Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Sigh. They are using the Traditional Man o’ War as the Early Bird Raffle model for BreyerFest this year. Pardon me while I briefly “hulk out” and rage around the less breakable parts of my office:

While I’ve always assumed my Traditional Man o’ War collection would be forever incomplete, I thought there would at least be no additions to my list of impediments. I hoped/assumed there would be a Man o’ War SR for the upcoming BreyerFest, but that it’d be something a bit more accessible like a Store Special, Volunteer model, or Pop-Up Store thing.

There are – or were, prior to today – only two true rarities left on my Man o’ War list.

The first is the Presentation Series Man o’ War. Like all of the Presentation Series pieces, he is scarce and pricey. But I don’t consider him necessarily out of reach: Presentation pieces were sold to the public, so a slender possibility of finding one “in the wild” does exist.

I’ve found other trophy-mounted Breyers before, though no true Presentation pieces yet. Horse racing memorabilia is relatively common around here (remember the jockey helmet I found back in October?) When the occasional Presentation piece shows up, it’s usually Adios: the other Presentation racehorse!

So, there’s hope.

The second rarity is the original Matte Dapple Gray Man o’ War, who was either a small Special Run or a set of similar-looking Test Colors that originated with Marney Walerius in some fashion, in the early 1970s.

That one seems significantly less likely, especially if an example should ever show up on eBay, or via some other venue frequented by model horse peoples. It’s a release that achieved an almost legendary status, and there are not a lot of them (probably five?) around. That’s usually a recipe for a four-figure selling price.

But I have acquired older Breyer items of roughly equal rarity, sometimes in the most unexpected of places or circumstances, for cheap. Or relatively cheap.

Like the Quarter Horse Gelding Splash cull I found at the local flea market last year. That one still boggles my mind! Why are you here? This is not New Jersey.

But this release Riddle… either I win one, or it is not going to happen. It’s that simple, and that painful.

It’s too well publicized an item (literally, the first Special Run announced, after the Celebration Horse Brass Hat) for it to ever be a cheap find, or circumstantial one.

I’m not the kind of person who pays a four-figure price for anything. It’s not a matter of being capable, but of principle: I think of my models more as repositories of memories and stories than of a financial investment.

Spending a lot of money on something makes me see something as more of an investment than a memory or story. I have a hard time doing that for a mold that means as much to me as the Man o’ War.

Well, at least it isn’t the Diorama Prize. If that was the case, there’d definitely be something freshly broken in my office.


Truson said...

I hope we both win one! :)

Anonymous said...

*sigh* is right! This model is exquisite and something I would love to own but unobtainable for me, like so many nowadays. I wish you the best of luck winning him!

Carrie said...

Dang, buppy, that is one purty MoW! And if it ain't one grail it's another...

GWR said...

Ha, I was all ready to be annoyed about them using yet another older mold for the EB, but then I realized: Hey wait, they're sticking to the theme! :D So Riddle and Icabad make me very optimistic about seeing more awesome racehorse SRs. (fondest wish: Winning Colors 3 y/o portrait on the Traditional Ruffian)

Jennifer Betz said...

I thought of you as soon as I saw him! Best of luck in the raffle!

Hummingbird said...

Good luck with the raffle! I felt the same way when they used the Fjord mold as the diorama prize.