Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Brandy, Instead of Whine

Let’s see, the online discussions have moved on from griping about the Western Elegance set, to griping about the BreyerFest Specials. I guess "having a more positive attitude" wasn’t on anybody’s New Year’s Resolutions list.

Interesting that they’ve chosen the Saint Bernard as one of the Tent models; we haven’t seen much of that mold like, ever. We’ve only seen him twice before - in his original release #328 from 1972 through 1980, and as #321 Brandy in 1995-96, alongside a number of other Traditional Breyer Dog molds.

I have the original version; picked him up ages ago, at a toy store that carried discontinued merchandise exclusively. (Man, I loved that store - imagine a toy store where the only new stock was old stock - and every week was a surprise! Sadly, it has long since ceased to be.)

I never got around to getting the newer Saint Bernard, mostly because his paint job was so unappealing: what was up with that greasy-looking yellow-brown color, anyway? And aside from the color, it didn’t look all that different from the original release. If I wanted another Saint Bernard, I’d go looking for that neat cast iron knockoff, instead.

I did eventually add another (plastic) Saint Bernard to my collection:

I think he’s a preproduction piece for Brandy: the colors are right, and he’s hand-airbrushed. (The regular run piece is masked.) I can’t know for sure what he is, because he was one of those models that came to me via the mysterious eBay seller "newtoymens."

Remember him? He of the cartloads of mysterious models, some of which seemed to be test colors, culls and oddities? I got outbid on the "flashier" stuff, but I did manage to get this guy, among others.

I wasn’t able to get any more information out of him than anyone else was. Most hobbyists thought he was a Breyer insider, but if he was, he wasn’t a recent one: none of the models - the regular run pieces we could date, anyhow - dated past 2000. It’s more likely he was a middleman of some sort - either a jobber, or a guy who knew jobbers and sold their "merchandise" for them.

I have a couple other interesting "newtoymens" pieces I should probably put in this month’s blog post rotation…


Tanaqui said...

I used to have an email message from him stating that he had a friend who worked at the factory. I bought what I call a "backdoor factory test" from him on the old donkey.

Laura Dotson-Thomson said...

I'm thrilled they are using the St. Bernard. I almost wish they did several of the dogs (since they all seem to be show-biz dogs: Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Benji, etc), but I guess you can't duplicate. I'll be looking to add him for sure, right next to my tri-collie from several years ago.

Anonymous said...

Funny, the dog is the only one that intrested me!! I too am glad to see it being used again.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you'll see this since it's on a very old post but I have an airbrushed St. Bernard as well as a stencilled one. My airbrushed is a lot darker, while my stencilled is closer to yours in color. I have heard of one other airbrushed as well.