Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Daft Days

The Zebra arrived today, but I’ll probably wait until the weekend to open him up – partly to forestall any potential disappointments, and because I am already elbow deep in horse inventory stuff. The Stablemates alone will be the death of me…

And speaking of, Reeves pushed out one last enticement to join the Stablemates Club: an optional seventh release, a Mini Me of the Dapple Gray Clydesdale Stallion by the name of Duke.

A moot point for me (I signed up a while ago) but there is the answer to the not-really-a-question of whether or not they’re shrinky-dinking other Vintage molds. Of course they are.

But let’s get back to the question of Ambrose. Some of you won’t like my answer, but you know I am not afraid of being a contrarian.

I find that Reeves’ marketing of Ambrose – one that emphasizes its “painted in the USA” status – as both a little cynical and troubling.

For one, it devalues some of the genuinely beautiful models that are now being made in China. Are they all “Live Show Quality”? No. But the possibility of acquiring something excellent at a not unreasonable price does exist.

And not only that, this exclusivity is simply not true: there are a lot of models still painted in the USA: some of the Web Specials (Wailua, Bramble), Volunteer Specials, Prize and Raffle models, models for Exclusive Events. To name a few.

Sure, they may not available to everyone equally, but a $300 model hyped as being “extraordinary” and sold on a First-Come, First-Served basis at the end of an already overcrowded December selling season is also… not available to everyone equally.

It’s just another flavor of exclusivity, albeit an economic one. For those of us who choose not to (or simply cannot) spend ourselves into oblivion during the holidays, we’re now faced with a glut of promotions with ever escalating stakes. Do we risk getting a Gloss Regular Run, or should we wait for the Winter Web Specials? Will the Christmas Day model be to our liking, or will Reeves throw down something else in the “Daft Days” that follow? Is a New Year’s Day Special not far behind?

The hobby’s original appeal of opening the often-too-expensive world of horses to everyone is something now reflected even Breyer’s own marketing strategy: “A Horse of Your Own”. This is an approach I’ve been touting for years, and I am glad that Reeves is taking it. 

Targeting to your higher-end customers is not wrong, but when it appears that you are catering to the higher-end customers to the exclusion of everyone else, that’s a problem. Especially when those customers not only expect it, but demand it.

This issue ties to another troubling point in Ambrose’s sale pitch: quality escalation. While I have no doubt that the Ambroses will be uniformly excellent, they will not be uniformly perfect. Looking at the way many hobbyists nitpick models at half – or even one-tenth – the price, I can only imagine how intense the scrutiny will be for models like Ambrose, and his successors.

It can’t end well.

If they continue this “series” – based on the response, I am assuming that it’s going to be added to the end-of-year sales blitz – I won’t rule out the possibility of buying one in the future. But it’ll have to be on a mold I really love in a color I can’t pass up: I prefer to buy things for keeps, not to speculate.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Palomino Hamilton

Since I am basically tapped out, and trying to end the year with as little credit card debt as possible, I passed on the Ambrose.

I had a feeling they were going to drop one more bombshell on us before the end of the year. I’m still sorting out my decidedly feelings about the whole thing, so I am going to talk about another topic I’ve put off for a while: the Palomino Hamilton.

If there’s one thing I’d like to say to the rest of the hobby that would actually get listened to and followed, it’d be: chill out about this Hamilton already, people.

If what happened with the first run of the Collector’s Club Appreciation Glossies is any indication, I think Reeves has the situation under control, and production will be calibrated accordingly: a little more of this, a little less of that, with the Pinto Smarty Jones chase piece remaining the rarest, regardless.

I am not going to worry about it until the middle of the year at least, and possibly not until after BreyerFest, when I presume the bulk of production on this particular Gambler’s Choice run will be concluded. And for those of your afeared that a substantial chunk of those will be going to Dremel-happy customizers, I wouldn’t count out another production item on the mold by the end of 2020, either. 

Seattle Soiree Special? Tractor Supply? Brick and Mortar? Any one of the multitudes of Holiday releases? It’s going to happen, people. Plenty of Hamiltons for everybody, whatever your hobby persuasion!

What I find kind of fascinating about this particular release of Hamilton is that he is an intentional callback to another iconic Breyer release: the #53 Palomino Five-Gaiter!

That release used to be such a cornerstone of many hobbyists’ collections in the 1970s and 1980s along with his brother, the #51 Albino, until the mold’s recent fall from favor.

What was interesting about the #53 Palomino was that it was made well into the “Matte Finish” era, not being discontinued until 1971. As far as I know, it was never officially made in a Matte version – sure, I’ve heard the rumors, but I’ve never actually seen one in person.

Later ones are definitely a different shade of Palomino than earlier ones, though some of that can be attributed to the fugitive nature of the Palomino paint Breyer used back then. (Under normal/average environmental conditions, early Breyer Palominos tend to turn slightly brownish with age, to a more golden honey color.)

But yeah, I am definitely not going to get my dander up about the Palomino Hamilton until I absolutely have to. And probably not then, either, likely because we will be obsessed with another (real or perceived) Reeves marketing flub by then.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Candy

Well, so this happened today:

… and I figured as much from the clue in the e-mail from yesterday that mentioned “a sweet treat!” So it was a little anticlimactic for me when the sale finally went live around 11 a.m. Eastern – though I punched the buy button pretty hard, nevertheless. 

What I wasn’t expecting from this little bit of Breyer fan service was not two, but five(!) different colors, including a solid black “Licorice” serving as this year’s magical lump of “Coal”:

As someone who actually likes the stuff in real life – I go through the bags of assorted taffy at my local Family Farm and Home store looking for the ones with extra licorice pieces – naturally I would love the Zebra version. But that’s not my decision to make.

I do want them all, but since I only have one account at the moment, and some minor medical stuff coming up early in the next year (nothing to worry about, guys, just some long-delayed maintenance/upkeep), I’ll have to put off getting the rest of them until at least mid-year.

It might also be partially dependent on whether I am chosen for the Seattle Soiree Event or not. Even though it’s on the other side of the country and plane tickets would have to be involved, it appears otherwise… both financially and logistically feasible.

I know there is some concern that the mold itself isn’t that popular, and the price isn’t merited. In regards to the former, the zebra patterning is more complicated than the original version, and for the latter, consider that the 2015 BreyerFest Special Run Caves of Lascaux – a run of 650 pieces – is neither cheap, nor easy to find.

So, who’s next on my XMAS wish list?

This should be obvious: the original #81 Standing Donkey.

She’s only come in various shades of Gray and Bay. She’s come in no true Glossies, and no Decorators except the almost-impossible-to-find Woodgrain.

And to add an extra level of difficulty: how about adding the original baskets?

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Glossy Stock Horses

In case you were wondering, I did participate in the second round of the Collector’s Club Appreciation Sale; I still wanted everything that was left in my cart (minus the sold out items), and the teases that they gave us for the second batch of Glossies – Integrity, Khalid, and even the Stock Horse Stallion King – were all perfectly acceptable.

I couldn’t pass up that Spirit Jersey, especially since it was in that familiar shade of purple (sorry, “Deep Lavender”) that I found so appealing on the Unicorn Zenith. I had been shopping for a new oversized pullover, and since this one was actually cheaper than most of the ones I had been considering, I would have bought it (and the socks) by the end of the year, anyway.

I might even buy a second, if/when the larger sizes go back in stock.

Incidentally, as the Breyer web site states, it’s true that the Stock Horse Stallion has rarely come in Gloss: aside from a few stray Tests and Raffle pieces, the only Production Runs that comes to mind are the 2008 BreyerFest Live Show prize DZ Weedo, and the Gloss version of the 2009 Web Special Summer Solstice, who showed up in the NPOD later that same year.

The Gloss Summer Solstice, in particular, was mostly unnoticed and/or outright ignored when he was “released”, but you don’t see much of either of those Glosses on the secondary market anymore.

It’s not really a surprise that he – or any of the other 1980s Stock Horse Family molds – have had many Gloss releases. Very few Glosses were being produced in the heyday of the Hess Stock Horse Family in the 1980s, and by the time it became a thing again both Breyer and the hobby had moved on to newer and more glamorous molds.

Typical of Chris Hess’s later work, the 1980s Stock Horse molds also have a less “polished” finish than both their predecessors and successors, which doesn’t really lend itself to glossing, though I think it looks perfectly lovely on both the Summer Solstice above, and the King below.

The second round of Glosses aren’t scheduled to ship until the beginning of May – close enough to my birthday that I’ll simply treat it as a de facto birthday present, regardless of who I get. And it’s the thought that counts, right?

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Breyer 2020

I was going to talk about BreyerFest, the new BreyerFest Guide, and all that, but photos of (some) of the 2020 Breyer releases dropped on the Breyer website yesterday and – ladies and gentlemen – we have to talk.


The Lipizanner Mare and Foal being released as a set is no surprise; I figured as much, since we just had the Winter Web Special Avoriaz. The colors are pretty, and more typical of actual Lipizzaners, which should momentarily quiet that contingent of hobbyists who get very upset when typey molds are released in nontypey/nonstandard colors. 

(Personally I don’t care one way or the other, but Carina does look lovely in fleabites!)

The return of both the Galiceno and the Pony of the Americas mold – in a set, no less – is more of a surprise for me. Since I am quite fond of both (though not the POA’s new hairdo) this set is a possible must-have for me, in addition to the Lipizanners.

So the Ideal series making a comeback on the Geronimo mold? That’s an interesting idea. The only problem I see with this series is – like the previous AQHA series – is that it’s tailored more towards AQHA members than hobbyists per se. After the third or fourth release in Bay or Chestnut, most hobbyists will tune it out…

I am not quite as gaga over the new Classic-scale Morgan Stallion as everyone else is yet; he’s one I want to wait and see on. And while I know Silver Bay is an acceptable Morgan color, I would have gone with something a little more conventional with the initial release, especially since they have been crushing it with the Bays and Chestnuts of late. 

Oddly more appealing to me is the Malik as a Translucent Blue and Silver Filigree Decorator and a “Unicornized” Mighty Muscle Draft Horse in the same “Early Morning Sunrise” color I found really appealing on the Walmart Unicorn Arabian earlier this year.

(And being the DC nerd that I am, my thoughts went straight to the Solaris of All-Star Superman. As I have mentioned before, it is definitely worth the read.)

The Stablemates 8-pack with both a Darley Arabian and a Darwin is another probably-gotta-buy-it: the paint jobs are a little plain (solid Black on the Darwin?) but I am assuming that’s because they’re trying for a more modest price point there.

So… in spite of my best intentions to the contrary, it might be an expensive year for me, depending on what Specials they have in store for us. And BreyerFest.

Finally, regarding the 70th Anniversary Assortment that has everyone both intrigued and annoyed: I don’t know anything more about how this is going to work than you guys do. I am assuming the Gambler’s Choice aspect applies only to the online purchases on the Breyer website, and to the dealers themselves, who won’t know what they’re getting from the warehouse until they open their cartons up. 

So if you’ve got a particular jones for one mold or another, it might be best to go to a local retailer. (And this, in fact, might be the whole point of this release.)

Besides, from the mess that some people make of Stablemates Blind Bags, “blind boxing” Traditionals would be (a) not particularly feasible, and (b) a gosh-darned nightmare, frankly. 

It looks like Reeves made a very careful and considerate selection of molds – the Fighting Stallion, the Indian Pony, the Moody Andalusian, and the Saddlebred Hamilton – that all have considerable fan bases and should be popular enough individually to not leave dealers with too many shelf sitters.

Naturally, when I first took a look at the assortment before reading the text, my eyes went straight to the Black Pinto Smarty Jones, who is… the darn chase piece.

Of course he is. Oh well, that’s something I can’t let myself worry about.

(The Palomino Hamilton is also rather eyecatching too, but I want to devote a post solely about him later in the week.)

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Madness

After having read through a big chunk of the Collector’s Club Appreciation social media brouhaha, I now find myself longing for the days when our biggest arguments were over Palomino Arabians and Breed Standards for Unicorns.

I still don’t see this Glossy Madness ending until this sale – or a variation of it – basically offers Glossies On Demand.

Though to be honest, The Madness wouldn’t go away, it’d just move to another target. I’m old enough to remember when the 1984 Just About Horses Saddlebred Weanling was selling for $250-400 on the secondary market: I was just on eBay earlier today, and saw one for $45 getting no apparent interest. 

(It’s still too soon to tell, but I think it would be absolutely hilarious if it turns out that Reeves actually tailored the quantities of the first set of Glosses to meet hobbyist/collector interest – so we end up with lots of Verdadeses, and not a lot of Enzos?)

Moving on to lighter subjects, here’s Reuben:

He’ll look fabulous next to my BreyerFest Bowland! The only other Charolais Bulls I have at the moment are a “pinto” version of the original #365 release, the Special Run Simmental made for Robbins Weathervane – new in box(!), and what I assume is a cull of the Special Run Red Shorthorn, also for Robbins.

I had the PBR Signature one, too, but I sold him a little while ago when I was doing a bit of a culling of my Cattle molds. While I liked the release itself just fine, I had a strange/awkward experience when I bought him from a local store, and I really didn’t want to be reminded of that every time I saw him. 

I just order my Stablemates Club Corbin – the past couple of weeks have been nothing if not distracting, hence my delay – that I am hoping will be my last hobby purchases of the year.

As I’ve said before, I’ve had a really good run of luck recently, so whatever Reeves throws our way on Christmas Eve/Day will have to be something pretty darn special for me to reconsider tapping my bank account. I’d rather let someone else who wants it more get it, and not be an intermediary in the process.

Friday, December 13, 2019

This Year's Appreciation Offer

Oh boy, I don’t even know where to begin.

Well, this has been an interesting three days, hasn’t it?

I was excited for the Collector’s Club Appreciation Sale – until I discovered that it was going to go live at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, with no way for me to get Internet access until 3 p.m. at the very earliest.

Initially I thought that because previous sales took hours to sell out, that I still had a chance but alas, no. 

While I was a little on the fence about participating anyway, I did bypass a couple of sales on items that I already had in my cart, just in case. The Double Discount Sale weekend was especially hard to ignore!

My luck has been exceptionally good model-horse-wise for the past month, though: that beautiful Yellow Mount, the Showcase Collection Grazing Mare, an Avoriaz and (literally arriving just hours ago, and still in his box) a Reuben, too.

So I wasn’t as bummed as I could have been.

I was not entirely surprised that Reeves decided to open up the offer again over the weekend for people who were not available to participate previously. The start time (2 p.m. on a Wednesday) was awkward for a lot of people, and there were several reported instances of ordering glitches – Regular Run items that the site interpreted as ineligible for the program.

But the most important factor in their decision wasn’t the whiners on Facebook: it was the fact that it sold out in 27 minutes. (In case you were wondering about the math, that’s an order every two seconds. Yikes!) It’s pretty clear that they vastly underestimated the demand for this offer.

I made some suggestions elsewhere online that next year’s sale should be tweaked to be more inclusive – like (for instance) shifting the start time to something a little bit later to accommodate shift workers on the East Coast, and people on lunch breaks on the West Coast who might not have Internet access at work. (Because surprise, people: not a lot of us do, nor do many of us see it as a hardship.)

And/or also truly making it a Customer Appreciation Sale by opening up the window of opportunity to everyone – but limiting it to a set number of hours. Have a quantity of Glosses on-hand to accommodate the first X number of customers, and have the rest of the orders that get in before the expiration time put on backorder.

And I’ll be darned if I find myself reading the new offer in my e-mail box this afternoon and finding variations of these two ideas being implemented for the Second Chance offer right now.

I also suggested the possibility of making the Gloss item selectable – thus neutralizing the desirability issue a bit, since that means they’d make more of the popular ones and less of the less popular ones. But that was clearly wish fulfillment on my part – who wouldn’t love the option of Glosses made to order?

Speaking about the less popular ones, I feel so sad for all those poor, unwanted Glossy Enzos! I don’t have any particularly negative feelings toward the mold itself (other than its narrowness) and you know I love minimal pintos, so I would not have been among the disappointed if I had gotten one. Though of the original five Glosses, Latigo Dun It is the only one that’s making me wince a bit. Another expensive and possibly unattainable Smart Chic Olena, ouch…

(Looks at my Gloss Kodi, wonders if trading is a possibility.)

Other surprises/not really from the sale: that that goofy Classics/Freedom Series Cupcake sold out, as did the larger sizes of that totally boss Fighting Stallion t-shirt.

The Cupcake has since been restocked, and since the t-shirt is part of their 70th Anniversary lineup it will be, eventually.

It will be interesting to see what the CCA sale will be like next year; I suspect it will be more like the second offering than the first.

The only other changes I’d like to see is (a) fixing the notification issue: in light of the bajillion e-mails they send off during the holiday season, adding another e-mail notification of the sale the day before to all Collector’s Club members shouldn’t be all that hard, and (b) adding a link on the Appreciation Model page to the page that lists all the eligible purchase items would actually be super helpful, especially when one of your first or second choices is sold out and you don’t want to go wandering/wondering around the site looking for a substitution.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Lady Roxana, Revised?

With a dentist appointment, Christmas shopping, the looming CC Appreciation Sale, and the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover thing melting my brain this week, you are not going to get a whole lot out of me today, except for a picture of my Avoriaz:

It’s a Filigree! I’ve  decided to name her Etelka, after one of my Hungarian Great-Grandmother’s sisters. So this genealogy research is paying off after all!*

You know who the PC Lipizzaner Mare reminds me of? The two-point contact trot, arched neck, an artfully swished tail serving as the third point-of-contact?

She’s kind of what I imagine Lady Roxana would have looked like if Rich Rudish had had more time to actually finish and refine her!

Normally I’d just be happy with this Filigree Avoriaz as my one and only, but I think I have to acquire the Rose Gold Charm version sometime in the not too distant future. I have been considering selling off one of my previous CC Appreciation Glossies…

Not this week, though. Probably.

*(In case you want to know – probably not, but I am going to tell you anyway – that my Belgian Great-Grandmother’s name was Alida, just like the Marabella Unicorn release from a few years back. Which I assume – like the other two examples I brought up earlier this year – is just a coincidence, unless a near-future release of the new Rhenish German Coldblood mold is named after my Belgian Great-Grandfather or one of his brothers. Then I might have to have a little discussion with some people in New Jersey about boundaries.)

Saturday, December 7, 2019


Remember about a week ago, when I mentioned a basic math problem in passing: Decorator Color + Bull Mold = Winner?

Freckle Red Roan + Charolais Bull = Winter Web Animal Special Run Reuben!

Guys, seriously, I had no idea. It’s just another one of my random guesses hitting pretty darn close to the target. Again.

The old-style freckle roaning technique has been used on cattle molds before, most notably on the Longhorn Bull, like the QVC Rebel Special Run, and the Regular Run #399 Texas Longhorn from 2000-2004 that is was based on.

But Reuben most closely resembles the popular BreyerFest Special Run Spanish Fighting Bull Flint, from 1999.

Only 375 Flints were made for that BreyerFest; even though BreyerFest was much smaller then, he was still a hot commodity, and still retains much of his value now.

I know some hobbyists are a little apprehensive about committing to Reuben because of last year’s Woodgrain Pig Hawthorn. Hawthorn was perceived as not all that popular or desirable; he went through so many waitlisters, in fact, that even I eventually ended up with one, and I am somebody who never gets picked off the waitlist.

Based on the fact that I met a lot of people looking for Jaspers at BreyerFest this year, I think it was a simple mismatch of the selling method with the market. Hawthorn might have sold better – and even sold out – if he had been offered as a first-come, first-served Special, like the two previous Winter Web Animal SRs, the Longhorn Bull Olaf and the Cow and Calf Eldora and Sol.

Bulls are a different matter entirely.

The last release on the Charolais Bull, the 2012 Special Run Bowland, is one of the more popular of the recent Nonhorse BreyerFest releases, and a very casual look at recent eBay sales show that even the Regular Run releases are pretty easy sells. So throw in a well-designed vintage-style Red Roan paint job on top of a moderately popular Nonhorse mold, and he seems like a pretty safe bet to me.

I also have to say that I rather appreciate the clever pun of his name: as sandwich aficionados know, the primary ingredient in a Reuben is… corned beef!

(Corned Beef is also a very Irish thing, so the timing of this guy with the imminent onslaught of BreyerFest 2020 Celtic Fling marketing is... interesting.)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Rare Enough

Sorry guys – for some strange reason I did a little poking around the family tree just for fun, and now I appear to be knee deep in some serious genealogy research. With all the business I have to catch up on in the next several weeks, it’s not something I thought I needed to do, but here I am doing it anyway…

But I have held you all in suspense long enough with this package that arrived a couple of weeks ago already, so here it is:

A little background information: this all happened the same day that the Starry Skies Stablemates dropped on the Breyer web site. As I said before, I was a bit hesitant to buy more Blind Bag Stablemates, so I wandered over to eBay to clear my head a bit.

Aside from the fact that there were a couple of sweaters on there I was eyeing, I was also poking around on eBay because I had missed several good model horse auctions over the past several weeks previous as a consequence of my still-ongoing scheduling issues.

Perhaps lightning would finally strike for me, right?

Then, it actually happened.

I saw an honest-to-goodness Grail Model.

It had just been listed.

The seller was accepting offers.

So I made an offer.

It definitely wasn’t the price you still may see on eBay, but it was what I thought was (a) reasonable, and (b) within my budget.

I wasn’t expecting to offer to be accepted. Surely others had also seen it, and it’s something that’s on a lot of collector must-have lists. Even if I didn’t get it in the end, I figured I made an honest effort, at least.

An hour later, my offer was accepted.

I didn’t believe she was actually mine until the package arrived about a week later:

Yes, a Showcase Collection #1430 Palomino Grazing Mare!

Showcase Collection packaging (ca. 1970-1972) was one of the few examples of early Breyer packaging I had not acquired yet. Because of its fragility, it has been described as one of the “rarest” types of early packaging, but I don’t necessarily think that’s the case. Dumbbell stickers and the original Touchability Boxes are almost equally fragile, and far more scarce.

What the Showcase Collection packaging has got going for it is desirability: it’s just rare enough that even average collectors can reasonably dream of eventually adding one their own collection. And there are just enough of them turning up on a yearly basis to encourage others to dedicate themselves to actually collecting them as a thing, the same way some of us collect Chalkies, Stablemates, or color variations.

As you know by now, I am more of the former, not the latter. Though if I were lucky enough to find another, I certainly wouldn’t pass him or her by…

Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Pause Button

Other than some fabric I bought Wednesday night – because it was 70 percent off and I needed it to finish that darn project – and paying for the Avoriaz, I haven’t done a lick or click of shopping over this extended weekend.

I haven’t had much time to myself over the past three months, so it seemed like a waste to spend any of it… out shopping with strangers!

It’s also been something of a relief that there hasn’t been anything new-rare-interesting added to the Breyer Horses web site either, other than more swag. I’ve been in the market for a new oversized pullover, so this Breyer Spirit Jersey is definitely going on my CC Appreciation shopping list.

With all the other holiday promotions looming on the horizon, I suppose it makes sense to hit the “pause” button for once. I am fine with that, just as long as they don’t drop anything significant on Cyber Monday: as someone who has hit the “pause” button on her life since Wednesday night, my Monday is going to be more occupied than average. 

Since I am still in the middle of this pause and not up for any actual work or research, I’ll just mention one other thing that hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves: per the BreyerFest blog, the “BreyerFest Attendee Guide” I suggested back in August is actually going to be a thing after all.

For the record, I didn’t have any actual input into this, other than making this suggestion in public. For all I know they might have been planning this all along, and I just being prescient again.

And that’s it for today.

Next time: I open the box. With that thing in it.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Past is the Future

I was initially noncommittal when I first saw the last 2019 Stablemates Club release Corbin on the cover of this year’s Just About Horses: he really didn’t do anything for me one way or another. A bigger, higher-resolution photo on the Breyer web site changed my mind:

As just about everyone and their dog has pointed out, he’s basically a Mini Me for the 2008 BreyerFest Special Run Limerick, on the Cleveland Bay mold.

With the mold being used for the Celebration Horse Oliver this year, and as the Open Show Grand Prize Model Cassia in 2017, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the Cleveland Bay used as a BreyerFest Special Run again next year.

This new Stablemates Irish Draught mold, though, is a strong contender as either one of the One-Day Stablemates releases, or as the Pop-Up Store Stablemates Special.

I keep thinking that we’d be seeing more BreyerFest stuff on the web site by now, but I just went back into the web site archives and didn’t notice any significant news about the 2019 event until late December last year, with releases (other than the Celebration Horse) not being teased or revealed until January at the earliest.

This makes sense, because they’ve still got club memberships to promote, Regular Run 2020 releases to launch, and all of their 70th Anniversary celebration stuff, too…

And just to let y’all know, I don’t know much more about any of the anniversary stuff than you guys do, beyond what’s already been revealed for the Vintage Club. I am going to assume that there will be more vintage (pre-1985) mold releases than average, a slew of newer molds vintage colors, and perhaps even some molds and items we haven’t seen in a long time.

The In-Between Mare is back, after all: it now seems all things are potentially on the table. I know what I’d like to see, but what I’d like to see doesn’t necessarily correlate to things that would actually sell to anyone but me.

(Except for the Wedgewood Blue Polled Hereford Bull. Basic math, people: Decorator Color + Bull Mold = Winner!)

If there’s an Exclusive Event planned (seriously, I have no idea guys…) I’ll make every effort on attending, especially since I am considering dialing back – or refocusing – my BreyerFest plans next year, since I’ve obviously not been happy with the results of my competitive efforts for the past several.

I am also considering attending more than one live show next year, depending on how the first few months of 2020 go. My schedule got away from me for the past three months, so I have a lot of catching up to do on some of my other extracurricular activities that’ll probably run well into the front part of the year.

After that? The world is wide open.

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Clean Up

Woo-hoo, yeah!

My only real problem now is trying to find a place for the Avoriaz in the chaos I’m dealing with currently. Instead of cleaning up and sorting out the mess in my office Saturday night as I planned, I found myself cleaning up and sorting out my clothes closet instead.

I mean, it needed it too, but I could still close the closet door and not feel terribly guilty about what was behind it.

Whether or not I will still participate in the Collector’s Club Appreciation Sale or whatever the Christmas Bonus model now will depend on what’s being offered. Some models – and some Glossies – are more of a temptation than others.

I’m even considering selling one of my previous CC Appreciation Glosses because (a) I haven’t opened either one yet, and (b) doing so would finally put the last nail in the coffin of some debts I’ve worked very hard this year to finally pay off, anyway.

(And once I do, I plan to celebrate with sliders and onion rings from The Telway in Madison Heights. Anyone in the neighborhood who wants to come with, feel free!)

Let’s clean up a few other small bits of recent business before I get back to doing the history-type stuff.

First, most of the Vintage Club models have been revealed (sans the Stablemate, and I think everyone has a good idea who/what that’s supposed to be). The biggest surprise – and the model dropping jaws everywhere – is the not-so-long-lost In-Between Mare, in all her awkward glory:

I know there’s been some concern that new releases of what was previously Breyer’s rarest mold might cause the market for the originals to plummet, but I don’t think that’s the case. If anything, I think the renewed interest and focus on this legendary yet little-known piece of Breyer History might have the opposite effect.

I’ve seen it happen before: not long after a new Vintage Club release, demand for the originals tends to goes up, regardless of the mold used. 

I will be happy with any color I receive, though you all know my fondness for Gloss Bay.

As far as the Cantering Welsh Pony-inspired Bristol Barrington, I think my favorite part about him is his name. Most of the older fogeys among us should appreciate the reference to a certain someone who still remains a dear memory and/or inspiration to all of us obsessed with Breyer History.

And finally, the banner for the Stablemates Collector Club page on the Breyer web site has given us a clue about the other releases (save for the new mold):

A non-unicornized Alborozo, the G2 Warmblood, the Tushar-Cob, and the G1 Arabian Stallion. Nice!

I am hoping for a realistic color on the Alborozo (please!), a Gloss on the Arabian, and either the Warmblood or the Tushar-Cob as the Gambler’s Choice.

I’d also like to give props to whoever wrote the copy for the Stablemates Club home page: it’s a little over the top, but I love it and it works! (Though you know they had me at “Stablemates Club”.)

Friday, November 22, 2019

Holiday Things

Apparently there was some sort of mix up in Reeves’s database, so now everyone (well, almost everyone) who receives one of Breyer’s Holiday 2019 catalogs is getting the gift of … a new name!

This is hilarious and awesome, and I am totally wearing a “My Name Is” nametag at BreyerFest with my new Breyer Given Name “Dona” written on it.

(I was kind of surprised that it wasn’t Audrey, but that is a story best told in person....)

The only other thing worth noting about the catalog is that it includes all the Web Exclusive Holiday merchandise – the Unicorn Mare and Foal set Mira & Antares, the “Pony for Christmas” gift set featuring a Haflinger similar to Donner, his royal purpleness Zenith, and a lot of the new 70th Anniversary merchandise and other swag.

As someone who has made several t-shirts featuring old Breyer graphics and ephemera, I am definitely buying this at my earliest convenience (CC Appreciation Sale, cough cough…)

I wasn’t anywhere near my computer when Early Access to Breyer’s Black Friday sale dropped, so no Darwin for me. The only other items of mild to moderate interest were the Gettysburg (also sold out) and Celeste, a mold that I try to love and I am still not feeling it.

I seem to be in the minority of this opinion, but I like the PC Lipizzaner Mare and Foal a heck of a lot more than the PC Andalusian Mare and Foal. So it’s no surprise that I am also taking a pass on the Mira and Antares (in Chestnut and… purple?) and hitting the Enter Now button as much as legally possible for the Winter Web Special Avoriaz – the Lipizzaner Mare in a Gambler’s Choice of Rose Gold Florentine or Rose Gold Charm:

This is an entirely new Decorator color and it gets a big thumbs up from me. While I am not a fan of Rose Gold when it is used in jewelry, I love the color when it’s applied to other things – it’s even one of the few pastels I’ll actually wear!

I am a little hesitant about them applying the Gambler’s Choice option to a relatively limited (350 piece) Special Run, though: these Winter Web Decos are hard enough to win as it is. After what happened with Benasque last year, we really don’t need to encourage more people to enter the drawing with dreams of dropshipping them for some extra holiday cash.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Yellow Mount: The Grail

Originally I was going to pass this one more post down the road because of my scheduling issues (guys, I have two months worth of TV shows to catch up on: imma gonna binge watch my way through Black Friday) but I figure I’ve teased you enough. Here’s the first “grail” I purchased, a few weeks back:

At last: a mint, near-perfect Yellow Mount with Blue Ribbon Sticker. Isn’t he beautiful?

As you know, I rarely pay “market price” for vintage models: it’s just not in me to do it, even when I have the funds available. I also have the advantage of living in an area where I can find stuff real cheap; I’ve found that if I wait long enough, I’ll find almost anything, eventually.

(Except Decorators, Presentation Series models, and Liver Chestnut Quarter Horse Yearlings. The last one baffles me.)

Anyway, a “perfect” Yellow Mount’s been on my grail list for a while, and in the run-up to Mr. Perfect here I’ve acquired a couple of pretty decent fellows, including one that’s possibly a painting sample of some sort. But other models (and other things) took priority – and whenever a beautiful Yellow Mount did show up on my radar, I’d put in a token effort and let it go whenever my bid or offer was inevitably superseded.

I figured one would show up locally, eventually. It would probably take a while, since Yellow Mounts aren’t nearly as common around here as Adioses are.

In short: while I wanted it, it never felt like the time to fight for it, until this one came up. Since I had the funds, and a serious need to buy something special (I’ve been so good!) I bid my max… and got him.

Yellow Mount debuted in 1970, the last year that the Blue Ribbon Sticker was in use, making Yellow Mounts like this one among the earliest examples made in a pretty lengthy run (from 1970-1987).

He does have the USA mark; the USA mark started showing up on Breyer models at some point in 1970, since many new models and releases that debuted that year came without it – like my Liver Chestnut Quarter Horse Yearling, who I had to buy at BreyerFest one year because I could never find one in these parts, either…

(… though she didn’t cost me nearly as much as the Yellow Mount!)

I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually seen a Yellow Mount without the USA mark, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility. If I did find one, it’d just be another addition to my Yellow Mount collection, and most definitely not a replacement for this guy.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

That Color Purple

Reeves is doing its darndest to drain my Paypal account!

No joke: I happened to be at the fabric store the day before shopping for material to finish an old quilt project, and one of the colors I was seriously considering was the same exact shade of purple as Zenith.

It’s always been one of my favorite colors anyway, but I went into the store thinking about a completely different color. But my eye kept wandering back to that purple fabric, which means it’s probably the color I am going to go with when the project reaches that stage.

(It’s a project to use up all my scrap flannel, and I won’t know how much of it I’ll need until it’s almost done.)

Purple is a relatively “new” color in Breyer’s palette; until the arrival of the Legionario III Centerpiece model Bourbon Street at the first Exclusive Event in 2002, Purple was limited to minor decorative touches and some accessories. And even after Bourbon Street, it took a few more years for Purple to catch on as a Decorator color, most notably with the BreyerFest 2009 One-Day Funfetti Stablemates.

The problem with Purple pigments is that – like some shades of Pink and Orange – is that they tend to be fugitive: they fade or change over time, due to environmental conditions. That’s why Vintage Palominos, especially the Glossy ones, are that lovely shade of Honey. Find a vintage Gloss Palomino that’s been kept in its original box or packed away in storage forever, and they tend to be much more orangey.

In other words, for those of you considering buying Zenith, I wouldn’t recommend keeping him in or near any sunny window.

I put Zenith in my cart – along with a Starry Skies Unicorn and a Stablemates Justify – and they’ll probably sit there a little while longer. Presumably until a couple other eBay auctions I am watching are over and done with: after my two most recent scores I probably shouldn’t even be looking at eBay, but sometimes you have to strike when the iron’s hot….

(Both of those have arrived, but my schedule hasn’t spared me the time to open them and revel in my luck. Next time, guys.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Starry Skies, but...

As someone who unreasonably loves glow-in-the-dark things and also collects vintage Astronomy textbooks, these Starry Skies Constellation Unicorns are definitely in my wheelhouse.

Yet like a lot of collectors, I still haven’t clicked the buy button yet.

Money is not the issue: I have had enough fundage to buy two grails recently, one of them (pretty much) at retail.

The selection of molds and colors is also fine, though I am a little baffled at the antagonism the poor G2 Clydesdale Stallion is receiving as a result of inclusion in this assortment.

It seems obvious to me that when Reeves went about selecting older Stablemates molds to “unicornize”, the G2 Clydesdale was an obvious choice. He’s definitely kind of a “prancey” and fanciful mold, especially when compared to the other SM Draft molds. I am assuming that he was also selected for variety’s sake: Othello mold aside, it’s not every day – even in the hobby – that you see Draft Horse Unicorns.

Yeah, they could lighten up on the light blue-teal-green color scheme he always gets stuck with. I can imagine there would be a lot less grumbling about his inclusion if he were a Gloss Charcoal or Silver Filigree…

And I, too, am getting a wee bit fed up with this Alborozo blind bag nonsense: unless there’s some contractual issue to the contrary, just release the darn thing as an individually carded Regular Run item in a normal, non-fantasy color already. You don’t even have to put it into the standard Dealer’s Assortment, just pack it up separately in cases of 12 or 24. 

Please and thank you. 

Finally, it seems silly to even consider the inconsequential amount of stress the uncertainty a Blind Bag adds to my world (a “First World” problem, almost by definition), but it is an issue for me, nevertheless: I am already on the verge of being overrun with everything at the moment.

If this had been offered as a 4-piece boxed set or even a boxed and carded assortment, they’d be on their way here already.

But as the offer stands, I’m hesitant. Whether or not I reconsider will depend on their availability, and how the rest of my week goes.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Pinto Decorators

Looks like they’re going to go ahead and do the full reveal on the Vintage Club after all. Say hello to ol’ Bubble Butt Belgian himself, Josiah, in Wedgewood Blue Pinto:

(I see that some clever hobbyists have figured out the origins of his name.)

Pinto and Appaloosa Decorators are not an unusual sight nowadays as Regular Runs, Special Runs and Test Colors. But prior to the Reeves Era (1985-present) the four “classic” Decorator colors – Golden Charm, Gold Florentine, Wedgewood Blue and Copenhagen Blue – were strictly solids.

Although there have been rumors of Chicago Era (pre-1985) Pinto Decorators for years, I have not seen one personally.

That doesn’t mean they don’t exist – as always, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence – but guys, you know I’ve seen things. If I haven’t seen it – or heard from credible and unrelated sources – by now, it makes me skeptical.

Especially since most of the Chicago Era Test Colors I’ve seen tended towards the more realistic, rather than the less so.

And rightly so: hobbyists have no idea just how much of a “flop” the original Decorators were, and how risk-averse Breyer management was to experiment with unrealistic colors in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Even Smokes, Charcoals and Woodgrains were pretty much persona non grata for years, though with the Woodgrains, it was also a matter of the painters not wanting to go back there, thank you very much…

Things are different now: in fact, I sometimes think the pendulum has swung completely in the opposite direction. Especially when it comes to Glossy finishes: it doesn’t take more than five minutes after a new release is posted that someone somewhere online has to make the comment “Oh, but I would look so much better in Gloss!” 

Not always, guys, not always.

(FYI: in case you (understandably) missed it, the toys that got into the Toy Hall of Fame this year were Coloring Books, Matchbox Cars, and Magic: The Gathering.

The first two I am okay with, the third I am a little meh about, and that’s all I am going to say on the matter until comes up again next year…)

Thursday, November 7, 2019

More Retail Therapy

I’m feeling a bit better today after doing a bit of shopping. Aside from some necessities (a new winter coat, and a new barn jacket) I also found a grab bag’s worth of goodies at the local Salvation Army, along with a non-equine Beswick:

Since I live relatively close to Canada (less than an hour away) Beswicks are not an uncommon sight around here, even in Salvation Army stores. There’s a note on the bottom of this Kitty McBride figurine, however, that notes it was a souvenir of a December (Christmas?) 1977 trip to England. Not everything I buy comes with a provenance, but I’ll take it…

I was momentarily excited when another Salvation Army store I visited had a nice collection of Japanese clinkies, but they were all overpriced, and one of them was even missing a leg! There was a Wooden Breyer Stable there, too – the big fancy one with the cupola – that I ultimately walked away from, because I don’t have room for that kind of nonsense right now. 

(My inner 9-year-old, on the other hand, is still pitching a fit.)

I also bought something indulgent on eBay, but I’ll talk more about that when it gets here. I don’t normal buy vintage models at “full retail” but when I found out last week that I didn’t need to save up as much money as I thought for the new sewing machine, that money had to go somewhere. 

It’s almost time for the Winter Web Special to drop, and I am secretly hoping that it’s not something I am going to want: it’s not so much a money thing as a I don’t want to get my hopes dashed again thing.

My initial suspicion – since the release of Frozen II is imminent – is that it’ll be something on the Fjord, but it could just as likely be something on the Traditional Icelandic, and that would be a problem. I love that big floofy boy, even though I don’t currently own one.

My platonic ideal would have been the 2017 Early Bird Raffle Sokkar, but that didn’t happen. I will eventually get myself the Berries Ponies Series Honeysuckle in Palomino Roan, but as I appear to be one of the few people in the hobby that didn’t consider her a complete disappointment, I think I can afford to wait.

Actually, my biggest concern right now is a potential Winter Animal Special, like the Longhorn Olaf or the Eldora and Sol Cow and Calf set. I somehow had the misfortune of missing both of them utterly, in spite of them being both rather plentiful for a Web Special (350 pieces) and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

I don’t even care what it is, and I might not even buy it regardless: I just want to be online when it’s actually still available for sale. As I’ve explained before, sometimes it’s not so much about the buying as having the option. 

Things I am not worried about at the moment: a Collector’s Club Appreciation Sale (as I already have several order options available at a moment’s notice, if/when it happens) and the Christmas Day Special Run, because that’s… not going to happen until Christmas Day.

I am also likely passing on the Premier Club next year. I can wait for a Regular Run of the Akhal-Teke, especially since the model looks about three feet long. Lynn Fraley’s work is hit and miss with me, and I am not as enamored with Kylee Parks’s stuff as the rest of the hobby is, though that’s partly a matter of me being leery of anyone with a short resume, no matter how impressive.

Sunday, November 3, 2019


And the winner is…

Gloss, as I expected. And this is fine.

For a multitude of reasons the past month has been very stressful, the weather has been very cold, and with the days getting darker sooner I’ve been feeling more than a little down. Something like a Matte rarity would have brightened my mood considerably, even if only temporarily.

Considering Claude’s popularity, it should be enough that I have one at all, and that he’s just as beautiful as when I first saw him.

I should also be happy that he even exists in the first place. I am trying very hard to remind myself of the moment when I saw him for the first time, and living with the thought that he was going to blow everyone’s minds. And being a tiny part of that. 

I am glad to see that next year’s Vintage Club offerings also seem to be going over almost as well. The Powers-That-Be finally seem to be getting it, at least when it comes to Vintage-type stuff.

(More or less: you’ve already seen my opinion on some of the initial 70th Anniversary merchandise. Yoo-hoo guys, I’m right here…)

So there’s that.

I also know that the luck that I do possess is in living in an area where Breyers (in general) are plentiful, and that I have the ability to handpick almost anything. (Except, ironically, Walmart Specials.) Most hobbyists don’t have that.

Yet, and yet.

Thursday, October 31, 2019


It’s been one of those weeks, folks (possibly ending with snow, ugh), so my Vintage Club Claude will remain unopened until Saturday afternoon. I want – no, need – to live with the possibility that he might be the Matte for a couple days more.

(And in case you didn’t already get the news, they clarified on the web site that the correct piece count on the Matte Claudes is 30, not 25.)

Since we’re on the topic, it looks like they’re keeping their word this year on the Vintage Club reveals, more or less:

It’s a nice mix of molds, and the colors… well, you’ll have to wait and see. (You should know the drill by now. All I can say at this point is: You will like. I promise.)

Unless they decide to pull the rest of the color reveals if the club sells out early, as it did last year. This appears to be a distinct possibility, based on everyone’s reaction to Starlight.

And I totally get it: Starlight is probably my favorite VC release for next year (aside from the Stablemate Bonus). You know that the Shagya Arabian is already one of my favorite newer molds, and it appears that Reeves is finally figuring out the more subtle nuances of the vintage Gloss Gray Appaloosa – namely the different shades of gray, and true “splash spot” randomness – and what I found missing in their first interpretation of the color in the 2012 VC release Harlequin.

Aside from the vintage Dapple Grays – both the Glosses of the 1960s and the Mattes of the 1970s and beyond – Gloss Gray Appaloosa is perhaps one of the most variable of all vintage paint jobs.

Big spots, little spots, streaky spots, belly stripes, pale gray to nearly charcoal body color: it’ll be interesting to see if this variability is incorporated Starlight’s production run, intentionally or otherwise.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Happy Coincidences

The weather’s been yucky, and I have not been feeling all that good myself the past few days (sinus headaches.) To cheer myself up, I finally got my Khalid out of my car:

I am happy to report that he appears to be nearly flawless, after spending nearly a month in my car. (I know, Bad Andrea.) And to prove to you that Dun Sabino really was a thing of mine, here’s that Stablemates Seabiscuit custom I had done by Judy Renee Pope a bajillion years ago (the late 1980s):

We all like to think that something we’ve written or said online – or communicated with Breyer/Reeves in some way – directly affects or influences what eventually gets released.

To a degree, that’s true, especially when there’s a groundswell of hobby interest in a breed, celebrity, or discipline: the more voices you have, the louder the chorus gets. Maybe it was your thumbs up or comment that finally pushed the idea into the “let’s do this” column.

And of course, some of us are lucky enough to directly influence or participate in the creative process.

But I know for a fact that Khalid was not something I had any hand in. Other than the passing interest I expressed in a similar piece done for the BreyerFest Auction back in 2016 or my happiness at acquiring the ASPCA Stablemates Hermes, they likely had no idea that this particular color and marking combo was something that I was really into.

They also wouldn’t have known that the name they chose for this model has some personal significance for me. One of my long-term fiction writing projects is a loosely connected trilogy (actually, a trilogy of trilogies) of books that includes a character named Judge Khalid.

All I’ll say is that he’s basically my take on the “sexy vampire boyfriend” trope. I am very fond of him as a character and it is entirely within the realm of possibility that if this model had not been named Khalid, that I would have named him that, anyway. 

But this is all – well, and truly – a happy coincidence.

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Forgotten Generation

Star Wars tickets were successfully purchased, with a minimum of drama. And why yes, I am super-excited about the SPACE HORSES.

The connection between the model horse community and the science-fiction one is long and well-documented, so I will be very disappointed in you guys (waving hand at entirety of the model horse community) if I don’t see any Orback customs by BreyerFest at the latest. Get to it, everybody!


I only just skimmed my issue of Just About Horses (it arrived yesterday) so I’ll leave that for another time, other than to express the sentiment that I am sure is on the lips – or in the thoughts – of many model horse hobbyists: an injection-molded Akhal-Teke, at last!

No, what I want to discuss today is my annoyance at some of the early 70th Anniversary merchandise, like this Journal here:

(There’s also a blanket and a beach towel.)

Conceptually, these products should appeal to me as both a quilt designer and a Breyer historian. And at first glance, they did.

But then I took a closer look at it, and realized that… this was not terribly well-thought out or well-executed.

I think they started out with the idea of seven different models for each of the seven different decades, but started taking some liberties with it when they realized there weren’t that many horse molds released in the 1950s.

And by the end of it, it looks like they just decided to use whatever silhouettes they had on file.

Not only that, there are a number of historical errors in it. The Family Arabian Stallion probably debuted in 1959; the Family Arabian Mare debuted ca. 1960, not 1958 – that was the Old Mold/Proud Arabian Mare; the Running Mare was probably released in 1962, not 1961; and of course, the Zippo Pine Bar was a 1999 release, not a 2007 one.

(The graphic for Zippo obviously being cribbed from the 30th Anniversary BreyerFest graphic without being properly edited, I presume.)

I am also not thrilled that, like the generation that grew up on them (frantically waves hands) – models from the 1980s were largely ignored. Only four models from that decade were included, but three from the last two years – Bristol, Hamilton and Georg – were?

Not cool, Reeves. 

While it may be true that the 1980s were considered the least artistically successful decade in Breyer History, many of those molds are still in active use today. I’d consider some of them more historically significant – at least, at this moment in time – than newer releases like Latigo or Desatado.

Phar Lap (1985) was used for the first BreyerFest Celebration Horse Dr. Peaches; Buckshot (1985) has appeared as a BreyerFest Raffle Model, Prize Model, and Live Show Benefit Model (Winchester, Pele and Reno, respectively); Roy (1989) was sculpted by the legendary Francis Eustis and recently used as a BreyerFest Celebration Model; and Secretariat (1987) was Chris Hess’s last official sculpt for Breyer and also Secretariat.

So I would have swapped out a few of the 2000/2010 models with a few of those, and maybe included the Fury/Prancer and one of the Nonhorse molds (Boxer or the Brahma Bull) from the 1950s to even things out a bit.

But what do I know, right?

Monday, October 21, 2019

The 2020 Info Dump

Remember last year, when Reeves was oh-so-coy about giving us any detailed info about anything for 2019 until it was absolutely necessary, and even then – not so much?

As you might have noticed over the past three days, they’ve apparently decided to go in the opposite direction this year! 

First it was the 2020 Celebration Horse, a portrait of Irish Sport Horse Ballynoe Castle RM, aka “Reggie”, on the Show Jumping Warmblood mold:

I was thinking a few days ago that the Show Jumping Warmblood mold might have been a good choice for the Surprise model – aside from having multiple mane and tail options, it’s also had two Translucent releases (2007 Halloween Horse Twilight Terror, and last year’s Sugarmaple).

It’s an interesting, and uncontroversial mold choice (as either the Croi or Vanner would have been), though I do expect the inevitable mutterings from the “solid Matte Bay is so boring” crowd. We all thought the same thing with 2018’s Brass Hat, and he turned out gorgeous, right? And this guy’s photo looks way more promising than Brass Hat’s ever did…

Then there’s Klaus, the first release in the 2020 Stablemates Club:

I figured that Darwin would be a part of next year’s club lineup, but first up, and in Leopard Appaloosa, too? Sweet. I am a little annoyed that the first three releases of this mold were/are all Special Runs or limited in some way, though. I know they are trying to recoup their initial investment and get everyone all het up about him (mission accomplished!), but just get to the inevitable Aged Gray already, as the masses demand…

Then there’s the gorgeous Premier Club release Georg, Eberl’s highly anticipated Rhenish German Coldblood:

Like Weather Girl, Georg (pronounced “Gay-Org”, incidentally) is a reworking of one of Brigitte’s earlier resin sculpts – in this case, Valentin.

I am in love with this big beautiful chonk of a horse, but I’ll probably have to wait until next year to find a more affordable release. (I would love him as a BreyerFest Special Run, but I fear he’s got Raffle Horse written all over him.)

And finally, instead of stringing us along like they did last Fall, this time they’re hinting at doing a full reveal on the Vintage Club 2020 lineup. I am not going to read anything into this marketing strategy one way or another, other than to comment that it would definitely be better for my mental and physical well-being. I’ll just let the picture of the next reveal do all the talking for me now:

Okay, now to take a moment to drink something relaxing, before diving into the existential terror that is Star Wars Ticket Presales….

Friday, October 18, 2019


So this is why I’ve been a little cagey about my “Holiday Horse” customizing plans for the Western Horse:

In addition to all of the other decorative motifs I was going to incorporate, I was also going to stitch up a fabric facsimile of the original vinyl saddlebags (in something wintry/Christmassy) and pack it with an assortment of either old-fashioned (Chuckles, Tootsie Rolls) or thematically-appropriate (Candy Canes, Chocolate Santa) candies. You know, make it sort of a cross between the original Grooming Kits and the nearly-forgotten Candy Packers. You remember the “Candy Packers”, right?

But I didn’t want to mention any of that because I didn’t want to telegraph anything, even unintentionally; Lord knows I do it enough of that with stuff I genuinely have no foreknowledge of…

(Which I guess means this was a good thing that the 2019 VC Stablemates dropped when they did, because this was the post I was writing when that happened. So awkward!)

Incidentally, the prevalence and popularity of the Groomers is one of the reasons why the Palomino and White Western Ponies are so commonly found without saddles: it’s not that they were lost, but that they never came with saddles in the first place.

But it should go without saying that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Whenever I find one sans saddle, I just assume it’s been lost, unless I have some other evidence to the contrary. 

The Western Horse, however, was issued as a Groomer – aka the “Giant Groomer” – only briefly, so the possibility/likelihood of a saddle-free Western Horse being a Groomer is pretty small.

I wouldn’t say a vintage Giant Groomer is a grail of mine, but I certainly would be very pleased with myself if I happened to acquire one at a reasonable cost.

I know that the Western Horse has been one of the most asked for/about potential Vintage Club releases – frankly, pretty much since the introduction of the Vintage Club program – so it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that they were basically holding him back for the next significant Breyer anniversary: the brand’s 70th!

Among other things, I’m sure. (Crossing fingers for something crazy, like a Translucent Running Mare, a Woodgrain Lamp, or the triumphant return of the #36 Racehorse.)

I have some issues with some of the initial merchandise they are already hawking, but I will discuss this next time, once my eyes have rolled forward again.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Vintage Club Mini Misty and Stormy

Here I thought I was being so clever and prepared today, writing up a post late last night; I log on this afternoon to do some edits and assemble my links and images, and the Vintage Club Stablemates Bonus bombshell drops on us:

Well okay, mostly for you guys. It’s more the timing of it that caught me off guard.

Anyway, what I especially like about this set is how it rather slyly references the second Misty release, the Hagen-Renaker Performing Misty. I’d show you mine, but I don’t have one, because… well, you don’t need to know that story.

The Vintage Club Stablemates release also comes with a super-neat tiny shipper box very similar to the original individual G1 Sears Wishbook releases of the mid 1970s – packaging that was tough to come by and ultra-expensive well before the Stablemates market became so crazy. 

Judging from the reaction I’ve skimmed (however briefly) on the Internet, it’s a bit of an understatement to say that the Mini Misty and Stormy set is going over fairly well.

I am pleased.

In other news… I’ll probably be skipping the Collector’s Club Lucien: I took into consideration that there was a good chance he’d drop today – but I bought my Stablemates Club Priscilla yesterday, regardless.

While I certainly could use a few more Valegros in my life, and I find the pinto pattern on him quite appealing, I am a bit tapped out after my recent spending sprees. Heck, there are still horses that have not escaped the back seat of my car yet.

I am not all that into Buckskin Pintos, either. Everyone has their color/pattern preferences and biases, and when it comes to Buckskins, I prefer mine minimally marked.

I may regret it later, but I could say that about almost any release, really.

I will now go back to the rest of my regularly scheduled evening, which involved me trying to solve a particularly vexing quilt design problem. (Almost got it, I think!)