Saturday, May 13, 2017

The 2017 Man o' War

So that Man o’ War release is a Reissue – of the Classic Man o’ War:

It’s not too surprising that they went with the Classics mold. The Traditional Man o’ War has already been reissued three times before: as a part of the Sears Glossed Racehorse set in 1990, slightly modified and with a certificate through QVC in 2002, and at the 2010 World Equestrian Games with hangtag and accurately masked facial markings.

Since this is a release being marketed as much to casual hobbyists, tourists and the general public as to us (it was no coincidence that the formal announcement happened right around Derby Day weekend) it was unlikely that they’d make some odd Glossy or Decorator-styled thing that would appeal only to us.

The Classic mold has never been reissued before – sort of. He was a part of at least a couple Christmas Catalog sets during his lengthy run (1975-1990), most notably as a part of the Sears 1975 Famous Race Horses Set with that fabulous box:

The original Classics release, like its bigger brother, came in a host of color variations.  There are least three different facial markings – the early straight blaze, the common broken stripe, and the late irregular star – and multiple gradations of Chestnut, from light orangey brown (usually earlier) to dark red (usually later).

The earliest examples of the mold also came without a mold mark, and boxes? Yes, in addition to the Christmas Shipper Boxes, the original Classics box comes in a couple different variations as well.

He has been released a couple of times in different shades of Chestnut, too: in 1991/2 as the #252 Pepe, with four high stockings; and in 1988 as Affirmed in the Triple Crown II Set, with an elongated star.

(And maybe the #288 Tumbleweed in 1997, depending on how pedantic your definition of “Chestnut” is.)

It’s hard to judge it based on the available photos, but the shading on the Classics Reissue seems quite different from the original Classic releases, and I am going to assume that the facial markings will be different also (more accurately masked?)

The only minor disappointment I have about the release is that it’s being treated, basically, as a Mid-Year release: it appears to be an open-ended run (no set quantity manufactured) and there’s no need for you to go to BreyerFest, or the Horse Park itself to get one.

On one hand it’s a good thing – it won’t be pricey or hard-to-get, like the WEG Reissue or the QVC Reissue – but it does feel a shade less special.

Unless they have something else planned just for us. I doubt it, but one never knows these days.


Truson said...

I wasn't willing to take any chances, because I have heard three different versions now of how this release is going to roll out...I sprung for two and preordered them, and wouldn't be a bit surprised if they oversell the actual number made and people come up empty-handed from waiting. I didn't want that happening to me.

Unknown said...

Omg where can I find him??