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.


Denise said...

Great find! I have one of these air-brushed St. Bernards and he has a darker head like yours. I didn't know these existed until I came across mine several years ago at an antique show. These are really neat!

Carrie said...

I went & saw him at the park after his mention (not as competition, just as a looky-loo!) & he's quite different, congrats!

Truson said...

Sounds to me like these so-called "hobby pros" aren't as up on their game as they think they are. Oh well, more for those of us who leave no stones unturned!