Sunday, May 31, 2020

My Missouri Fox Trotter Shortage

A few observations upon doing a very rough run-through of the part of the collection that’s in storage, hunting for potential show prospects.

I have… a lot of Basset Hounds.

And Elephants. So many Elephants.

I didn’t realize I also happened to collect Cigar. I mean, I had three of them on display in my office, so I shouldn’t be surprised. But, dang!

I also don’t have nearly as many foals as I thought I did, outside my horde of Family Arabian Foal variations. But I am already remedying that.

As I am with my Missouri Fox Trotters. For someone who advocated – and sent it in as a suggestion for years – I have surprisingly few actual Breyer Missouri Fox Trotters. So I am very pleased with this guy’s arrival last week:

Not just an Iron Metal Chief, but the 1997 Christmas JC Penney Gift Set with the certificate, blanket, original box and all that nonsense. Go big or go home, right?

Sure, it’s not something super-rare, obscure or even particularly desirable (he was cheap!), but sometimes none of that matters. As I’ve said so many times before: you’ll never go wrong just buying what you like.

I’m hoping to add a nicely shaded Prince Jester and that pretty Fleabitten Dapple Gray from the 2009 JC Penney set to my herd in the near future, too. Oh, and buy back a 2006 BreyerFest Pierrot that I once owned, then sold because I don’t know what I was thinking.

All the others Fox Trotters I really, really want are out of my price range – like the Connoisseur Masquerade, 2002 Raffle Model St. Louis Blues, and Frankensteed.

But anyway, unless something really spectacular shows up in the meantime (like that early BreyerFest Auction Indian Pony that went for almost nothing on eBay last week that I missed BY MINUTES) I think I’ll try to lay off making any online purchases between now and BreyerFest.

Even though my actual vacation expenses will be minimal this year, I’d still like to fatten the various bank accounts to soften the blow the Special Runs will make, regardless.

Well, back to my grindstone.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Stating the Obvious

I like it, but I’m not sure if I love it. He just seems sort of really obvious? And not just because of the Irish Draught mold’s absence with the One-Day Stablemates reveal made it so. The name, the mold, the color, the shamrock on the butt, all of it…

I mean, I really dig Translucent Stablemates in general, and √Čire reminds me a lot of the BreyerFest 2017 Stablemate Navya on the Django mold that I love for all the wrong reasons.

(Long story: I always imagined that the ugliest possible Breyer release would be a Metallic Lime Green and Magenta Khemosabi. Navya probably the closest I’ll ever come to that, but I find him so inexpressibly cute I can’t even.)

But we already have 1.5 green-hued releases for BreyerFest this year – the half being the Store Special Dappled Buckskin Topgun, because I’m tired and feeling a snarky today – and as much as I like the color green in general, I was kind of hoping for something a little bit different.

Like something in the Golden Charm family, drawing inspiration from legends of Celtic or Leprechaun gold. But there are still a few more things to be revealed, and who the heck knows what kind of surprises they have in store for us this year?

Besides whatever they were teasing us with today, which I am assuming is the third Pop-Up Store whatsit, which also looks Stablemate-like.

For the record, I’ll still try to get all things Stablemate anyway, timing and money willing.

Rather than now going on a weird ramble about how a movie about swordfighting vampires is a way more appropriate and authentic(!) media inspiration for this year’s Celtic-themed BreyerFest than a depressing medieval soap opera with dragons in it, I’m going to “peace out” for the rest of the day.

(Yes, my mind goes in weird places when I am bored. Which is why I try my darndest not to be. Bored, I mean.)

I’ll also be somewhat incommunicado for the next few days for all sorts of reasons, so don’t make a mess of the place while I’m gone!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Stud Spider Trophy

After nearly three days of continuous gardening, I am hurting in places I didn’t realize it was possible to hurt. And I am okay with that.

I still have a ton to do, but other tasks await and holy carp, it suddenly turned into Summer outside. (For the record: I like it hot, but I see no need to work myself into a trip to Urgent Care, especially nowadays.)

Here’s one of my latest binge purchases, a Stud Spider Trophy:

The #66 Stud Spider, like the #48 Black Stretched Morgan and the #47 Traditional Man o’ War, is another one of those releases that sort of multiplied on me while I wasn’t looking. I think I have… six or seven different Stud Spider variations now?

Almost enough for a Collectability Class entry, on its own!

So what did I do? After (obviously) not getting chosen for the Wedgewood Blue Stud Spider Test Color a few months back, I decided to be proactive and go looking for another Stud Spider or two to add to my herd.

The Trophy had been sitting on eBay for a while, and I finally decided to pull the trigger and bring him home earlier this month. Most Breyer trophies – outside of the occasional Sales Rep award that makes its way to the secondary market – are aftermarket jobs, and this is also the case here.

A moderately well-known one, at that. I don’t know how many of these were awarded, but it was definitely at least a handful.

I’ll still need to reacquire a decent #859 Family Appaloosa Stallion – a Bay Appaloosa Stud Spider using the original painting mask – and, eventually, a Test Color of some sort that also uses the original painting mask, like this slightly different Bay one:

It doesn’t have to be that one, though. I remember seeing other Test Stud Spiders back in the day in other colors, and I ain’t fussy. Just cheap!

Friday, May 22, 2020

NPOD Grab Bags

Trying to take it easy today. I have a very busy extended weekend ahead of me and just chilling today seems… like a nice idea, no?

Anyway, Jaime confirmed for us that the “Warehouse Finds” thing is indeed an online version of the NPOD, with various – and unidentified – goodies basically packed grab-bag style, at various price points from “not too expensive” to “expensive”.

It’s a bonus benefit exclusive to Adult ticket purchases, and limited to one purchase per account for the whole weekend. As opposed to the other goodies that you can purchase every day, depending on the type of ticket you’ve purchased.

That sounds super-duper fair and actually something I hope they replicate at BreyerFests going forward, with some modifications (i.e. no box shaking, no opening until you’ve cleared the register, or maybe you purchase a claim ticket instead and go to another location to pick it up).

The only additional thing I’d like them to implement is that they include some documentation with any actual Samples you might get – doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a sheet of paper with the basics. (“[This Model] is a sample from the Breyer Archive Room and sold at BreyerFest 2020, blah blah etc.”)

Us Collectibility Nerds love that kind of nonsense. Give us more paper!

In short, I approve, and I hope I can snag one! (Maybe the fact that my circadian rhythms are completely out of whack will work to my advantage on this? Hmm.)

Seeing as I am the kind of person who once injured herself reading, I am not overly curious about the imminent reveal of the Pop-Up Store Crystal. (Unless it’s a replica of Emma. Then maybe.) Jaime mentioned a third as-yet-unannounced SR for this store, and that I am curious about.

Actually, I just realized that I’m not quite sure how all of the individual stores/shopping areas are going to be set up. (A single page with links? One big store? Virtual rooms you wander in?) As I mentioned above, my weekend is gong to be extremely busy (Only a couple hundred seedlings to transplant. No biggie!) and I am going to put off doing a deeper reading of the latest updates and changes until later in the weekend.

Especially since my brain is mostly focused on all the fancy cheeses I impulse-bought at Kroger today. (Mmm, Welsh Cheddar!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Rolling With It

I had my first BreyerFest nightmare a couple days ago, and it was a doozy. Partly because it was unexpected, maybe? Or at least unnecessary.

Then I logged on today to look at some of the latest BreyerFest news and saw that there are going to be at least… 300(!) entries for the Photo Show, so now I’m thinking: Oh great, looks like I’ll be getting creamed again, I see…

And the rain shredded my English Daisies last night. They’ll recover, but I have no pretty pictures to show you today.

I also didn’t get picked for a Bilberry, but seeing how I forgot to enter most days, that’s neither that big a surprise, or deal.

So I am not in the bestest place right now, guys. Which led to me engaging in even more retail therapy.

Some of the things I had been eyeing for a while anyway, so they’re not entirely spontaneous purchases. In fact, I’m trying to rationalize them as part of my “virtual room shopping”.

You’ve seen that I’ve made some pretty amazing purchases in the past year – the Presentation Man o’ War, the Showcase Grazing Mare, the Perfume Poodle, that Yellow Mount – so I’ll be fine with not getting some serious in-person shopping done this year.

But I will miss looking for those subtle variations and obscurities that you really don’t notice unless you’re face-to-face with them. And then showing them off to friends 15 minutes later, followed by the exasperated conversation that begins with “Girl, where did you find THAT?”

I haven’t had a chance to think through the finer details of the changes and announcements they’ve made regarding BreyerFest today, other than being intrigued by the “exclusive access shopping in the Warehouse Finds collection” which sound like a fancy-talk way of saying “virtual Ninja Pit of Death”.

The rest I’ll think about only when I need to and only if it applies to me or mine.

For example, for the past several years I’ve set up a Breyer History display at the Hands-On Hobby booth, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year, either literally or virtually.

And I’m kinda bummed about that, since this was the 70th anniversary year and that sort of thing is literally my jam. But that’s not my decision to make, so the best I can do is roll with it.

For all I know things could be completely different a day from now or a week from now – or three days before! None of that is my decision to make, and while I am uncomfortable with this, I have to also consider the enormity of the task the folks in New Jersey are tasked with and realize my individual emotional needs do not take priority.

(Though if anyone wants to come to my house and tour the collection in person, or just hang out, that could be arranged. Pandemic willing.)

This is also why I decided to step about 15 paces away from some of the online commentary about these latest and greatest changes.

I hate being blunt here, but here’s a bit of life advice: if there’s a possibility for you to walk away from an unhappy situation relatively unscathed, don’t be afraid to take it.

Refunds or exchanges on tickets purchased prior to April 13 are still available through June 1. It’s perfectly fine if you do that and I’ll just see you next year.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Week, Well-Ended

I just spent almost an entire day in my garden and I feel so much better than I did earlier in the week. (You know, one of those long stories.) The garden, on the other hand, is still a wreck – the weather wasn’t quite cold enough this past Winter to kill off enough things, unfortunately – but I feel like I’ve made good progress.

I am especially pleased with my English Daisies, but alas, I didn’t have a chance to take a picture while the sun was still shining today. Maybe next time.

Well, up and did it: I entered the BreyerFest Open Photo Show: Halter Only, and no Collector’s Classes, because that would feel too much like work. I figured since my prep for BreyerFest is going to be minimal – no sales tagging, packing, shopping for snacks, volunteer stuff et al – I could channel that energy into this possibly-once-in-a-lifetime show.

(Though I am hoping that a photo show of some sort actually does become a component of BreyerFests going forward.)

A potential positive side effect of this show I’m spinning for myself is that even if I don’t win a darn thing, at the end of it all I should at least end up with a nice archive of photos use for future blog posts. 

(Laughs hysterically.)

All of the Glossies in the second round of the Collector’s Club Appreciation Sale are really nice, and I would have been happy with any of them. It also appears that the quantities on all four seem to be more or less the same – in other words, none of them are more rare than the others, except by dint of desire.

I know some of it is dictated by actual quantities on hand, but that’s how I think it should be.

My Collector’s Club Appreciation Model is… Integrity! Yay!

As others have noted, the Gloss Integrities all appear to be the Mare version of the mold as opposed to the standard (for this release) Gelding. I don’t get the impression that the Mare variation is particularly hard to get, it’s just not something that’s in super high demand, so the mold variation doesn’t get noted in listings.

I’d like to get a Matte of the mare version eventually – one of those things I was going to be looking for at BreyerFest this year, sigh – but it’s something that can wait.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Just Going With It

It’s beautiful and I want it:

Bilberry reminds me of the 2012 BreyerFest Auction Bouncer, who had a similar patter but in Gloss Bay Appaloosa that I also wanted.

But I am not going to get too upset if I don’t get picked because I seriously have way too much going on right now: one more pretty pony might push me over the edge.

Speaking of, my little Brabants arrived the other day and I love my Drafty Unicorn Solaris:

The color is similar – but not identical – to the Walmart Special Run Unicorn Surprise on the G3 Arabian that I also loved. I am a big fan of orange in general – in fabric, on horses, in soft drinks (takes another sip of her Jarritos Mandarin) – but not so much on people.

Just be your own color folks, whatever color that is. (Mine appears to be… ecru? Kind of a yellowy-gray beige? Sounds about right.)

The newly announced BreyerFest Plushie is cute and the swag – tee-shirts et al – are nice, but I’m not really sure how the Game of Thrones references are particularly relevant. But then again I’m about as Celtic as Chinese Take-out, so none of it is particularly doing it for me, other than the basic BreyerFest tee.

(And people are reading way too much into those “House Brighty”, “House Bristol” shirts: it’s just four popular and somewhat on-theme molds that happen to have names that start with the letter “B”.)

Incidentally, after giving the matter entirely too much thought, I’ve compiled my Special Run preference list, running from most to least wanted:

Slainte Surprise
Hamish (Bull)
Thorn (Trakehner)
Oak (Georg)
Lugh (Sham)
Brighid and Beltane (Welsh Mare and Foal)
Epona (Strapless)
Ash (Othello)
Boudicca (Andalusian Mare)

Technically my first two choices are the Bull Hamish and the Trakehner Thorn, but I don’t think those will be in particularly high demand. This way if I end up with one good spot in the queue I’ll get a Surprise. If not (very likely) I should still get the rest of what I want anyway.

I hope. It’s another one of those things I’m trying to not think about too much. 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Going to Show?

So this happened:

I’m not sure how I managed to get lucky enough to snag the rest of the Series 3 Mini Whinnies – minus the chase piece, because yeah right – with minimal manhandling at the one Walmart that never seems to have nothing ever, but I’ll take it. I now want to built a tiny little wooden stable or something to display them all in, but that’ll definitely have to wait.

I am also several lesser degrees of stressed than I was earlier in the week. Packages are on their way, issues are being resolved, all that jazz. Wasn’t a big fan of the snow yesterday, but that’s Michigan weather for you. I won’t have time to plant anything outside until next weekend, regardless.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I’m seriously considering entering the Virtual BreyerFest Photo Show. Even though the prizes are basic (just Regular Runs and BreyerFest SRs), I haven’t photo shown in years, and photography is not my strongest suit.

On the plus side, there will be flats and rosettes, prizes (if I win anything!) will be mailed for free, and any Champs from this show won’t be disqualified from future shows. Plus I’d get a voucher for $25 off a future $100+ purchase on the web site. I know that last thing is not an incentive for many, but as someone who makes her purchases tactically and loves a good coupon, it’s definitely one for me!

Doing this means I could also say that I got to show at BreyerFest (sort of!) all without having to physically endanger some of my lovelies.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that Breyer has hosted a big photo show – they did one in 1981! From the Vol. VIII, Number Two issue of Just About Horses:

I entered and got creamed, of course. Back then the idea of getting Regular Run models as prizes was actually kind of a big deal, so a lot of people entered, including several Big Name Hobbyists. Little old me who had only been showing for a year or two with photos taken with an Instamatic camera really didn’t have a shot.

Everyone who entered eventually got at least a Stablemates for their efforts, I think? I remember getting an unsolicited Bay Stablemates Saddlebred in the mail not long after, and I just assumed it was a participation/attagirl/door prize type of gift.

My camera is better as are my photography skills (marginally). And as I discovered at live show I participated in last year I definitely have some models that could be competitive today. So I have not yet dismissed this notion.

I still have a few more days to decide. In the meantime, other projects await….

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Retail Therapy: Pandemic Edition

I have at least three packages lost in the mail; the weather turned February-level cold so all the plants I had hoped to plant this week are still in the house (and all over the house); a fun box of bodies arrived nearly two weeks ago and are also scattered all over the house, and I haven’t gotten more than four hours of sleep any night in so long I can’t even remember now.

Not gonna lie folks: I am exhausted and not up for any nonsense for the duration. No griping, no conspiracy theories, no whining about whatever part of virtual BreyerFest you find unfair, no nothing. Take it elsewhere, I ain’t having it.

So in order to cope with all this, I have apparently engaged in an unseemly amount of retail therapy this week.

First, I did manage to score one of those BreyerFest One-Day Stablemates 4-pack. I was worried that I’d miss them entirely because I had a million errands to run that day, but fortunately there were still some to be had when I finally got home. So yay, me!

Second: Walmart Stablemates!

I was in the store for a completely different reason (emergency gardening supplies, see above) but I figured as long as I was in the store I’d swing by the Toy department and see if there was anything new.

I was hoping for the Unicorns, but I saw a complete set of these guys dangling from a peg hook, so I tossed them in my cart and went my merry way. The Paint Horse is my favorite – a Black Pinto Driving Horse, yay! – but the paint job on the Vanner is really beautiful in person.

They had a box of the Series 3 Mini Whinnies and grabbed a handful of them, too. Considering the circumstances we live in at the moment, groping them to get a complete set seemed inappropriate. So I consider myself fortunate that I only had one duplicate, and the teeny Hambletonian of my dreams:

In less stressful times, perhaps, I can complete this set. I stopped trying to get all the Mini Whinnies a while ago – too much to track and find, too little time or energy to do it – but I think I may make an exception with these guys.

(Or at least until they make some of these molds in Stablemates scale.)

Oh, and did I forget to mention that I broke down and ordered the two little Classic Brabants earlier in the week, because at this point, why the heck not?

I’m also hearing rumors that the Appreciation Glossies – Round Two are starting to ship. I don’t really care who it is, I just really need a shiny pony now.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Green, Man

Reeves is doing its darndest to get me to collect the Classic Brabant mold. And it just might be working:

The “Greenman” graphic on its barrel could have been a bit less stylized – I didn’t even recognize it as a face when I first looked at it – but I got everything else I wanted in this Pop-Up Store Special except the Unicorn horn!

The first two releases of the Brabant are still current, and since it seems unlikely to me that they’d release this mold as a Gambler’s Choice or a Show Special any time soon, this could be a nice, low-pressure model to focus on. 

Depending on how the whole online BreyerFest thing goes. I’m trying not to worry about that too much but you know, the mind wanders…

It is remarkable to me that in the 45+ year history of Breyer’s Classic-scale horses (or 50+ years if you count the Rearing Stallion, Bucking Bronco and maybe even the #36 Racehorse) that this is still only the second Classic Draft Horse mold, after Moody’s Shire A/B was introduced in 2002.

Incidentally, I did break down and buy a second BreyerFest ticket on April 30. Aside from already having the luxury of extra cash, I usually go in to BreyerFest with two tickets anyway. While I don’t think my two top choices – the Bull and the Trakehner – are going to be in as high demand as other releases this year (Othello, ahem), my luck in the line draws has not been good for a while, so I might as well give myself the extra chance at what I want, just in case.

I am also a little bit concerned that since the event is online and postage is discounted, the redemption rate for Special Runs is going to be higher: in other words, there will be fewer leftovers and more sellouts.

As for my second choices, I wouldn’t turn down a Surprise or a Sham/Lugh. I have a feeling the Lugh is going to be jaw-droppingly gorgeous in person, as most of Breyer’s Gloss Bays tend to be.