Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sugarloaf and the Gray Areas

When I heard that the Christmas Silver Filigree might have been leaked on eBay, and that its name was Sugarloaf, this is the first thing that came to my mind:

A nineteenth century quilt block pattern! (You know, I do have a bit of leftover “Silver Filigree” fabric I made for my BreyerFest hat last year, hmmm.)

Anyway, it was getting to that time of year where we speculate about the year-end special runs Reeves dumps on us, including the Silver Filigree. Although there’s a possibility that this “Sugarloaf” might be a rejected concept, it fits all of the usual parameters: it’s a relatively popular and very new mold with big hair.

(The Icelandic is a possibility, too, but with mold’s release as the Flagship Special Elska, it seems a little less likely.)

There’s been some discussion about the ethics of buying models like these (the vendor also has a translucent lavender Traditional Running Mare) that appear to be prototypes/samples of models yet to be.

It’s one thing to buy prototypes/samples of models that already exist or have (at least) been announced; models that clearly appear to be of things yet to be … are out of my personal comfort zone.

I’ve bought things of questionable provenance – both intentionally, and unintentionally. I bought several models from the notorious “newtoymens” dealer on eBay (though none of the super-pricey ones: out of my league entirely there) and I also purchased the Sample of the Pottery Barn Kennebec Count.

One of my rationales for buying them was that at least they were being sold after-the-fact: they weren’t revealing any special secrets or upcoming releases. While there were rumors of where these models were coming from, there had been no official confirmation, either.

The Kennebec Count was a liminal case: rumors had been going around that the Special had been planned, but canceled; a short time after the Sample appeared on eBay, it was officially released.

Everyone’s comfort zones in these ethical gray areas are different – and not necessarily wrong. We’re not really sure what the situation is at the factories in China that are allowing these pieces to come to market. They could have been gifts or compensation of some sort. And what constitutes ethical behavior in China – especially regarding knockoffs and antiquities – is another issue entirely.

There’s also the possibility that Reeves has already given the security issue some thought, and determined that either the positives (publicity) outweigh the negatives (element of surprise). Since it’s also something that happens with other toys and collectibles manufacturers there, they might have considered this risk a part of doing business in that part of the world.

That’s all speculation: I don’t know.

All I do know is that I’m more excited at the possibility of Traditional scale Horse Crazy release (which is what I’m assuming the Running Mare thingie is/might be) than the Sugarloaf, oddly enough.

I'm all for more Silver Filigrees, but how long has it been since we’ve had a Traditional Translucent production run, anyway? It feels like forever. The entire Running “family” would be wonderful candidates for that kind of treatment.

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