Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Team Misty

One of the first things I noticed during the inventory cull: my goodness, I have a lot of Misty Variations. I don’t have the exact number at my fingertips, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was enough to field a baseball team. Here’s a somewhat more common member of Team Misty:

What’s notable about this collection is that it doesn’t include the Cold Cast Porcelain, the Special Run Flocky, or the more recent reissues with fancier shading. All of mine are Variations of the standard #20 Misty of Chincoteague.

I’m not giving any of them up, either. This isn’t a case of unconditional love or obsessive obscure Variation-hunting: each one of them is clearly and obviously different from each other even to the less-attentive among us. Hand-airbrushed, 3-Eyed, 4-Eyed, Matte-Finished, Gloss-Finished, Bi-eyed …

Everything except Chalky: Misty is probably one of the rarest Chalky Era Chalkies out there. The 4-eyed Gloss Misty - the alleged Gold Standard of rare Mistys - is positively common compared to the Chalky. I can’t even recall the last time I saw one for sale outright, and it wasn’t a pretty sight the last time one came up on eBay. (Except to the seller, maybe!)

The funny thing is that I’m really not all that into Misty herself - the book, or the mold. (FWIW, Born to Trot is my favorite Marguerite Henry book.) It’s the history of the mold, and all its changes through time that fascinate me.

I’ve been lucky enough to run across most of my Misty models via my usual cheapskate channels: the flea market, the Salvation Army, in box lots. The only one I had to pay "retail" for was for the hand-airbrushed one I found on eBay. For reasons I’d rather not elaborate here, I felt justified in making an exception in her case.

I am sometimes baffled by some hobbyists’ need to collect multiple variations of more recent molds. I understand the love, but the variations are often so minute (It’s slightly Semi-Gloss! The points are dark gray, not black!) that I sometimes find myself scratching my head. Really?

Some of it is the residue of our history: Regular Run models hung around long enough (decades, sometimes!) that legitimately distinct Variations did emerge over time. We could justify having multiple examples of the same release because they really didn’t look the same.

Nowadays releases come and go in an eyeblink - like that odd-looking Pinto Sporthorse Gem Twist - so the opportunity for true Variations to arise is rare. So the standard drops: what would have been considered within the normal range of variation suddenly becomes A Variation. 

Sometimes I get some flak for not "seeing" some variations as Variations, especially in more modern releases. You have to look at it from my perspective: it’s not that I don’t see them, it’s that I had to make a choice between width and depth. Neither choice is perfect: you’re going to lose some data either way.

You can’t focus on both either, because that’ll drive you crazy. There are already enough subtleties to Breyer History that I don't need to complicate it with even more.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wyatt and the Premier Club

Aside from the fact that it was October, and kind of miserable weather-wise (there are no "good" days with sleet in them!) the events of the previous 24 hours highlighted the stark contrast between the different parts of my life. And the realization that there’s nothing I can do, right now, to fix the parts that don’t work without also messing up the parts that do.

I guess this is more of a fair warning in case the tone here gets a little more melancholic over the next couple of weeks. I’m dealing with some heavy stuff again, people.

Don’t worry, the model horse stuff is mostly working. Some parts of it are actually way fabulous, but we’ll get to that a little later in the week. First up: let’s talk about the Premier Club.

I haven’t talked too much about the Premier Club, for a couple of different reasons. First, it’s a club all about first releases on brand new molds: there’s not a lot of history there to talk about, yet.

Second, it’s the drama: gosh-almighty, some of the online arguments about the latest Premier Club releases make the goings-on on the NAMSHA-Discussion list look quaint and dignified.

I know I’m going to sound like a total tool for saying this, but Reeves really does care about the quality of the product. They have a problem not dissimilar to mine: the different parts of their company "life" are in conflict, and there’s no good way to disentangle the two without one or the other suffering.

As important as the hobbyist market is, the general retail market will always come first. It has to: that’s where the bigger money is, and where new hobbyists come from.

Brishen might not have been a success in the niche of a niche market that the Premier Club is, but the money that they invested in that mold will pay off for them in the long run in the retail market. Little kids who love horses don’t love them for their anatomical correctness, they’re buying the fantasy of a horse. And like it or not, the more recent Moody molds like Brishen are the epitome of little-kid fantasy horses.

The profits of molds like Brishen end up funding molds like Latigo - the third release in the 2013 Premier Club - and Wyatt, the first release of 2014. And look at him!

(Note: It’s a photo taken from the web site, slightly reformatted to fit here. Copyright and all that Reeves International. The mold was sculpted by Morgen Kilbourn, if you didn’t already know.)

He’s so awesome it’s making ME contemplate signing up for the Premier Club, which is crazy. I still haven’t completely finished the herd culling to accommodate this year’s acquisitions. And next year’s Vintage Club. And some of the just announced 2014 releases, and the new Appaloosa Performance Horses, and…

As big as a hit as he appears he will be, Wyatt is not going to be as profitable a mold as a Brishen, at least in the short term. He’s on a base: bases cost money, and they get lost, warped or broken. The parents of our hypothetical nine year old proto-hobbyists are going to look at a future Regular Run release of Wyatt and find themselves thinking that a Regular Run Brishen might be a more sensible choice - with his thicker legs and lack of a base. (The Wyatt mold strikes me as a fancier kind of thing that Grandma or Santa would bring, anyway.)

Loving Moody molds isn’t going to damage those budding hobbyists later on in life. Most of us grew up in the Hess mold era: frog eyes, sketchy genitals, bowed tendons, and husky-looking Palomino Arabians. We turned out fine, in spite of it all.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Wow, so much exciting world in the Breyersphere over the past two days: new molds, new releases, new sculptors, significant changes to the Vintage Club…that I’ll get to in my next post. Partly to digest what I’ve seen, and partly to sort out what I can say about it.

In other more personal news, I finished the collection culling. Sort of. Items have been pulled into and out of various boxes. Roughly 50-75 pieces are strewn about the downstairs and are awaiting pricing, photographing, and the editing of their files from my personal collection database.

All of which will take considerably longer and be a lot less fun than the sorting and reacquainting process. Because getting up to speed with old friends is way more pleasant than updating one’s database and sales list.

One pretty fellow I managed to get reacquainted with was my Chalky Sorrel Five-Gaiter:

Alas, he is not one of Those Chalky Five-Gaiters: an Overpainted Decorator. Nope, he has a U.S.A. mark, so he’s a post-1970 model. I suppose I could imagine that he MIGHT be an overpainted Gloss Palomino, since some of the last of that release did come with that mold mark, but I haven’t heard or seen any evidence of that being the case.

Nor do I intend to find out, because he is otherwise awesome. In fact, he was a regular in my liveshow string back in the 1980s. I doubt he’d do all that well in the ring today, because while he may be Special - a Chalky in Nice Condition - he’s not Special Special like an Overpainted Decorator.

Still, I’m totally okay with that, because he came with a unique and fascinating backstory worth a dozen Decorators.

I found him in a funky little antique/junk shop not far from the Wayne State University campus, in Detroit. I was living on campus, and in my off hours I would wander around the nearby neighborhoods, the kinds that you don’t seen on the national news because they don’t fit the narrative of a dead or dying Detroit.

It was a tiny little enclave of late Victorian homes nestled somewhere in between the University campus and the headquarters of the Burroughs Corporation. All the buildings around it were bland, industrial, and/or deliberately non-ornamental: it seemed almost like a mirage.

In the basement of one of those homes was this little shop, and in that shop I happened to find a few Breyers. I can’t recall if the Chalky Five-Gaiter was there on my first visit, or a later one: I made multiple visits to this place because, as much as I loved visiting the DIA and the main branch of the Detroit Public Library, you really couldn’t buy stuff or strike up a conversation there.

(I had a job on campus, so I did have money to spend on such fripperies. Family was not as thrilled to find new horses hidden in my laundry bag…)

It’s been years since I ventured into that neighborhood; whenever I visit that general area, it’s either to the Library, the DIA, or for work, and none of those places are anywhere near where that neighborhood was.

I’m not even sure if it’s there anymore: there’s been a lot of redevelopment in the area since then, and I can easily imagine it gone. Another junk shop that I used to frequent - the one that the art students frequently raided for materials for their more esoteric projects - certainly is. (Esoteric = boxes of glass eyeballs, old sound effect records from the 1940s, ancient issues of Tiger Beat, etc.)

Part of me doesn’t want to know what happened to it - the shop, the neighborhood, or the people in it. I rather like that little neighborhood as it resides in my mind, and in this horse.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Another Science Experiment

I decided the first big project of the week off: the herd culling I’ve been griping about. It’s going well so far; I’d say I’m about halfway through the boxes I wanted to get through. It’s not going to result in a lot of "Big Money" sales, but I'll do okay. Some oddballs, variations, some items with better than average shading, things like that.

There will be some good stuff from this year’s NPOD sales also - nothing that I’ve already featured here, just a few rarities and Samples I had been wavering on. Nothing wrong with them, per se, just not enough room in the stables.

One of the non-NPOD oddballs I’ve decided to surrender is this old Classics Sagr:

Yes, he’s a Shrinky AND a color variation. The variation is not his neon-bright red chestnut coat - that’s a consequence of the shrinking process - but the white mane and tail. Later releases of the original Sagr had a mane and tail that were almost pale enough to pass for white, but this Sagr’s mane and tail were genuinely unpainted white, back when the Sagrs still had distinctly flaxen ones.

I picked him up at one of Marney’s Model Horse Congress garage sales in the 1980s: I can’t recall which year, though I’ll look that up when I finally get around to listing him. (Possibly as early as this week, depending on how the rest of the week, and the culling, go.) He is a Variation, and he has an excellent Provenance, so I won't be giving him away. But he leaks and he reeks: he oozed rather profusely when I took him out of his bag to inspect him, as you can probably see from the preternatural shine to his head.

I’m not expecting a lot out of him, monetarily, unless there happens to be a run on leaky Sagrs that I am not aware of. As to the reasons why he is leaving my collection, I already have one creepy/weird Science Experiment - aka "The Toad" - on premises, and I don’t need another to tend to.

(Note: everything is going on MH$P first, before it hits eBay. All those nonpaying bidder stories I’ve been reading have been making me nervous.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Getting My Horse Fix

I suppose you’ve either heard or gotten the e-mail by now that Reeves is offering BreyerFest Special Run leftovers to this year’s ticket buyers, including Laredo, Twill, Short Ribs, Two Step and the adorable pinto Haflinger Buckaroo. (Not trying to "sell" him; I just happen to have mine on my desk right now and happen to think that he is.) If bling’s more your thing, other merchandise is being offered too, including mugs, t-shirts and pillows.

I am mulling over getting a Laredo, just for the sake of having an example of that mold variation in the collection. One of the bigger projects I had planned - that I hope to get to after some of the more space-eating things are under control - is creating vector clip art/line art of every known Breyer mold and major mold variation (Halla and Boyla = Yes. Old Mold Mare and Proud Arabian Mare = Probably not.)

Aside from the fact that I love playing around with vector drawing programs, having a library of scalable art of every Breyer mold, all in the same style and format, would be pretty darn useful for a whole assortment of reasons. For the blog, for my research, for Sampler illustrations, maybe even for crafting. (A redwork quilt of Breyer molds, anyone?)

I already have tons of vintage clip art, both stats and originals, but none of it is consistent in terms of style, scale, or format. Some of it was even done before the molds themselves were finalized, like the very early clip art for the Classics USET Gift Set:

I know I've had it up here before, but it just fascinates me for some reason. It's like I'm looking at Breyer molds from an alternate reality. (Is it the reality where Palomino Family Arabians are super-rare, Khemosabi is awesome, and Decorators are no big deal?) My "style", such as it is, is more like this:

I was kind of hoping I could hold off getting a Laredo until next year, after the collection culling. Not that I’m expecting a huge run on him, but it’s so convenient to let my fingers do the clicking…

No, I already bought a few horses this week.

I had to stop at the store yesterday on my way home from work to pick up a few odds and ends, and I saw that said store had just gotten in the new assortment of Stablemates Mystery Foal sets. Since I am a sucker for anything black pinto, and anything roan, and I am not immune to needing a horse fix every once and a while, into the cart they went.

I’ll open them up as a reward when another one of my multitudinous projects is done. (Sunday, I hope?)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shifting Priority

I was distracted yesterday by a non-model-horsey project out in the garage that took longer than anticipated, so I decided not to rush myself on the blogging. I have most of next week off, so I figured there would be plenty of time to play catch up.

Speaking of, I will definitely be taking a break from the NaNoWriMo thing this year. It’s not for a lack of ideas or inspiration; it’s more a matter of changing priorities. While cleaning out my craft supply stash for the garage sale a few weeks back, I was mildly horrified by the number of unfinished projects I found, and how emotionally attached I was to them still.

So I’ve decided to spend November finishing as many of those things as I can, instead of starting another novel that will just become another project in my already considerable queue.

I suppose most - or at least, many - of you have heard about or seen the pair of Connoisseur Swirling Sky samples that turned up on eBay this past week - in China. One finished, one unfinished.

I have no doubt that they are "authentic" - in the sense that they were factory-made, and not faux-finished. I’m rather surprised, actually, that it took this long for listings from China to show up on eBay, considering that production has been going on there, more or less, for over a decade now.

I briefly considered bidding/buying, but two things held me back.

First, of course, was the price: another Swirling Sky Sample surfaced in the Sales Tent/Pit this year, and was resold on eBay for a price less than the Chinese seller’s initial listing prices. In spite of all the drama surrounding the "Friday Morning Festivities", the resell prices on most of the Samples and Oddities found within are not outrageous.

There are always a few real gems in the mix, yes, but the value of most is in the eye of the beholder. The Swirling Sky Andalusian is not one of the higher-demand Connoisseurs, also: I found him to be an interesting concept that didn’t completely work. I wouldn’t have tossed him out of the keep box if I had found him, but his absence doesn’t sting as much as the Sample Clydesdale Mare Palisades.

(I’ve been halfheartedly shopping around for the Picture Perfect Black Pinto Clydesdale Mare as a suitable substitute, but dang, I didn’t realize she was so popular, too!)

The second point of hesitation was that it was directly from China.

We all engage in rationalizing behaviors when it comes to pretty ponies of questionable provenance. I bought a number of pieces from the eBay vendor "newtoymens", for instance, and there have been times when I have been guilty of the sin of omission whilst negotiating at the flea market. Then there’s the issue of me being privy to information that many of you are not, and whether that rises to the level of "insider trading", though I like to think that I’ve given almost as much as I’ve gotten, on the blog anyway.

Everyone has different comfort zones, and they don’t necessarily overlap: what I’m comfortable with you might not be, and vice versa. Buying something directly from China, I’ve discovered, is out of my comfort zone. (More precisely, the answers to the questions such items raise.)

Which is fine for me, because I need to sell more, not buy more. Anything that keeps me from clicking the "Buy It Now" button.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Test Color Teasing

Just to show you that I am not always a complete tease, here are a few of those Test Color photos I mentioned in passing last time:

These are all fairly typical of the kind of Test Colors available to hobbyists in the 1980s, in terms of both molds and colors. Neat, but there’s nothing to them that makes them stand out from the regular Breyer rabble, especially to newer hobbyists or those not particularly versed in Breyer minutiae.

I wouldn’t mind owning any of them, mind you, and I suspect a lot of you feel likewise. Yet I rather doubt most of them would be competitive outside of Collectibility today. (That is a pretty shade of bay on the Phar Lap, though!)

The term "Test Color" is an awfully generic one: at its broadest and least specific, it can refer to any model that was not made as part of a production run. This could even include items that were once in regular production, but were not when it/they were produced. (My NPOD Big Ben might fall into this category, for instance.)

A Test Color could be a Cull, a finished/touched-up Cull, a happy accident (i.e. a mistake) of the painting process, a lunchtime frolic, misinterpreted painting instructions, a gift for a friend or family member, something done to fill up some downtime…

Or it could be an "true" Test Color: an item painted to demonstrate/illustrate/test a new or potential production run item, either a Regular Run or Special Run.

Some newer hobbyists, who are most familiar with the term through the BreyerFest auctions, tend to think of Test Colors almost as Factory Customs, since many of the ones that are offered for auction nowadays have a higher degree of finish than most production items. (I am always amazed that some get a little indignant when the tested color actually, you know, gets used a short time later. What do they think the word Test in Test Color means?)

The models you’re seeing above are likely the kinds of Test Colors that originated via Marney Walerius, a hobbyist who had somewhat free rein at the factory in the 1970s and 1980s. Sometimes she rescued genuine Test Colors from the various nooks and crannies of the facilities. Sometimes she fished stuff out of trash barrels and finished/fixed them.

And sometimes she made them herself: to satisfy a notion, to propose an idea to the Powers That Were, for compensation, or for various promotional purposes (live shows, raffles, tours, prizes, etc.) So in a sense, many Chicago-era Test Colors were Factory Customs, too.

Sorting this all out after the fact, as you can imagine, is something of a headache. An item that’s classified as a Test Color could have been multiple things: it could have been something Marney did on a whim, AND later got used in production somewhere along the line. True Test Colors were often given away as gifts or tokens of appreciation (or compensation!)

In most cases, it’s been easier to refer to a nonstandard model - something that goes above and beyond being just a variation - as a "Test Color", because more often than not, we will never know the specifics of its creation.   

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


This is how my October is going: on Monday, I accidentally picked up a live spider with my bare hands, and it wasn’t even the worst thing that happened to me on that day. Just the worst I can mention in public. (I don’t mind spiders, as long as they don’t invade my personal space. Or pretend to be a piece of lint sitting on my desk.)

On a more pleasant note, I did get a chance to see a Tractor Supply Special Dillon in the wild this week. He did have a couple of smudged spots, which is why he was probably still there. He might still be there, since due to some unwelcome schedule changes (October, see above) I am still way behind in the herd culling process here. No new horses until then, if I can help it, and if Reeves can hold off on the surprises.

One thing that I have managed to make some headway on is in the scanning of a big batch of vintage hobby photos that I received a few months back. There’s nothing groundbreaking or historically significant in what I’ve seen so far, other than a nice smattering of old customs and Chicago-era Test Colors. Most of the photos are either old photo show pix, or from the live show scene in the 1980s, full of goofiness like this:

Top that, NAN!

Even though there doesn’t seem to be any "there" there, I still think it’s important to scan and document everything. Sometimes you need a lot of bits of data to reveal a larger truth, and sometimes we have no idea what that truth is until we step back and assemble the pieces.

Years ago, in college, I took an "Intro to Archaeology" class, partly out of personal interest, but also to fulfill a Social Sciences credit. The professor (Who was a collector, himself! Not horses, though.) related a story about how they were on a dig and recovering potsherds - broken bits of pottery. Pottery is one of the better ways to date archaeological sites: either by its increasing sophistication, or by an already established history taken from similar sites.

Anyway, they were rushed for time, and they made the decision to recover just the decorated potsherds, not the undecorated ones. They were all mixed together, and they figured that the more decorated ones were either more interesting, or more representative of the culture, something like that.

Several months later, as they were reconstructing the potsherds back into pots, they realized that the reason why the plain and fancy potsherds were mixed together was because they were from the same pots. All they could piece together were the decorative bands around the pots, not the pots themselves!

Hence my reasoning behind my "scan/save everything" philosophy. Some of the more humdrum stuff may be important too, and we’re just not seeing the bigger picture yet.

There was one photo did make me do a double take during my scanning yesterday, though. Can you tell why?

(Click to see the much bigger photo, for the details.)

No, it’s not the fact that an Original Finish Alabaster Proud Arabian Stallion won big; it was the 1980s, and our "Arabian Stallions of Traditional Size" options were rather limited.

No, check out who’s standing next to rather nice Alabaster Proud Arabian Mare, in the back: it’s the infamously rare Special Run Black Blanket Pony of the Americas, with the striped hooves! Not an everyday sight - now or then.

(In case you were wondering, he’s one of the few models on my short list that I might actually hurt someone for.)

The second thing I noticed in this picture: the POA didn’t win her class. That’s almost as inconceivable today as a PAS winning a Breed class, but Collectibility was not as big a thing back then.

Yes, it played a part, but we were still at the stage where we weren’t quite sure what was and wasn’t truly rare, and how much that mattered. This was an era where it was still possible to have your Test Colors get beat at a live show by a horse bought off the shelf in an enclosed cardboard box on Friday afternoon before. (Handpicking? Yeah, right!)

Things were a little wilder, woolier and unpredictable back then, and it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some of the photos that were left behind, on the other hand, are debatable.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Gift Policy

The weekend did not turn out as planned. This probably should not have been a surprise, since it is October, after all. I always have a problem with October.

Since I am still in the middle of several small projects that should have been finished by now, I think it’s a good time to reiterate and clarify my policy on gifts, gifting and other forms of compensation with regards to this blog, since it has become an issue lately.

I consider this blog to be one of my "contributions" to the hobby, so there is no expectation of compensation. I haven’t enrolled in any ad, banner or rewards programs, because I feel the amount of compensation would be far outweighed by the amount of visual (and moral) clutter they would bring.

While I am flattered by the offers of models I am sometimes given, please be aware that my collection is currently in a state where I need to remove items, not add more. The handful of items I would run through a busy intersection for are fairly obscure and not likely in your possession.

If you happen to point me in the direction of one, I’d be happy to venture there myself and negotiate. And if you yourself have it, I want to pay a fair market price for it, whenever possible.

I grew up in a family atmosphere where gifts were never really "gifts", either: there was a price attached to everything, literally or figuratively. This is not said to elicit an emotional response of any kind, I am just explaining that this is how I was raised and constitutes a part of my moral matrix. I have a hard time accepting gifts, plain and simple.

(If sometimes I forget to say "thank you" in response to a gift, it is because that’s not how it worked in my family, weird as it sounds. It’s not a learned reflex: it’s something I have to actively remember to do.)

Information is always welcome, though. As are gossip, history, insider information, ephemera, pictures, and stories of a salacious nature. (More ordinary ones, too!) You should know by now that these are the kinds of stuff I treasure more than physical objects, anyway.

I do provide a Paypal donation button somewhere on the sidebar if you ever are in a giving mood. It’s mostly there because when I did the initial research into starting this blog, all the sites I visited said having one was a good idea. I forget that it’s there most of the time.

I will accept compensation for other services rendered to the hobby, but my schedule at the moment precludes me from doing much beyond rendering opinions on photos or questions sent my way. (And as you may know from personal experience, even that might take a while.)

There are always exceptions, naturally, like providing the location of another Copenhagen Belgian, or being in dire need of assistance and within a not-horrible driving distance from my house. Offers to either visit, or be visited are also welcome and will be accommodated whenever possible, especially if your family and non-hobbyist friends are anything like mine. (Familiar with the "Not the horses, again!" eyeroll?) Because sometimes "talking horses" is an absolute necessity.

I think that covers anything. More actual horsey stuff in a couple of days, I’m hoping.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Looking at a Gift Horse

If all goes well, I will not be venturing beyond what I call the "pajama perimeter" for the next couple of days. (Pajama Perimeter = The places where I feel comfortable being in my pajamas. Generally extends outside to the mail box and back. And possibly anywhere while in my car, as long as I do not exit the vehicle.)

(Yes, I’ve given this concept lots of thought.)

No need for y’all to know why. Just seemed like a good idea when I came up with the notion at work the other day. ‘Nuff said.

I’ve featured this pretty boy in a couple of different places already, but I figured today would be a good day for his "public" debut:

Yep, he’s one of those Flaxen Chestnut "Mystery" Western Prancing Horses, whom I received a while back as a "gift for services rendered" thingie. (More on that another time.) We don’t know much of anything about these fellows, other than the presence of a "B" mold mark suggests a manufacture date of ca. 1979-1982.

And that they are very, very hard to come by. So much so that I, as dedicated a Western Prancing Horse aficionado as they come, never considered him a "grail" item. I don’t think I even put a watch notice on the one that did turn up on eBay a few years ago, because I knew one incontrovertible fact about him: that he wasn’t coming home with me on my budget. 

The previous owner mentioned something about Marney possibly being involved in his creation and/or distribution, which narrows down his possible origin stories, but not as much as you might think.

I have two equally plausible and competing theories about the origins of the Flaxen Chestnut WPH. I’m not saying either one is necessarily the truth, but they might be somewhere in the general vicinity.

The first is that it was some sort of gift/raffle/prize concept that Marney could have whipped up from cull/leftover Palomino Western Prancing Horse bodies at the factory. The color is close enough to the original Palomino that I could easily see this happening with just a little overpainting.

For whom, for what show, or what purpose, I have no clue. Sometimes she did things just because she had the opportunity to do so, and did so.

The second is that they might have been tests of some sort for the #1120 Brenda Western Gift Set that debuted in 1983. The production sets included a Chestnut Pinto Western Prancing Horse with a pattern nearly identical to the original #113 Black Pinto release, with a white mane and tail.

I could easily imagine them coming up with the Chestnut idea initially and painting up a few samples, only to decide later in the process that the set could use a little more "oomph" with some pinto markings. Somehow Marney could have found them knocking around the factory at some point, and took them home for "redistribution" purposes.

Regardless of the nature of his origin story, I love him and I am grateful for the opportunity to own him now.