Monday, August 29, 2011

A Couple of Brahmas

Don’t mind the rumbling you hear in the background, that’s just the aftershocks of the massive tantrum I had after … well, we’ll talk about it another day, when I’m a little less ticked off at myself.

The rash is better. It still itches from time to time, but my appearance no longer frightens small children or dogs. Things still won’t be looking pretty for the next couple of weeks, but according to my schedule, I won’t be out and about much then, anyway. Not by choice, and mostly nothing personal - Labor Day just messes up the work schedule.

On the plus side, that means I’ll finally have the time to get those sales up and running on MHSP, like I’ve been meaning to. However, I have also been informed that there may be painting in the house by then, which might entail the dusting and rearranging of things. Swell.

A few middling things at the markets this weekend - a couple of Mastercrafter Clocks (overpriced) and a small pile of disreputable-looking vintage Hartlands (not worth the trouble.)

I did pick up a few bodies, and a few books. I was almost completely cleaned out of my sale books at BreyerFest, so it feels good to replenish the stash. Looking forward to the big local book sale this coming weekend; not looking forward to the jerks who will be standing in line in front of me with their ISBN Scanners.

(Man, those people completely take the fun out of used book sales. All business, no pleasure, y’know? Just like in this hobby, too.)

I had to move a few things around upstairs in the main collection, so I have a couple of my Brahma Bulls that are currently homeless (they’re not going anywhere - I just don’t know where to put them, yet.) Interesting contrast between the two. Here’s the more familiar variation that most of us either know, or own:

This guy’s pretty nice - very clean, no major marks, and he still has lots of pinking, which usually fades into nothingness over time. I was quite pleased with myself when I found him a few years back. He's easy to find, but not always in that good of a condition. Here’s the other:

Quite a difference, eh? The "Black Hump" version is the earliest, seen in most of the pre-1960 ephemera. It’s not just the hump that’s black - so are his horntips, hooves, leg patches, muzzle, etc. It’s worth noting that the black paint is a distinct color from the gray - one is not the diluted (or undiluted) version of the other.

My example is about average on the shading and detail scale - I’ve seen ones that have only had the black hump, and I’ve seen others that could almost pass for Charcoal.

He was a pretty popular mold right out the gate, so while the "Black Hump" variation may seem a little on the uncommon side, he really isn’t too difficult to find - as long as you’re on the lookout for him, of course. Like anything else, if you’re not looking for him, you’re not going to find him. Intentionally.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Peeling Away

Well, the stuff I had wasn’t working so great on the rash, so I had to take a trip to Urgent Care yesterday to get something stronger - a shot in the tuches and some nasty-tasting medication. I’m already feeling better; luckily for me, I have an extremely efficient metabolism when it comes to drugs.

(Almost too efficient, actually: I used to think it was because I was very fond of grapefruit juice, but cutting them out of my diet didn’t help one way or another. Fortunately, I have a couple of days off here to deal with any additional weirdness that may come up.)

Yes, purple horse is awesome. Normally I’d already have it stripped and evaluated by now, but I really am taken by the idea of incorporating him, as-is, into a Joseph Cornell-style assemblage. Here are a couple of links to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, if the name still doesn’t ring a bell:
By collecting and carefully juxtaposing found objects in small, glass-front boxes, Cornell created visual poems in which surface, form, texture, and light play together. Using things we can see, Cornell made boxes about things we cannot see: ideas, memories, fantasies, and dreams.
And also (warning: the text here is a bit overripe - a common problem in art history writing):

The Family Foal that needed to be stripped already is; the paint job underneath is rough enough that I’m considering stripping it to the bare plastic for research purposes. You can see so much more of the molding history of a model once the distraction of the paint job is eliminated, and as I’ve discussed before, the Family Foal has an fascinating and complex history of mold revisions.

The chance of finding a true factory original blank of this vintage is very, very slim, and the painted versions are just common enough to not bother me "destroying" one. Not in the same way I get squicked out by some hobbyists going to town on limited release models that haven’t been released as regular runs yet.

Someone wanted to see the "Neiman Marcus" Longhorn, and here he is:

Just a #384 Texan Longhorn Bull with his brand marks removed, and a Neiman Marcus logo handpainted on (in black enamel). It’s not real obvious in the picture, but it’s very obvious in person. It’s another excellent example of why you shouldn’t base you buying decisions solely on photographs. As someone who was once considered an expert-level user of Photoshop, take it from me: you should be very wary of trusting any online photographs, period.

(Note: I try to keep my digital manipulation to a minimum here - basically to compensate for my complete and somewhat ironic lack of actual photography skills. I'll lighten for detail or contrast, color correct to compensate for inadequate lighting, or add a little extra sharpening for my shaky hands.)

And which is also why I’m rolling my eyes at the kerfuffle on Blab over the photographs of the Fall Release of the Rocky Mountain Horse on El Pastor. How many times do we have to go over this? Fact: we have known for years that we can’t trust the photographs Reeves puts out ahead of their releases. If it’s not quality of the photo, it’s the quality of the editing.

I saw the actual, three-dimensional sample of the Rocky Mountain Horse at BreyerFest, and I thought he was beautiful. In fact, I think he was the only item on the table on Thursday that made me make "grabby hands" motions. Looked just like that Collector’s Choice Chocolate Ethereal, except for the absence of gloss. If they look like that, and I find a nice one at the same semi-local farm store where I found those Zenyattas, it’s coming home with me. This is coming from someone who’s not really "in the market" for current regular runs.

Time to lotion myself up and hit the sack.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Everybody's an Expert

Something insubstantial today, because I made the mistake, over the weekend, to clean out the corner of the property where the groundhog lives. The groundhog evidently knew what I was up to and decided to engage in some chemical warfare, which has led to a most peculiar, and painful, allergic reaction over a good portion of the right side of my body.

In reality: I’m now suffering a very nasty case of allergic contact dermatitis, probably caused by the perennial helianthus I was yanking out with wild abandon. (Knew that stuff was evil the day I picked it up at the perennial exchange. Knew it!) I got something for it, no worries …yet.

On the plus side, it’s just horrible looking enough to keep some of my more annoying coworkers at a distance. ("Hey, can I borrow some of your …gah! Never mind!")

Sunday was another very strange day at the flea market. I found a nice little box lot of horsey-type stuff, super-cheap - seriously, I could sell the wooden box everything was thrown into for the price I paid for the lot, and then some. Nothing spectacular, just some older FAFs, a Hartland Chubby Walker knock-off and some toyish things:

Yes, some of them have been painted over; I totally love the shade of purple on the Hartland knockoff (the Red Ryder one?); I think I see another crazy, Joseph Cornell-inspired art project in my near future.

The strange part was the dealer getting into an argument with me after I paid for it. I’m used to dealers - especially ones that don’t know me - throwing all kinds of BS at me to get me to buy something. But she was trying to impress me after the fact, with other Breyers she had sold in the past.

Everything she mentioned, though, pointed towards them being Hartlands: The Lone Ranger, Tonto, Roy Rogers, etc. And I told her so - either that, or she was confusing them with newer pieces. Nothing rude or anything, just a simple "Oh, those sound more like Hartlands" type of statement.

She got indignant, told me they were OLD, and were marked BREYER, and implied I didn’t have any clue what I was talking about. I started citing chapter and verse about the horses in the box (that the curly eartips on the Family Foals date them to 1961 or 1962 at the latest, that the purple horse was a repainted Hartland copy, etc.) but she wasn’t having any of it.

So I walked away from it. Poor, dumb little me wiIl make money on the deal without even breaking a sweat.

Maybe it’s just that I’ve gotten used to the "regulars" there giving me some props for knowing my stuff. I don’t know everything - nobody does - but I’d like to think that I’m at least the local, "resident" expert. I was just trying to be helpful. Ask around!

I get some of the same from fellow hobbyists, from time to time. Everyone who buys a reference book or two suddenly thinks they’re an expert. Which may well be the case if you’re at a yard sale or auction house, but not at BreyerFest or on MHSP, dearies.

It unnerves me when I see auctions go way higher than they need to, based on bad photography, wishful thinking, or wrong impressions. There have been times when I’ve gone out of my way to dissuade hobbyists from thinking something is more rare than it is, even if it meant me getting less for it in the end.

I tend to err on the side of most hobbyists knowing what they have, generally. There may be some gaps in their knowledge, or finer details they may miss, sure, but unless they’re hard up for cash, or been out of the market for a while, you’ll have to find your crazy-spectacular deals elsewhere.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Spun Gold

Remember the speculation about the Spun Gold Surprise? Some folks thought that meant straight-up Decorators, while others thought they’d be realistic colors with a "golden" theme, like Chestnuts, Palominos and such.

They split it down the middle: we got "golden" themed colors, with semi-metallic finishes: Champagne, Flaxen Chestnut Overo, and Buckskin Blanket Appaloosa. (Hey, I got that part right! Yay, me!)

So, just like last time, I got a Pinto and an Appaloosa:

There was some carping about the solid "Champagne" version not being a "true" Champagne, but that seemed like nitpicking to me. Heck, a few years ago most hobbyists didn’t even know what the color "Champagne" was. And we’re talking semi-decorator colors on the semi-realistic "Ethereal" mold here; I’m sort of surprised they came as close as they did.

I’ve been wanting to add a few more Ethereals to the herd for some time now, so I was more than happy with his appearance as this year’s Surprise model. I wasn’t lucky enough to get the Surprise within the Surprise - a Gloss Dark Palomino Appaloosa, in the same pattern as the "Fire" - but the execution this time around went off without a hitch, at least. (And not all dumped into roughly the same time slot, like last time.)

At 28-30 pieces distributed, that came out to two Surprises per time slot; roughly calculated, your odds of getting one were about 40 to 1. Still not great, but probably a better bet than the raffle - and you still get a horse out of the deal, if you don’t "win"!

A model with a fairly limited piece count - 390 pieces each of the standard three - on a mold that hasn’t seen a lot of action lately. So hey, not a bad deal, all around.

What’s really nice about the Surprise Tent SR is that it’s really hard to game the system, the way you can (to a degree) with some of the other super-limited models at BreyerFest. Sure, you could buy more tickets to improve your odds, but at 70-85 for the ticket, plus 50-60 dollars a pop per model (or more) and all that time spent standing in line? Most hobbyists aren’t going to invest that kind of effort. Or have that kind of money to play with.

In other words, it’s about as fair a system as we’ll ever have for distributing a rarity as we’ll ever have. You know me, I’m big on the fairness thing. Neither life, nor the hobby are fair, but anything to make it a little more so, I’m all for.

Now that they seem to have worked the kinks out of the Surprise Horses, I sure hope they become a regular feature of BreyerFests to come.

Friday, August 19, 2011

If It Ain't One Thing...

A rough couple of days here: not so much bad luck, but many petty aggravations. I banged up my knee pretty good, lost another pair of shoes to the dog, the allergies kicked it up a notch, and I keep dropping food on myself. (Yesterday it was an entire can of Diet Mountain Dew.)

Oh, and I had to get a new battery and new tires for the car.

I guess I should be grateful that I didn’t get the call for Red Rocket, then. Or get pulled for Swirling Sky. (Not getting picked for him wasn’t quite as aggravating as not getting picked for a Red Rocket, but it didn’t help. There’s always the wait list…)

I’m in the process of making a big sale to a regular customer that should cover the cost of my car troubles, though. If I can spare some time this weekend, I might even get a chance to throw a few items up on MHSP, too. Bodies and small items, I think, nothing to lurk about.

It is interesting that we haven’t seen too many Red Rockets up for sale in the secondary market; I don’t know if it’s because it’s not a super-popular mold (i.e. most of the drawing entrants actually wanted it for themselves) or the resellers are being more discreet about it. Fine with it, either way. I’ve got other things to obsess over.

Other than the aggravations, and the Red Rocket thingie, it’s been kind of a boring week. Lots of working, cleaning, sorting and filing. I know I’m probably just weird this way (or perhaps it’s a touch of OCD?), but there’s something very relaxing about taking a big mess of papers and putting them in a logical, usable order.

As such, I was a bit bummed didn’t get to bring back as much ephemera as I wanted to from BreyerFest this year. I still had a substantial pile of stuff from before then that needed to be dealt with, but more is always better, as far as the ephemera is concerned.

Since I’m in the middle of pulling that really big sale from the storage totes (over 20 items - no joke!) I’ll have to leave the post about this year’s BreyerFest Surprise model until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Barry and Wally

Nope. Not that one either. Third strike in a row on the Web Specials. What was the last one I got? Pace Yourself? This sort of thing keeps up, I'm going to just not bother even applying anymore. I get nauseous enough hoping for potential employers to call; no need to add to that agony.

It wasn’t a completely wasted day: at least I finally got an old restoration project done while waiting. I needed to get that anxious energy out of my body somehow, and I wasn’t in the mood to do any sewing. The sewing project I’m in the middle of - an obscure vintage quilt pattern called "Gardner’s Prize" - would have probably contributed to my stress:

All curves and inset pieces! (Before you question my taste in fabric, I just want to point out that I’m reconstructing it from pieces found in a box of scraps I bought at the flea market last year. Because I want to, that’s why.)

Actually, it’s not all that bad a project for someone at my skill level, but it was definitely not the right project for my anxiety level today. Swabbing, scrubbing, and rinsing was more my speed.

Since I’m still not quite calm enough to write anything that’s both long and/or reasonably coherent, here are some pictures of a couple more NPOD finds, instead. Notice anything different about these "Fun with Model Horses" Gray Flash Gift Sets?

The halters are red - just like they were in the PR photos! The sets that officially hit the market came with blue, pink or lavender halters, not red ones. Not sure why they changed the color on the official releases; my guess would be that they just went with the ribbon stock - and halters - they already had on hand from previous releases, to save some cash.

I don’t know if either of these pieces was the photography sample; I know there were at least two other red halter Flashes in addition to the two that I have. I haven’t unboxed either one to determine if they’re preproduction or sample pieces, though it’s not an unreasonable assumption.

And why, pray tell, haven’t I unboxed them yet?

They’re also packaging samples! Here’s a side shot of the second box above: it’s a mock-up made out of color laser print outs pasted over another Breyer box - with a sheet of plastic over the front to display the prototype sticker! You can even see the red dashed score marks on the box edges.

They’ve been throwing packaging samples in the NPOD for years, too, but most of them are of the fairly subtle sort - different stickers, different UPCs, generic backer boards with handpunched holes, etc. I’ve seen a few with stickers and handwritten notations on them, but this is the first time that I’ve even found true, honest-to-goodness mock-up.

Basically, it's a "packaging test color"!

From experience I’ve learned that it’s a wise thing to linger in the Pit for a little while after the initial rush. Once the majority of the more obvious loot’s been carried away, it sometimes reveals more subtle treasures hiding underneath. So it wasn’t a total shock when I found the Flashes tucked away in a relatively unpillaged corner.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Seeing Red

Oh, great. Reeves has apparently decided that the "Don’t call us, we’ll call you" method of doling out online Special Runs is the way to go after all.

Worst possible scenario for me, personally, as I’ve already explained in great detail.

I was planning on cutting back on the horse purchases for the rest of the year anyway, but I wanted it to be a test of the strength of my own free will and budgeting skills, not the inevitable consequence of my own personal demons.

I’ll still put in for the Red Rocket anyway, since I am rather fond of the old Belgian mold. If the call comes, I’ll just have to find a way of coping with it that doesn’t involve crying, cursing, or the throwing of things.

I suppose I should say something about the other "Red" model that’s been lighting up the model horse world this week - the alleged Mobilgas SR Red Pegasus on eBay.

I am…dubious. I certainly think it’s possible that an SR was proposed or considered, and maybe even tested at some point, but I’m not so certain that the majority of the ones that have shown up in recent years are authentic.

Look, I’d like it to be real just as much as anyone else, but what I know of this "SR" leads me to be highly skeptical of most of the examples that have turned up in recent years. As someone on Blab pointed out, they could have just as easily been painted by Mobil employees as an internal promotion.

There were a handful of Longhorn Bulls that turned up on eBay a few years ago, with the Neiman Marcus logo "branded" on one hip; they looked real (and seemed plausible) at first glance, but they weren’t. I can’t remember the exact explanation I eventually got about them - I got one quite cheaply, once it was discovered that they were not authentic. (It was something quite innocent, or at least not done with any deliberate intent to deceive.)

I hesitate to use the word hysteria - it’s such a loaded word, especially in the context of a hobby that’s majority female - but I fear that’s the only word that describes the situation here. Evidence has become irrelevant: hobbyists want to believe.

Believing in something, however, does not make it so.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Pre-Broken Breakables

I’m so not in the mood for writing right now. The whole world’s in a funk, and has apparently taken me with it.

The same could be said of the flea market. There’s been a strangely tense vibe there; the quality of the merchandise remains good, but some of the newer dealers seem antagonistic to the concept of haggling. Hey, if I wanted to pay antique mall prices, I’d go to the antique mall, not to an open-air flea market wedged between a cemetery and a softball field.

Nevertheless, I did manage to find a few good things this week:

A Lomonosov Cheetah Cub, an H-R Mama Hippo, and a rather tragic Beswick Dachshund with eight breaks - including her neck! She was only a dollar, and it was obvious that her previous owner must have loved her something powerful: she had enough Quake Hold stuck to her bum to stand a Nataf on its head.

At the very least, she’ll make a nice test subject whenever I get around to teaching myself china restoration. Oh, and I did find one other piece, at the local Salvation Army on Monday - a piece of Kaiser! More specifically, a painted bisque 377 Goose Girl:

I had to stop in to check out the shoe department - the Vita Monster ate ANOTHER pair of work shoes - and I did a fly by of the collectibles department, just because. At first I thought it might have been a fake or a knockoff, but nope, it’s the real thing.

Yeah, this is a tonier than average area for a Salvation Army, and the quality of the merchandise is a shade better than average, but a piece of Kaiser sitting on the shelf next to dollar store knick-knacks? Definitely not a normal occurrence, even around here.

She’s not mint - one little curl of her hair is broken off, but who am I to complain? She was only a dollar more than the pair of shoes I found. (Yes, they wrapped them up in separate bags. They're not heathens, y'know.)

I did do a quick run through the rest of the store to make sure there weren’t any other Kaiser pieces floating around. Fortunately not: if I had found, say, a Kaiser horse next to some tacky Hobby Lobby resin Jesus figurine, the cognitive dissonance would have probably killed me.

(Nothing against religious tchotchkes per se, it’s just that I’m a bit of a snob about them: if it’s not a Hartland, or doesn’t glow in the dark, I ain’t interested.)

I suppose I should throw a little Breyer stuff in here.

The BreyerFest Porcelain SR Aurora was nicer than I expected - not enough to motivate me to buy one this year, though I wouldn’t rule it out in the future. If I hadn’t found all that I had found in the Pit this year, I might have bought a few of the other leftover Porcelains there, including the Party Time, and especially last year’s Dances with Wolves.

The only problem with buying more Breyer Porcelains is that it would necessitate me doing a major reorganization the china cabinet, and I’m really not up for that. I’m having a hard enough time getting done all of the other things I need to get done.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Two Forward, One Back

When you’ve had the week that I had, the only logical response to it is cleaning, filing and sorting. I haven’t yet resorted to dusting though - if I’m not showing it, selling it, or photographing it, there’s absolutely no reason to dust it.

I mean, I do do it on occasion to keep the allergies and the cobwebs down, but anything more than once every year or so seems like an extravagance to me.

In the process, I finally got the "paperwork" for all of the newest arrivals done, too; this encompasses not just logging them into my personal collection inventory, but also jotting down all the relevant observational data about the models themselves, for my research. I hadn’t noticed until yesterday, for instance, that the Bluegrass Bandit mold comes with fully modeled horseshoes.

(Under the Sea is my first example of the mold, hence my not noticing it before.)

I also had a chance to unpack and enjoy my Sorcerer’s Apprentice:

I managed to get all three of the SR resins in the Tent; the Prince Charming has already been rehomed, and the Avalon will be, shortly. They are all lovely, but I break fragile things, so the notion of me keeping all three for myself was out of the question. One’s enough for me.

It’s not like I could have changed my mind and gone back for more, either. Silly Reeves people put every last one of them out Friday morning, with the usual consequences ensuing. So predictable.

If I’ve failed to mention it before, let me mention it now: I had the good fortune to have the honor of being the first person in line on Friday this year. Another BreyerFest accomplishment, checked off the list!

It was one of the coolest moments I’ve ever had at a BreyerFest: I felt like I was leading an Olympic delegation, minus the flag and the dorky matching outfits. (I’d be cool with carrying a flag, but no-can-do on matching windbreakers, serapes or berets. A cape? That, I could do.)

Anyway, what that meant was that for a brief, glorious moment, the NPOD all mine. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cry, scream, or set up a blockade to defend my territory. Then I spotted the resins: it wasn’t just one, or a small selection of all three - it was clearly the whole wad.

So my thoughts immediately turned back to business: grab one of each while I can, before the horde behind me gets to pillaging. The samples could (momentarily) wait.

Good thing that I did, since the resins were pretty much gone, I think, by the time I managed to saunter over to the register. (Saunter? Okay, more like drag, with considerable assistance.)

If they do this resin thing again next year, they better darn well spread ‘em out like they were hinting before the event. Even though the NPOD was a little more sedate than it has been in the past few years, I think it has been, in part, because they’ve been doling out the other Store Specials that way. Even if it’s only tamping down the desperation just a tad, it’s a tad that seems to be making the difference.

If they’re going to ramp up the Store Special program with resins now, they might as well follow through.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Digging Deeper

I did not think that, on a personal awfulness scale, that Monday could have been topped. Then I ran into yesterday.

I’ll spare you the gruesome details, and only give you the one word sufficient to end all inquiries on the quality of that awfulness.


(See? I told you it was a conversation stopper!)

Now that that bit of nastiness is out of the way, onto more pleasant things. I had to do a little reorganization of the storage area yesterday, and in the process I just so happened to find one of my older Pit Samples:

It’s the Shaded Bay Quarter Horse Gelding, from the 2001 J.C. Penney XMAS Catalog SR "Riding Academy Set," sans Rider Doll and the Grooming Kit. He was wrapped in a bag with some bubble wrap, along with a bunch of other models heaped in a pile. Since I was, and am rather fond of the QHG, I picked him up and carried him to the register with the rest of my booty.

That year, by the way, was 2006. I didn’t think much of the disparity of time, assuming that he was just a leftover who overstayed his welcome in the office or warehouse. It was a reasonable assumption: I can’t remember if it was that year, or a year previous, that they had boxes of the spare Grooming Kits and Dolls for sale, separately.

He was - and is - in immaculate condition, so I know he was never boxed or packaged in any way, whatever the case. I haven’t had the time or inclination to dig any deeper, or compare him with other examples to look for any significant differences. In light of the more recent Samples found in the Pit, it might be a good idea.

The provenance is good enough for me, for now, though.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Stuff of Nightmares

Well, I don’t think I could have had a worse experience in getting a reservation at the CHIN yesterday. Over two and a half hours of redialing, only to just barely end up with a room on the second floor. (The first time since - 2004?) I thought the hoi polloi had all decided that the CHIN was no longer worthy of their patronage?

(There I go again, believing what people write on public web sites. Completely forgot about the whole righteous "I’m gonna give NAMHSA a piece of my mind" meeting a few years back that wasn’t. All talk, no action - same as it ever was.)

I suppose I should be grateful to get a room at all, but I almost - and I am not exaggerating here - had a nervous breakdown in the process. Everyone who knows me well knows I don’t do phones. I wish I had some other less-obscure phobia to deal with, like heights, or clowns, or speaking in public, but somehow I got stuck with telephones. It’s better than it was (thank therapy for that) but unsolicited "’Sup?" phone calls from me aren’t in anyone’s future.

(If you do somehow score a phone call from me, your first thought should always and ever be "Oh no, what’s wrong?")

I’ve managed to pass the reservation duty on to other family members the past few years, but there was no one available to do the job this time around. I was literally sick the rest of the day, and I wasn’t feeling much better today. I looked pale and morose enough at work this morning that even the coworker going through chemo seemed concerned about me. (Which, in turn, made me feel even worse. Irrational Fear < Cancer.)

I was planning on taking less stuff to sell next year anyway, but less generally means (at best) one less tote. Lord, I hope the rumors about publicly accessible elevators next year are true. Or that a significant number of people change their minds and trot themselves over to the Embassy Suites anyway. ($40-70 more a night, and minimal room sales? Sorry, no can do.)

Enough kvetching. To make up for my drama queen rantings, here’s a picture of another Pit find, a "Master Design Sample" for the Halloween Horse Nosferatu:

(What, you thought that once I did a post on the Pecos, that that would be the end of BreyerFest stuff? Shoot, I have at least another week’s worth of stuff to go here.)

"Master Design Sample" is what it said on the bag he came in, which I am assuming is either a fancy-schmantzy in-house term for Test Color, or some permutation thereof. You’ll notice that his bats, unlike the production version, are sharp and crisp, and that this sunset shading is pretty darn amazing, too. He does have a little wear and tear, which is consistent with him being a True Test, and not something they just did purely for auctioning or raffling.

All the flaws are easily repairable though, should I ever get the notion of showing him. (I already have the perfect name for him: Dormammu!)

I don’t have any promo materials for his original release back in 2002, to check if he’s the actual photography sample. Would be mind-blowing if he was, but irrelevant, since he’s not going anywhere anyway.

Like a lot of hobbyists back when, I was a little bummed by the quality of the production Nosferatus. Not enough to get the screaming-meemies over it, but enough to make me shrug and hope for a cheap one on the secondary market. I suppose this Nosferatu qualifies as both cheap (for a Test Color) and secondhand (via the NPOD.) Funny how that works out.

Now, if I could only snag one of those leftovers Frankensteeds. (There were some rumors floating around that they might drop them in the Pit this year, but as far as I know, that didn't happen.)