Saturday, September 16, 2017

Java

Like a good chunk of the hobby, I am also in love with Java:


I was hoping that they’d get around to that color/pattern, eventually. The Nokota Horse mold is an inspired choice of mold, too. It really suits him!

I am a little surprised that they decided to do a fifth member of this series, since most Web Special series only have four releases, generally. But the “Big Cats” Series was already unusual in that it was (or became?) a “yearly” series, much like the Christmas Silver Filigrees.

Is it by design, or a consequence of the complexity of the paint jobs? A little of both, I am guessing.

As I have only one official account, and space issues, and I’m trying to generate funds for the two train wrecks in the garage, the likelihood of Java coming home with me is slim.

I will not be completely heartbroken, as I was also thinking of cutting back a bit on some of the bigger/bulkier/more spatially challenging molds, and the Nokota Horse definitely falls in that category. If I get selected for one, that means someone else might have to go.

It’s not a coincidence that we’ve seen the mold so often as a non-boxed Special Run – he’s been a BreyerFest Raffle Model three times, an Exclusive Event model three times, and a Surprise Model. While other Breyer boxes can be adapted/repurposed to fit multiple molds, I believe that the Nokota Horse’s box is uniquely his own. And therefore is more expensive to get printed.

Oddly, he’s only been a “Web Special” one other time, the 2011 Cyber Monday Decorator Fall in Love. I thought it was more than that!

I’m sure he won’t be difficult to find a Java in the aftermarket, the same way the Zion and Moab set was – for a price. (The sheer number of those I saw for sale was giving me painful flashbacks to Marshall, no joke.)

If I don’t “win” one, I won’t be seeking him out.

I don’t think I’ll be getting out of the next few weeks without buying something, however: rumor has it that the Brick and Mortar Special Markus will be hitting stores this coming week, and my work schedule will take me past a few participating venues. I cannot not see him....

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Random Test Color Day: Appaloosa San Domingo

I’m tired, not feeling particularly well, work has been running long, and what little free time I’ve have over the past two days I’ve spent researching carousel horse restoration.

(The only decision I’ve made on them is that since Sparky is a Herschell Indian Pony, he needs to be painted like one – specifically, like the Brown Pinto Breyer Indian Pony, warpaint and all!)

So anyway, while I attempt to get caught up on my sleep, my bills, my mail and so on, here’s a random picture of a Test Color from one of Marney’s albums, for your enjoyment:


I have no idea where this San Domingo is, or what happened to him. I just happen to find his big old splashy spots very fetching right now. I have always preferred my San Domingos to be of the spotted variety – though I wouldn’t turn down one of those really scarce BreyerFest Special Run Buckskin Porcelains from 1999 if the price wasn’t too high…

There’s a nice old Appaloosa Gelding on eBay who has spots even bigger and splashier than that, but I am trying my best to resist the urge to bid. I doubt he will go very high, but I need fewer horses and more money right now, not other way around.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Cliff Diving 2: Sparky and Jules

Still trying to process this….



Yep, I bought two carousel horses, including the screamy guy I kind of fell in love with. His legs are a mess, but dat face! 

Technically, it’s more like pieces of two carousel horses, but the better and fancier horses went for better and fancier money, and the prices for these guys were in the “moderately desirable Web Special Run” range.

I still can’t believe I did that, though. It feels like I just bought two real rescue horses and now I have to make arrangements to get them taken care of, ahhh….

No, actually, feels more like last year when I took that chance on the Chasing the Chesapeake Event. I was mildly to moderately terrified at the enormity of the task ahead of me, but it turned out wonderful in the end.

This will too.

If this does anything, it will motivate me to do that serious herd thinning I’ve been putting off. Partly because I’ll need the money to get Sparky and Jules all fixed up, and also to make a place for them in the house.

(Can you guess who is who?)

I’ll also probably be abandoning a lot of my customizing and craft projects because cripes almighty, I just took on the two biggest craft projects ever…

(Not the quilts, though. Quilt projects are carpool-friendly.)

Breathe girl, breathe.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Literary Aspirations

The book sale on Monday was better than I expected – I ended up doing a nice little “restock” on my own sale books and added a few to the personal collection, including an older (but not a first edition) copy of Tschiffely’s Ride. It’s kind of beat up, and without a dust jacket, but I can live with that:


I know it’s still in print, but I’m a sucker for older editions: they tend to be cheaper than newer editions, and just as sturdy, if not more so. Chances are if I hadn’t picked it up, it would have gotten tossed into someone’s “decorative book” pile anyway, and that weirds me out to no end.

I’m not as averse as some are to using books in crafting (the “altered book” movement) but the idea of buying books strictly as decorative objects is not something I will ever be (or need to be!) into. If I’m going to have “pretty” books on the shelf, I want books that I would also want to read or find useful.

Another book in that stash was a more recent copy of Will James’s Smoky. I only bring it up here because I’ve been meaning to get the illustration that Chris Hess clearly modeled the Traditional Smoky on, because it’s not one easily found on the Internet:


(Not the best quality, I know…)

As to why Chris selected this pose and not the others, I’d suggest taking an online looky-loo at some of the other original Will James illustrations from the book: this pose was probably one of the easiest to adapt to injection molding!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Rising Above

I do not have much to offer today; I’ve spent most of my extended weekend cleaning and organizing things, with a little bit of crafting on the side to break the tedium.

It rained this morning too, so there are no fun new “finds” to overanalyze. This is for the best I suppose, with that carousel auction coming up next weekend, and a possible mini road trip later in the week for a garage sale.

So here’s a picture of one of my BreyerFest finds, a nice example of the 2003 BreyerFest Rugged Lark Special Run of The Lark Ascending. He was cheap, he was in mint condition, and he was signed. He didn’t come with his teeny-tiny “Certificate of Authenticity”, however.


The last year they handed out certificates for the larger run BreyerFest Specials was 2006. The practice is now reserved primarily for prize models; as much as the hobby loves and lives for its paper documentation, it was stunningly impractical to hand out certificates for models with piece runs in the hundreds or thousands.

I kind of wanted The Lark Ascending that year, but when I managed to get a really good place in the line for a change, the two porcelains – the Othello Galway Warrior, and the Stablemate Seabiscuit – took priority instead.

The Lark Ascending has been a backburner want since then. They did a nice job on his color, with extra shading and metallic undertones to add a bit of sparkle to what could have been another ho-hum Bay paint job. The more I saw him, the more I thought Yeah, I think I need that guy.

The release exists in that strange state of being both relatively rare (only 500 pieces) and somewhat undesirable (being on the Rugged Lark mold). While it wasn’t hard to find one for sale, finding one at a price I was comfortable paying was the real trick. Physical rarity alone is not, and should not be, a guarantee of an elevated resale price.

And then this guy turned up during my late Saturday CHIN shopping marathon, at a price I literally could not walk away from. Sure, he didn’t have his little certificate, but I have gotten used to coming home from BreyerFest without them.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Are You Serious?

I thought my budget was safe.

The flea market has been relatively uneventful, the pickings slim on the thrift store circuit, nothing’s out at my local Tractor Supply yet, the Tuesday Mornings were mostly cleaned out by the time I got to them, and even Craigslist has been quiet…

And then my brother shows me this ad, and my world gets turned upside down:

http://rowleyauctions.com/community-event/outstanding-45-year-collection-auction/

Are you kidding me?

A live auction with real, honest-to-goodness Vintage Carousel Horses that’s literally a twenty-minute walk from the house?

Gee, thanks again, Universe.

To give you some evidence of the seriousness of my desire to own the “ultimate” model horse, behold the cover art of the second (!) issue of my MGR Sampler, from 1995:


Now I find myself doing the math to figure out if buying one of the fixer-uppers is actually feasible. As long as I stay away from the Dentzel or the Greyhound I might be fine, right? (I have been eyeing the tragic, screaming pinto on top of page two. I think he needs me.)

Yeah, right. It’ll probably devolve into me taking lots of notes and pictures while I mutter cuss words to myself the moment every piece soars past my teeny budget. (They just bid HOW MUCH on that pile of horse parts? Are you ******* kidding me?)

I might not be able to afford one, but can’t not go, either. Carousel parts do turn up at the flea market and local antique malls from time to time, as there used to be a considerable number of amusement parks in this area.

It has been a while since I have seen a genuine carousel animal, though. (I think that one that did turn up around here ended up being spotlighted on an episode of Antiques Roadshow?) I cannot pass up the opportunity to see over a dozen for auction, so close to me.

It’s just more proof that I pretty much do live in the best model horse shopping zone in the U.S., outside of the Reeves Warehouse.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tractor Supply 2017

This year’s Tractor Supply Specials offer an interesting contrast. We’ve got something old – the Traditional Running Black Beauty in Palomino, named Lakota:


And something new – the Geronimo in an Aged Gray, named Jacy:


(FYI: Neither one is technically available, yet. They are just on the TSC web site to get us all stirred up, obviously.)

Hobbyists tend to forget that the model-horse-buying public consists of more than just active hobbyists, and what the rest of the world likes and what we like rarely align.

Lakota is clearly designed with the rest of the model-horse-buying public in mind.

I see two big markets for Lakota. The first: someone who might feel nostalgic for the less sophisticated Breyers of their youth – he might not be popular now, but the original #89 Black Beauty had a pretty respectable ten-year run through most of the 1980s. The second: someone (young or old) who just wants a pretty palomino horse to gallop on their shelves, and for whom strict realism or accuracy is not that big a thing.

Jacy is a little more tailored to the active hobbyist market: a new mold fresh off a moderately well-received BreyerFest release, in a modest and realistic color. (The other widely available Geronimo is the Patinated Copper Decorator Bandera – an acquired taste, no disagreement there.)

If I were to buy one – this Fall is looking to be a bit of an expensive one for me, so the TSC SRs are a definitely not a priority here – the Lakota would get the nod. It’s not that I’m necessarily a huge fan of the mold (who is the very definition of a shelf hog) but the color looks lovely on him.

Like one of the 2010 Tractor Supply Specials – Templeton Thompson’s Jane, a solid Chestnut on the Stock Horse Mare mold – I fear I may be smitten once I see him. Darn it, Tractor Supply, why do you have to be right next door to the local Salvation Army store....

Friday, August 25, 2017

Beguiled

The past few weeks have been relatively quiet on the flea market/thrift shop circuit; just a few odds and ends, a magnificently garish late 1960s/early 1970s quilt top (with frog-themed fabric!) and these guys:


A Walker-Renaker Elephant and the 1999 Sears Wishbook Mustang. Both are damaged; the Mustang will be heading for the body box, but the Elephant will fit right in with my small, ragtag group of busted-up flea market Walker-Renaker rescues.

I’ve been good about holding off on retail horse purchases – yes, I (painfully) had to pass on the BreyerFest Leftover Kaalee – but the upcoming Brick and Mortar Special, a Liver Chestnut Loose-maned Shannondell named Markus, might break my resolve.

I really adore my BreyerFest Vahana; he’s going to be one of my “office horses”, once I get it reorganized. I don’t think he’d mind having a shaggy friend to hang out with!


If I happen to be near one of my local Flagship stores come mid-September I’ll probably pick one up, but I’m not going to go out of my way to get him. That seems like a reasonable compromise, yes?

Incidentally, this year at BreyerFest I helped out in the Hands-On Hobby booth, and I actually got to spend quite a bit of time with Shannondell’s “mom” Karen Gerhardt, who gave a sculpting demonstration on Friday and Saturday.

I showed up early on Friday to finish setting up my history display, and she had shown up early as well, so there were the two of us hobby “lifers” just hanging out backstage together at BreyerFest, no big…

It was a lovely, quiet moment before the chaos began.

History dork me was super-excited to see that she had brought the original cast of the Shannondell, too. I got to hear her talk about his creation and history, and issues with the casting/moldmaking process.

The best part was that Karen seemed genuinely (and rather adorably) surprised when I told her how popular the mold was, and how certain I was that Vahana was going sell out every time slot.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Forgotten Things

I’ve set out a huge task for myself this week – cleaning up the office! – so the next few posts will probably be a bit on the short side, as I hack my way through mountains of models and paperwork.  

Today I’ll wrap a couple more bits of nearly forgotten BreyerFest business... 

First, here are some of the lovely little tokens given to me at ‘Fest this year. The Latin textbook (yes, I collect such things) was from Linda Walter. For my fellow old farts out there, yes, she’s THAT Linda Walter:


Second, here’s a nice little CHIN find that I was surprised to find late Saturday night:


It’s an early No-Star version of the El Pastor! He was pretty cheap, too. He’s very similar to the Ratliff Farm Special Run Paso Fino issued ca. 1987 – the color on the SR is a little more brown than red, and it is missing the USA mold mark. 

Another important difference: the Ratliff Paso Finos still command decent prices, whenever they do come up for sale. (There were only 100 of them, so it’s not often.) While the fortunes of the No-Star variation of the standard El Pastor have apparently fallen considerably. To the point where I could get one for not much more than body price – at BreyerFest!

I would have thought that – in a year with an El Pastor prize model (Diorama prize Sona) – a relatively rare El Pastor like this would have gotten noticed and snapped up before I noticed him.

Then again, it does seem to take a while for the market to catch up – it took about a year for interest in the Western Prancing Horses to begin to rise, in the wake of the Vintage Club Lucky release. 

So I’ll just chalk this up as me getting ahead of the curve, again

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Burbank Color

My Fylkir arrived earlier this week. The Appaloosa!


Once upon a time I had a notion that the Stablemates Icelandic mold would be something that I’d actively collect. I haven’t gotten the 2013 One-Day Stablemate Indigo yet, but that was more a matter of timing and priorities, rather than money.

Then Reeves had to go and make him the Gambler’s Choice mold for the Stablemates Club this year.

I was absolutely fine with all four of Fylkir’s colors, but I was hoping that I’d get one of the “more desirable” ones, primarily to save myself some money. Alas, it appears – at least in the short term – that the Appaloosa is the least popular of the four colors.

That’s kind of a bummer, but I do have some big expenses coming up soon anyway, so I’ll chalk it up as the Universe’s way telling me the disposable parts of my income need to go elsewhere.

One thing I find interesting about the Appaloosa Fylkir is that it’s another appearance – second in a year, in fact – of the Burbank colorway: a dark-headed Bay Roan Appaloosa with a masked spotted hip blanket, first popularized on the Exclusive Event Nokota Horse release in 2008.

Earlier this year, we saw it again on the Collector’s Club Exclusive on the Classics Swaps mold, as one of the three available colors on Scotty. That I did not buy because (grumble-mumble) they didn’t make my favorite out of the quartet – the Dun – we voted on.


(Hmm. My favorite of the four Gambler’s Choice Diesels last year was the Gloss Brindle, who also ended up being the least popular of that set. I sense a trend…)

Anyway, it’s kind of neat to see a color “born” like this, especially since it arose out of a Special Run that was not that well received when he was released. Though I think that was due more to his relatively large run size for an Exclusive Event item, rather than any aesthetic issues.

I wonder who’ll be the next to wear it?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Vintage Custom Ruffian!

The fine folks behind VCMEC will be very proud of my latest acquisition:


Another vintage Judy Renee Pope custom!

Because the flea market has been so bountiful lately – and the possibility of a large and expensive purchase looming in the horizon – I’ve had to be stricter than average regarding my pony budget. But when I spotted this pretty little thing on eBay a couple weeks ago, I had to relent.

She’s in much better shape than the auction photos let on; I was worried that she might need to be rehaired, and custom-quality mohair is not an easy or cheap thing to find nowadays. Just a little bit of styling, and a few minor touch ups, and she’ll be shelf-ready in no time.

(Show ready? We’ll see.)

Incidentally, because of my work schedule I haven’t made much progress on my own customs; most of my free time has been spent in car pools, which is much more amenable to quilting than it is to customizing.

Here’s the Ponies body, next to his inspiration – a G2 Warmblood that I customized for the Diorama contest a million years ago:


My roommates that year can testify that I did 90 percent of the work on that little guy in the hotel room the week of BreyerFest, using the barest minimum of art supplies. Now to see what I can do with more time and better supplies….

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Golden Anniversary: Breyer’s Man o’ War

As I am really busy right now taking care of various odds and ends, I will post the contents of the flier I created for the Man o’ War display I presented at the Hands-On Hobby at BreyerFest this year. I will make paper copies of the original available to everyone who wants one, eventually, along with extra copies of the Sampler. 

In the meantime, does anyone have any spare 28-hour days lying around? I could really use a few...


Man o’ War’s history with Breyer began in 1967, with the release of the #47 Race Horse – Man o’ War. Sculpted by Breyer’s original moldmaker Chris Hess, this Traditional-scale piece was one of four new molds – including the Pacer, Bear and Bear Cub – to debut that year.

Many collectors are aware that Breyer’s original #36 Racehorse is based on a wooden sculpture of the famous racehorse Whirlaway, made by Grand Wood Carving Company of Chicago, Illinois. Less well known is that the Traditional Man o’ War (the model that eventually replaced the Racehorse, discontinued in 1966) also appears to be based on a Grand Wood Carving design.

Like most Breyer releases of the 1960s and 1970s, the #47 Man o’ War would go through many subtle – and not so subtle – changes through the years. The earliest Man o’ Wars, for instance, came with opaque “Battleship Gray” hooves and large, prominent eyewhites, a beautiful and eye catching variation that is highly sought after today!


Another scarce variation of the Man o’ War was the one released as part of the Presentation Collection in the early 1970s. This series consisted of then-current production models, mounted on wooden bases with brass nameplates, and marketed as trophies and home decorating pieces.

It wouldn’t be until the 1990s that Breyer enthusiasts would see more unique and distinctive Man o’ Wars. In 1990, a Special Run in Gloss was issued in a three-piece “Race Horse Set” (along with a Gloss Sham and a Gloss Secretariat) that was available through the Sears Wishbook.

He was also chosen – along with the Legionario, the San Domingo, and the Sham – to be a BreyerFest Raffle model in 1991. Twenty Gold Charm Man o’ Wars were raffled off at the BreyerFest in Kentucky that year, with another being sold at the Benefit Auction.

Although the mold itself has come in many other colors since the original release was discontinued in 1995 (most notably as his son “War Admiral” in 2003-2004) the original Man o’ War has also been re-released twice since then.

Man o’ War first reappeared as a Special Run, with slightly different shading and a Certificate of Authenticity, for QVC in 2002. He returned a second time as a Special Run for the World Equestrian Games, when the event was held at the Kentucky Horse Park 2010. Only 48 pieces of that particular Special Run were made, featuring a laminated hangtag and a more accurately masked star and stripe.

A Classics-scale mold of Man o’ War, a Hagen-Renaker design by Maureen Love Calvert, joined the Breyer line in 1975. The original #602 release remained in production until 1990 and like its Traditional counterpart, he also came in multiple variations. There are least three different facial markings – a straight blaze, a broken stripe, and an irregular star – and multiple gradations of Chestnut, from light orangey brown (usually earlier) to dark red (usually later).


Although it was included in a “Famous Race Horses” gift set available in the 1975 Sears Wishbook, it wasn’t until this year that the Classics version was formally re-released (as #9149) for Man o’ War’s Centennial.

In 2013, Breyer issued its third unique Man o’ War release, a Christmas ornament (#700662) in their popular Race Horse Series. But for fans of “The Mostest Hoss There Ever Was”, every day is a reason to celebrate his life and legend – whether it’s with one special Breyer Man o’ War model, or more!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

At Long Last...

Here’s a sampling of the goodies I recovered from the flea market on Sunday:


Yes, the Man o’ War is Chalky!

He came with his original box as well, but I’ll spare you the sight of it: let’s just say it did its job, and leave it at that. The model, on the other hand – well, other than a couple of minor mildew marks and pinpoint rubs, I couldn’t ask for a better example!

As you may know, my very first model was a Chalky Man o’ War, but I’ve been wanting to add another to my MOW family for a while. With the market being the way that it is for Chalkies, I had to bide my time until something showed up at the flea market. And finally, one did!

(Ah, if only he had shown up before BreyerFest, instead of after. I really could have used him in the Man o’ War display at the Horse Park.)

Honestly, I was actually very lucky to get him at all.

Just a few moments after I spotted him and his cohorts (the dealer had about a dozen pieces, of various vintages and conditions) and made my way not-too-leisurely to the booth, an old guy literally ran up behind me and started grabbing horses as well. I had to shoo him away from my “pile” – including the Smoke Western Prancer, above – a couple of times, actually.

And then he proceeded to badger the vendor about the price, rather aggressively and persistently. The dealer and I both knew that his story about buying them for his granddaughter was probably bunkum, but she eventually relented, if only to get him to go away.

I did a bit of negotiating as well, but (I hope!) not quite as obnoxiously. I was pretty excited to get the Man o’ War, and I did not try to hide it. So paying a bit more than I normally would have seemed fair.

Guys like that are one of the reasons why hobbyists get a bad rap at flea markets: it’s one thing to haggle, but it’s quite another to badger. And never assume the person you are dealing with, on either end of the deal, is an idiot.

Yet it is a behavior so ingrained in some of us that it plays out with distressing frequency, even at BreyerFest. (And I am not immune to attempts!)

The Western Prancing Horse I am on the fence about; his shading is magnificent, but I really don’t need another Smoke variation. He was the fellow covered in a gravy-like substance I mentioned before. He’s still a bit yellow, but considerably better looking than he was on Sunday.

The Beswick puppies also exist in a similar fugitive state; until I decide their fate, they’ll be chilling on my desk with the little Britains Donkey that came in the Hagen-Renaker box. (I don’t normally collect Britains, but he’s so cute and little!)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Holi Daze

Another spectacular day at the flea market – unrelated to the potential/pending business of last week – but I wrote this ahead of time, so you’ll have to wait a few days to see what turned up this week.

(Plus they were filthy dirty. I think one was covered in…gravy? Yeah, let’s go with gravy…)

Here’s another BreyerFest piece unpacked/unboxed – the Elephant Holi, making friends with his teapot buddy:


I was somewhat concerned that the Holi of the photographs – pinking, freckles et al – was not going to be the Holi we would see in Kentucky. I was very happy to have my fears allayed when I saw him in the Artisan’s Gallery Thursday night!

I was a little surprised that he didn’t sell as well as many had thought. Since I was preoccupied with all my other duties on Friday and most of Saturday, I was lucky enough to make arrangements with a friend to get a pick up. When I made a quick trip into the Bazaar either late Saturday afternoon or early Sunday morning (I think I made two trips in there, but it’s all a blur, at this point) there were still plenty of Holis to be had.

Most curious.

I suspect a number of factors were at work. First, the Elephant mold has always been something that has a wider appeal to people more outside of the hobby than in. Second, the decals probably put some hobbyists off: aside from pushing it into “Decorator” territory, the long-term viability of complex decals on a mostly-wrinkly surface was also a not-wholly-unjustified concern.

(So far, so good on mine, whew!)

Plus, he was a little on the pricey side – $45, when you could have gotten the two-piece Dally and Spanky set for five dollars less.

In the long run, Holi will sell out, and eventually will become a more in-demand piece. Especially once hobby outsiders find out about him.

Illustrating my point: I had a heck of a time, pre-BreyerFest, trying to find a reasonably-priced Elephant body for my diorama entry. I had to run some pretty esoteric searches on eBay before a suitable (i.e. not identified as a Breyer!) candidate showed up.

He showed up smelling like the bottom of Grandma’s ashtray, but an overnight soak took care of that problem. All hail, the power of Dawn dish soap!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bollywood Buttermilk

The adventure I hinted at last time will have to wait a month or so. This is not a problem for me, especially since – if it pans out – it may be pricey, and might necessitate the assistance of other local hobbyists.

And even if it doesn’t, well, I’ll have another interesting story to tell. (More details as the situation develops. Or doesn’t.)

The Bollywood Surprise numbers were finally released on Facebook (Sigh. Of course.) And there are no surprises in the numbers themselves:

A - Dark Bay Tobiano (1225 Matte, 175 Glossy)
B - Buttermilk Buckskin (800 Matte, 175 Glossy)
C - Chestnut Overo (650 Matte, 175 Glossy)
D - Grulla Pintaloosa (425 Matte, 175 Glossy)

It was obvious that the Tobiano was the most common, and that the Buckskin and Overo were fairly close numerically.

The only question I had was whether or not the Pintaloosa was truly the rare one. As the most eyecatching of the quartet, it seemed most likely that he was the rarest, but the prices/relative scarcity might have been a reflection of a belief that might not been borne out by reality.

That’s what I kept telling myself, until the official numbers came out. Ah well, there goes another little hope and dream…

And ironic that it’s a Pintaloosa, given the hobby’s general antagonism towards them in general. Being the “rare one” changes things, I guess.

Nevertheless, I really did like Buttermilk Buckskin – and you know that I am rather picky when it comes to Buckskins, generally. One of the two that I received is actually quite nice, and possibly live show quality:


Definitely a keeper! But, as I said before, I did not need two.

I’ll probably need to sell a few things for the possible “mystery trip”, so selling off the second might have been a necessity anyway. Or at least, that’s another thing I’ll tell myself…

Monday, July 31, 2017

Meanwhile, Back at the Flea Market...

I am feeling a lot better today; I’m finally caught up on my sleep, cleaned up the office a bit, and even puttered around with some of the craft projects. (I decided to go with “carousel horse” on the Ponies body, since I already have a Unicorn in process. Nothing too fancy, probably in either the Looff or Dentzel style.)

The first official day back at flea marketing was also good. And weird.

Like, spontaneous Neil Diamond karaoke and two people arguing over the price of a monkey’s skull weird.

I had to periodically remind myself that I was not on a movie set, and that the things I was overhearing were not scripted. (And if you knew the demographics of this flea market, that’s not necessarily a good thing, but I digress…)

Here’s a small sample of what I found:


These three Royal Doulton Spaniels came out of the same estate as that box of Hagen-Renakers, so I’m guessing they’re the same early 1960s vintage; the two adults have been out of production since 1968. Even more exciting, the vendor told me he hadn’t finished going through everything in that estate yet….

Other findings included a Hollohaza Goose, some assorted china miniatures, and a fairly nice older #3123 Breyer Deer Family. There were actually two sets of Deer to choose from, because that is just how this flea market rolls; the set that came home with me was (a) a better deal, and (b) came with a story that might lead to a Vintage Breyer-filled adventure later in the week.

More actual Breyer stuff, next post. I still have some serious unboxing to do!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Dark Bandera

The end of this post is going to be a bit of a downer, so I’ll lead with something that is not: the first item that I officially unboxed, after BreyerFest:


A beautiful, Chestnut variation of the Bandera that I found in the NPOD on Sunday! He really stood out from all the other Banderas there – most of them tended to be a more middle-of-the-road patinated copper – and after circling the sales floor a couple times, I realized I couldn’t leave him behind.

I was planning on getting a Bandera anyway. I was hoping for something from either end of the spectrum – something dark and Chestnutty, or bright like a newly-minted penny. Nothing locally was really doing it for me, until I found Mister Tall, Dark and Chestnut!

He has a couple of minor goobers, but I’ll get around to fixing them eventually.

I also figured getting him was a safer bet than taking a chance at getting a Gloss Saffron. I actually liked the Gloss Saffrons more than the Gloss Indus; for some reason, most of Breyer’s recent Duns don’t do a thing for me until/unless they are glossed, and the Saffron was no different.

But my luck with getting extra special or glossy things at BreyerFest hasn’t been all that great lately, so the Dark Bandera it was….

Now for the slightly bummer part of the post.

I had a major system crash – of myself! – on Tuesday, and I’m still recovering. Basically I came home from work, made a few phone calls that didn’t end well (yep, the Kaalee is gone, gone forever), and then all of a sudden the physical, mental, and emotional baggage of the past couple of weeks fell on top of me.

I had to lay down on the couch and basically didn’t – couldn’t – move for a couple of hours. I’m functional now, but still a bit shaky and trying to take it easy, occasionally medicating myself with homemade brownies.

I think what pushed me over the edge was that I was trying to cheer myself up reading online articles about the value of finishing in second place, and happened to stumble upon this article:

http://ideas.time.com/2012/07/09/why-we-should-emulate-those-who-finish-second-not-first/
In an article published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, Jerker Denrell of the University of Oxford and Chengwei Liu of the University of Warwick reported on experiments that modeled the results of a game played in many rounds. Over time, the most skilled players came to inhabit a second tier of reliable competence. Those who succeeded spectacularly — who took their places in the first tier — were often not the most skilled, but rather were those who got some lucky breaks early on or took big risks that happened to pay off.
Yeah, that’s exactly what I did not need to read: research that actually confirms that second place finishers tend to be more skilled, but less lucky.

This isn’t so bad if you look at it from a business perspective: in the long run, being a consistent high performer is probably better than being a flash-in-the-pan success. You’re still getting some compensation for your effort, as well, though it might take a little longer to accrue.

Being a second-tier placer in winner-take-all competitions like BreyerFest contests, however, offers no such comforts or delayed compensation. Either you get the pony, or you don’t get the pony.

Nevertheless, I had recovered enough by yesterday to dig something out of the body box. Let’s see what comes of a Ponies body I rescued from the flea market recently….


Something in either the Unicorn or Carousel family, I think?

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Most Meta BreyerFest Item Ever

Here’s the other “grail”:


The BreyerFest Showcase Arena Deluxe Playset – perhaps the most “meta” Breyer product ever – especially when one buys it at BreyerFest itself!

The irony of finding it is that I’ve been thinking of selling off most of my Mini Whinnies collection. Partly because I haven’t had a chance to keep up on the newer releases but also because, to be honest, Mini Whinnies have been selling really well on eBay and I could really use that money.

But this BreyerFest Set is staying, regardless. It’s silly, self-referential, and it makes me smile every time I see it.

And here’s the kicker: you’ll never believe where I got it!

Saturday afternoon in the NPOD. For reals. 

My schedule didn’t allow for any trips inside the store until then. I was hesitant at first to even go in, because there was still a line to get into the darn store. I figured everything that was worth getting was already gone at that point, including the Store Specials.

I had about 30-45 minutes to kill, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to look, correct?

Well, imagine my surprise when I just happened to wander in while they were actually putting out new goodies! So that part was truly no lie, this year at least.

I also managed to pick up a Bandit and Kohana Cougar and Wolf set, a 2002 QVC Gloss Bay Sherman Morgan/Justin Morgan, the two Store Specials, and a pretty Semi-Gloss example of the Classic Man o’ War Anniversary Reissue.

Not a bad haul for an impulsive late Saturday afternoon shopping spree.

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.