Wednesday, February 27, 2019


Hey, look who I found yesterday!

Actually, I found AN ENTIRE UNOPENED BOX of the Unicorn Surprise Stablemates at the Walmart nearest me. I almost had a fit of apoplexy when I saw it.

I walked around the store for about 15 minutes brandishing it like a trophy before I realized that buying the whole box was silly, especially since the current aftermarket price on the Gold and Black Florentine Chase Piece Magnolia has dropped into almost reasonable territory anyway. And did I really need to add more Stablemates to my sales list?

I didn’t want to be THAT person, either. So I put it back and grabbed a couple of loose bags and celebrate Model Horse Hobby Day* a little more modestly, and let some other person have a good day.

So this means that all I need to complete my Walmart Stablemates Unicorn set is the Chase Magnolia and the funky Red Arabian. I’m cool with that. And I am all about the chill today, especially after all the spontaneous eruptions of drama I had to deal with yesterday. Not sure how I ended up being the cool and rational one in all that nonsense.

In other news, I really like the first BreyerFest Store Special Zipped in Black Magic, who does look a lot like the 2002 Mid-States Special Run Shakopee:

Similar yes, but not the same: Shakopee is mostly freehand airbrushed, while Zipped in Black Magic is almost entirely masked, and the markings are nowhere near the same. Additionally, Zip is a portrait (as are most BreyerFest Store Specials) and Shakopee was an idea developed deep in the Breyer’s conceptual laboratory.

(The same place where my fantasies of Wedgewood Blue Polled Hereford Bulls and a Yellow Palomino Tradtional Man o’ Wars languish, in Purgatory. Sniff.)

Like most BreyerFest SRs, I’ll have to see one in person before I make my final decision. Since I have a bit of a fondness for the Zippo Pine Bar mold (How is it that I ended up with three Tests/Samples on this mold?) signs point to probably.

*FYI: I decided to declare February 26 Model Horse Hobby Day, since it’s the 57th day of the year - in honor of the Breyer #57 Palomino Western Horse, the model that launched the hobby, essentially. Buy a model, give a model, tell a friend about the hobby, wear your BreyerFest T-shirt in public, no shame. You do you! Or not: I’m fine either way.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Spirit Stablemates

Since I’ve been on a bit of a Stablemates kick, here is the full lineup of Spirit Stablemates I got in my Customer Appreciation order back in December:

I don’t know why I got the impression that I’d get the entire set (save the chase piece because yeah, right) when I bought an entire box of Series 2 Spirit Stablemates. If I had done my due diligence with my research I would have known that. (In my defense, the past few months have been crazier than usual.)

So now I have an extra half-dozen Stablemates added to my sales list. C’est la vie. 

The one bright spot in this deal is that I now – finally! – have an honest-to-goodness non-Unicorn Deco-fied Breyer Perlino with the addition of the Equuleus, on the Chrome mold:

I know, technically, that Equuleus is the name of a somewhat obscure constellation, but every time I see it, its peculiar spelling makes me think of all the awkward attempts at clever names I blessed my models with when I first entered the hobby, a couple lifetimes ago.

(Many of whom have been since been renamed. At least in public!)

Consequently the name is also a good reminder – as if the painted eyebrows were not enough! – of the target audience for the animated show, which was not too dissimilar to me when I first got started in the hobby mumble-mumble years ago as a tween.

Though as a horse-crazy kid in the 1970s, my path into the hobby was more influenced by The Black Stallion books, Horse Racing, and the Equestrian events of the 1976 Montreal Olympics than by TV shows or movies.

(I was fortunate in that being across the river from Canada, we could watch Canadian coverage of the Olympics, which included way more Equestrian events!)

My path into Breyer obsession was not unusual. In fact, if you look back at the kinds of models Breyer released in the 1970s and early 1980s – the Classic and Stablemate Racehorses, the Classic USET Set, Halla and all the Black Stallion-themed items – I can see now that I was very much their target demographic!  

This is why I can’t get too worked up about the idiosyncracies of the Spirit releases – or any other releases that are obviously not designed specifically for me. They are tailoring their products to future potential lifetime customers.

Friday, February 22, 2019

February in Michigan

First, here’s a lovely photo of that actual Hartland Arabian I was talking about last time, sent in by loyal blog reader Penny:

One of a handful of my Hartland Grails, right there. Along with the Pearl Arabian, the Blue Roan Polo Pony, and all the missing bits and pieces in my Tinymite and Barkie collections. And a complete, mint-in-box Nativity Set, too!

(I will find them, eventually. No worries.)

Anyway, I’m still in a bit of a writing funk: the crazy weather and my Seasonal Affective Disorder are doing its usual serious number on my creativity. Which is why I laugh whenever I read about people participating in NaMoPaiMo. Just about the only truly creative thing I am capable of working on in February is my taxes!

Well actually, I did buy some fabric at the local Salvation Army Store yesterday for a quilt project, but that’s at least a half-dozen sewing projects down the road. It was a good price and almost the exact amount I will need, so I bought it anyway; I also happened to find one other thing there worth buying:

The Bay variation of the old Breyer Donkey! There are several holes drilled into her from a previously attached harness, as well as a few light rubs and slight seam splits, but as my “first find” of the year, I almost felt obligated to bring her home.

I already have a this particular variation of the Bay Donkey – some (like this example) are Five-Gaiter Sorrel, others are more red – so it’ll be heading to my sales list momentarily. I only hesitate because I’m not sure how to classify her: with all of her issues she’s most likely a body box prospect, but as you can see she’s just a tad bit better than that.

She might be a good prospect for the “White Elephant”-style sale I was thinking about having at BreyerFest this year.

It started out as a good-natured joke among friends, but I think I might actually do it: having a flash, semi-organized 9 p.m. Saturday night sale at the CHIN of otherwise hard-to-sell models at seriously marked down prices?

With fun giveaways – maybe a free mystery grab bag with every purchase? – and other silliness, like buttons and magnets and horse-shaped cookies?

And instead of calling it a White Elephant Sale, we’d call it a “White Khemosabi Sale”, because seriously, that mold is almost the hobby equivalent of, yes?

It’s something we already sort of do – everyone’s looking to make a last-minute deal on Saturday night anyway – so why not have some fun with it? It might also be a good way of helping newer hobbyists acquire some inexpensive models that might not necessarily be “A-List” molds or who may need a bit of work, but still have a bit of life and love in them.

I kind of want to design a logo for it and start planning things for it/about it, but it being February, mustering any energy beyond watching cat videos on YouTube is a stretch. I made myself some French Toast today and felt like I conquered the universe! February in Michigan, in a nutshell...

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Charcoal on Steroids

The interminable Winter and the car shopping have left me exhausted and in little mood or desire to write today. Things should improve now that the car shopping is done, at least, and I have seed catalogs to tide me over until it’s actually warm enough outside to do something.

(We’re hoping/planning on a nice little vegetable garden this year. Nothing fancy, just beans, tomatoes, squash, and maybe some greens. And a few exotic annuals, just for fun.)

But I am also not in a model horsey mood right now; most of my BreyerFest projects remain on hold as I work through more pressing personal and professional business. Even my soon-to-be-beloved Rockford remains unopened.  

The latest Test Color Raffle piece is definitely stirring something inside me, though:

He’s described as a “Glossy Dappled Black” but I’d describe him as more of a “Glossy Dappled Pearl Charcoal”. “Charcoal on Steroids “ and “Give Him To Me Now” also come to mind…

Actually, he’s a fairly close reproduction of Hartland’s version of Charcoal, as seen on the Regal Series #9913 Arabian. They didn’t call it Charcoal, though: they described in their literature as “jet black with silver pearl mane and tail”.

The similarity to the color of the Test piece is so strong that I think it’s fair to call it the direct inspiration – with a funky Breyer Resist Underdappling twist! Hartland’s version came out ca. 1967 – about six years after Breyer “invented” Charcoal in the first place, so fair is fair, I suppose.

I’d love to show you a picture of the #9913 Regal Arabian, but I have neither the model in question (not for lack of trying: he’s a pricey one on the secondary!) nor a decent picture of it in my files; your friendly neighborhood search engine should be able to point you in the right direction of more recently expired auctions and such.

(And give you an idea of why I still don’t own one. Yikes!)

I’ll put all my allowable entries in for the Mustang, but as always, I won’t get my hopes up. All I wish for is that he goes to someone else who actually wants him for his own beautiful sake.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Choices To Be Made

Where am I going? What am I doing? What day is it, again?

With all that I’ve gone through over the past two weeks, I really should have slept straight through this weekend. But alas, with all the things I need to get caught up on, there shall be no rest for the wicked…

My Fiero – the Stablemate, not the vintage car* – arrived yesterday, and surprise, I got the Gloss:

I truly did not have a favorite between the Matte and the Gloss, though getting the Gloss right off the bat certainly will help down the road, if I decide I need more of this mold in my life.

I’m more of a Gloss Bay kind of girl anyway, so I am very happy to see a Gloss Bay Roxy announced as the next BreyerFest Special Run, the DC-inspired (finally!) Diana:

One of the hottest colors going right now (Gloss Bay) on a fairly popular and versatile mold (Roxy)? Methinks she’ll be high on a lot of attendees’ want lists!

Though I am going to cringe when the inevitable Solid vs. Spotted paint job discussions will flare up. We all know that song by heart, don’t we? “Why Does Everything Have To Be Spotted?” vs. “Solid Colors Are So Boring!” is like the Coke vs. Pepsi of the Model Horse World.

(Incidentally, while I am neutral on both topics, my Dad was a Pepsi loyalist who for some reason did not particularly like Appaloosas.)

If I don’t watch myself, BreyerFest is going to be especially expensive for me year.

And finally, let’s not forget another recent addition to this household, the Vintage Club Stablemate Rosemary:

Mostly she reminds me that I really need to map out all the subtle – and not so subtle – changes in the early Stablemates blister packaging, because it’s one of those little history things that bothers me to pieces for some reason. (In the same way the Family Arabian Foal mold alterations drive me bats.)

I am also amused that somehow – in spite of my utter lack of input on this particular matter – that she was the second of two releases in the 2018 Vintage Club that shared a name with a family relative. (Mae was my Grandmother’s little sister; Rosemary is a second cousin.)

Which is totally freaky, but I am just going to assume it is a coincidence. If they had named the Charcoal Shannondell Basil, Marcel, or Camille (my Great-Grandfather and his two brothers, respectively)... then there would have been a discussion to be had with someone at Breyer HQ.

(*You’ll get to meet my actual new car soon. Phyllis was a little camera-shy today.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Waiting For Spring

I think I can say I just can’t with Winter anymore: Spring (or Michigan’s two-week equivalent before Summer kicks in) can’t get here soon enough.

One thing that has made the past few weary weeks better has been the unexpected arrival of these two beauties yesterday, courtesy of Dear Friend Shaun:

I had essentially given up actively looking for any of the Walmart Stablemates a few weeks back: it just wasn’t worth the effort, and one of my resolutions for the year was learning to let things go, anyway.

Worrying about something isn’t going to change the outcome, and other collectors are FAR more invested in the chase than I could ever be, regardless.

But this was a happy and welcome surprise, on another physically and emotionally draining day.

It’s been brought up before online – I can’t recall where, exactly – that the Teal and Copper Alborozo is taken directly from the Zodiac Series, specifically Virgo:

Neat! I guess that means that the previous Unicorn Alborozo was based my favorite Zodiac Series release, Cancer (aka Lobster Butt):

Is this a not-so-subtle hint of color schemes for future Unicorn Stablemates releases? Because if it is, I’d like to make a case for both the bronzy Capricorn and everybody’s favorite, the Bourbon Street-ish Sagittarius.

But preferably in a more accessible, non-chain-specific, non-blind bagged series without chase pieces. Michigan winters are challenging enough, guys. We deserve a little reward for even making it to the store in the first place!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Fiero, Rockford, and Defining Vintage

Whew, another week that felt like a month here – this insane weather, the new car shopping, my ongoing horse inventory, the strange patch of creativity that’s now motivating me to braid twelve(!) yards of rick-rack to finish another old quilt project….

And, uh, I think I’m going to my first live show in over a decade. (More details about that exciting and terrifying situation another time.)

Fiero, the first release in this year’s Stablemates Club was also released this week:

He’ll be a 50-50 Gloss/Matte Split release; while I do not personally care which version finish variation I get, most of the rest of the online hobby community will apparently be treating their potential Matte Fieros like body-quality Family Arabian Mares.

(For the record, I love the Family Arabian Mare. But she’s definitely not among the most beloved of Vintage Breyer molds – even among Family Arabian collectors!)

Someday the All Glossy, All The Time Fad will fade. I hope. Not because I don’t like Glossies, but I am never keen on anything – good or bad – becoming a fad, generally. Following fads doesn’t always lead to the best decisions being made.

I have nothing much else to talk about today, other than my pleasure in finding out how lovely the Vintage Club Rockfords have turned out. (Mine’s not here yet – aside from the week being the week it was, I was also waiting/hoping for Fiero to drop.)

I know there’s been some discussion of whether Rockford – or the Charcoal Shannondell release Claude – actually qualify as “Vintage” releases.

The obvious (and somewhat cynical) answer to that is they do if Reeves says they do. So it’s not just older molds in older colors, it’s also older molds in newer colors and newer molds in older colors. Or radical (or not so radical) reinterpretations of older releases or colors, which is how I would classify the first Vintage Club release Dandy, on the Clydesdale Stallion mold.

Vintage Gloss Brown/Palomino Pintos didn’t look much like Dandy did.

On a more philosophical note, limiting themselves to just Vintage molds, colors and techniques prior to an arbitrary date would have led to creative stagnation. After a relatively short while, you’d simply run out of color and mold combos to explore.

And truth be told, the market for premium Vintage-style releases – the current Gloss fad aside – is not that large. It’s in their financial interests to be more expansive with their definition of Vintage.

And so far, so good this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rockford turned out to be my favorite VC release ever, but I already loved the Pacer mold, so it wouldn’t have taken much to get it there anyway.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Little Things

Didn’t get a Muir Woods, which is fine, because I found out last night that I probably need to get a new car much sooner than later.

It’s nothing tragic, just chronic. I was kind of hoping to wait until shortly before BreyerFest, but the weather and Michigan’s road system are telling me otherwise.

I already have some prospects lined up and financing won’t be an issue, but fewer discretionary purchases in the short term certainly won’t hurt.

That’s kind of a long way to say that I’m trying to keep it short today!

Oh well…

First, you might have noticed I added something to the sidebar – basically a list of all the current and/or ongoing discount codes for the Breyer web site. They’ve been throwing so many different discount codes at us I thought it might be a good thing to keep track of them all in one place.

This doesn’t benefit me financially, except to help me remember to enter the codes when applicable so I can get the dang discounts in the first place. It’s kind of the same deal with the links: they are as much for my benefit as yours, if not more so.

There is not much else I want to add today, other than the fact that my horse inventorying is… coming along. I was a bit surprised to find that in the mess of Stablemates I purchased last year, I acquired five different Dungarees – the Glow in the Dark Palomino Pinto, the Mystery Foal Surprise Bay, the Regular Run Chestnut Semi-Leopard Appaloosa, Spirit Series 2 Boomerang, and the Walmart Horse Crazy Surprise Fleabitten Gray.

Which leaves me with only two more releases to complete my set: the Leopard Appaloosa from the #6026 Western Play Set, and the 2014 Big Easy Bash Gloss Bay Overo Moon Pie.

The Play Set is still available, and will be acquired later in this year after the new monthly budget is sorted out.

Moon Pie will be a little more challenging. She isn’t one of the more desirable of the Exclusive Events Stablemates, but she’s still limited, Glossy, and a Stablemate – and that’s almost the unholy trinity of hobby pricing factors.

Though I haven’t had that bad of luck in acquiring a few of the other Exclusive Event Stablemates, actually, so maybe there might be hope after all. Especially now that everyone is distracted by that adorable little Premier Club Lipizzaner Darwin.

(Oh, there better be a Regular Run release of that little darling this year. Though I’d also settle for a BreyerFest Special, too.)

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Butter Pecan, Again

So much news in the past few days, don’t know where to start with it all…

First, I screwed up the special offer code on the Espresso. It is DOUBLESHOT19. That is what I get for not triple-checking the proofreading.

Second, the first Web Special for the year is a continuation of the “America the Beautiful” series, with the Clock Saddlebred in Gloss Dappled Red Chestnut, named Muir Woods:

Others have pointed out that last year’s BreyerFest Special Run Straight Bet was a similar color and wowed everyone in person, gloss flaws aside.

The paint jobs on the “America the Beautiful” Series have been pretty stellar overall, and assuming they can get the gloss problems that plagued Straight Bet under control (it’s a significantly smaller run, so probably), I suspect that Muir Woods is going to look pretty stunning in person, as well.

All that being said, I’ll only be putting in a single entry for him: the Clock Saddlebred is not a must-have mold for me, and I really need to save up for a dedicated tabletop quilting machine.

(All the ones on my short list are not cheap. Of course.)

But if I get picked for Muir Woods, I would not be unhappy. Inconvenienced, maybe.

About the next release I want to talk about, another polysyllabic word comes to mind: ambivalence.

I love the Smart Chic Olena, and that color and pattern are awesome on him – seriously, they always come up with the neatest and most interesting colors for that mold.

But they are – as I feared – continuing to march down the yellow brick road to Disney/Marvel-land. Naming it after the one franchise, character and actor that aggravate me more than any others.

(Yes really, all three: my family can vouch for this.)

It’s like getting ice cream in the wrong flavor: you’re excited that it’s ice cream, but instead of Mint Chocolate Chip, Black Cherry, Fudge Ripple, French Vanilla, White Chocolate Raspberry, Rocky Road, Pistachio or any of the dozens of other flavors you like or love, it’s Butter Pecan.

This wouldn’t be so bad – Butter Pecan is a perfectly cromulent ice cream flavor, just not in my top twenty – except when it is always Butter Pecan. The first time is great, the second time is okay, that’s fine, but by the third-fourth-fifth time you find yourself thinking the unthinkable: saying no to ice cream.

Anyway. Here’s a bit of comic-book-related news that cheered me up a few days ago: of all the super-hero franchises in the world, I am baffled and delighted that the Legion of Super-Pets is getting a movie.

(I had heard the rumor, but did not think it true!)