Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Bandwagon

I sort of suspected that BreyerFest was going to be all-virtual this year when the link for the “Breyer Boot Camp” went up a few weeks ago. 

I am not happy about this development, to put it mildly. The first thing I did upon hearing the news – no joke – was to search Google for “Wyoming Vacations”, because there ain’t no way I’m spending another vacation entirely at home. With my family. 

(Aside from being socially distant by its very design, I’ve always wanted to do a Wyoming Road Trip anyway. Though I think I’d need a fellow traveler, because I’m the kind of person who gets lost in grocery store parking lots.)

I understand why it had to be done, but I did not have a pleasant time “at” BreyerFest last year, so I’m hesitant to participate in another online experience even remotely like that one. 

I know the people at the New Jersey HQ are going to do their best to make it a less troublesome experience, and their “new” selection as Celebration Horse (actually a Guest Horse that was upgraded to Celebration Horse status) is really beautiful and I would have bought the model as a Store Special anyway. 

Danash’s Northern Tempest, a Semi-Leopard Appaloosa on the True North mold: the YouTube video here, and the Podcast here.

While it’s pretty obvious that they’re completely overhauling the most painful part of the online BreyerFest experience from last year – the actual buying of things! – buying stuff is not the primary reason why I look forward to BreyerFest. I am fortunate to have several local independent toy and hobby stores to get my horse-buying fix, whenever the mood strikes.

What I miss is the real-time interaction with my fellow hobbyists: as a seller at the CHIN, as an attendee at the Park, and as a volunteer. 

I got none of that experience last year. (Well okay, almost none: I did have one friend over.)

A little bit of that was my fault, and some of it was the (lack of) timing and the stars simply not lining up, as they usually do. But a lot of it had to do with a format that had to be built from scratch in the space of three months: the ways in which it had to be cobbled together left no place for someone like me. 

While I was not on board with the Celtic theme at all (for various reasons) I, as the history-type person I am, was looking forward to doing something to help celebrate Breyer’s 70th Anniversary there.

That did not happen. In fact, it was kind of frustrating to see a lot of official merchandise and historical information released last year that was not accurate. (Remember my rant about the Blanket?) Nearly forty years of history nerdery building up to what I thought would be a pinnacle moment and I found myself rendered, essentially, invisible. 

(I hate being invisible. I hate it more than chewing gum and telephones.)

That they managed to pull off what they could last year is worth noting, but I am going to be brutally honest and tell you that the entire experience left me feeling pretty bummed for a considerable amount of time afterward.

And apprehensive about this year’s effort. 

It will be different, because every year is different. There’s more time to plan, the anxiety about the Special Runs will be diminished, and I hear murmurings about the possibility of greater online interaction. 

I was an Art History major in college, and all of the (officially) released SR photos so far are art-historically themed, so maybe this is a hint that I might be able to participate or contribute in a more meaningful way. 

But, I am still apprehensive. So you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t join the “Woo-hoo, Online BreyerFest 2021!” bandwagon, at least not yet.


Anonymous said...

Wow, gorgeous real horse and gorgeous model! AWESOME selection!

Anonymous said...

I miss seeing the real horses in person. Sure videos are nice, but standing in the prescence of these animals is another thing that can't be really replicated. I was able to visit Cheesecake at his farm last year since I live in Michigan so that was really cool and a bit of BF in it's own right.

Mini Hoofbeats Studio said...

I was thinking of not attending the virtual Breyerfest this year in fear of burnout like last year, however, what got me to make the decision to attend - is that the Celebration Model fits in with my ever so slowly growing collection within a collection of models that look like the can gallop right out of one of Bev Doolittle's paintings!

Wyoming Artwork said...

If you want a Wyoming vacation, try coming to Lovell and visiting the Pryor Mountain Mustang Range!

Breyer mom said...

I definitely agree with you. Understandably last year's Breyerfest had Alot of glitches and I barely got to enjoy any of the videos and such since I was trying to make horse purchases that were impossible (whomever got a grab bag item, I applaud them. That was a huge challenge and I never achieved it). Hopefully this year's will be alot better. I can understand those who can not get to Kentucky are happy to get Breyerfest this way, but its truly not the same. I miss the trip to and from KY, the meeting of fellow collectors and friends, and the fun we've had in both the Clarion and KHP. What worries me more is the rumored $230 VIP 3 day ticket. I guess we will have to wait and see but I feel that's a bit steep.

Yvonne said...

If you go to Wyoming make sure you visit Cody! If they hold the Night Rodeos this year it is well worth it. And the drive from Cody to Yellowstone is fantastic! (I worked on a ranch outside of Cody for several years, so I AM a bit biased!)

Teagan said...

I have never been to the real thing, so I’m looking forward to it. I can completely understand your frustrations though.