish its value. Sometimes it even enhances it: you might not even consider bidding on something that’s truly “unique”, but something that exists as a group seems within the realm of possibility – and bid-ability.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Spirit Days

Interesting day at the flea market – a lot of horse stuff, but not a lot of model horses. The only thing I bought that’s worth mentioning here is this handsome pup:


A Boehm Schnauzer! It would have been even better if it had been one of the Boxers or Bulls the Breyers are based off of, or the Adios, but one doesn’t find Boehms of any variety in the wild all that often, even at my flea market. And the price was more than right.

The Boehm made up, a bit, for the events of the previous day. For a variety of reasons, I wasn’t able to go to either one of the Spirit Fun Days near my house on Saturday. I am a bit disappointed because there is still an awkward, horse-crazy ten-year-old inside me who desperately wanted to sit at a table to talk horses and paint Stablemates.

(Like the rest of you, my life is full of people who nod, smile, and secretly hope for their cell phones to ring when I start talking about horses.)

The new Breyer Spirit line itself seems to be getting pretty positive reviews in general, though the reaction to the TV show its based on is a little more mixed.

It’s not likely that I’ll be watching it any time soon, but that’s more because I’m mostly indifferent to horse-themed film and TV projects in general, and not the quality – or lack thereof.

And also because you have no idea just how far behind I am in my movie and TV watching. I have a DVD I got for Christmas in 2015 I still haven’t gotten around to watching….

But anyway, back to the models themselves.

The Spirit “blind bag” Stablemates assortments – if purchased by the box – apparently contain one of each of the entire set, which is nice. That’ll make it easier for the Stablemates completists.

The “Small Sets” I wrote about earlier appear to be just a shade smaller than the original Little Bits/Paddock Pals. For the purposes of showing, I still think they will be classified as that scale.

Traditional models have had the same scaling issues over the years – like, for instance, the Boehm-inspired Boxer – and even with the models that don’t have the excuse of being copied/translated from other manufacturer designs.

The Traditional Boomerang mold is about as cute as I expected it to be, but it is not likely that I will be able to pick one up, or even see one in person, until BreyerFest rolls around.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Green-Eyed Monster

I was just taking a few pics here and there for various posts and projects, and this one made me laugh out loud….


Long story I cannot go into here, but this sort of sums up what I feel like right now.

Incidentally, green-eyed Poodles are a later variation, not an earlier one, running contrary to the rule that releases tend to lose extra details as time goes on. Actually, the earliest Black Breyer Poodles did not have much extra detailing at all; in fact, they were cast out of Black-tinted Tenite and barely even painted!

White Poodles, on the other hand, were special in their own way: they frequently (but not always) come with painted black eyebrows that sometimes reached Spock-level goofiness.

But anyway, there you go: a bit of levity for your late Friday nights. More later in the weekend, I hope, as circumstances allow.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Reinterpretations

A little over a month to BreyerFest, and I don’t even have my sales list done yet. (About the only thing going remotely well is my diorama entry, for some strange reason.)

Sigh.

I am guessing that there is not going to be much sleep for me between now and then?


One of the pieces I have managed to pull is my 1995 QVC Gem Twist. I have a lot of Jumping Horses as it is – including one Test and a Sample Kiowa – and I’d like to make room for a State Line Tack Jumpin’ Jupiter, because I think it’s just flat out the prettiest Jumping Horse release ever.

The QVC Gem Twist wasn’t technically a rerelease or reissue of the original Gem Twist – the former USET team member and Olympic medalist was still available in his original color and mold #495 – but a reinterpretation, I guess?

I found it very strange.

In 2002, they did another QVC “reinterpretation” – this time of the #718 General Lee’s Traveller. Instead of using the original Traditional Man o’ War mold, they used the San Domingo:


In this case, it made some sense to use a different mold, since he had been discontinued for a while (since 1999) and they also reissued the Traditional Man o’ War for QVC that year, too – as Man o’ War. Two releases on the same mold in the same year probably wouldn’t have flown with QVC.

Normally I’m not a fan of San Domingo in solid colors, and I had been having a hard time finding an acceptable Man o’ War Traveler to add to the herd – most of them either had weird trimming flaws or paint goobers – but I went ahead and bought this Traveler anyway.

And it turns out, I not only really liked him, he’s probably one of my favorite San Domingo releases ever, of the ones I can afford.

(The ones I love that I can’t afford? The 1997 Volunteer Model Moccasin, the BreyerFest 1999 Raffle Ransom. Or those Dealer Catalog Tests for the Stock Horse Stallion that EVERYBODY wants….)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Lime Green and Magenta

Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, so we’ll never be able to come up with a perfectly designed model horse that everyone will love. 

But as a thought experiment I once tried to dream up the ugliest possible Breyer ever, something so outrageous that everyone’s first reaction would be DO NOT WANT.

The “best” idea I could come up with, coming at it as a person who has a hard time hating any Breyer release, in any color? 

A Lime Green and Magenta Khemosabi. (The part that would put it over the top for me: the Magenta. Almost nothing looks good in Magenta.)

Sure, there’d always be a few people who would buy it for the sake of completion, or actually have a fondness for the mold or the colors, or be able to rationalize it as being “so ugly that it’s cute!” But the majority of us would take a pass on that one.

So guess what colors the BreyerFest Bazaar Stablemate is?


Oh, my. 

Actually, I think Navya’s cute, and definitely not the ugliest Breyer ever.

Two things are working in his favor. One, he’s on the new Stablemate Cob mold Django, and I like him a lot. He’s a little narrow chested, but otherwise I don’t see any especially egregious about him conformationally.

(I’m sure there’s something wrong, but I’d rather not go down that well today. Or any day, really.)

And he’s translucent! Translucency makes everything better, regardless of color or mold type. 

Like last year’s funky Orange, Brown and Lime Green Silver Pegasus, I have no worries about Navya not selling out. Collectors and Hobbyists tend to be more forgiving of oddly-colored Stablemates, since the financial commitment tends to be small anyway.

Since he’s only the second release of the Django mold, I suspect that a not-insignificant portion of them may sell as bodies, too. The original Stablemates Club Django is still selling pretty briskly at well over his original 20 dollar issue price, so 8 to 10 dollars for a scarce new Stablemate mold will seem like a bargain.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Patina

I wasn’t holding out much hope for the flea market this weekend – the weather reports were a bit iffy, and that tends to depress the turnout – but look who showed up in the last aisle during my last walk through…


… a mid-1960s Matte Bay Clydesdale Stallion with gold bobs and big handpainted eyewhites! He has just a few minor condition issues – slight yellowing, a couple of nicks, eartip rubs – all the usual stuff you’d expect in a fifty year old model, and what other hobbies would classify as desirable “patina”.

(He was actually a little more suspect-looking at the flea market, but he managed to clean up better than I expected.)

Desirable is definitely a word to describe him! He’s such a pretty boy I am tempted to keep him – I’m almost certain that I don’t have this particular variation in my multitudes of Bay Clydesdales, and his shading is outstanding – but I have a lot of things on my plate right now, and I haven’t had the time to cull the herd for potential sales items as I planned.

I am not letting him go for a lack of fondness for the release: none of my other Bay Clydesdales are going anywhere. It’s just easier to let more recent arrivals go, especially this close to BreyerFest.

There is also the issue of space: there is only so much room in the house for variations. (Perish the thought!)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Native Divers

I have a lot of stuff I need to get done over the long weekend – mostly, but not entirely model horse related – so my Internet time will be even lighter than usual through Tuesday.

Look who I found while digging through some of my storage boxes this week, looking for something else – my Matte and Gloss #921 Native Divers!


I bought these two at a local Toys R Us back in 1995 – right after they were released. That particular store was actually a little bit out of my way, but I made it a point to visit whenever I was in that part of town because it had a reputation for getting oddities.

Both the Gloss and the Matte were sitting on the shelf together; since I had no idea which one was the “official” version (I didn’t have a catalog on me, and I couldn’t recall hearing about any variations) I eventually surrendered and got both. Just to be safe.


The Gloss is much more obvious in person, though it is more in the thin/wet style that sits on the edge of Semi-Gloss, rather than the thick/deep style we’re more accustomed to now – and way back when. The Gloss one also seems to be a darker black than the Matte, who looks almost like a dark charcoal gray in comparison.

They’re not particularly flashy or eyecatching – as you can see, they don’t even have much in the way of shading or detail – but even though I’ve sold off a big chunk of my Phar Laps, these two guys are still here.

Just sentimental favorites, I guess.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

New 'Bits?

The latest Web Special Acadia is beautiful, but I only entered once and did not win. He would have made a lovely husband to my Ruffian Goddess Athena, but it wasn’t something I felt I could justify going all-in for. I still want/need a Valegro, but I’ll have to wait for a more affordable one.

(The BreyerFest release Indu is still a contender.)

There are a couple of stores reasonably close by that are holding Spirit Fun Days in a couple of weeks. (Yes, I know I am lucky to have multiple stores to choose from!) If I’m not scheduled to work that day, I might go to check the new releases. Especially the new Traditional-scale Boomerang mold:



He reminds me of the pinto in one of the stashes of vintage photos I found last year:


So I could definitely see myself coming home with one sooner rather than later! (Especially if it keeps me from breaking out the paint and epoxy and attempting to customize my own.)

The “Small Sets” in the Spirit line intrigue me also. Here’s the Boomerang one, who (coincidentally) is the nicest of the three new Small Set molds, I think:



So, if I’m reading these details right – 3-inch riders, 4-inch horses – these are basically Little Bits scale? So after all these years Reeves is giving us three new, honest-to-goodness plastic Little Bits/Paddock Pals molds?

Sneaky, guys.

Nevertheless, I approve.

The last “official” Little Bits/Paddock Pal mold release was the Saddlebred, in 1985. Unless you count the Small Mare and Foal with the rooted hair in the same scale who debuted in 1997, but are usually associated with the Ponies line. Or the resin Breeds of the World pieces from 2012 that tend to be lumped in with the Gallery/Nonplastics.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Desi, The Rare Gem Twist

I really like the Open Show Reserve Prize this year, the Gem Twist Desi in Dark Bay Appaloosa:


While there are some scarcer-than-average Gem Twist releases – the Dark Dapple Gray 2002 QVC release, and the 2006 USET Special Run Exclusive Authentic come to mind – there aren’t a lot of rarities. Until the addition of Desi, the mold was a relatively easy one to collect.

It’s a moderately popular mold that I thought might have been a good candidate for the BreyerFest Surprise model this year, since there is hardly anything “colorful” in this model’s production past. Lots of room to experiment!

There has been only one other production run in Appaloosa (the #726 Gray Appaloosa Sport Horse in 1998-1999), and one in Pinto (the flashy #1705 Pinto Sport Horse 2013 Mid-Year release). The closest thing we’ve gotten to a Decorator was the very pearly Petsmart Special Run of Snowman, from 2005.

(My personal favorite!)

There has been a fair smattering of Test Colors, though.

The only other thing worth noting today – aside from the mold’s obvious USET connections, as a portrait of the legendary show jumper Gem Twist – is that when it debuted in 1993 it was the first Kathleen Moody mold designed for injection molded plastic. Kathleen’s earlier molds for Breyer included pieces in the Porcelain Evolution of the Horse Series, starting with the Icelandic Pony in 1992.

It’s hard to believe that Kathleen’s been doing molds for Breyer for 25 years now! And me so old I can remember when she was a mere mortal, like the rest of us.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Splash Cull

Because of recent time constraints, I was expecting to pull the bulk of this year’s sales stock for BreyerFest from the herd (just the usual edge and hedge trimmings, no worries) but my wonderful flea market has other plans:


A framed print of English Triple Crown winner Bahram, by Wesley Dennis, and a Cull(!) of the 1998-1999 release Splash, on the Quarter Horse Gelding mold.

The Gelding was part of a box lot that included ten Traditionals in various states of disrepair. He was only keeper in this lot, while the rest will fill out a body box that is on its way to being as deep as last year’s horde.

He was also the only “interesting” model among them – everything else appears to be garden variety Regular Runs from ca. 1998-2000. While he is not in the best condition, his color is pretty and all his limbs are still intact.

And he’s a Cull. That I found at a flea market 15 minutes from my house. That is about 12 hour drive from New Jersey.

How he got there is a mystery. The dealer wasn’t able to give me any information: he hadn’t even noticed it was any different from the others.

The most curious part of the story is that the rest of the models in the lot were from roughly the same time period.

While it was not unusual for some Culls to make it into retail store stock even at that late a date, it was usually pieces in a more finished state. The hooves, the eyes, or the mane and tail might not be painted, but it could have passed for a finished model otherwise.

Though this dealer certainly didn’t notice, so maybe the previous owner/s did not, either?

A couple of other possibilities include (a) a friend or family member worked at the factory in New Jersey, (b) this might be directly or indirectly related to the “newtoymens” factory escapees.

Or it could be one of those random weird and unexplainable thing that just shows up from time to time. This flea market seems to be good for that.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

USET Contest

Back in 1980, Breyer ran a subscription contest for Just About Horses, with different prize levels resulting in different awards. For fifty subscriptions, you got a Test Color!


In retrospect, it seems like a pretty fabulous deal: subscriptions to JAH at the time were a mere dollar. So you could have gotten your own personally designed Test Color for a mere fifty bucks! And at least one person did:


But of course, this was 1980: the average retail price of a Traditional Breyer Horse, according to a Bentley Sales Company flier dated May 1980, was $6.99. (FYI: for Classics, it was $4.99, and Stablemates it was $1.79. I know, I know…)

I didn’t enter this contest since most of my friends who were into live horses or Breyers at the time already had subscriptions, and my friends or relatives who weren’t wouldn’t have appreciated me asking.

Five years later, I managed to make it to Model Horse Congress for the first time, and acquired my first Test Colors. While I didn’t get to design them, they did cost me considerably less than fifty dollars. (Several of them combined, even. Again, I know…)

I have acquired many more Test Colors since then – so many that I’ve even had the luxury to sell a few – so the appeal of this kind of prize is no longer as strong as it used to be.

While I have had some ideas translated or incorporated into Breyer releases over the years, I’ve never had a Test Color designed by me for me. I simply can’t afford the “Design a Test” auction at BreyerFest, and the other opportunities have never really panned out.

But yesterday I got that e-mail from Breyer about the fundraising contest for the United States Equestrian Team Foundation - “to increase awareness of equestrian sports” – with the top fundraiser getting a “a custom Breyer® model” and “a framed Rio Olympic poster signed by the entire 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian Team.”

(That “custom Breyer model” being, of course, a self-designed Test Color under another name.)

This time around, I’ll go for it. The cause itself is a worthy one, and it doesn’t involve me annoying my family or coworkers into getting a subscription for a magazine they wouldn’t ready anyway. Even if I don’t “win” this contest (unlikely anyway), it’s still a win for USET.

All this means in the short-term (until the end of the contest in early June) is that I’ll have a link off to the side, and have a few more posts focusing on past and present Breyer USET releases in the interim. I’ve written about Breyer USET models a lot in the past – most recently during my trip to attend the Chasing the Chesapeake event back in October – and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I have even more to say about the subject.

What was funny was that while I was reading through that e-mail I was fixated on the illustration of the prizes:


The picture that they so helpfully labeled “sample model” is actually one of those Sample Valegros that I am slightly obsessed about! I’d be just as happy with one of those as with any Test Color I could design, though I wouldn’t turn down a Test Color, if the opportunity arose.

It’s also worth noting – and most likely, a coincidence – that that first Breyer contest with a Test Color prize took place the same year that Breyer’s USET Gift Set debuted.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The 2017 Man o' War

So that Man o’ War release is a Reissue – of the Classic Man o’ War:


It’s not too surprising that they went with the Classics mold. The Traditional Man o’ War has already been reissued three times before: as a part of the Sears Glossed Racehorse set in 1990, slightly modified and with a certificate through QVC in 2002, and at the 2010 World Equestrian Games with hangtag and accurately masked facial markings.

Since this is a release being marketed as much to casual hobbyists, tourists and the general public as to us (it was no coincidence that the formal announcement happened right around Derby Day weekend) it was unlikely that they’d make some odd Glossy or Decorator-styled thing that would appeal only to us.

The Classic mold has never been reissued before – sort of. He was a part of at least a couple Christmas Catalog sets during his lengthy run (1975-1990), most notably as a part of the Sears 1975 Famous Race Horses Set with that fabulous box:


The original Classics release, like its bigger brother, came in a host of color variations.  There are least three different facial markings – the early straight blaze, the common broken stripe, and the late irregular star – and multiple gradations of Chestnut, from light orangey brown (usually earlier) to dark red (usually later).

The earliest examples of the mold also came without a mold mark, and boxes? Yes, in addition to the Christmas Shipper Boxes, the original Classics box comes in a couple different variations as well.

He has been released a couple of times in different shades of Chestnut, too: in 1991/2 as the #252 Pepe, with four high stockings; and in 1988 as Affirmed in the Triple Crown II Set, with an elongated star.

(And maybe the #288 Tumbleweed in 1997, depending on how pedantic your definition of “Chestnut” is.)

It’s hard to judge it based on the available photos, but the shading on the Classics Reissue seems quite different from the original Classic releases, and I am going to assume that the facial markings will be different also (more accurately masked?)

The only minor disappointment I have about the release is that it’s being treated, basically, as a Mid-Year release: it appears to be an open-ended run (no set quantity manufactured) and there’s no need for you to go to BreyerFest, or the Horse Park itself to get one.

On one hand it’s a good thing – it won’t be pricey or hard-to-get, like the WEG Reissue or the QVC Reissue – but it does feel a shade less special.

Unless they have something else planned just for us. I doubt it, but one never knows these days.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Box

I’ve been coughing up a lung for most of the past two days (my annual Spring cold came a bit late this year, bleh) so I don’t have much energy to do anything except comment on a photo Reeves posted on Facebook today:


I’m not quite sure what Reeves is doing by posting this picture now. While these cleanouts are something that they do on a somewhat regular basis, they haven’t so blatantly “advertised” it before.

They did an archive room cleanout a few years ago; we knew because they solicited hobbyists to come in and assist. Although we didn’t know for sure the items getting cleaned out would be in the Ninja Pit, if you were paying attention, it was a safe assumption to make.

It was a scarier than normal year in the Pit, especially when everyone saw the boxes and did the math.

For many years now they’ve intimated that they wanted to tamp down the enthusiasm for the early Friday morning line, though they have done only minimal or nominal effort in that regard. Although I don’t ever want to see it completely eliminated – people are going to line up, regardless, and there should be a least a token something for the faithful’s efforts – they need to do a little bit more than just passing out numbers and holding back a few goodies for later.

Posting a picture like this is definitely not going to help. Unless they have other plans, like Blind Bag Purchase Raffles or Grab Bags or something.

Just toss in a little card or letter congratulating the recipient on their “Archive Room Escapee”: Reeves makes money, collectors get a Sample with bombproof documentation, nobody gets a shuriken to the forehead, everybody happy….

(This could all be moot, though, if they’re just tossing them in the regrind bin. I don’t think they’d be that intentionally cruel.)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Tale of Two Ranas

I’ve been wanting to add a Desatado to my herd for a while now, but none of the more widely available releases have really clicked with me. The closest I’ve come is with the Web Special Orion in that lovely pearlescent Perlino Dun – one of my favorite colors – but what they’ve been going for is a little bit beyond what my budget allows.

There was an insanely cheap one on eBay about a month ago, but as April was shaping up to be a rough month for me financially (taxes, dentist appointment, a new radio for the car) I had to walk away from it.

Then Reeves surprises us with this beauty earlier this week:


Normally I’ve been skipping the disappointment of the Saturday Raffle to participate in the disappointment of the Costume Contest: effecting a costume change and getting from the Covered Arena to the Alltech Arena in less than an hour is challenging, and my odds of winning the Costume Contest are fractionally better than the Raffle anyway.

But, oh my goodness, this is the Desatado that I’ve been waiting for. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve wanted a BreyerFest Raffle model as much as I want Rana.

The costume is already well underway, and buying Rana in the aftermarket will not happen, so I don’t quite know what to do.

The funny thing is that another horse named Rana is currently on my want list: the original Breyer #863 Rana, on the Sham mold.

This Rana also features an unusual color on a moderately popular mold: it’s the Traditional Sham, in what’s been described as “Blue Chocolate.” More precisely, it’s Reeves’ early 1990s interpretation of an unusual form of Black Silver that used to occur in Friesians.

(This was roughly the same era that gave us Clayton and the Majestic Arabian: obscure colors on inappropriate molds were a thing then.)

I’ve been wanting one ever since I saw friend’s example that was more Blue than Black. It was very similar, in fact, to the early Stone Horses “Turquoise” color.

The problem I have in acquiring that Rana hasn’t been a matter of cost, but degree: most of the ones I’ve found are more Charcoal Gray than Blue. While they are not unattractive, they are also not the models I want.

Even though I’ve set myself a rather unusual hurdle, it’s still more likely I’ll come home with the Sham rather than the Desatado. But after what happened last year, who knows?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Experiments vs. Customs

There’s another Test Piece Purchase Raffle up and I think she’s adorable, but you know I have a thing for Roans:


Being an older piece with a less sophisticated paint job and not mint, they really lay on the sales patter:
This lovely test is vintage late 1990’s, and features tape mask sabino markings, fine splatter roaning and a darker shaded head. She has four extensive stockings on her feathered legs, and a pretty blaze face. She is a beloved older sample in our archive room, and it is time for her to find a new loving home so we can make room for new test pieces! There are a few dark marks on her white legs and face, which can be seen when you zoom in on the images. We've decided not to attempt to touch up older test runs as we've found that this can alter their character and uniqueness.
Guys, seriously, you had me at “tape mask”. Behold, one of my own beloved Test Color treasures:


I think they (Marney?) used at least a half roll of masking tape on this boy! That took some serious effort and dedication, for what they knew was going to be a less-than-stellar result.

In all seriousness though, this is what an average Vintage Test Color – and the bulk of my Tests, in particular – look like. The BreyerFest auctions have accustomed many to the notion of a Test Color as a Factory Custom when they are, first and foremost, Factory Experiments. Experiments are not always beautiful, and do not always succeed.

As an historian, I find Experiments much more interesting than Customs. Judging from the commentary I’ve seen, it looks like a lot of hobbyists aren’t feeling the same way towards this little Clydesdale baby, who is pretty nice for a late 1990’s Test.

Based on what’s happened with all of the other previous Test Color Purchase Raffles, however, I don’t see that lack of enthusiasm translating into better odds for someone like me. I want her because I want her, not because of what I could get as a result of her.

But the laws of probability, alas, do not take that into account.

I’ll live. I have plenty of other Vintage Tests to keep me company.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Midnight Blue

It’s water over the dam at this point, but I wish Reeves had waited an extra day to post the Scotty offer. It doesn’t seem quite right that a lot of people who had to wait a day for their paychecks to clear on Friday found themselves out of luck.

The sellout would have still happened in roughly the same amount of time, but the distribution would have felt a little more even-handed.

The release of the newest Web Exclusive Mare and Foal set, Fiona and Rory, seems like small compensation:


This little bit on the web page is interesting:
Their inky coats shimmer with just a touch of midnight blue iridescence.
That’s something new! Or at least something I had not noticed before. (Like the fact that my birthday was also National Superhero Day. How did I miss that awesome fact for 20-some years?)

Reeves has been issuing Black horses with metallic or iridescent undertones for a while now; Gwendolyn came out in 2005, the Web Special Stock Horse Stallion Summer Solstice in 2009, and the lovely Weather Girl Thunderstorm in 2011.

All of those releases were more of a gunmetal gray, and not “midnight blue”. The photographs on the web site are not helpful: Fiona and Rory don’t look any different from the standard, solid Black seen on models like Rhapsody in Black, the Fell Pony Emma, or the Classic Standing Thoroughbred.

That means one of three things: the photographs depict Preproduction pieces without the added “bling”; the iridescence is subtle and/or hard to capture in photos (like a Chalky!); or the photos – like so many of Reeves’s other photos – just aren’t that good.

Experience tells us that the third option is the safest bet, but we won’t know until they start showing up.

It won’t be here, anytime soon: I didn’t order these either. The next time an obligatory Club purchase comes up, I’ll definitely give it some thought.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Odd Person Out

Funny how this always happens right after I pay my bills:


They made a Gambler’s Choice out of the Classics Swaps they asked us to vote on last year, and the one I liked – the Dun – didn’t make the cut. I figured the Dun was a long shot anyway (Matte + Solid), but to finish fourth in a field of four?

Ouch.

If there’s any silver lining to this cloud, the absence of my personal favorite makes it easier to walk away from a deal I would have had to walk away from regardless. The possibility of Reeves pulling a silly on us and issuing a few Duns as chase pieces in Scotty’s run isn’t enough motivation, either.

Then to make me feel even more like the “odd person out”, there’s the Special Edition Liberty, on the Silver mold:


I’ll give Reeves credit for managing to come up with a color that the Silver mold hadn’t come in yet. It’s similar in concept to the Lone Star Experience Fighting Stallion from 2009, the Rearing G2 Arabian from the same event, and the 2013 BreyerFest Special Run Lady Phase Twill.

But yeah, no on this one too. While the paint job is pretty, I’m not a member of the Silver Cheerleading Squad. Put that same color on the Rearing Stallion and we can talk...

This point seems a bit silly, but I am also annoyed by the copy on the promo flier:
Everyone knows that any American cowboy (or cowgirl) worth their salt owns their fair share of jeans – both for riding and for evenings off the ranch boot scootin’!
I don’t know why Reeves is so enamored of line dancing – there have been two different releases to bear the name Boot Scootin’ Boogie, including a Regular Run Justin Morgan in Black and a BreyerFest Raffle Model Brishen in 2013.

However, as someone who shares a house with a dog with various digestive issues, the term “boot scootin’” conjures up some less than pleasant memories.

(Though I would not mind getting the Justin Morgan one eventually. That mold looks good in Black!)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Semi-Gloss Buffalo

Another recent addition to the family:


A Semi-Gloss – or Glossy, depending on who’s looking – Buffalo, with pink hand painted nostrils and lips.

He has a few condition issues, but he’s got a great provenance: he (and his brother) were a part of that odd stash of models from Chicago that sold on eBay a little while ago. Back when most of them were still being listed in smaller batches or even individually – and thus somewhat affordable to the likes of me.

All of the listed models appear to have been manufactured prior to 1966/7, and from some of the oddities and anomalies that were visible in the photos – and later in person, via my purchases – it’s apparent that this collection was that of a former employee or jobber.

These were not your run-of-the-mill mid-1960s Breyers!

These Buffaloes have all the indicators of being really early releases, including the absence of a USA mark and the Semi-Gloss/Gloss finish. Since the Buffalo debuted in 1965, it is most likely that they are simply first-batch runs, but the circumstances in which they were found raises the possibility that they might be Photographic Samples, Salesman’s Samples or even (though most unlikely) Test Colors.

The more time I spend examining my purchases (including a Jumping Horse and a couple of Poodles) the more I regret not upping my bids on the ones I lost. Clearly there was an interesting story here I would have loved to uncover, but the seller was either unwilling or unable to offer more.

And certainly I couldn’t afford more – especially the giant lot that was thrown together after the first batch, consisting of all the previously unpaid lots and a Donkey sporting a yellow(!) Elephant’s Howdah tossed on top: a gold-plated maraschino cherry on one of the most expensive sundaes ever.

Auctions like that make me wish I could somehow structure a small hobby history syndicate to keep the collection in situ long enough to research, photograph and document it, before releasing it back into the wild.

It wouldn’t work for a number of reasons (trying to imagine the custody battle over that Donkey alone, yikes!), but the history that gets lost when collections like that are sold like that keep me up at night wondering what if…

Friday, April 21, 2017

Decision, Decisions

Hey there cutie pie!


Now this is interesting: it looks like they made a conscious effort to cover all the bases with the Stablemates this year. There is one Solid (Vivaan), one Pinto (Mishti), one Appaloosa (Tushar, above) and one Pintaloosa (Anaya). Two Gloss finishes, two Matte. Two “older” (G2) molds, two newer.

Although the general consensus is that this year’s lineup – all around, not just the Stablemates – is a pretty good one, there are unhappy customers out there.

There are always unhappy customers. It’s human nature. Heck, I’m disappointed in Reeves all the darn time, though usually on matters that would make most hobbyists scratch their heads and go “She’s complaining about what now…?”

(Like the fact that they can’t see to parse that Vintage Gloss Honey Bays should have Black hooves, not Gray ones. It’s not that complicated, guys!)

As much effort or thought as Reeves puts into anything – BreyerFest Special Runs or otherwise – there’s going to be somebody complaining that it’s either all wrong, or not enough. (This time I guess Tushar has some anatomy issues?)

I’ve been trying to be better about not letting that kind of stuff bother me, but it’s been a stressful week, and Vita has been very Vita this week. All I want to do most days is go ooh, pretty horsie!

Anyway, as someone who is generally pretty happy with the options this year, but who is also in the process of paying for a lot of delayed maintenance items (like the radio) I’m finding myself facing some tough decisions on what I want to bring home this year.

The Surprise selling out is a given, but whether I want it or not will depend on what mold it is. On the other hand, I’m fairly sure I want the Shannondell Vahana, who will also be a likely sell out. That is the only one that really worries me right now.

But after that, things get fuzzy. I think the Yasmin Kaalee and the Cow Diwali will also sell really well, and I love them both, but can I wait until the leftovers? It’ll depend on the production quantities.

Namaste is the wild card: much like last year’s funky Pegasus, I think she’ll be much more popular than the initial public reaction suggests. And like the Pegasus, I kind of want her, but I’m not going to deny someone else the opportunity if she’s their first choice.

I also want the Store Special Repeat the Beat and the Elephant Holi, both of whom will probably sell out. The Bluegrass Bandit mold – in any release – is almost impossible to get at a reasonable price right now. The Elephant is one of the more popular Nonhorse molds on eBay recently, if my recent research is accurate.

Whether I get either one of those is dependent on what my itinerary will be in Kentucky, and from what it looks like right now – especially with the Man o’ War stuff going on – I might not be able to make it into those respective sales areas in time.

The others I’ll have to see in person before I make a determination. (Except for any potential Crystals. I break things!) It’ll also depend on how good my room sales are, and that is partially dependent on what treasures await me at the flea market this year.

(It opens this week. Yay!)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hey, Who is That Guy?

This week we’re getting a look at the One-Day Stablemates; Reeves was kind enough to give us silhouettes for all four on the ticket ordering page today:





Gosh, why does that last one (named Tushar) look so familiar?


Oh, that’s why: it’s last year’s Beautiful Breeds Ornament Gypsy Vanner!

Last year I decided to sell off all of my Breyer Christmas ornaments except for the Carousel Series and the Angel Fillies; with Vita around, nothing that goes on a Christmas tree is safe, especially delicate little porcelain or resin creatures with very edible legs.

And also because of my clumsy self, as I was rather unpleasantly reminded of this weekend: I was wrapping up some old paperwork and somehow managed to staple myself almost deep enough to require a trip to an emergency room.

(BTW, I am fine. As the kind of person who can manage to injure herself while reading, I am very familiar with the contents of the family first-aid kit.)

So yeah, minimizing my contact with easily breakable things is a good idea.

I never got around to acquiring any pieces in the Beautiful Breeds Series, though I wanted to: there are some genuinely beautiful little sculpts there. I was hoping that they’d eventually get around to translating them into a more Vita- and Andrea-proof substance, as they did with the little Spirit Series Esperanza last year (as the Premier Club Mini Geronimo, and the BreyerFest Sao Paulo).

It looks like that might be happening!

I’m hesitant to pencil Tushar onto my shopping list just yet, though. I had to buy a new radio for the car over the weekend too (LONG story, but no injuries!) and while it wasn’t all that much money to replace, I’d rather not think about spending any more money right now.