Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shiny, Glowy Horses

A few other things came up, so my forensic analysis of the Swap Meet will have to wait until later in the week. I also became rather distracted by that box of quilt scraps I bought on Sunday; all of my spare "thinking" time has gone towards puzzling those pieces together. (I guess my brain enjoyed the challenge of reassembling that Double Wedding Ring more than I realized!)

I forgot to mention that the guy who sold me the wicked white platform go-go boots also had a stash of vintage Black Light posters. If I had had more money, or more space in the car, I would have definitely brought a couple of them home. I love Glow-in-the-Dark stuff: I even keep a small collection of early Glowy Hartland religious figurines in my bedroom window as a makeshift, retro nightlight.

Hartland was using phosphorescent plastics in the early 1950s, but it wasn’t until 2003 that Breyer had cause to, in their Halloween program. Phosphorescent plastic kinda-sorta makes sense for religious figurines, but not for horses so much, especially if you’re big into recycling the scrap plastic as regrind. The inevitability of accidentally mixing the Glowy plastic with the standard white stuff was probably also another factor in their hesitation.

I liked the concept of Reeves’ Halloween program, but I wasn’t completely into it when it began. Halloween was never a big holiday at our house: I liked the candy, and watching other people dress up, but mostly I thought of it as my Uncle Fred’s birthday. He didn’t just revel in the coincidence, he lived it: slicked black hair, a goatee, and a mostly black wardrobe were part and parcel of his identity. (Such a sweetheart, too - of all my departed relatives, I think he’s one of the ones I miss the most.)

It wasn’t until they came out with Merry Widow that I became a believer. A Traditional-scale Breyer horse - that glows in the dark? Sold!

I was a little upset about the Glowy G2 Andalusian keychains they used as giveaways at BreyerFest that year, naturally. Combining two of my favorite things - Stablemates, and phosphorescent plastic - in one neat little package? Argh! I took some comforting in believing that I’d get one eventually; the event that they gave them away at was not well-attended, and they had to have had a lot left over. Right, right?

Yes, they did. But no, I don’t.

The Glowy Keychain is one of the few recent SRs that hasn’t made it into the Ninja Pit of Death, or Grab Bags, or Shopatron. It’s one of Reeves’ few pure "promo" horses, outside of the BreyerFest Volunteer Gift Horses (but even those you still have to work for, technically.) Either Reeves gifts you one, or you buy it from someone who was gifted.

Enough of them are circulating around now that the prices for them have dropped out of the stratosphere, but I still can’t cross that line and actually pay for something I know someone got for free. It just feels weird to me. I also don’t buy other people’s Volunteer Horses, for pretty much the same reason. (Additionally, they tend to be too expensive, even the so-called "homely" ones.)

The reason given for the end of the Halloween program was that they "ran out of ideas," but the Halloween-themed SRs for the invitation-only events since then (VRE and LSE) argues against that. I suspect the sales were probably lagging just enough to no longer make the program economically viable, but I don’t have access to the sales records to know for sure.

It’s also true that the Missouri Fox Trotter "Frankensteed" wasn’t all that popular among the LSE attendees last year, but I believe that was more a function of the relatively high piece count compared to other available SRs, and attendees’ unreasonably high expectations. (Nothing less than "Test Colors for Everyone" would have satisfied the critics, in the end.)

I think there’s still enough support for the idea to continue making Halloween Horses on a limited basis. There’s already a modestly successful, existing program that it could be incorporated into: the Shopatron Web Specials.

(If you're looking for idea, people at Reeves, may I suggest a metallic orange Belgian with a painted, glow-in-the-dark Jack O’Lantern face on it?)

1 comment:

BluelineGoddess said...

I do have one of the glowy G2 Andy keychains - gifted by a Breyer employee to me at Devilish Kokopelli Live 2005 (I answered some inane trivia question, it wasn't until I got home that night and looked him up that I realized how valuable he really was).

I don't like the MFT mold in general, but I love Frankensteed. Just haven't had the available funds for him (always end up with a mold that really speaks to me coming up for sale right as I decide to search for one).