Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rather Roundabout Rationalizations

Oddly, I feel a little disappointed that the Nonhorse Special Run for BreyerFest is probably going to be on a Spanish Fighting Bull.

Even thought it’s an activity most associated with Spain, bullfighting also occurs in France, for better or worse. Here’s a picture of a member of La Race Espagnole in a color similar to the preview picture:

(Just a head’s up: this is very addictive web site for minutiae-obsessed folks like us. Oh, the customizing possibilities!)

My disappointment stems not from the fact that it’s a Fighting Bull release, and the spectre of bullfighting that it brings up, though I do find that problematic. Most of my disappointment is that I got myself all het up about the possibility of another Dog or Cat release.

The decision on Reeves’s part was a no-brainer: cattle molds sell better than the Cats and Dogs, period. The Creepy Meow "Patches", the Collie "Jester", the Poodle "Cotton Candy", the Saint Bernard "Beethoven"? All had leftovers, some for years. Cattle? Mostly sell-outs.

Well, I can always hold out hope for a little something in the "Grande Marche Souvenir Shop". If I can manage to make it in this year before everything sells out there, too.

Getting back to the oddness of the mold selection, I did a little research that makes it seem a little less odd. First and foremost, the stock is being considered for inclusion in an effort to create - or recreate - a low-maintenance cattle breed that could essentially defend itself against large predators. (Could you imagine a Fighting Bull and Cougar Gift Set? That could be neat!)

In the past, the Fighting Cattle breeds were also used in an attempt to recreate the ancient Aurochs, a now extinct primitive wild ox that was essentially a game animal in Europe. Some reconstructions on this Wikipedia page bear more than a passing resemblance to the Fighting Bull mold:

There’s an excellent illustration there of an Aurochs fighting off a pack of wolves, in a pose very similar to the Breyer.

One of the earlier reconstruction efforts was, alas, tied to a rather dark time in human history, and for less than enlightened purposes. More modern efforts focus on the hope that a recreation could, in addition to assisting cattle breeders, also help fill the place of its wild ancestor in the European landscape.

Also, Aurochs are prominently illustrated in the famous Paleolithic cave paintings of Lascaux, in southwestern France. That'd be a rather roundabout way of getting a cattle mold into the SR lineup, but a better attempt than others (like the Stretched Morgan in the British-themed year. Still scratching our heads over that one.)

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I was hoping for a red deer on the Elk mold.