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.)


Anonymous said...

Hey, I need a couple of vintage clunkers! What ya got? I need an
Adios, a Clydesdale mare...maybe an El Pastor...maybe others...

ANDREA said...

I do have an Adios, and a Clydesdale Mare. No El Pastors, though.

(BTW, I wouldn't consider either of those molds to be true "clunkers." Kids these days...)

I'll probably have a list of bodies ready by Saturday - the next couple of days are going to be a bit crazy here as I try to get everything done that I put off in November for the novel.

Not sure yet if I'm going to list them here, or on MHSP.