Monday, July 29, 2013


I had to cut my first trip to the flea market since Fest a bit short on Sunday, since I’m still feeling stiff, yucky and mildly nauseous from the back pain.

There were a few decent vintage Hartlands there, but as I’m still not finished inventorying the haul from BreyerFest, I left ‘em behind. (The inventory isn’t done because I still can’t find the receipts to reconcile everything. Phooey!)

I will be selling some of the stuff I brought home: a few items were de facto pick-ups, and some upgrades and duplicates were also in the mix. Plus I had absolutely no idea I had nabbed THAT many samples and oddities. As much as I’d love to keep them all, there’s just no way.

One item that is not going anywhere is this pretty little lady:

So my first instinct was right: the Volunteer Model WAS the Gloss Palomino Clydesdale Mare. (Apparently there are also three Mattes, for the volunteer coordinators. A different twist on the "Make It Extra Special With Gloss" idea. I like it!)

Sigh. I really need to stop second guessing myself.

It is a bit of a misnomer to call Gloss Honey Palomino a true "vintage" color: Early Palominos back when were more or less the same shade of Sunkist Orange that later Palominos were. The paint itself simply changed over time, from neon bright to mellow honey.

I’m not sure if it’s completely due to exposure to sunlight, or if another environmental factor such as heat is necessary. Several years ago I saw a Gloss Palomino Fighter that had been kept in a window for some time: one side was Orange, and the other side was Honey. (Wish I had bought it! Water over bridge, etc.)

All I know for sure is that occasionally a boxed example of a Five-Gaiter, Fighter or even a Family Arabian from the 1960s will show up, looking just as bright and orangey as a model made in the 1970s. And causing some hobbyists to question its authenticity.

It is merely a happy coincidence that the color is so appealing in its "degraded" state. Hartland had a similar problem with their Palominos, but they tended to turn chartreuse instead.

(Think November Blossom Horse Chrysanthemum Green. That I also happen to like, by the way. Though I completely understand if most do not.)

(Hartland Tall Columnar Mary, sans halo.)

The formula for Palomino changed to something less fugitive sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s; while some of them have shifted colors too, it’s usually in completely different ways and for completely different reasons.

I know there was some initial huffing and pouting over the fact that she was, in fact, the Volunteer model. I wasn’t overly bothered: you’re talking to someone who’d be thrilled to get a FAS Yellow Man o’ War, for Heaven’s sake.

Heck, I’d volunteer if all it meant was a t-shirt, six-inch tuna sub and an extra ticket. (What can I say? I’m a cheap date.)

Though that Auction Performance Horse will haunt my dreams for a while. I do have a body now to play with, at least, whenever time presents itself.

(In case you were wondering, yes, I totally did sniff her and lick her at the Volunteer meeting on Sunday, because a model just isn't mine until I do so.)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Modernistics, Part 2

(As I am in some considerable pain today because of my back - something I will be going to the doctor for sometime next week, so don't fret - I'll be running the second half of the Modernistic Buck and Doe article today. BreyerFest coverage will continue next week.)

I’m guessing that Saunders Tool & Die either went out of business, or decided to get out of the toy business, and all their related assets went up for sale or auction. Since Aurora is only about an hour’s drive from Chicago, I would also assume that someone from Breyer might have been at that event, and thought purchasing these molds was a good idea.

There is – or I should say, will be – more to this part of the story. A few years ago, I thought I had tracked down some court documents relating to that sale, but due to a lack of time and resources, I haven’t been able to follow up on that lead. So the "how" and "why" part of the Modernistic Deer story, while not completely known, is at least knowable.

As to who Don Manning is, and what his relationship to Nosco Plastics was, I have no idea. Was he a client, a contractor, or a business partner? The fact that he had his name specifically molded into the larger pieces suggests that it was a more complex arrangement than that of a mere contractor or employee. But if that’s the case, then how did the molds end up as part of Nosco – and then, Saunders – inventory?

The only bits of information I have on Don Manning come from plastic toy historian and author Bill Hanlon. According to Hanlon, the "Don Manning Studio" was operating in New York City prior to the start of World War II. That would explain their extreme stylization: the Buck and Doe were products of the late Art Deco era!

Don Manning (or his studio) designed more than just a pair of deer, though the deer seem to be the only pieces that came in that larger size. The Don Manning animals came in several different sizes – all the way down to petite, one and a half inch creatures designed as party and/or drink favors. The most common ones, though, are in the four-inch range (such as my little black horse), and were sold either individually, or in boxed sets.

If my general theory holds up – that Breyer did buy these molds, essentially, secondhand – what that means is that the Modernistic Buck and Doe are technically Breyer’s "oldest" molds, predating the Western Horse by a decade or more!

I think it’s a matter of confirming and rearranging some of the details, now. The Nosco Deer and the Breyer Deer are clearly the same mold, minus the mold marks. Nosco’s assets were sold to a molding company in the Chicago area, and a few years later, near-identical deer – completely unlike anything the Breyer Molding Company produced, before or since – made their debut in a Breyer Dealer Catalog.

The status of the Don Manning figurines is also a matter of debate: do they "qualify" as Breyers? Would they be appropriate in a Collector’s Class?

That’s hard to say. Since I’m interested in them from an historical perspective, so my tendency would be to say yes, but the Creata micro minis – the precursors of the MiniWhinnies – generally are not. Regardless of their status, though, I don’t think any early Breyer collection would be complete without a pair or two of these exotic creatures!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Oh, My Stars

I spent all day looking for my camera just so I could show you which one of the CC Shuffles I got:

Yes, I am pleased. Here’s the official numbers on the various releases, via Breyer's Facebook page:

711161 A - Appaloosa (552 Matte, 84 Glossy)
711161 B - Dappled Gray (470 Matte, 84 Glossy)
711161 C - Grulla Tobiano with Primitive Markings (470 Matte, 84 Glossy)
711161 D - Denim Blue Roan Tovero (168 Matte, 84 Glossy)

Actually, when I opened up this one and only Shuffle horse I was able to acquire, I had absolutely no idea how to react. It was still fairly early in the game on Friday, and nobody knew nothing about who was rare and who wasn’t. I managed to catch a glimpse of the polling on Blab on Saturday and kinda-sorta got an inkling that I had the "rare" one, but even that’s not entirely trustworthy.

(Nobody’s all that excited or motivated to post that they got a Matte, for instance, so Glosses tend to appear overreported.)

Several iterations of my ultimate/fantasy/dream horse in high school came in Blue Roan Medicine Hat/Tovero, so in the absence of better data, I just decided to love her anyway, regardless of the quantity made.

It’s unlikely I’ll get another. Not that I wouldn't want another - all of them are beautiful! - but the prices for them right now are a little out of hand, especially the Glosses. The quantities for the CC Shuffle Glosses are nearly double that of the Live Show Prize Glosses, but those Prizes go for one-third to one-half the price.

The math just don’t add up.

It's alright, because I got another Roxy that morning that was better than any of the rest: a Sample of  Constellation - the Dark Bay Roan Roxy Special Run from last year! I found her whilst digging through the Sample boxes in the Pit early that morning, and quickly tossed her into my keeper box. Love that paint job! They could put that color on almost anything, and I’d buy it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Modernistics, Part 1

(Well, THAT was an interesting BreyerFest. As I am currently unable to bend at the waist [more on that, next post], I'll just post the first part of what I was going to on Friday, before the laptop disappeared for a day. Then post the second part after I get to the BreyerFest stuff. Including the now infamous "The Horse Who Looks Like...")

(Like I said, interesting.)

No molds invoke more mystery, or invite more questions than the Modernistic Deer. Indeed, their very existence is a mystery: these highly stylized creatures are completely unlike anything else in the Breyer line. Where did they come from? Why were they made? And the near-identical "Don Manning" Deer – what are those about?

Many newer hobbyists are barely aware of the Modernistic Deer’s existence, and for good reason: the Modernistic Buck and Doe were discontinued in 1964, and haven’t been seen since. The conventional thinking today is that they were "officially" released in 1961, when they appear along with the Fighting Stallion, Mustang, and Five-Gaiter in a set of Insert Sheets meant to supplement the 1960 Dealer Catalog.

I have reason to believe, however, that they might have been released earlier than that. In a very early, but undated price list from Mission Supply House, a well-known mail-order company, the Modernistic Buck, Doe and Fighting Stallion appear, but the Mustang and Five-Gaiter do not.

Selling brand new molds and releases in advance of their "official" release dates is nothing new for Breyer. The Stud Spider, Legionario III, and Classic Andalusian Family, and even the folded-wood Corral were all sold in holiday catalogs several months before they appeared in Dealer Catalogs or Collector’s Manuals.

So it’s completely possible that the Modernistic Deer (and the Fighting Stallion) could have been on store shelves in time for the holiday gift-giving season in 1960. (The Deer were advertised in the Dealer Catalog, coincidentally, as ideal for "Christmas and other special occasions." Hmm.)

While the explanation for the absence of the Mustang and Five-Gaiter mold could be, quite simply, that they weren’t quite ready yet (Breyer has a long history of that sort of thing, too) there’s another reason why I think the early release theory is plausible: there’s a strong case to be made that Breyer may have bought the molds from another company, ready to go.

Many hobbyists are aware of – and may even have – some of those "non-Breyer" Modernistic Deer that come in such unconventional colors as translucent blue or red, black, silver, or clear. Many, though not all, of these non-gold examples come with an assortment of different mold marks: one says "Nosco Plastics," and another says "Designed Don Manning."

Let’s tackle the Nosco Plastics part, first.

Nosco Plastics was a division of the National Organ Supply Company of Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1934, National Organ Supply instituted the Nosco Division to make injected molded plastic parts for electric organs, but the division quickly grew into much more than that. By the early 1950s, they were best known as the company that produced the first plastic toy soldiers (the ones heavily advertised in comic books) and Cracker Jack prizes.

In 1955, Nosco was sold to Saunders Tool & Die of Aurora, Illinois – another custom molder with eyes on the Post-War plastic toy boom – and the Nosco disappeared. I’m assuming that the sale included all of the molds that Nosco had in their inventory, which would have included the Modernistic Buck and Doe. Bucks and Does that don’t have the Nosco mark would date to this period, I'm assuming.

So, how did these molds end up in Breyer hands? That, and the other half of this story, coming soon!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Quick Updates

Just hanging out in the lobby next to the Man o' War room, trying to enjoy this last little bit of quiet before the storm. The actual history post I have prepped and ready to go will go up either later today or tomorrow, depending on my schedule.

The drive was relatively uneventful. Traffic was a little bit heavier than usual, but I also left almost two hours later than I usually do, for various reasons. Vita also realized, as I was shoving the last few bits of stuff into the vehicle that I was going somewhere without her, and became very clingy.

Then she gave me one of her favorite toys - a knotted rope with a squeaky giraffe head on the end of it - and that made cry a little. Silly puppy, of course I'm not going to forget you.



Giant Butter Jesus has been replaced ... and I was a little disappointed at first, since he's not an exact or even a near-copy of the original. Instead of looking like a ginormous butter sculpture slowly sinking/melting into a hot tub, he's ashen gray and shambling towards the freeway with his arms outstretched, like a giant zombie looking for brains.

Except not all that scary. More like Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man scary. Welcome to my weird personal universe anyway, Gray Zombie Jesus!

So far I have been relatively good about not buying anything this year. Spotted a couple of interesting variations, but since I've had such a good year finding stuff online, I let 'em go. Still on the lookout for a good Performance Horse body and a Trakehner or two; maybe a few minis for certain folks not in attendance (who would very much want to be).

My shopping was also somewhat limited by the fact that I overstrained myself unpacking Tuesday night; I spent most of Wednesday hobbling around like someone dropped a house on me.

I haven't heard any REALLY good gossip yet; I have participated in - and overhead - some conversations that could have been described as, uh, intense. Here I thought it was me - my work and life schedule interfering with my online time sufficently that perhaps I was having some issues with communicating with some of my fellow hobbyists.

No, it seems to be a hobby-wide phenomena. Which is both reassuring (it's not just me!) and scary (because there's no way you can control how people interpret your words, no matter how carefully you choose them).

The battery's running a bit low, and I have a few errands to run, see you in a few...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

All Shall Be Well

Everything is packed, the last minute details are being hammered out. Lists of things are being made, lest I forget something somewhat important. (There’s always something.)

You all know I am not a particularly religious person, but this famous quote by Julian of Norwich has been running in a loop in my head the past couple of days:

…All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

Because it is true. Regardless of what happens, everything is eventually going to be made right. I can handle this. I’ve handled it before. I got this.

Most of you who have been - or have planned - for BreyerFest before know the rules, the routines, and what advice needs to be taken seriously. The only bit of advice that I can give that hasn’t necessarily been offered or emphasized before is simply this: be considerate.

Not everyone goes every year, and not everyone goes for the same reason. Not everyone has the same tastes, same budget, same resources, or same socio-economic background. The hobby (in general) and BreyerFest (in particular) serve different purposes for different people.

It may be a pleasant diversion with friends for some, but for others it is a place of refuge. Or even a dream.

Please remember this.

Also, because I drank an ungodly amount of Diet Mountain Dew and had the crazy-weird energy that comes with, I compiled a list of the Auction Horses, and categorized them by which ones I think are most likely to be the Volunteer model:

1    Sooty Dappled Buckskin Wixom
2    Blue Roan Desatado/Criollo
3    Red Dun Appaloosa Smart Chic Olena
4    Splash Spot Leopard Nokota Horse
5    Bay Roan Carrick
6    Glossy Black Tobiano Big Ben
7    Raffle Totilas
8    Dun Sabino Smarty Jones
9    Dapple Gray Indian Pony

10    Extreme Splash Pinto Ethereal
11    Dapple Gray Appaloosa Andalusian
12    Gloss Palomino Clydesdale Mare
13    Chalky Dapple Gray Flash

14    Dappled Liver Chestnut Sherman
15    Open Show Grand - Bay Roan App Giselle
16    Palomino Pinto Marwari

17    Glossy Dappled Bay Cantering Welsh Pony
18    Silvery Metallic Grullo Idocus
19    Glossy Dappled Chestnut Sham
20    Blue Denim Quarter Horse Yearling
21    Buckskin Giselle and Gilen
22    Red Roan Pinto Othello
23    Blue Dun Pinto Bouncer

24    Glossy Bay Cleveland Bay
25    Sooty Buckskin Sabino Performance Horse
26    Purple Bandana Fighting Stallion
27    Dappled Buttermilk Buckskin Ruffian
28    Raffle Brishen

I eliminated (in red) all the molds that have been Volunteer Models before; all the molds/models that are being used as Raffle items, Live Show Prizes, or BreyerFest SRs; and all the models that are quite obviously Tests for another release (Bouncer = Poseidon, for instance). I then eliminated all the models specifically designed by artists, and the Carrick because he’s a Premier Exclusive mold for this year (and a roan, because they had a bay roan two years ago.)

The only two iffy decisions: I did no eliminate the Performance Horse because I am in denial; the Ruffian was only deleted because they haven’t done a Volunteer Special with a base before.

The most likely candidates it seems to me are either the Idocus or the Cleveland Bay: newer molds in pretty but not overly complicated paint jobs.

I could be wrong. I probably am. If so, I blame the Mountain Dew.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Like Clockwork

Every year, just before BreyerFest, I always get the most …interesting hobby e-mails and phone calls.

This year is no different. Fortunately, none of it was "bad" (hit my quota a while ago, thanks) but unfortunately, it’s nothing I can share - right now.

Been spending most of the day finishing up the paperwork and printing stuff out. No major issues with THAT either, so far, knock on Woodgrain. All the phone calls have been made, and the proper authorities have been notified. All that really needs to be done is a bit of grocery shopping, vehicle packing, and (of course) the printing.

We’ll be in Room 312 again this year, or so the slightly annoyed clerk at the CHIN confirmed to me. (Must be someone new! S’alright, we understand. All we ask for is fresh towels and fully functional ice machines and ATMs.) Take the main/center entrance on the north side of the hotel, turn right and look for the flowers that usually adorn the room.

I’m hoping to not get too spendy this year; the only models I might be looking for with any conviction are going to be Performance Horses, Trakehners and a few variations you probably never heard of/wouldn’t care about anyway. And whatever strikes my fancy, naturally. (Test Color Roemers? FAM Culls? More Polled Hereford Bull variations? FAFs with belly stamps?)

I did buy a Trakehner recently. This guy, the Black Pinto one:

I’ve been ogling this release for a while. Not sure why; I guess it’s the combination the two things that always catch my eye: Black Pinto paint jobs and the Trakehner mold. The pinto pattern itself is not all that exciting or interesting, but he looks good in it. Plus this one has the brand - something I haven’t seen on most of the ones I’ve looked at. I’m not sure if he’s a genuine oddity, or just a scarcer than average variation I haven’t noticed before.

That happens more than you might think. With dozens of releases added to the mix per year - and sometimes, per month - it can be hard to keep track of what’s supposed to be "standard" for any given production model, and what constitutes a genuine deviation from the norm.

Sometimes I’m even the last to know, though I am loath to admit it. I swear I was the last person in the hobby in the 1980s to know about the mold change on the Stock Horse Mare (from "leg up" to "leg down").

Regardless, I’ll still be looking for another Spotted Trakehner - the more common one (I presume) without the impressed brand.

I don’t know if the Hickstead will be a priority, though. I saw one recently when I happened to be working near one of the better toy stores in the area, and stopped by for a quick look-see. The new tail was very nice, but he sort of looked like someone parked a floor buffer over him just a little too long.

His slightly rough texture was always part of his charm, for me. While some models have benefited from some "cleaning up" (I’m looking at you, John Henry) the Trakehner wasn’t one on my list.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Not Making a Fuss

I should be panicking now, but I am simply too tired from work these past two days to work up a fuss. I’m so not working up a fuss that I’m considering whipping out a small quilt project I’ve been messing with on and off for the past couple of months and finishing that in the meantime.

Quilting as my BreyerFest prep burns: how very Nero-like of me. (Yes, I know it’s a myth. Just go with it.)

Anyway, here’s that neat Breyer knockoff I was talking about. I bought it during the town-wide garage sale a few weeks back; he’s been in my car ever because of his annoying habit of blending in with the throw blanket I keep on the back seat of my vehicle:

He appears to be cast aluminum, and not in any way related to the cast iron ASC knockoffs, or (gack!) Hubley, the go-to name that all flea marketeers use whenever they find something made out of cast metal. (You know, just like any injection molded plastic horse = Rare Breyer!)

There were/are a number of companies that have done cast metal Breyer knockoffs over the years, aside from ASC. Like the situation that exists with the numerous Breyer lamp manufacturers, I doubt we’ll ever know much about most of them. And if we do, it’ll only be by accident.

I got so excited when I saw him from my car window that day; I momentarily thought - yes, a Black Family Arabian Stallion! (He is actually FAS-sized, hence my assumption.) I already have one, but I’ve never found one "in the wild". As I think I brought up before, the Black Family Arabians were a nationally distributed Special Run promotion, and produced in sufficient enough quantities that finding one at a yard sale or flea market is not as remote a possibility as it seems.

Wasn’t the case with me, this time. He was still pretty reasonably priced, so I bought him anyway. It’s true that being trapped in my car for the past month is not necessarily a step up from his previous station in life, but I’m working on it. I haven’t decided whether or not he’s coming with me to Fest or not, though.

In other modelly news…

I did well enough on my Hartland sales this week that the cost of my gas - and most of my hotel bill - will be covered. Thank you Armada Flea Market! (No worries, I'll still have a bunch of stuff from that box available in Kentucky, if you thought you saw something worth your while.)

My Denim and Diamonds Vintage Club Shetlands arrived today, but I doubt I’ll be opening the box before the trip. I just don’t have the mental space to deal with them at the moment.

I didn’t get picked for the latest Web Special Dionysus. I actually liked him enough to enter twice, rather than once - I found the Primitive Bay color very appealing, in almost a retro "Breyer Bay" way. But nope, no dice again.

A photo of the latest Premier Club release came out today - a Chestnut Arabian Stallion by Eberl, presumably the "husband" of Weather Girl. I’ve only just skimmed the usual sources and it looks like more stuff I don’t want to deal with, either, some of it residual frustration over Carrick, I assume.

As always, I will reserve judgement on him until I see a better photo, or see him in person, which will most likely be the case for some of us next week.

And yup, did a facepalm when I saw the photo of the Red Roan Pinto Othello Auction piece circulating shortly after my last post. I think he’s really quite pretty, but yeah, I’m so not hoping he’s the volunteer piece this year. (On the other hand: Bay, Black and Chestnut Roan = matched set!)

I happen to think it’s something we haven’t seen yet. (Among those candidates: Rejoice, Adios, Andalusian, Cigar, the Peruvian Paso…)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

BreyerFest Prep 2013: Same As It Ever Was

Oh Lordy, what a weekend. The dog was so stressed out last night from the week-long fireworks barrage that at one point she actually lost her voice. Which would have been funny, if it wasn’t also scary.

(Yes, we took all the precautions necessary to keep her calm, but there’s only so much you can do when you have a slightly hyperactive dog and a neighbor with a $10,000 fireworks budget. Among other things.)

I’d like to ascribe some of the behavior I’ve seen from the model horse world in the past couple of weeks to the fireworks too, but I know it’s more complicated than that.

BreyerFest is a big part of it, of course. In my corner, I’m having to deal with AWOL roommates, some complications from a minor medical procedure, a possible hacking incident into my eBay account, and finishing all of my (still) unfinished paperwork, including some related to volunteering.

Oddly enough, most of the stress of that is washing over me. It’s not that I’m not concerned, it’s just that I’ve been through this routine enough times before that I know everything will turn out okay, even if it doesn’t. And I also know the point at which I can legitimately begin to panic.

Not there yet. A couple more days, maybe.

Other than the volunteering, and the NPOD, I will also not be going Full Metal BreyerFest this year. No costume contest, no diorama contest (probably), no running around to squeeze every drop of everything in. Selling, socializing, and just a bit of shopping, that’s it for me. Almost like a real vacation!

My volunteer schedule will even preclude me from participating in the raffles this year, which is a little bit of a bummer, since I’m kinda liking both of them, the Totilas especially. After what happened last year with the Early Bird Raffle (a friend was not present, and I had misplaced her phone number when her name was called) I’m hoping that the Fates don’t decide to pull a funny one and do the same to me.

(It’s a remote chance, at best, but if you my personal history, you know it’s just the kind of thing that would happen.)

Other than that tiny bit of speculation a few posts ago, I haven’t done much wondering about the Volunteer model, either. I genuinely don’t care who it is - that mindblowing Performance Horse, or the funky "Purple Banana" Fighting Stallion? Doesn’t matter. (Other than hoping it’s not another roan. Don’t get me wrong - I love roans! - but something different would be nice, too.)

I did manage to - finally - repurpose the article about the Modernistic Buck and Doe. I already have everything loaded to the laptop, so I’ll be able to blog at the hotel this year, provided that their network doesn’t get as overloaded as it did last year.

Next up - another neat Breyer knockoff!

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Western Horse and His Kin

Here’s a better picture of the Western Horse copy in that box lot. The current "flying nun" shape of the saddle amuses me:

One topic I don’t cover much here is the Western Horse and his "kin": it’s been better covered, and better researched by others, to the point where I don’t feel any contributions I can make (at this point) would be very helpful.

Part of the reason for me keeping this fella is to help remedy this issue. Knowledge requires access. And in this hobby, access usually requires ownership.

It is also, surprisingly, a rather controversial and political topic: there are people within the hobby who are, shall we say, extremely devoted to certain opinions and viewpoints. And there is no room for discussion. Having discussions where no one is willing to concede a single point one way or another, ever - well, they don’t tend to be very interesting or productive.

It is especially so when it comes to the Western Horse. So I usually demur.

I will say that when I refer to the mold as the "Western Horse" I do so out of the common hobby convention of calling a model or mold by its best known or most commonly used appellation. Adios is Adios for instance, not Yellow Mount, Best Tango, or even Frappe.

Whether these Western Horse copies were copied from the Hartland, the Breyer, or their potmetal precursors is irrelevant. In most cases it can be hard to determine which copies were copied from where anyway.

Trying to put too fine a point on the origin of the copies also just ends up confusing the mundanes, too. When you start saying stuff like "It’s a copy of a Breyer, which may have been a copy of the first version of the Hartland Champ, which may have been adapted from the potmetal carnival horses…" they are only momentarily impressed.

Then they get a little nervous. Or walk away.

You gotta ease them into stuff like that. For most, "It’s a copy of a Breyer" is all they’re going to hear anyway. You can explain the finer points later, if it’s clear they want to know more. (One of the reasons why this blog exists!)

And once they reach that point, it's time to tell them about the birds and bees of the model horse world - "pedigree assignment"! (If they don't completely freak out at that point = another convert!)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

So, This Happened

So this happened on Sunday, at the flea market. This is as I found - and bought it:

Whoo-hoo, big box of horses! Here’s the box, emptied out:

Yeah, it’s mostly not-Breyer, but I’m not picky: I’m an equal opportunity horse-shaped-object lover here. It’d been a while since I had a "major" score at the flea market, anyway. And the price I got it at? Ain’t no way I was going to pass it up! I swear the whole flea market could hear me cackling on my way back to the car.

(The best part? The old guy who walked up behind me and shook his head. "You got a good deal!" Darn tootin’, I did!)

The only items I’m keeping out of the lot (for now) are the Ohio Arts Western Horse copy, and the Appaloosa Western Prancing Horse. I already have three or four other Appy WPHs, but unlike the others, this one has gigantic polka dot spots. That’s fairly unusual for that particular release - I should know! I’d been on the lookout for that variation for a while, but most of the ones were either too expensive, or didn’t pass muster.

And he’s almost mint! With his original saddle and reins! Remarkable, considering the circumstances he came from.

Some of this stuff will not be making it to BreyerFest, though. I thought I’d toss the Lone Ranger and Tonto on eBay, for instance, considering that the movie premieres this week. Especially since the Scout that came with Tonto is the rare one.

I’m not too wedded to getting a certain price, though. If the contents of this lot cover its initial cost, plus my gas money for BreyerFest, I will be happy. Even if it doesn’t, the thrill of excavating a whole box of vintage horses - everything in the box was at least 35 years old - was worth the price.

I like to make a profit as much as the next person, but I’m also realistic: collectibles, in general, aren’t that great an investment. They can be, if you can keep your emotional distance from them, but this is a difficult thing, since so much of the value is tied up in our emotional attachment to them.