Friday, March 29, 2013

Hiding In Plain Sight

The schedule went all haywire on me again. It was supposed to be a nice, quiet week before the Easter break, but rumor has it that some work policy changes are forthcoming, hence all the last-minute changes.

All I can say is that I am so looking forward to my three-day weekend.

The newest Collector Club Web Special is up and it’s a "chalky blue roan overo" Esprit, named Poseidon. I actually like him, a lot: I love pretty much anything roan, and if any mold can pull off a semi-Decorator paint job, it’s Esprit. I won’t be brokenhearted if I don’t win him, but if I do, he probably won’t be going anywhere.

It’s interesting that the announcement e-mail specifically used the word "chalky" in his color description, as a selling point. They have before - the Clydesdale Magnus comes to mind - but with the current uptick in interest in vintage Chalkies, it did stand out to me.

Chalky prices have been crazy for a while now, but with the recent discussion on Blab about the Decorator overpaints, the market for some of them - the molds used for Decorators, specifically - has really gone through the roof.

(For those of you who are not familiar with them, they would be: the Five-Gaiter, the Running Mare, the Running Foal, the Fighting Stallion, and the Mustang.)

As more collectors hold their Chalkies up to a strong light (literally), more are being revealed. I’m now comfortable with saying that it appears that a significant chunk of the unsold warehouse stock of Decorators was probably "chalked" into other, better-selling colors.

Not all Chalky Gaiters, Running Mares and Foals et al should automatically be assumed to be overpainted Decorators: only the ones without the USA mark have that potential. And the solid colors (Golden Charm, Wedgewood Blue) will be harder to discern in the light than the dappled ones (Florentine, Copenhagen).

I have always wondered why the vintage Decorators were so gosh-darned-it rare, especially when other models from the 1960s with similarly short production runs aren’t quite as hard to find. A nice #191 Gray Bucking Bronco, for instance, can be tough, but not on the same level as almost any given Decorator.

I just assumed that the rarity was a consequence of just how badly the sales did tank. Not entirely: it now appears that Breyer made a concerted effort to make their first dismal foray into the home decorating market disappear, almost completely.

I do have a Chalky Five-Gaiter in my herd; alas, like most of my other Chalkies, he’s in storage somewhere. I haven’t run across him yet in my current culling, mostly due to (again) the time issues. He used to be quite a dependable little show horse for me back in my live showing days. It would be absolutely hysterical to me if he turned out to be a Decorator, too.

Whether he is - or is not - is not going to be found out this weekend. Too much other stuff to catch up on. Like my taxes - and my sleep.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Wabi-sabi and the Model Horse

I wasn’t expecting Halo to be the second Vintage Club release this year, as long time readers know by now. I interpreted Reeves words cleverly rather than obviously, which I should know not to do by now, considering my recent success rate on predictions.

So I won’t even hazard a guess on the mold for the BreyerFest Gambler’s Choice/Surprise model this year, except to note - as others have - that the descriptive term they’re using for it (CC Shuffle) is a reference to a style of line dancing. (So, something gaited?)

What I want is something with a saddle - Western Horse, Western Pony, Western Prancing Horse, Fury/Prancer - but realistically, I don’t see that happening. (Wouldn’t a Leopard Appaloosa Western Horse be awesome?)

Speaking of, I did finally get to see the Retro Release Roany Chestnut Appaloosa Western Pony last week and liked him a whole lot more than I thought I would. I didn’t buy one - trying to keep a tight rein on my budget, still - but if they should offer it up at a discounted price later in the year like they did with the Pinto Prancer, I just might.

The other new release that really caught my eye - and by surprise - was the latest on the Smart Chic Olena mold, a portrait of Topsails Rien Maker. I’m not the kind of person who gets super excited over Another Chestnut Quarter Horse release, especially on a mold that’s already seen a more than a few, but it was darn hard walking out of the store without him.

I loved the fact that - aside from the bang up job on the color, overall - they also incorporated the real Rien Maker’s Bend Or spots into the paint job. I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s those little details that make my heart grow fonder.

I think the first time Breyer actually incorporated a natural-occurring color "imperfection" into a portrait model was with the 1989 Limited Edition Abdullah, on the Trakehner mold. I was just as taken with it then - it being the Trakehner mold and a rather detailed paint job overall didn’t hurt, either.

(Sorry for the subpar picture - he really is much prettier in real life.)

The incorporation of these natural "flaws" has received rather mixed reviews, however, from hobbyists. While some appreciated the extra effort made to capture the unique characteristics of individual horses, others were dismayed by what looked like (to them) obvious manufacturing errors. There was quite a bit of consternation, for instance, when the 1999 Special Run Five-Gaiter Will Shriver came with only one eyewhite, and the 2003 USET Special Run Brentina came with white flecks, both reflecting actual characteristics of the portrait horses themselves.

Hobbyists are so accustomed to striving for perfection that any deviations from it - even if it’s something actually seen on the horse they’re trying to duplicate - tends to stand out. And not favorably so, in some eyes. 

That desire for a perfection that cannot be (realistically) achieved in real life is one of the reasons why I tend to think that the hobby can never truly be a "re-creation of the real horse world, in miniature". As I’ve said before, I think the hobby is more it’s own thing than just a shadow of something else. 

Striving to create the "perfect horse, in miniature" is totally fine, if that’s your goal. The wabi-sabi aesthetic is not for everyone. But surely there’s room enough in the hobby for both approaches - and the entire spectrum in between, right?

Friday, March 22, 2013

The White Moose

Lots of news in the past few days, but I think I’ll finish up the Moose story first.

He arrived around lunchtime today, but I won’t be opening him until tomorrow afternoon, to cap off my crazy work week. I have been looking at some of the online pictures of everyone else’s, and I have to say that I’m very impressed: Reeves really went all out on the details, especially the hyper-detailed blue eyes.

It makes me wonder if the Moose - along with the Vault Sale Kitten Angel - might be precursor/harbinger/test of a super-premium Special Run program? It’s easier to manage the quality control and consistency on very small (less than 100) piece runs, and they’d also be able to offer items targeted to narrow hobbyist niches - the kind of niches that tend to have very high quality expectations anyway.

For those of you who don’t Blab, the origins of Ghost might have started in a discussion thread about the Special Run "Alpine" back in late 2010. When we first heard about Alpine - who was later revealed to be a Silver Filigree Esprit - all we had was the name. Speculation ran rampant about who/what Alpine could be, with a very vocal faction cheerleading long and hard for …a White Moose.

(Which I discussed here.)

I still stand by my assertion back then that there’s probably no way they could have sold 250 pieces of the Moose: the market for the Nonhorse molds, especially within the hobby, is not big. Most buyers/collectors of those molds exist slightly off to the side of the hobby spectrum and probably don’t bother with belonging to any clubs or programs. The only time they encounter Special Run items like Ghost is on the rare chance that they show up "in the wild" - at an estate sale/auction, or maybe on eBay.

While Special Run items for Nonhorse molds (outside of the Cattle and Pigs) have been fairly uncommon, Test Colors are even moreso. They do exist - you all know I’ve been around long enough to have seen almost everything - but when they do show up, they tend to cause quite a stir, even among hobbyists who aren’t normally into that sort of thing.

There are several reasons why Nonhorse Tests are so uncommon.

As I explained above, it’s partly because of the market: it’s not a big one. Until the advent of Internet niche marketing, there hasn’t been much of an incentive to test out new colors and ideas on these molds.

Second, the nature of the Nonhorse market prior to the Internet era was very different from the Horse market. The Nonhorse molds were slow and steady sellers: they didn’t need to change colors or experiment as often. They’d just run whatever they needed when the stock ran low, which wasn’t necessarily every year.

And thirdly, the target market for these molds wouldn’t have responded to change or variety as enthusiastically as the Horse market does, either. While hobbyists are going to be open to the idea of a White or Pinto Moose, nonhobbyists looking to buy a Moose figurine are looking for one in some shade of brown. End of story.

Wasn’t expecting Reeves to make one, but glad they did anyway. Perhaps the FAS Yellow Man o’ War of my dreams isn’t so improbable after all?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Right Place, Right Time

What a strange day that was.

On the way home from work in the morning, I had to make a split-second decision: faster, or shorter? If I took the freeway, I’d get home sooner, but if I took the shortcut, I’d save about five miles. I turned left, and took the shorter route.

It should have been an inconsequential decision, one that we make by the dozens every day. But it turned out to be a huge one that left me rather…well, you’ll see.

A few miles down the road I took, a flurry of official vehicles flew by: cop cars, fire trucks, emergency vehicles. I turned on the radio to listen to the traffic report, and before the sounds of the last siren had faded, I found out that the section of freeway that I would have been on had I taken the faster route was completely shut down due to a roll-over accident.

I was relieved that I had - by sheer luck - missed being in a very bad accident, or at the very least stuck in traffic for hours. Then I felt bad for feeling happy that I had avoided the situation, when clearly someone else had not. And then I started feeling anxious imagining what would have happened if I had taken the freeway instead.

Suddenly, my "slightly shorter" drive became very, very long.

I somehow managed to make it home without incident, almost in time for lunch. I decided to hop on the computer for the few minutes lunch was still baking in the oven, and I logged onto Blab to check up on the latest crises, only to see…

Another "Buried Treasure" type Special Run on the Breyer web site? An albino Moose named Ghost? Holy goldfish!

I clicked on the link, completely expecting the item to be sold out by then: it had been at least an hour and a half since the first post had been made in the discussion thread, and it was not a short one, either. Kind of a bummer, but if I could at least get a screen shot for my records, I’d be okay with that.

Wait - they were still available?


I go upstairs to have lunch and discuss my drive home, with my family. (Except the dog, who is at the doggy beauty salon getting her hair and nails done. Hence the late lunch/early dinner.)

Then I go back downstairs to confirm that what just happened just happened. And it did.

I was extremely lucky yesterday. There really is no other explanation for it.

I have to admit, though, that I’m feeling some ambivalence about buying the Moose, now. It almost feels like I’m celebrating not being in an accident, and that doesn’t feel quite right.

More in a couple days, when the stupor finally dissipates.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hobo's Bundle

The dentist appointment went well, though I probably shouldn’t have celebrated on the way home by buying - and eating - an entire bag of chocolate-covered pretzels. (In my defense, I hadn’t eaten anything all day. Then I had a salad for dinner.)

I’ve been looking through that file on Hobo that I casually mentioned a couple of weeks back, trying to tease an appropriately shaped blog post or two out of it, but it’s been hard.

A lot of what’s in the file are your basic kind of background research materials: magazine and newspaper articles, fliers and brochures from various Mustang organizations, including WHOA (Wild Horse Organized Assistance), and so on. Some of them personally annotated by Velma Johnston (aka "Wild Horse Annie") herself.

This bundle of documents is more interesting as a collection than any one item in it.

Except for the letters. Included in the file are a small number of letters to and from Annie - mostly involving Peter Stone, Dick Lewis, and surprisingly, even a copy of a letter to Marguerite Henry herself!

Which are, in themselves, a bit problematic to discuss.

Most of the correspondence relates to the article that was written for an early (tri-fold brochure!) issue of Just About Horses featuring Wild Horse Annie, with the usual exchange of corrections, updates, and tender pleasantries.

There’s also a great deal of communication about details of her personal life that are best kept private. Reading those parts of the letters - even in the privacy of my office - sometimes makes me feel like I am intruding on something I shouldn’t.

There is one small piece of the letter I think I am comfortable with sharing. In the letter from Annie to Marguerite, she acknowledges the receipt of a half dozen Breyer Hobos, a gift from Marguerite.
The six Hobos came thundering through a foot of snow into my entrance hall yesterday …and what a handsome sight. I am pleased beyond belief …so what if he is a buckskin! I almost have myself convinced of it by now, anyway. And the tiny [double heart brand] on his left hip is just the right touch. Indeed it is a beautiful job of modeling, and the kit is so colorful, besides the story it tells.
Whenever I see any discussion of the adaptation of either a real-life or fictional horse into a Breyer model, hobbyists are quick to point out the deficiencies or inaccuracies in it, sometimes even citing the commentary of those associated with the horse in question in support of their argument.

The reality is usually far more complicated than that. Sometimes the complaints made public by the people involved are not about the interpretation per se, but about all the intangibles that went into creating it. If there was a flaw somewhere in that process - a poor choice of words, a lack of acknowledgement or thanks, or even a missed phone call - that sort of thing can make a small problem seem so much more annoying than it originally was.

Obviously things went right, in this instance.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

FAS Yellow

I’ve barely been home the past three days, which is what I expected when I took a gander at the work schedules last week. I have tomorrow off, but a dentist appointment is involved, so it doesn’t really count. Plus I have another round of packages that I have to get out of the house tout suite.

I’ve finally started doing that herd culling I've been mumbling about for months now. With flea market season rapidly approaching, I forced myself to make the time for it. Outside of a couple of box lots I bought primarily to resell, though, I haven’t had too many new additions to the herd since BreyerFest, mostly because of the space (and time!) issues.

My criteria this go round is: If I don’t absolutely love it, or it doesn’t have some personal or historical significance, it’s gotta go.

The issue being that I love a lot of things, and as a kinda-sorta historian, I can find significance in almost anything, if I look long and hard enough. One particularly hard decision, for instance, was this guy:

It’s Little Man, from the Kelly Reno and Little Man Gift Set. I ultimately decided to cull him because he’s a little on the yellowed side, and I’d like to upgrade to a NIB set in the future anyway.

Heaven help me, it’s the color that’s most appealing to me: I don’t know why, but that hideous acid yellow Palomino colorway from that time period (early to mid-1980s) has been fascinating me of late.

(Let’s call it, for the sake of expediency, FAS [Family Arabian Stallion] Yellow, after the model who’s best known for it. The actual term I use for it isn’t exactly family- or Internet-friendly.)

I have this wild fantasy of a Vintage Club offering in this most eyeball-watering of colors, though I’m not sure who would get the honor of wearing it. Especially since most molds in the 1970s and 1980s - either as a Regular Run, or a Special Run - ended up sporting it at one time or another. Even molds as unlikely as the Pacer, the Belgian, and the Bell-bottomed Shire have already had their turn. (And I have them all! Mwah-ha-ha!)

Vintage Traditional molds that haven’t come in this color yet include: Man o' War, Trakehner, Stretched Morgan, Shetland Pony, Legionario, Appaloosa Performance Horse, the Clydesdales, Galiceno, Proud Arabian Stallion and Mare, Justin Morgan, Scratching and Lying Down Foal, Sham, Smoky, Stock Horse Mare, Stud Spider…

(Not including known Test Colors. Some of them came in different shades of something Palomino-like, like Stud Spider, Sham and the Shetland Pony. I am talking about FAS Yellow. My cut-off date for "vintage", BTW, are molds in production/conceived pre-Reeves, ca. 1985.)

As you can see, it’s not a huge list, and a number of these molds have already been utilized - or will be utilized - in the Vintage Club. Plus, the fact that FAS Yellow is probably one of the least-loved (to put it politely) of vintage colors means that it’s highly unlikely we’ll be seeing it on an new release any time soon, unless it ends up being one of those targeted mini Special Runs, like they did at the last Vault Sale. I can only imagine the reaction that would engender. (I hit refresh how many times to see THAT?!)

So I’ll just have to keep on dreaming about that FAS Yellow Man o’ War, Morgan or Trakehner. Though if I do, somehow, end up with a shot at a "Design a Test Color" thingie, I am so doing that. "She wants WHAT? Are you sure?"

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I feel like such a bad model horse mama. 

I can’t believe it took me this long to finally open up my Vintage Club Commander. The box got tucked up in the blind spot underneath my desk, and I almost completely forgot about him. I’ve been selling off a few odds and ends on eBay - nothing worth mentioning, just the kind of stuff that doesn’t seem to sell elsewhere - and as I was shuffling boxes around, I noticed his.

I had seen some comments here and there about his color being just a little bit off, and after having him sit on my desk for a few days, I think I can see it: mine definitely has a rosy tinge to him. Most vintage Smoke paint jobs have more of a blue-ish cast.

Reeves did try to distinguish the hoof color from the body color: early gray hooves (on all models that sported them) were black-based: black pigment, watered down. So, good for them for noticing that little detail.

Smokes and Charcoals, however, were not black-based - at least, not entirely. They both had a little extra "color" added to help distinguish them from each other.

Early Smokes, as I mentioned above, tended to have a blue tint: if anyone out there is a rock hound, think of the natural blue-gray color of slate or shale. Early Charcoals - until the late 1960s - had a definite brownish cast; early Mission Supply House and Red Bird sales fliers even went so far as to  describe the color as "Charcoal Palomino". It’s a term I believe originated with an as-yet-undiscovered Breyer price list or flier, and has also led me to speculate in the past that the color might have been an early attempt to recreate the color we now know as "silver dapple".

In the late 1960s, Breyer Charcoals switched to a more blue-ish (or at least, less brownish) tone, with the exception of some very late (possibly the last run?) of the Matte Charcoal Family Arabians, who are a distinctive dark chocolate brown without even a hint of black pigment on them.

Those late Charcoal Family Arabians are so different from the earlier Charcoals - even their hoof color is a near-fluorescent pink - that I’ve often wondered if they possibly might have been a Special Run of some sort. (I have no evidence of this, beyond the color being so off-spec.)

The shading is really nice on Commander, and they’ve managed to get most of the little details right - it’s just that the color is just a little bit off. I would have gone with a different ribbon color, too, but I’m just nitpicking at this point.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


My schedule is going to get extremely weird over the next few days - I might be disappearing for four or five days next week - thus explaining all the multiple quick postings here this week.

Since I’ve been on a Saddlebred kick lately, let’s talk about my original Holy Grail model: the 1984 Just About Horses Saddlebred Weanling. I say original, because I’ve long since acquired the rude little beast that vexed me so:

The ASBW was the very first JAH Special, and as you nay have expected, the execution didn’t go quite as well as intended. You think Reeves messes up the sale and distribution of special run models now? Ladies, gentlemen, hobbyists of all persuasions: nothing beat the magnitude of messed-up-ness of the first JAH Special.

Most of us hobbyists back then were at the whim of the postal service when it came to getting our notification about Special Runs and such, and if your JAH happened to be late, no horse for you. And since most of us received our news in monthly allotments via our model horse newsletters of choice, we wouldn’t have necessarily known they were late until much later. Several weeks, if not months later.

The other big problem?  The order form itself: believe it or not, it wasn’t limited to one per customer or one per address. You could order as many as you wanted to - and allegedly, some people did.

So those of us who received our Just About Horses late (three weeks, as I discovered in my case) probably shouldn’t have been surprised when we received our money back a few weeks after that, with a letter informing us of the incredibly quick sellout.

I was not a happy camper.

It was the first instance of me writing a very angry letter to Peter Stone. I remember sitting at my portable typewriter, banging at the keys so hard I probably broke a couple of nails. (Pre-computer, dearies. Might have even been pre-electric. Yes, I am old.) Some cussing may have been involved; honestly, I can’t remember, because I didn’t bother to make a carbon copy of my angry missive.

Shortly afterward, the prices on the JAH ASBW went through the roof: within a few years, they were fetching anywhere from $250 to $400 - in late 1980s money! For a model with a 1000 piece run!

Yeah, I wasn’t going to buy it for that kind of money. That was crazy. So I didn’t.

I waited. And waited. And waited. Until the prices finally hit my comfort zone on eBay, somewhere in the $100 range.

The best part of waiting is that the model I finally got came with an… interesting pedigree. For confidentiality’s sake I can’t give away all the details about the transaction, except to say that there might be some actual significance to his serial number, which happens to be #0002.

The auction didn't mention any of those details when I bid on her. It was just that both the time and the price were right on that particular piece, and I got lucky.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Elusive Electroplated Grail

Have we seen any BreyerFest auction models yet? It feels like we’re overdue. Normally I haven’t been all that interested in those things, but since Reeves seems to have been placing more actual Test Colors in the auction lately, I’m beginning to see them more as "Sneak Peeks of Future Releases", rather than "Things I Shall Never Have". (A healthier attitude to take, I think.)

It just occurred to me this week - yes, I can be a bit slow sometimes - that next year’s BreyerFest will be the 25th one. Wouldn’t it be appropriate if they somehow commemorated the Silver Anniversary of BreyerFest with another Silver Stablemate?

That’s sort of what the original G1 Saddlebred was created for, back in 1975: it was to commemorate Breyer’s 25th Anniversary. It was a very early example of a promotional piece - one given back then to sales reps, jobbers and worthy (profitable) customers. Most hobbyists didn’t know a thing about them until 1990, when one showed up at the first BreyerFest auction, and was later featured in an issue of Just About Horses.

The Saddlebred was chosen because it was the first completed Stablemates mold, and unlike the other Stablemates molds back then, it was not paired up with another. This was important because the plastic that was used to create these Saddlebreds was ABS, not Tenite. ABS - acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, commonly called (in the hobby) Styrene - is the same stuff they use for all Stablemates today. (Except for the occasional special runs that specifically advertise otherwise.)

It was used in this instance because ABS can be electroplated, while Tenite (Cellulose Acetate) cannot.

Of course, when I heard about the Silver Saddlebred, it crushed me. The G1 Stablemates were what really put me on the road to ruin as a hobbyist. Traditional scale horses were for birthdays and holidays, but Stablemates? Stablemates I could buy myself - for just a dollar, at the Kmart down the road! I quickly became obsessed with them and completing my collection.

Finding out about the Silver Saddlebred was the first inkling that that would never happen.

I managed to hold on to the dream until the late 1990s: I kept the collection up to date and (nearly) complete until then, when the sheer weight of new releases (and new molds) finally did me in. I still buy ones I like - or I can find - whenever I can.

But that Silver Saddlebred eluded me then, and will probably always elude me. He became a "Grail Model" for a lot of hobbyists, and when they do (on occasion) show up on the market, the prices are several degrees beyond my comfort zone.

(That’s part of the reason why, in spite of my adoration of Peter Stone Chips, I simply cannot collect them in any meaningful way, either. I love that little mule!)

Allegedly they made about a 1000 of those silver-plated curiosities, so it’s still possible that I could find one: that’s not super-duper rare, in the scheme of things. Most Special Runs from the 1970s and early 1980s had significantly smaller runs. Maybe I might get lucky some night on eBay, with a late night Buy It Now, or something…

If they do go that route and make another Anniversary model, I’m not particular: almost any mold will do. As long as it comes with a velvet-lined box - or even better! - a teeny tiny velvet bag.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Flip Side

The other side of that Stablemates Flier is interesting too - and will you look at that!

It looks like I have to make a correction on an earlier claim, then: here’s another instance of those unproduced Arabian and Morgan Foal sets being mentioned in Breyer ephemera. (I previously thought they only appeared in the 1975 Pricelist - my bad!)

This sort of thing happens all the time in historical research - not just of the Breyer type. Corrections have to be made because new data shows up, and more often than not, it makes fools of us.

In this case it’s not TOO big a deal: the foals were never produced or released, and hence will (probably) never have to have documentation written up about them. (Unless they, too, show up just to spite us all. With all the things I’ve seen over the years, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.)

However, it has become something of an issue with other items over the years. Hobbyists can become overly fond of their particular history resources, and as a result some of the errors in those resources get carried forward, even when more recent editions or research corrects or contradicts those errors.

In a lot of those cases, the corrections are minor - an errant misspelling, a transposed number, confusion about actual release dates versus catalog release dates - but in some cases, they are not.

The one that bothers me the most is the Boxer. Breyer, back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, sent out a "Complete List" of Breyer Releases to hobbyists who asked for it. Although it was extremely helpful as a starting point for many of us (including me!) what we didn’t know at the time was that Breyer had an extremely small base of ephemera to work from.

The earliest dated piece they had was from 1958, so most of the earliest items were given a release date of 1958. Including the Boxer.

Since then we’ve been able to conclude otherwise: the Boxer came out in 1953 (maybe a little bit earlier, but 1953 is the earliest dated appearance in print.) That’s a five-year difference - enough to make a relatively common early Breyer even more so.

And then there’s the case of the Old Mold Mare and Foal, which Marney Walerius was convinced came out in 1956 - and which couldn’t have happened, since the Hagen-Renaker molds they were based on (and sued over!) came out in the Spring of 1957. Claiming the 1956 date insinuates (albeit innocently) that the legal action H-R was pursuing wouldn’t have been valid - though it’s pretty clear from Breyer’s actions in the matter that they most likely were.

(I say "most likely" only because I haven’t seen the paperwork, and with legal paperwork, wording is everything. That paperwork is one of MY holy grails, BTW.)

Neither one of those instances will necessarily affect the value of the pieces in question: Boxers are still going to be modestly priced and lightly collected, and hobbyists will still covet finely preserved specimens of Old Molds almost as much as the H-Rs they were derived from.

The only instance where I see it really mattering - other than in an official/popular history sense - is in the terms of collectibility documentation. If someone judging collectibility prefers one source over another - and theirs isn’t yours - well, I could see some issues there.

(Speaking strictly hypothetical here: not implying anything about anybody.)