Tuesday, February 6, 2018

FAMs as PAMs?

Several years ago I acquired a Matte Dapple Gray Family Arabian Mare in a Body Box lot. She was missing a leg and half an ear, but I didn’t care:

I knew there was at least one other Dapple Gray Family Arabian Mare like her out there, and where there are two, there are usually more. I assumed that she was either a Salesman’s Sample or very early production piece of the Proud Arabian Mare, produced before the Proud Arabian Mare mold was ready for full production.

I also assumed that meant there had to be at least a few Mahogany Bay Family Arabian Mares out there too, either sitting unnoticed in someone’s collection, or passed off as a simple variation of the Bay.

(Any Matte Alabasters that would have/could have been produced would have been virtually identical/indistinguishable from the original Matte Alabaster FAMs, save for a little extra body shading, perhaps.)

So it wasn’t a complete surprise when a Mahogany Bay Family Arabian Mare showed up – on eBay, of course. What was odd about it was that it came with the original White Cardboard Picture box, and a not-quite-matching Bay Proud Arabian Foal.

Oddballs and obvious Samples have turned up in retail boxes before, especially the enclosed cardboard ones of the 1970s and early 1980s. It might have been done to round out the production quota for the day, or (according to a rumor I heard from Marney herself) to give the hobby community a few little surprises to go hunting for.

But if these Oddball Mares were Samples or simply very early production items, you’d expect to find them with Corrugated Shipper Boxes: the Proud Arabian Mare debuted in 1972, but the retail-friendly White Cardboard Picture Boxes didn’t appear until 1973.

A random thought occurred to me a while back, now bolstered by this Mahogany Bay Mare and her box: what if these Mares were straight-up goofs? What if – like so many hobbyists – one of the factory painters simply confused the PAM mold with the FAM mold?

If so, it was obviously a mistake that was caught early. This is a darn shame, since I have grown rather fond of Mahogany Bay as a color.

I had the strange misfortune of actually finding the Mahogany Bay FAM auction very shortly after it was listed, and fumbled around the page for a few anxious seconds desperately looking for the “Buy It Now” button that was not there.

So I will simply have to be content with my three-legged mare…


Anonymous said...

She's gorgeous!

And I bet your theory is right-on......I bet someone new to the painting department didn't know a FAM from a PAM. It really makes sense. Maybe not to us detail-oriented collectors, but to just about anyone else, the FAM and the PAM has to look almost identical.

Rags Paper Stitches said...

To add to the theory, a few years ago I found a Thoroughbred Mare and Foal set, in the original box with a Justin Morgan (chalky!) in it instead of the TB Mare. The Justin Morgan and the mare are the same color, no white markings, standing - easy to confuse for one unfamiliar with the nuances of the molds. The foal happened to be colored plastic too.

Anonymous said...

I just found and bought a dapple gray FAM mare 2 days ago. Cant wait until she arrives, she looks pristine. She is one of the Sears holiday mare and foal mares i believe, one of 4000 made according to IDYB.