Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Scaling the Mountain

We’re getting to that point in the flea market season where I’m now beginning to regard the models I’ve left behind as my touring collection; I've even named a few. All I bought this past weekend was some produce, a few china miniatures, and a clutch of empty and unused Testor’s 1/2 ounce paint bottles. Because they cost almost nothing, and reminded of the artist Joseph Cornell.

(In case you were wondering, they are just a tad too small to squeeze most MiniWhinnies in.)

I swung over to the nearest Tractor Supply on the way home, but it didn’t look like they had fully set up their Holiday Stuff yet. Even though some people are apparently already listing them at - and getting! - some crazy prices on eBay, I have no worries. I somehow managed, in the chaos of last week, to secure a Grail of mine so scarce that I had some years ago deemed it nonexistent.

To dampen that joy, I also discovered the whereabouts of a more recent Grail. That one will most definitely not be coming to live with me, now or probably ever.

The former item you’ll hear about in due time; the latter you will not. Not here. (All I will say? It’s not about the money involved.)

Now, onto the matter at hand - the Secret of the Reissues. It turns out that the bodies involved in creating them weren’t just leftovers from recent Regular Runs and Special Runs: based on their mold marks, they’re older than that. The Clydesdale Mare still has her original mold mark, for instance, and the Shires still have the U.S.A. imprint. So it’s possible that these bodies may be pre-China leftovers.

The problem is that Reeves hasn’t been real consistent with altering these mold marks, and with multi-year production gaps, it’s almost impossible to pinpoint the exact year when each mold was altered. The portion of the discussion on Blab where people were trying to determine the Clydesdale Mare’s mold mark change has since been deleted, due to the hacking incident; I think it was narrowed down to somewhere between 2003 (Lanark’s Rosebud) and 2007 (the Picture Perfect Black Pinto Spotted Draft).

(Don’t quote me on that, though. My memory of large portions of last week is extremely hazy.)

It’s been one of those topics that I’ve had on the back burner just a little too long; since late 2003, when I first noticed the alterations on some of the Early Releases for 2004. And some did not: I swear I saw examples of the Cantering Welsh Pony release Party Shoes - the one in Palomino with high whites - with the old mold mark as well as the new, sitting on the shelf together at a local toy store.

(Some of Reeves’ PR photos of Party Shoes show a model with a U.S.A. mark, for what that’s worth.)

The relatively low number of Clydesdale Mare Reissues compared to the others was also thus made explainable: it wasn’t just that they shipped/sold more at BreyerFest, they also used bodies from that same stash to make this year’s Volunteer Clydesdale SR. Same old mold mark!

I can’t recall if it was determined that the Betsy Ross (2007 BF Prize model) or Palisades (2012 Passage to the Pacific SR) were also pulled from the stash, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were.

The Del Mar - a 2009 SR release - definitely was not. It amuses me to think that while Reeves may have had a small mountain of Clydesdale Mare sitting in a warehouse in New Jersey, they were molding and manufacturing entirely new ones half a whole away.

What this all means is that I’m now seriously considering ordering the Reissue Clyde Mare. Dang it! Someone really needs to invent a 27 hour day.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I don't usually post much, more of a lurker, but I stumbled across this post I can confirm that the PTTP Palisades DOES have the USA mark on her, as compared to the newer RR Clydesdale mare and foal set, which lacks it.