Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Note to self: stop buying collections from non-collectors. Way more work than they’re worth, frankly. Nothing more disheartening to pick up a box and hear loose bits rolling around - loose bits that you know aren’t Stablemate-sized.

I don’t mind a good-sized body box, but mine is now verging on the ridiculous. Anyone in the market for some older bodies? No respectable body box should be without a few vintage clunkers!

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the word vintage, especially in respect to Reeves’ new "Vintage Collectors Club." Some collectors are understandably a little concerned about what Reeves’ definition of the word might entail.

The word vintage originally applied only to wines; it migrated across the rest of the collectible spectrum when the word antique fell out of favor, a consequence, partly, of the fact that it does have a legal definition. (In most jurisdictions, this definition is usually something along the lines of "an object of personal property of 100 years of age or more.")

Like the word rare, however, vintage has been bandied about in the world of collectible so much, and so carelessly, that it has essentially lost all meaning.

If I had my druthers, I’d define vintage in the Breyer world as "any mold, model or color originally designed, produced or released prior to the acquisition of the Breyer brand by Reeves," which would include anything made prior to 1985.

It’s a (relatively) neat and clean cut off point, and it’s by no means an arbitrary one, either. The acquisition of Breyer, by Reeves, represents a significant turning point in the history of the brand. After that point, molds and models became a more realistic, and a more "finished" product. Reeves has spent a considerable amount of effort catering to the collectibles crowd, a trend that existed in the Chicago era from the very beginning, but which did not become fully implemented until the Reeves era.

There’s also the Chris Hess factor: if there’s any one thing that hobbyists agree on, it’s that Chris Hess molds are vintage. The bulk of Hess’s work for the company was done by 1985: only Touch of Class in 1986, and the much-delayed Secretariat in 1987, remained to be released.

A time-based definition could work, too: "any mold, model or color originally designed, produced or released at least 25 years ago." Or whatever number we happen to decide sounds reasonable. Twenty-five seems like a reasonable enough distance from the present, for me. (I think it used to be the same amount of time required to get a "classic" license plate in Michigan, but don’t quote me on that.)

I have no idea what concept of vintage Reeves has in mind. I suppose, like most things, they'll just make it up as they go along.

Cutting out early again: I’m trying to finish the novel tonight. I don’t have to be anywhere tomorrow, so I am free to pull an all-nighter, if I have to. I don’t think have to - I only have about 1500 words to go, more or less, which should take about 3 or 4 hours to pull out of me. However, I’m starting to get harassed by the rest of the residents of this household on my general lack of non-novelly activities in said household.

Better for me if I can get done as much as I can tonight, and leave the rest of the day to defending Fort Christmas Tree. (More on that, next time.)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fall in Love

Got all my shopping done on Friday in the space of an hour; fortunately, all I had to do was pick up a couple of things at Walgreens and a few supplies from the craft store. Clipped my coupons, got up at a leisurely hour, did my business, and went home. No "competitive shopping" for me.

(Ironically, I was kinda-sorta pepper sprayed once, in the relative safety of my own home, because someone was too cheap to go buy a can of ground pepper at the store. Peppercorns + Food Processor = Bad Idea. 'Nuff said.)

I spent the rest of the day cussing at (a) dumb people on the Internet, (b) a quilt project that’s way more complicated than it looked on paper, and (c) the Nano novel.

It’s been a good experience for me, but I will be glad to be done with it and move on to other things for a while. I just finished a really emotionally draining scene today, and I am wiped out. (Main character kisses her ex-boyfriend for the first - and only - time. In front of his wife and newborn baby. Didn’t think the scene was going to go there, but dang, that’s where it went.)

Since the new Breyer site didn’t get its hard/official launch until Wednesday, and with most folks having minimal ‘net time on Thursday, it makes sense that the Fall in Love Web Special is being handled as a general, open to the public release.

Running a lottery for the first Web Special a few days after they start offering Collector’s Club memberships - with one of the perks of the membership being the ability to enter drawings for Web Specials? Might strike some folks as a little questionable, both legally and ethically.

I am glad that they abandoned the "don’t call us, we’ll call you" notification method, though truthfully, the lottery method is probably going to make it even less likely for those of us without compliant friends and relatives to "win."

I’m just gonna do my one e-mail entry a day, and hope for the best. I just bought another (small) collection this week, so I won’t be completely heartbroken if it doesn’t happen. (IOW: don’t offer. Seriously. Short on the moolah here.)

I suspect that the Silver Filigree Weather Girl "Mont Tremblant," will be offered strictly to Collector’s Club members, since I’m assuming that that will be at least another week or two in the future - or long enough as Reeves deems the notification timeframe as sufficient.

I’m also assuming is going to be by lottery first to Club members, with the leftovers (if any) being offered to the general public.

(Yeah, I know, leftover Silver Filigree Weather Girls: such a silly thought.)

Well, anyway, like I said, the novel left me a bit wiped. Time to veg out in front of the telly.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Web Site

I have to work on the last day of the month, so I’m trying to get a little bit ahead of myself on the Nano novel just in case. Unfortunately, the words were not cooperating today; I’m ahead, but not as much as I want to be.

Maybe I should go work on a quilt or two to clear my head. It’s been a crazy week; I think I deserve it.

Anyway, I was playing with the dog the other day, and it occurred to me that we somehow managed to raise a completely skeptical dog. Vita’s willing to play with you, even though she knows - or suspects - you are not being entirely honest with her when you do. (I’m not going to run up the stairs after the ball, because that just means you’re trying to get a head start on me when we’re playing hide and seek.)

She’s skeptical, but not cynical: even thought it’s true that we’re not always one hundred percent truthful with her, we’re truthful - and sincere - enough to make it worth her while to play with us. If she were cynical, she’d just run off with the ball and play with it by herself every single time.

Anyway, that’s sort of a roundabout way of explaining why I haven’t participated in any of the online discussions about the soft launch of the new Breyer web site on Monday. I’m a skeptic, not a cynic. But I also know better than to toss a ball into an arena full of cynics.

(Another grating thing: if I have to read one more post by hobbyists asking about the remaining issues on the JAH subscriptions, I swear I’m going to go outside and violently break something. People who regularly drop hundreds of dollars on a single model, whinging about twenty dollars worth of subscription fees? Talk to the hoof!)

Yeah, Reeves is not handling the launch as well as they should have; I’m surprised that it took them until this evening to finally send out an e-mail notification about it, and nothing at all on their Facebook page yet, as far as I can tell. (NOTE: I don’t "do" Facebook.)

I’ll just assume they did this "soft" launch as a way of working out the bugs with the early adopters in time for whatever they have planned for Black Friday/Cyber Monday (the web special Nokota, I presume?)

As for the web site itself, s’alright. It’s a little too cluttered for my taste, but I’m a design minimalist at heart. I’d rather they started out simpler, and scaled up, rather than hit us with that level of complexity early on. You know, show us they have mastered basic math before hitting the trigonometry textbook.

The Collector’s Club has turned out to be just an online JAH/forum/online store special access subscription type thing. Eh, whatever. Not crazy about the fee, but it’s not any different than paying for a subscription to a magazine or online forum. During the signup process they asked for an online ID, which I’m assuming means that they really are planning on implementing some sort of discussion forum in the future. (That ought to be …interesting.)

The only other thing I signed up for was the Vintage Club, since that’s my natural inclination. A lot of hobbyists are extremely concerned that the models that they’d be "forced" to buy through the program will be unsellable turkeys, but honestly, I am not that concerned. I’m going to assume that they’re going to stick with fairly "safe" (pre-1965) vintage molds and colors for their first offerings, and they’ll be asking for input from subscribers for the subsequent rounds.

If I had the money and the space, I would have signed up for the Premier Club, too, but I don’t, so I didn’t. Simple as that. I was a little concerned about the undefined piece counts on what’s essentially a Connoisseur Club, too, though if the quality holds up, the piece count would be moot.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's Not the Heat

Slowly grinding out those words on the novel: I’m just about caught up to where I need to be, finally. No major breakthroughs, though I think I finally figured out what to do with that painting by Nicholas Poussin.

Seventeenth Century French Classicists and Sasquatch? I know, I know, this novel has bestseller written all over it! (Actually, it seems to have more in common with that new movie The Descendants, which is completely coincidental, since I hadn’t even heard about that movie until about a week ago, and most of the notes for my novel were written about ten years ago.)

I did not win a Thrillseeker. I am okay with that, especially now that a procedure that I’ve been putting off that not related to my teeth may need to be done sooner, rather than later. Nothing serious, just a little bit beyond my budget, and my laughable insurance. I may have to sell something pricey to help pay for it, though that will have to wait until I finally get those 50,000 words out of my system.

I also have a funny feeling that Reeves has something planned within the next week, either for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. No specific intel, but it would make sense: two more web specials, a new web site launch, a couple of clubs that you need to sign up for, all allegedly by the end of the year…

I also would like to officially announce that The Toad will not be making any more public appearances. I got a good gander at him earlier this week, and good gravy, he’s gotten even scarier.

I think I’ve figured out the key component of ooziness: it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. We’ve always had minor but noticeable issues with humidity at the house - a bit too damp in the summer, a bit too dry in the winter - but The Toad became a better barometer than any gauges we had.

While heat does play a part - warm air can hold more moisture than cold air - if you have to make a choice between moderating the heat, or moderating the humidity, turn up that dehumidifier, folks. (If you need any more convincing, it’ll have the added benefit of reducing the risk of mildew, too.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Design Nerdiness

Reeves launched an updated Breyer logo a couple of days ago on its Facebook page and in its e-mail communications, and I appear to be the only person who’s happy about it. Well, not so much happy, but glad to see the old logo gone.

Man, I hated that thing. It had overstayed its welcome, as far as I’m concerned; most of the other logos and identity programs the Breyer line has had over the years rarely stuck around for long, but that darn "coffee can" logo lingered for decades.

I called it the "coffee can" logo because it wouldn’t have been out of place on a coffee can. Or anything else. And that was my biggest pet peeve about it: it was just so depressingly generic. All the typefaces in the world they could have based their identity program on, and they went with an off the shelf version of Helvetica Black?

I have nothing against Helvetica family of typefaces in general (so much better than it’s red-headed stepchild, Arial), but Helvetica has a reputation for being almost invisible. That’s sort of the point - and the popularity - of Helvetica: it’s designed to not get in the way of readability.

But it also doesn’t convey much of anything, emotionally. It’s just …there.

Then there’s the issue of the typography itself: namely, that "dropped" letter R in the logo, which was allegedly done intentionally to "catch your eye." You know the saying that "if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck"? If it looks like a mistake, and feels like a mistake, it’s probably a mistake. Whether it was intentional or not.

(I remain convinced that the design firm that created this identity program had to have been blowing smoke in their faces. No, no, it’s meant to be that way, really!)

I had/have no problems with the color scheme: blue and yellow/gold have been a part of Breyer's design history since the 1960s - first with the Decorators, and then as a part of the Blue Ribbon Sticker program. I wasn’t too keen on the use of yellow as the dominant color on the packaging, though: while it’s true that it’s very eyecatching (definitely a plus, in a retail environment), yellow is one of the most difficult colors to work with from a design perspective. The right shade can look luxurious - but the wrong shade can look cheap.

It also has some uncomfortable associations with that all too common Breyer problem of, y’know, yellowing plastic. (Unless the intent was camouflage?)

While I’m not too keen on the three-dimensional "bubble" effect on the new logo (a tad too trendy, if you ask me), and it still seems a bit generic, it does feel like a step in the right direction. A little more refined, and up-to-date. I’ll have to see what the web site - and the rest of the new identity program - looks like before I make my final judgment.

(For the record: yes, the redesign of the web site really is happening, and no, I’m not at liberty to reveal anything about it.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Apple Jack

Argh! My apologies to anyone who’s been expecting a reply or response from me; this novel appears to be eating my brain. There’s way more plot here than I anticipated. I have no idea where it’s all coming from. (Though I am grateful for it.)

It also made me completely forget about the Breyer Fun Day on Saturday. There was a live show this past weekend, too, but it was at least an hour and a half drive, through some fearsome traffic and construction. Just not worth the effort, especially since I wasn’t buying, selling or showing. Some serious and intense socialization would have been good for the soul, but hey. I decided to go with "novel" this month, instead. Too far in to give up now.

I did go a couple miles out of my way to buy a horse yesterday, though technically, it wasn’t for me, but a friend. It was an Apple Jack:

He does have a few flaws, but he was way better than the other one on the shelf. I’ll be stopping by another store on my way back from work on Wednesday to see if I can upgrade, and if not, no big whoop. He’s cute, but there's no shortage of cute here.

I might regret it a few months or few years from now, (as I am with the Classic Shire B, in Pinto), but I do not have infinite shelf space. I already have a couple Bouncers, including my lovely Seren, and I suspect we may be seeing another Bouncer as an SR for next year’s British-themed BreyerFest, anyway. (As a British Spotted Pony, maybe? Yes, please.)

As for the condition issues that everyone’s been freaking out about, I guess I should rephrase my commentary on my Pamplemousse a bit (which I haven’t bothered to return, and I rather doubt I will.) It wasn’t the flaws that made me question keeping him, it was the timing. Every year I think I can get a little ahead of myself in the fall, as far as my finances go, but this year - like the last few - it hasn’t worked out that way.

But when he came, well, I could think of a half-dozen more useful places the money could have been spend on, at that moment. That handful of flaws present became just a few more nits to pick.

If he were an A+ super awesome OMG oh so bee-you-tee-full paragon of perfection, it might have tamped down my apprehension a bit. But he wasn’t. Staring at that sample Pamplemousse at BreyerFest didn’t help either.

Oddly enough, some of the reactions I’ve been seeing about flaws - on both Pamplemousse, and Breyers in general - within the model horse web have provided me some much needed amusement. Oh, if only the greatest aggravation in my life was finding a couple pieces of lint on a plastic horse!

You know, I’ve been hearing that Breyers haven’t been made "the way they used to be" since I’ve been collecting, which is longer than many of you have probably been alive. (I used to buy my Stablemates at Kmart - for 99 cents apiece! You do the math.) If Breyers have truly been going down hill since then, we’d all be collecting little puddles of vaguely horse-shaped plastic by now.

The quality curve has been going up for some time; most of the quality control issues we’re seeing now are slight regressions on that upward trajectory, not some precipitous and unrecoverable drop.

Most of the production problems Reeves is going through now are a consequence of scale, not a lack of caring. They probably underestimated the demand for Pamplemousse, and in an effort to meet the demand, created an environment where some quality control issues cropped up.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the production demands for the Pamplemousse contributed to the relatively short - and flaw ridden - run of the Apple Jack. The production timing certainly seems about right.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I Googled The Greening of Whitney Brown movie that Reeves has been pushing all over its Facebook page, which I presume is in anticipation of some sort of Special Run release. The description, straight from The Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com):
Whitney, a spoiled pre-teen from Philadelphia, is forced to move to the country when her parents feel the squeeze of economic hard times. A fish out of water, far from her comfort zone, she befriends an amazing horse, and undertakes a misguided journey back to her old life, only to discover that her family is her home.
More schmaltz. Sigh. I swear, my next NaNo novel is going to be an attempt to write a YA horse story completely free of sentimental claptrap, where nobody learns nothing, and the horses are absolutely ordinary in every way.

I’m still a little behind on the word count on the current one, but I’m gaining ground. I was worried that I was running out of steam a couple days ago, but then I took a quick inventory of everything that still had to happen yet, and I think I’ll be good for almost the next week or so.

(Interesting fact learned today: Microsoft Word spell checks words like Trakehner and Saddlebred, but is totally okay with Sasquatch. Read into that whatever you wish.)

I almost laughed out loud the other day when I was giving one of my coworkers a ride to work. Out of the blue, she asked me "You seem to know a lot about collectibles. Could you tell me about Hummels?"

I momentarily thought she was punking me, until I realized who it was I was talking to: she’s probably the most guile-free person I’ve ever met. Apparently there was some sort of family dispute over an elderly relative’s collection, and she really did want an honest appraisal of the market for them.

Unlike most of the other collectibles mentioned in that Yahoo article, I think Hummels will eventually make a comeback. They’re well made, have something of a history behind them, and there’s definitely some inherent and appealing (to some) sentimentality there, too. It might take a generation or two, but the market for them will rebound as a new generation of collectors discovers them.

Most collectibles go through a faddish stage, before they fall back to their more natural levels of interest. During the Depression, for instance, stamp collecting became a huge fad - with many enthusiasts regarding their collections as a viable alternative to a bank account. (Not a completely unreasonable conclusion to make, considering the time.)

Believe it or not, I don’t think model horse collecting has ever achieved the status of a "fad." I think there have been internal fads - certain molds or certain colors becoming inordinately popular, for a time - but the model horse hobby, itself? No, not yet.

It’s always been on the periphery of it, though. There’s already a vague, widespread knowledge and understanding of them as a collectible among the general public. (Note: antiquers and flea market vendors are not the general public.) It never takes more than a sentence or two of conversation with anyone I've ever met before I see a glimmer of recognition in their eyes.

I’ve always wondered what it would take for the model horse hobby to make that leap to the "big time." Celebrity endorsements (actual A-Listers, not B-List Country Music Artists or Reality Show Contestants)? Funny viral Internet ads? A documentary on Animal Planet?

I know a lot of hobbyists have been fearful of the possibility, and the price inflation that could come with it. Seems like a silly concern, considering the way the market is today. Could provide a point of pride, too. Yeah, I was into it way before it was cool.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Catch and Release

Spent the past couple of days trying to get through a bit of a philosophical roadblock in the NaNo novel, and catching up on the word count. Haven’t had much time to think about the horses in the meantime. (Though, ironically, one of the few bits that involved the horses came up in the plot today.)

I did spot another Gloss Valentine and Heartbreaker set, though, at a store I normally wouldn’t have gone to, except for work. I was sort of surprised to still see it there, especially since it was unaccompanied by any of the more common matte-finished ones, on the shelf.

I didn’t buy it: I didn’t need it. I did a "catch and release" on the set, and let it go. Let someone else have the joy of finding it.

Sometimes hobbyists forget - and even I forget - that what an active, vocal subsection of the hobby wants or prefers isn’t necessarily what the general public, casual collectors, or the silent majority of hobbyists want or prefer. They didn’t switch over to matte-finishes in the late 1960s for nothing.

Reeves seems to have done a better-than-average job in estimating the desire of the online hobbyist community for this variation. The prices are a bit elevated on eBay and MH$P, but not hysterically so.

It’s a little too soon to tell if the prices will remain there. The market is in such a state of flux right now. It’s really difficult to tell if the determining factor in that state of flux is the economy, or market saturation. I tend to think it’s the economy: people aren’t buying, because they don’t have the money to spare.

When you’re flush with spendy cash, you can always find room for more horses. Don’t lie: I know you’ve spent just as much time as I have "rearranging" your herd to accommodate just one more horse to the shelf.

Of course, you could switch to Stablemates, but considering the sheer number of Stablemates releases there have been in the past 35+ years - and the average Stablemate addict’s propensity for rationalizing away every slight variation as "essential" - that’s really only a short term solution.

(Been there, done that.)

I’m hoping to be all caught up where I need to be on the novel by tomorrow, so the next post should be somewhat more substantial.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Stablemates are Not Tote Bags

Something short again, today: I had a particularly brutal overnight assignment that left me unconscious for a good part of yesterday, leaving me a few hundred words behind my daily writing goal. I probably won’t get a whole lot done today either (sigh, company) but I can’t afford to worry about it too much.

The more I worry, the less I get done. I have tomorrow off, and a schedule completely free of obligations. I'll be fine.

By the way, did anyone happen to notice that one little tidbit of BreyerWest information that sort of got lost in the hubbub over the judging? Someone from Reeves said that the leftover Fontanas were specifically going to be earmarked for the BreyerFest sales tent next year.

Yeah, I know: a tossed-off comment from a single, unnamed Reeves employee is not exactly a firm ground to base any speculation on. (Heck, the suggestions of one of those employees may have exacerbated the judging debate. All the more reason why they need to hire folks with a wee bit more model horse experience, methinks.)

They could have just as easily said "They’ll end up on the new web site," or "We’re not quite sure what we’ll do with them yet." Both standard and acceptable nonanswers. Casually mentioning that they’re probably going to "the BreyerFest Store" (aka the NPOD)? Most peculiar.

Knowing them, it’s probably nothing – most of the other BreyerWest SRs have ended up in the NPOD, and it really shouldn’t be that big a deal that Fontana might end up there, too. Yet, I can’t recall them ever mentioning – in public – what leftovers they were specifically earmarked for the store before, especially nine months out. It’s almost like some clever word-of-mouth marketing. (I know, I know, I’m ascribing them way too much cleverness.)

It does make me wonder about those little ASPCA donation/pledge "Hermes" gift models, too. They made 75 of them to give to donors/pledges of $100 or more, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to get 75 donors at that level. The NPOD seems like the most logical place for them to go, but the fact that they were made specifically as a possible incentive for donation might bring up some ethical issues.


I can imagine some folks might be willing to pony up the $100 dollars for them in the NPOD on the condition, perhaps, that the money generated from those models also goes to the ASPCA. That would get around the money issue; if they’re still being used to generate donations, problem solved. (Unless they just donate the remainder to the ASPCA free and clear, to do whatever they see fit with them. Or something else along those lines. That would work, too.)

There’s also the issue of it being a "gift with donation" thing in the first place: I have to admit that the act of offering them kind of squicked me out. A limited-edition Stablemate is not the same as a tote bag or t-shirt. Yeah, there are folks out there who’d be willing to pony up some cash for a Breyer tote bag or t-shirt (see also, the NPOD) but nothing on the same scale as rare, glossy Stablemates.

The person making the donation is already getting a tax deduction for their act of charity. Possibly being able to make money on that act of charity, by reselling the gift that came with? Now there’s an awkward scenario.

I suspect that most hobbyists who have made the required level of donation aren’t thinking of selling, or if they are, it’s only for the sake of generating more donations in kind.

I pity the kind of backlash the first secondary market seller might face, regardless of their motivations. It’s a gift, and they can do with it whatever they want, but an awful lot of hobbyists aren’t quite as charitably minded towards their fellow hobbyists.

(Often for good reason. Sigh.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Without Much Ado

Yes, I am a glutton for punishment:

I wasn’t sure I was going to do it, but I figured if I could churn out a decent amount of text the first day, I’d go for it. Besides, the rigor of writing daily will be good for me, even if the writing itself isn’t.

Like all my other attempts at fiction writing, the plot’s the problem. 3,300 words in, and so far the most exciting thing in the whole exercise is an old lady in a Cadillac who drives too fast.

It shouldn’t interfere with the blog; if anything, it ought to help it. I mean, I’m already at the keyboard, right? What better way to avoid writing, than with more writing? Well, I suppose I could avoid writing with quilting, but I just finished another difficult project over the weekend, so maybe not. (At least, not this week.)

I haven’t been paying much attention to the model horse biz the past few days; I’m still doing my usual Internet rounds, but I think I’m still shaking off my October funk. I did notice that they’re coming out with another Traditional Man o’ War - this one, a representation of "Joey" from the book War Horse:


Some hobbyists are in a bit of a snit because, goodness gracious, it’s the Traditional Man o’ War, and not something showable. Apparently every new release nowadays has to be on a brand-spanking new mold, or one of the half-dozen or so "acceptable" older molds.

(Guys, you do realize it costs more than $50,000 to bring a brand new mold to market, right? It’s not just one guy working in a workshop anymore, a la Chris Hess.)

I haven’t read the book; I actually don’t read that much equine fiction, as I’m not that big a fan of schmaltz. (Not saying that that book is, just that there seems to be an unnaturally high correlation between the two concepts.) Whether or not he’s an accurate representation of the horse in question, I have no idea.

And I don’t really care. What I do care about is that it’s another Traditional Man o’ War (yay!) and the paint job, from what I can see on Breyer’s Facebook page, seems pretty nice.

(Gosh, do I dare dream that the sample turns up in the NPOD next year?)

I’d like to think that all my recent jibber-jabbering about the Traditional Man o’ War might have had a tiny effect on the selection of the mold, but probably not. He was just due for another release. The press release I linked to above mentions "an affiliation with Michael Morpurgo to make the portrait model of ‘Joey,’" so it’s possible that the author might have had a hand in selecting the mold, just like the Shatners did with All Glory last year.

In other words, it may be more "much ado about nothing," again.

Look, you got three new Eberls this year, new releases of two older ones, and at least two more new molds the next. No worries folks, there'll be plenty of Eberl goodness to go around.