Friday, December 31, 2010


One of my favorite holiday films is the 1947 classic The Bishop’s Wife, starring David Niven, Loretta Young, and Cary Grant. It doesn’t get the same amount of airplay as A Christmas Story, but it always turns up on the TV at least once in the season, and this year it was on Christmas Eve on TCM.

Cary Grant’s character Dudley, an angel, has been sent to provide guidance to a bishop. The bishop (David Niven) more or less dismisses him as a meddler, so Dudley occupies himself with taking care of the needs of the bishop’s wife (Loretta Young,) who is being neglected because of the bishop’s obsession with building a cathedral. In the process, Dudley begins to fall in love with her. In one beautiful sequence, Dudley - whose true nature has not been revealed to anyone but the bishop - finally confesses his love to her, in the most roundabout fashion possible:

I'm tired of being a wanderer. I'm tired of an existence where one is neither hot nor cold, hungry nor full.

I can sympathize - not in being a semi-divine creature capable of working miracles, but of feeling trapped in a strange, liminal state. It’s sort of how I feel about my rather singular status in the hobby: in it, but not of it. Neither well known, nor unknown. Influential, but rarely acknowledged.

Most of the staff at Reeves knows me, or knows of me. But on the flip side, I still get hobbyists asking me for references, or questioning my authority on topics I sometimes, quite literally, wrote the book on years ago. (Ever have a conversation with someone, and realize they’re talking about you in the third person? The first time it happens, it’s funny. The third through seventeenth time, it isn’t.)

Part of it stems from some personal issues: I’ve been on tenuous financial grounds for some time now (partly by choice, partly not) and because of this, I’ve been unable to pursue projects that would have made me a more "visible" personage in the hobby.

The structure of the hobby is also to blame. I don’t quite understand the hobby’s tendency toward rigid hierarchies: a small handful of hobbyists are designated as BNPs within their respective categories, with little room for anyone else in the Treehouse of Awesome.

(You see it not just in what I do, but in every aspect of the hobby. It’s particularly bad in the realm of customizing: you have a tiny handful of designated "superstars," but everyone else? You’re lucky to get more than body price for the pieces you labor over.)

The arrival of my Diamond Jubilee - on Christmas Eve, naturally - really drove the point home. I had briefly considered entering the Diamond Dreams Contest, but aside from the logistical issues, I’m not sure that I could. My stories and my "voice" are known quantities, familiar (if not immediately recognizable) and therefore dismissable.

Ironically, the more anonymous prize model competitions of BreyerFest are still somewhat open to me, and I’ve had a little success there. But, like Dudley, I tire of being stuck in this strange state of being, especially as the New Year approaches.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Not Plain

This brand new office chair is almost too comfortable; I’ve already fallen asleep in it twice! I’m not sure the second time was the chair’s fault, though - I was already exhausted, and the movie I was trying to watch (the 1925 version of The Wizard of Oz) was awful. Slow, boring, and even less like the book than the 1939 film.

Other gifts among my small Christmas booty included a much-needed GPS, a couple of sewing gadgets, a new barn jacket, and a posh corduroy shirt to replace the one Vita ate earlier this year. (I’m wearing it now - mmm, so cozy!)

No horses, again - except the ones I bought myself.

I had to work early on Sunday (Yes, the day after Christmas. Less said of that, the better) and I thought I’d reward myself with a horse; the Tractor Supply with the better-than-average selection of Breyers just happened to be on the way home. There are lots of hobbyists in my neck of the woods, so most of my TSC horse purchases tend to come not from my local store - which gets emptied faster than Vita’s food dish, post-holiday - but from one of the three others within reasonable driving distance. And the one I visited yesterday I consider the best of the bunch.

I had been thinking about the Christmas selection at TSC for a while now - not the SRs, but the regular runs of Isadora-Cruce, Fleetstreet Max, and Bet Yer Blue Boons. I loved all three, and at 40 percent or more off, I could afford to splurge and get myself one.

So, who did the lucky horse end up being?

Would you believe - Templeton Thompson’s Jane?

Yeah, I didn’t believe it at first, either. As I was examining the selection for nits, dings and overspray, my eyes kept going back to the Jane. I’m not a huge fan of the mold, as I’ve explained before, but good golly - the paint job on this one was magnificent! (I know my subpar photography skills are getting in the way of seeing that, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.) The paint jobs on the Janes I had seen before were quite pleasing to the eye, but this girl was miles and miles ahead of all of them.

After much pondering, I put down a near-perfect Bet Yer Blue Boons, and walked this not-so-plain Jane over to the cashier. It didn’t hurt that she was also several dollars cheaper than the other three, with what appeared to be a half dozen clearance stickers of increasing degrees of cheapness plastered to her box. She needed a home, and doggone it, she was going to have one with me.

This sort of thing has happened to me before with the Stock Horse Mare. Several years ago I happened to be in the neighborhood of a Toys R Us, located in a part of the Metro Detroit area rarely frequented by us model horse types. I had used this to my advantage before in acquiring certain TRU exclusives that had disappeared in an eyeblink everywhere else.

I walked in to scope out the selection for any hidden treasures. Would I find a forgotten SR? An cool variation? No, I came home with this little girl:

It’s a little hard to see in my slightly overexposed photograph, but this example of the #852 "Appy Mare" had the most flawless paint job I had seen in some time. She looked good. Too good to leave behind.

I kept telling myself that I didn’t need another Stock Horse Mare, but she was so cheap, and so beautiful, I couldn’t help myself. She had been sitting on that shelf for at least three years, unloved and unwanted. She had to come home with me.

I’ve purged my collection several times since then - sometimes, quite severely - but she’s still around. It’s more than just her pretty paint job, it’s her story, too: unloved, unwanted, unpurchased. It only makes sense that I had to buy her "sister" fifteen years later.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Accidental Vacation

Sorry about the unannounced vaycay - all the year-end paperwork I had planned for next week got bumped to this week, because of heavy additions to my work schedule. I also made the mistake of picking an "easy" project to make for Mom’s Christmas present this year:

French-beaded Marigolds.

My original intent was to make a Christmas Tree, but I thought the Marigolds would be less time-consuming. Ha! You’d think I’d know myself by now.

(And no, I’m not taking orders. I'm still in the "gifts to family and friends" stage. Quilts, I'm willing to discuss.)

Looks like I’m going to get stuck with my Grab Bag leftovers for a least a couple of months - have you seen the race to the bottom the prices took on MH$P? I don’t necessarily think its reflective of a lack of demand for any of these models in particular, it’s more a matter of lots of people being desperate to unload, no matter the cost. I guess I can wait - I’ve got room in the sales boxes, and if all else fails, I can always move them out at BreyerFest. It’ll be a non-NAN year, and I’ve found that you get a higher percentage of offline, low-information or lower intensity hobbyists who wouldn’t have had the knowledge, means or opportunity to take advantage of the deal in the first place.

If anyone wants to make a modest offer on anything in the meantime, though, be my guest.

I don’t know what to make of the random awesome goodies some people got in their Grab Bags. Was it an intentional thing to get us stoked for the next round of Grab Bags, or another one of those "blame it on the intern" type of mistakes? The former seems more likely than the latter, since I don’t doubt we’ll have at least one more Grab Bag dump before BreyerFest next year. There are just too many things floating in the warehouse that didn’t make an appearance in this round. (Why no Pink Poodles?)

I’m all talked out of this Grab Bag topic. Let’s move on to something else.

It’s nice to see that the "one gloss set per case" on the new Giselle and Gilen has been confirmed as a year-long thing. I'd love to have a set, but I was in no mood for more mall crawling, especially this time of year.

I do wonder how long it’ll take the rest of the hobby to find this news - or if they'll even "discover" it at all? I’ve been doing a lot of lurking lately, and I’m a little appalled at both the quality of news being distributed, and the unevenness of the distribution.

You know what this hobby needs? A good, all-purpose, nondenominational news hub. Not a list of links, terms and general information, but honest to goodness news. When things are getting released, contest/entry deadlines, live show and club events by region, artist announcements/open houses, etc. and so on. I do plan on expanding my Internet "presence" next year, so maybe I’ll pencil "…and establish an online model horse news network" on the bottom of the to-do list.

More tomorrow, after I finish unwrapping and assembling the presents. (Including a comfy new office chair! Yay!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Grab Bag Day!

Darn these Grab Bags - I didn’t get anything done today! Grab Bag "Y" landed on my doorstep around lunchtime. The contents consisted of:
  • WEG Mandiba
  • WEG Jamaica
  • Enchanted Forest
  • Bats in the Belfry
  • Pokerjoe
  • Pharaoh
  • Patagonia
  • WEG MiniWhinnies Set
  • Ponies Gone Wild "Gina"
  • Pony Gals SM Swedish Warmblood
  • WEG SM Reiner
Yep, definitely worth it.

I’ll be keeping Jamaica, Bats in the Belfry, Enchanted Forest, the MiniWhinnies Set, and the PGW "Gina." I may or may not keep the Stablemates (as bodies). Everything else will be put up for sale (preferably) or trade.

I haven’t settled on prices yet; I want to wait a bit and see how the market shakes out. I’m not too concerned about making all of my money back on my investment, but getting a little of it back before the end of the year wouldn’t hurt. I just wish other hobbyists would be a little less cagey about revealing their pickings so far.

I’m not surprised to hear that there are multiples occurring from box to box: it seemed overly optimistic of the "8 boxers" to think that there’d be 48 to 54 unique Traditional-scale items spread across the eight different assortments. Haven’t heard about too many porcelains showing up yet, which I find odd, but it is still a bit early yet. How I ended up being one of the early birds this time around, I do not know…

Disappointments: no WEG Snow Globe or doggies. Guess I’ll have to wait ‘til next year’s NPOD for a Beethoven. I was also hoping for one of the bigger plushie horses, for Vita: I’m thought she’d dig having a plushie as big as she is, to play with. (No, not THAT way - that’s what the doggie bed is for.)

My favorite of keepers is the Enchanted Forest. What a lovely paint job on this boy!

You know me, I’m a sucker for a simple, well-executed color. Which, in this case, is a rich, shaded chocolate bay with subtle dappling.

The Jamaica is really nice, too, even if he is just another bay on the Trakehner mold. I’m glad that that mold has had something of a comeback in recent years: whatever his faults, I’ve always considered him one of better of Chris Hess’s later efforts. In this era’s obsession with wild paint jobs, crazy hair, and increasingly extreme action poses, it's nice to see a lot of other hobbyists are rediscovering his understated charms.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

All for G4

I am such a dork. Look at what just arrived in the mail:

NIP (new, in package) with a 1982 copyright date!

More proof that my obsession with Breyer History has probably ruined my ability to enter Collector Classes forever. ("Before judging, please note that the Corral is considered part of my entry. Five page dissertation and bibliography included.")

I love how the label mentions "HORSES NOT INCLUDED." What kind of horses would someone reasonably expect to find in such a package? Something inflatable? Paper Dolls/Standees? Those little spongey "grows in water" critters you find at the dollar store? Cellulose Acetate does absorb water, but not quite that much.

I did buy some actual horses recently: the WEG Stablemates. I bought them during the Black Friday Weekend sale on Shopatron a couple of weeks ago. $15 for a set of 8, including the itty-bitty blanket? Couldn’t pass that up! I bought a Cedric, too, because I still didn’t have a Show Jumping Warmblood in the collection. I know he’s a "regular run" item for next year, but I figured the $30 price tag was about the best price I’d find him at, at least in the short term.

(What I’d really like is an Inconspicuous, but that ain’t gonna happen. A Mon Gamin would be nice, too, but that’s someone I need to handpick.)

Back to the Stablemates. I had seen the G4s before, but I hadn’t had the chance to examine them up close, in person and out of package. After spending the day admiring them, I do have to wonder what all the fuss was about.

There are a few minor issues I have with them. The Driving Horse has thicker than necessary legs, the mane and tail on the Endurance horse are ropey and a little crude, and the barrels on the Dressage and Para Dressage Horses are a bit on the heavy and undefined side.

Other than that, though, these little fellows are really nicely modeled. Their hooves even have frogs! And they have so much personality - I just want to hug that big, drafty Para Dressage Horse:

The Vaulting Horse is much, much better in person too, like a lighter version of the G1 Love Draft Horse. And dare I say it - I think the G4’s head and neck are more expressive than the G1’s. (And before you get your breeches in a bunch, yes, I have seen crisply detailed, early run casts of the G1 Drafter. So there.)

The fault lies, as usual, with whatever photographer or photographers Reeves is utilizing. How they manage to capture the least appealing angle of every model is a wonder for the ages. I will forgive them a little on the Vaulting Horse: the bay roan paint job was a good idea on paper - and good on larger scale models, in practice - but that particular style of roaning just doesn’t work on Stablemates. The way it was applied obliterated some of his finer features.

Not his manhood, though. I certainly wasn’t expecting that part of the anatomy to be so, umm, detailed. Almost to the point of naughtiness. The fact that I opened them late at night, by myself, in the privacy of my basement office only added to my discomfort.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The First Rule of the Flea Market

Hesitating is for losers.

You go to enough flea markets - especially the open air, "live chicken and car parts" ones - and you learn that rule hard and fast. If you find something even remotely interesting, or think it might be something good but you’re not 100% sure of it - your decision has to be made right then and there. Once you walk away from the booth, chances are good it’s not going to be there when you make up your mind a half an hour later.

That’s just how it works at the flea market. The first person to offer a vendor the amount of money he or she is looking for an item, it’s gone. It’s nothing personal: vendors appreciate your interest, but they’re much more interested in your cash.

Considering the white-hot intensity that’s accompanied the past few exclusives, it only made sense to treat the Breyer Holiday Grab Bag deal just like a transaction at the flea market, especially since they put an extremely charitable "8 per household" limit on the purchases.

No room for hesitating. I know my fellow hobbyists all too well. Some of them are just crazy enough to buy that maximum - especially the ones that might have missed out on the Alpine.

So I got up Tuesday morning, logged on at the designated time, click-click-clicked, then went to lunch.

Needless to say, I was a little shocked when I logged on an hour or so later to see that they sold out in less than 15 minutes. I was expecting a quick sellout - within an hour or two. But 15 minutes? Whoa.

The fault here is obviously in the household limit: if these Grab Bags were of "extremely limited" quantities, an 8-piece limit is ridiculous. Four would have been more reasonable - isn’t that what the previous buy limit on Grab Bags was?

Just how limited was "extremely limited," though? There was a rumor floating around initially that pegged the quantity of Grab Bags at 50, but I find that extremely dubious. A Grab Bag purchase poll on Blab is already up to 90, and that’s only counting folks who are on Blab.

If I were to hazard a wild guess, I’m thinking a 150-250 piece estimate is more likely (or 160 to 240, if you’re looking for a "multiple of 8" number.) Blab is awesome, but it does not contain the entirety of the model horse universe within it. Half, maybe.

Like everyone else, I’ve been watching the commentary on Breyer’s Facebook page about the Grab Bags with all the fascination of a car wreck. It reminds me of why I’m not on Facebook: almost everyone on it is either emotionally or physically about 12 years old (if that.) I’ve got enough emotionally stunted people in my life to deal with, thank-you-very-much.

(In case you get curious and look it up: someone with my name IS on Facebook. It’s not me: I think it’s a distant relative in Hungary, but I’m not entirely sure. My knowledge of Hungarian is limited to food items.)

While I think it’s more than fair to call out the more egregious whiners on Facebook - and elsewhere - I’d caution my fellow hobbyists on going too far in the calling out. Posting kissy-face "Shut Up, Everything they do for us is Awesome!" messages everywhere is (a) unproductive, (b) a little nauseating, and (c) untruthful. Reeves HAS been making a lot of boneheaded mistakes lately.

And they do need to be reminded of that.

But there is a difference between holding someone’s feet to the fire, and burning them at the stake.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Shopping

I won’t be putting my name in for Vignette this time around. I got my JAH in time to mail it in, but I made a decision a few weeks ago to refocus the collection: fewer "ooh, pretty horsie" pieces and more "historical/significant" ones. Part of that refocus includes having at least one example of every mold: that was the rationale for my attempt at Alpine.

I love the CWP mold, I really do, but I have lots of Cantering Welshies already.

I’m thinking I’ll probably spring for a Grab Bag: based on the $350 estimated value, there seems to be a high likelihood of porcelains showing up. Party Time, Dances with Wolves, Romantico: we know those guys are cluttering up the warehouse. I don’t have many of the porcelains - because, you know, I’m a big clumsy Buffalo - and this would be a good way of getting one at a price that won’t make me hyperventilate when I do eventually break the poor thing.

Speaking of Buffaloes and Connoisseurs, I’m not sure what’s up with everyone’s insistence that there’s just going to be Connoisseurs this time around, specifically Taima. Wishing for them - nay, almost counting on them? Seems awfully cynical, if you ask me. There’s plenty of other stuff kicking around the warehouse: WEG, recent discontinues, old XMAS stock, Fest SRs, Treasure Hunt items, Fall Dealer SRs, old plushies…

With my luck, I’ll end up with the assortment with all the stuff I already have, like Red Carpet Royalty, the Pink Poodle, and Buttercream. Now that I think about it, that’s not necessarily a bad thing: my sales inventory is getting a bit low. But I wasn’t planning on doing any more selling until Spring, and I hate having too much money tied up in inventory.

Maybe I should take my recent lack of horsebuying success as a hint, and blow my teeny-tiny year-end surplus on something more practical, like socks or antibiotics. (If I don’t have whooping cough, then whatever I do have is doing a darn good impression of it.)

In other news, I’m still being kept somewhat preoccupied by the Tack/Accessories Project. I made another discovery today: the Wood Corral was a mid-year or Holiday 1982 release, not a 1983 one. Something didn’t quite seem right with that date, so I skimmed through my Christmas Catalog binders, and voila, there it was in the 1982 Aldens Christmas Book:

As most hobbyists know, the Aldens company ceased operations in December 1982: the company itself didn’t "go bankrupt," but its parent company Wickes did. They sold off as many of the divisions as they could while reorganizing, but a buyer couldn’t be found for Aldens:

The infamous Black Pacer - and I assume, all of the other Breyer merchandise - was shipped back to Breyer, who then passed it to other mail-order companies, most notably Bentley Sales.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Mock Because I Care

It must be the cough syrup talking, because I have an overwhelming need to mock the "Holiday Horse" in the November/December issue of JAH. For those of you who still haven’t received your JAH, here’s a scan of it, so you can play along:

I’m assuming it’s next year’s horse, but the text doesn’t make it clear. Even if it does turn out to be something else entirely (in other words, Rare and Exclusive) that still doesn’t temper my urge to laugh and point at it. I laugh and point at Flockies all the time, hasn’t affected their perceived value any.

Anyway, I spot this beauty in JAH, and the first thought that popped into my head really was "Did they hot glue a bunch of broken ornaments to an oven mitt?"

They nominally discontinued Halloween Horses because of a "lack of ideas," but then they assemble this silly thing, apparently assembled from all of the leftover bits that didn’t make the cut on previous Holiday Horses.

I do still sorta like it, though. With the right amount of money, anybody can have a "pretty" or "classy" holiday display, but I prefer the unique-crazy-weird-tacky-homemade displays this horse embodies. They seem more sincere to me.

That’s the kind of Christmas I grew up with, too: everyone else in the extended family would have the traditional tree with glass ornaments, a sparkly garland, and maybe some tinsel. At our house, we’d have a tree made entirely out of pinecones and chicken wire. Or completely covered in fake pink poinsettias.

(This year’s theme was felt … at least, until our little furry Grinch decided felt was delicious.)

I’ve collected a number of vintage books and magazines with crafts of Christmases past - partly for inspiration, but also for my amusement. I mean, come on, how can you not love "Hobo Santa?"

Or Rudolph, the Zombie Reindeer?

Or my personal favorite:

The actual text accompanying the photograph, from the 1961 issue of Woman’s Day Best Ideas for Christmas:
This Santa scene is very easy to duplicate. Just buy (or make) a Santa suit, fill it with rags, cotton, newspaper, etc., and put it on an outdoor lounge. Scene says that Santa gets tired, too, and he can use a rest himself some time. Add long sheet of paper for list.
I dunno. The first thing the scene said to me that Santa had a cardiac event. Either in, or on his way to the bathroom.

I do like the selection of the Misty’s Twilight mold as a Holiday Horse - it has a very old-fashioned, Currier & Ives feel to it, like she should be pulling a sleigh or sulky. Strange that they’d go with another Bay - the mold already came in that color, as Dover, in 1996 and 1997. It is hard to tell what’s underneath all that bric-a-brac, though: for all we know, she could be a bay roan overo or snowcap Appaloosa.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Whatever I had over the weekend is still kicking the stuffing out of me. The only symptom I have at this point is exhaustion - I actually fell asleep while attempting a change of clothes today! That was entirely the dog’s fault: she was so excited at her first real experience with snow that I ended up taking a couple of nasty tumbles on our walk today. No injuries mercifully, just muddy, soggy clothes.

Speaking of the dog… we do crate her. Vita is almost constantly supervised: it’s literally the moment when our back is turned that the trouble tends to occur.

She doesn’t have any major behavioral issues other than the "wanting to eat everything" one. She’s great with other dogs, good with kids, doesn’t bark too much, is mostly potty-trained, has no problem with the vet, the groomer, inclement weather or the mail carrier.

Well, she likes to run too, but the leash usually puts a stop to her more antic antics.

Most of the problem is that she’s a Wire Fox Terrier. Anyone who had any experience at all with terriers knows they’re not into the "obedience" thing. We just have to figure out a way to convince her that chewing on her bones is way more fun than nibbling on hubcaps and underpants.

Now onto another calamitous event: the Alpine avalanche.

I was among the unfortunate multitudes who never managed to break through the Alpine phone lines. I never even made it as far as an answering machine: all I got was an hour and a half of busy signals. Another Silver Filigree out of my reach. Sigh.

I admire them for experimenting with other forms of distribution, but I wish Reeves would go back to Shopatron for these kinds of specials. I’d rather take the gamble of a canceled order than the agony of hitting redial over and over. It’d eliminate some of the human errors, too, such as the reports I’ve heard of some people managing to get in orders for multiples. (Does this company have no institutional memory AT ALL? Criminy!)

What’s really saddening is to see the level of acceptance within the hobby for what is essentially scalping behavior. No, "everyone in the hobby" does not do it: I don’t. I’ll turn around items I find at the flea market for a tidy profit, but when it comes to collector-direct items, I won’t do it. If I do buy something for someone, it usually goes to him or her at cost plus postage.

What I’m doing is bringing items that were out of the market and putting it back into it. Buying a model like Alpine and slapping it on eBay 15 minutes later is more akin to ransoming: you’re taking it out of the hands of someone who wants it more, and gambling that the monetary difference is worth the effort.

I sure could use the money, but I’m not sure I could live with myself if I did something like that.

Monday, December 6, 2010

It Is What It Is

That was one Epic Fail Weekend.

First, we discover that all the effort we put into making 150 ornaments for this year's XMAS tree was wasted, because the dog wants to eat them. And she nearly knocked over the tree several times over the course of the weekend. Lovely. (She also ate my favorite sweater.)

Then, I discovered I had a previously unknown food allergy. Swell. (Fortunately, it's something I can easily avoid.)

Third, I caught a rather nasty virus that put me out of commission for most of the rest of the weekend. Awesome. (The Nyquil is.)

Fourth, my computer caught something, too - totally lost my Internet connection for about 6 hours on Sunday. FTW!

The weekend wasn't a complete failure: I did manage to get all the rough data compiled in my Great Breyer Tack Project, all 30 single-spaced pages of it. I have nothing groundbreaking to report yet, other than my shock that the No. 7500 Wood Corral - the long, foldy one - has been in continuous production since 1983. I had no idea. I wonder how much footage that translates into?

It still has a ways to go before it becomes the longest running production item ever - the Palomino Western Horse and Polled Hereford Bull both have at least a decade on it - but it’s certainly the longest running item currently in production. If you’re looking for an excellent "gotcha" question for a Breyer trivia contest, there you go.

Other than the tack project, the only other things I’ve been able to manage in between the various crises are the last bits of my sales for the year. I didn’t quite get what I hoped for anything on eBay - except for a couple of items that bidders absolutely positively thought were Chalkies, despite my entreaties to the contrary.

What is up with that, anyway? Every time I post pictures of something just a shade whiter than average, I suddenly get barraged with requests for pictures of the bottoms of the hooves. The first couple of times I complied, until I realized what they were trying to suss out of those photos. Nowadays I just e-mail back "It’s not a Chalky."

That used to stop them in the past - but now they’re e-mailing me and telling me I’m wrong! What the heck?

Normally I’m not a big fan of the "Do you know who I am?" line of response, but if there ever was a situation that called for it, there it is.

Look, not everyone has the same level of knowledge in the hobby, but I whenever I’m dealing with any hobbyist - in person, on the phone, or electronically - I always assume that he or she is not an idiot. You didn’t just happen to accidentally bump into me on the Internet, at BreyerFest, or call me completely at random.

That’s how I try to write my posts here: I work with the assumption that your visits aren’t completely an accident. It took a little bit of knowledge for you to find me, or at the very least, an interest in Breyer History. I share what I know, and you share with me: we might not be equals in terms of quantity or quality of information, but we each know enough to have meaningful exchanges.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Flying Green Unicorns!

Will I be getting the latest Web Special, Alpine? Maybe. You know how I am when it comes to Silver Filigrees. It’s the fact that it’s a telephone-only sale that’s making me hesitate: I’m somewhat telephone-phobic. The sale isn’t until Tuesday, but the thought of spending a couple of hours hitting redial is already giving me the heebie-jeebies. (Yeah, I’m not a very happy camper on HIN Reservation Day, either.)

I’m also a little annoyed by it - not that it’s another super-limited Silver Filigree, but that it’s another super-limited Esprit. Another one, really? Great. That means is that we’re in for several days of hobbyists dismissing him as an "easy pass," and then attempting to buy one anyway to resell to the people who really do want one.

Personally, I was hoping for a Decorator Mountain Goat. Now there’s a mold we haven’t seen in a while - since 2005, to be precise. But could they sell 250 Decorator Mountain Goats? Alas, probably not.

I don’t think they could sell 250 White Moose, either, but that was the speculation du jour on Blab today. Seriously - a White Moose? I love the Moose mold myself, but I can’t imagine them making a white one. Yeah, they exist, but what would be the rationale for making one - aside from a slight association with Christmas, or cuteness?

If you’re looking for an idea that might have some genuine selling power to it, a White Stag would be a better choice. Google "White Stag" or "White Deer" or even "White Hart," and you’ll see what I’m talking about. A "White Stag" would be a natural for next year’s "Fairytails" BreyerFest theme, especially as the non-horse item for the Line Specials.

I doubt they’d do it. One, they already sorta did one for the BreyerFest auction back in 2007: hobbyists kind of get annoyed when a "test color" becomes an actual production run. (Even though that used to be the whole point of test colors.) Two, breakage issues with the tines would be a nightmare, especially if they’re bubble-wrapped and bagged like most Line Specials. I imagine the inevitable Unicorn SR is going to be trouble enough.

Oh, and if you’re going to do a little more research on mythical or legendary horse-type things, do yourselves a favor and check out the awesome Táltos Horse. Here is how he’s described on the Wikipedia (via the page on Táltos, or Hungarian shamans):
The táltos always had a horse, frequently appearing in Hungarian folk tales as a white stallion with wings. However, the Táltos Horse always had jade colored skin, causing them to be mocked by everybody. It is said in myths, that only the táltos could see the real powers hidden in the horse.

When they met, only the táltos could ride the horse, and it was always "flying like thought". This way the táltos is able to meditate (révül).

The horse can have a unicorn horn and wings, visible to the táltos during meditation (révül). The unicorn horn signifies the horse's special spiritual power, as it is a single horn that grows straight out of the brain. The wings define the ability to fly between the three worlds of Hungarian mythology. The táltos horse could have "gold hair", and also eat hot cinders.

Doesn’t he sound like something straight off of a Dethklok album cover?

I know it’s Wikipedia, and therefore of dubious veracity, but dang it - a jade green flying unicorn that eats fire? Now that would be one badass BreyerFest SR.