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?


timaru star ii said...

Not to mention the Hanoverian (1980) off whom I made SO MUCH tack. The Trakhener (1979) deserves mention too. Thanks!

pawprint said...

Is it just me, or does that new Akhal-Teke remind you of Smoky? I look at the Akhal-Teke and I can't get Smoky out of my head.

Little Black Car said...

Another Eighties kid here: I will swear to my dying day that 1988-1995 or so were the Dark Ages. The Eighties before that were a different focus, but not that bad. Also, the Eighties brought us the annual Limited Edition, right? That's cool. And the entire run of Little Bits/Paddock Pals, who seem to have been forgotten lately but were such a staple for so long.