Friday, May 22, 2009

Woodgrains: The Unrare

Continuing our discussion of Woodgrains…

Some Woodgrains are so common (relatively) that they border on the boring. Even the nicest, most perfect examples of the Family Arabians or the Fighting Stallion will rarely break the $100 price barrier. They had the longest production runs of all the Woodgrains - about 7 years for the Family Arabians, and about 14(!) for the Fighting Stallion.

If you found them with their original boxes or stickers - either the Gold Foil Tenite, or the later blue ribbon - that might change things a little bit. And surprisingly, it’d be the Blue Ribbon Sticker that’d bring the higher premium, rather than the Gold Foil.

Gold Foil Tenite stickers are relatively common on Woodgrains - "common" defined here as "not that difficult to find." In fact, most Gold Foil stickers are found on Woodgrains - not exclusively, but darn near it. This may be a consequence of who bought Woodgrains, and why: Woodgrains were marketed more as decorative items than toys. "Play" Breyers would naturally lose their stickers more quickly than "display" Breyers.

According to my research, the Blue Ribbon Sticker Era began ca. 1966 and continued through 1970, more or less. (Leftover stickers were used until they ran out, presumably in early 1971.) The Fighting Stallion and Family Arabians were the only regular run Woodgrains that continued production into the Blue Ribbon Sticker era.

If my hypothesis on the Ranchcraft Woodgrains is true, most of those were also made during the blue ribbon sticker era, but I haven’t seen or heard of any bearing the sticker. My guess would be that since they were being sold to a manufacturer as a "lamp component" the sticker wasn’t seen as necessary. They might also have given lamp purchasers the impression that Breyer manufactured the lamps themselves.

Chances are that your first Woodgrain - most collectors’ first Woodgrains - was a Family Arabian or a Fighting Stallion. They were definitely among mine. I was still thrilled to find them, of course: Woodgrains are rather difficult to find in these parts, for reasons unknown. I still get a bit of a thrill, after all these years, whenever I find a Woodgrain Fighting Stallion. (Gloss Charcoal Fighting Stallions, on the other hand, I could swear they sold them in bulk around here …)

1 comment:

Joyda said...

I have a woodgrain fighting stallion that has no markings, such as socks , blaze or black hooves. Can anyone tell me about this horse & its value?

Thanks, Joyda