Thursday, December 15, 2016

The 500 Club

I had no trouble filling up my shopping cart to get a Glossy Cosette offered on that “Collector Appreciation Day” earlier this week, but I didn’t go through with it. Partly it was because I managed to score something wonderful in my Grab Bag Box:

Any of the four Classics issued for the 2014 WEG would have been fine – the Chestnut Johar, the Bay Frolicking Quarter Horse Stallion, the Black Warmblood Mare, and the Alabaster Classics Ruffian – and all four have shown up in the #1 Grab Bag Assortments.

As my favorite among the four, however, the Ruffian one was something I was actively pursuing at BreyerFest this year. Having her show up on my doorstep helped make up for some of the bad fortune/timing I’ve been having with eBay auctions over the past week.

(I wasn’t quite as lucky with the Sherman Morgan in the lot: just another “normal” Silver Filigree there.)

Both the Glossy Cosette and the 2014 WEG Classics were issued in runs of 500 pieces. Nowadays collectors consider 500-piece Special Runs to be relatively common – heck, anything over 100 pieces, really – but quantity alone is rarely the sole determinant of rarity or value.

I’ve had a number of Classic Arabians on my sales list the past couple of years, but outside of body-box quality pieces, they’ve been a tough sell. The collectors who grew up with them (like yours truly) already have them, and newer collectors aren’t all that into them.

That’s the reason why I took a pass on the original Cosette: there is no sense of urgency. The Matte version has been available to the general public on the Breyer web site for a while now, manufactured in a quantity sufficiently large enough that they were able to gloss 500 of them for the offer. She seems almost as common and familiar as any other Regular Run item.

The way the Gloss Cosette offer was structured – you had to buy a hundred dollars of qualifying items – meant that there will be leftovers. They will turn up elsewhere, maybe even in future Grab Bags that will also come with a bunch of discounted stuff I already wanted!

Like the 2014 WEG Classics. But even though those items were also issued in runs of 500, on molds that are also modestly but not wildly popular, there’s definitely a sense that those models are more desirable – or at least harder to come by – than the Classic Arabian releases, Matte or Gloss, will ever be.

The 2014 WEG Classics were distributed at the event in France, and then disappeared (warehoused, apparently!) You could get them from some sellers overseas, but the shipping was prohibitive for many of us. Some of the WEG Stablemates did make it over here, but the Classics largely did not.

Now that they’re finally letting some of them go in the Grab Bags, and presumably in other places or in other offers or situations, the perceived rarity of the WEG Classics may change. Hobbyists will get blasé about them, too, and then move on to the next newest or hottest thing.

I’ll just keep buying and keeping what I like, rare or not.  

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