Sunday, January 22, 2017

Single Year Releases

Here she is, my newest Duchess:

That’s the #62006 Pinto Sport Horse and Foal set. It’s one of the slightly less common Duchess releases – it was only available in 2010.

I was expecting my first purchase to be something a little more common – like the #62031 Gray Mare and Foal set that was also rereleased as part of the Walmart Sunshine Stables/Meadows promo in 2012, or one of the current releases like the Red Roan Western Horse and Rider set with the disturbingly oversized doll.

(Seriously Reeves, what the heck is going on with those funky horse and rider sets?)

But this pair turned up on eBay at an unbeatable price, so they became my inaugural purchase in The Duchess Project.

The bonus here is that this was a set I had been thinking about buying before I decided to collect the Duchess mold. She looks lovely in Tobiano Pinto, and I’m a big fan of the saucy little Sport Horse Foal mold, too.

Back when I started collecting – or more accurately, when I started learning all I could learn about Breyer History – Breyer models that were released for a single year (or two!), like the #191 Gray Bucking Bronco or the #169 Liver Chestnut Scratching Foal seemed so exotic and appealing for just that very reason.

In the 1960s, 1970s and well into the 1980s, it was unusual for a release to run less than three years. If it did, it was either a Decorator-level turkey, or had a manufacturing issue (too expensive to produce, or an actual qualitative problem).

I wince a little now when I see either of those two on eBay, usually unsold and endlessly relisted. I cannot offer a home here: I added examples of both of them to my herd a long time ago, with no pressing need for more. (Well, perhaps a few more of the Scratching Foal – there are some sock variations I don’t have!)

Time has not made them less numerically rare, but the market is now flooded with items of similar or greater rarity, on a seemingly endless number of molds. Our choices, and our focuses, are no longer as narrow or limited as they once were.

In a way, it makes collecting easier – as long as the focus you choose isn’t the mold of the moment.

So far, so good for me with the Duchess. Except for those darn Walmart releases with the Wolves in them; those sets may be the bane of my existence this year.


Truson said...

I have both of those with blue ribbon stickers, how's that for rare? :)

Jay Alexander said...

That's my favorite Duchess. Love her so much.