Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Nuisance

This Adios doesn’t look like much at first glance, but it was kind of a big deal for me – but more as a nuisance and a lingering bother at the back of my head than an actual grail:

He has no USA mold mark, which makes him a 1969 or early 1970 release. Although there are subtle differences from Adioses that came after – the color on the earlier examples seem a little redder and flatter than slightly later ones, with more noticeable shading in the face and the genitals – the absence of the mold mark is the only significant difference.

And for me, it was a variation that I could never manage to score, ever. I’ve owned a lot of Adioses over the years; the area I live in used to be home to several Standardbred farms, and there used to be harness racing just up the road at the Eastern Michigan State Fairgrounds. Seeing campers with sulkies strapped to their roofs or being pulled on trailers were a very common sight during my childhood.

In short, I find a lot of Adioses. I thought finding this variation would be easy. 

But most of them are either later examples or in, shall we say, unsuitable condition. My efforts to shortcut the process and buy an example with a Blue Ribbon Sticker didn’t pan out as expected, either: while I have excellent examples of both the Adios and Yellow Mount with stickers, both have the USA mold mark. 

This one came up on eBay a couple of weeks ago, with a very clear photo showing its obvious lack of said mark. So in spite of my spending moratorium, he had to come home to me to (finally) put that nagging nuisance to rest. 

While the Adios without the USA mark is not particularly rare variation overall – he was a pretty popular fellow upon his release ca. 1969, and sold briskly – his mold mark is something that only Breyer History nerds like me, and a not insignificant portion of you, care about. 

It’s not something that is usually noted upon in online listings. Exceptions are ironically made by sellers unfamiliar with Breyers in general, who tend to take pictures of the mold mark to prove to us what we already know (that it’s a Breyer!) not realizing it also tells us other, sometimes more important things (that he’s old!) 

Anyway, he’s neat and he’s sticking around, unless a mint condition one with a Blue Ribbon Sticker happens to show up at the right place, the right time, and at the right price.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, now I need to go check my my guys! I have at least two Adios' but have no idea if they have the USA mark.

My heyday of Breyer collecting was in the early to mid 80's so I missed out on most of the "oh look, now they have a mold mark" stuff.

Although the paint jobs have gotten much fancier over the years, which I do appreciate, I do have a nostalgia for when Breyers were made in the USA. And since there weren't a ton of new releases each year, you worked on getting one of each color and the molds were released in multiple colors. I remember wanting one of each color of the Action Stock Foals for instance. If I look through an old Breyer manual it take me back to my childhood.

Suzanne said...

Oh, that's exactly how I got my no-U.S.A.-mark Yellow Mount! Kind of cool...I'm thinking Breyer had no concern about FIFO. My Yellow Mount is otherwise unremarkable- no dorsal stripe, and a pretty rich un-roany color.