Thursday, October 28, 2021


Reeves threw us a curveball this time around with next year’s Celebration Horse: instead of a Draft or Warmblood on an existing mold – as many of us were expecting – we’re getting a new German Riding Pony mold by Brigitte Eberl!

The prototype for Nikolas is very reminiscent of the 2009 BreyerFest Special Run Buttercream, on the Idocus mold. That release initially met with a cool reception, but has only grown in popularity in more recent years. 

And also, a little bit, like the Classics Buckskin Duchess released as a “Thoroughbred Cross” in 2006 through 2008. From personal experience she appears to be one of the tougher Duchesses to find, at least in good condition.

New mold introductions are nothing new for BreyerFest; the first was the Celebration Horse Rejoice in 1998, and one of the best known is (of course!) Eberl’s legendary Alborozo in 2008. 

It has been a few years since we’ve gotten an entirely new mold for the Celebration Horse, but it makes perfect sense that they’d enlist Brigitte Eberl to bring it to us. 

(I hope this means that we’ll get a Brigitte Eberl seminar, yes? In person, or at least online? Because I want to pencil that in as one of my activities if that’s the case.)

My only minor concern at this point is that there is definitely going to be some grumbling about the size this mold: as is the case with the paint, some hobbyists put a lot of weight into the weight of the materials used to make it. 

In this case, the fact that my Internet time is very limited right now is a blessing: not that I don’t think there’s some merit in discussing the issue, but now is just not a good time for me to engage in it.  

More stuff has arrived at my door – including Gingerbread! – but the boxes will have to remain unopened until the weekend. I did get a chance to open my Dahlia and she… was unsurprising. But more about all that next time.  

Monday, October 25, 2021

Seal of Approval

I had a pretty bad sinus headache for a good portion of my weekend, so I slept through the parts of it where I wasn’t working. It was cold and rainy, anyway, and I did need the sleep. Though I did have a really strange dream where Reeves sent me an airplane ticket in the mail, but I only found it two days before I was supposed to leave…

Reeves made the formal announcement that next year’s BreyerFest will be a hybrid event – both online, and in person – as I expected. I’ll be curious to see how this plays out; I’m assuming that potential attendees will have the option of choosing either in-person or online tickets that will come with similar (but not identical) perks, and possibly a combo ticket that gives you the benefits of both. 

I have a lot of things weighing on my mind at the moment, so I’m not going to give it much thought until more detailed information is made available. 

But I do want to make one criticism/observation: what’s up with all the references to food in the Prost PR? I grew up with a foodie Mom who made everything from scratch, from Tamales to Peking Duck. But other than pretzels, sauerkraut and the occasional bratwurst, German food was rarely on the menu. 

And while I wouldn’t call myself a teetotaler, beer has never been an interest or temptation, either.

It seems especially weird to me, since they had French and Indian-themed BreyerFests where incorporating the cuisine would have made much more sense, but they were only lightly touched on, if at all. There are a lot of things about Germany worth celebrating, but personally I think the food is among the least of these. 

(Okay, one exception: I have probably eaten my weight in Haribo Gummi Bears at least a few times over.)

And as an unrelated side note, I hope they do a new or updated portrait model of Halla: the more I read about her, the more amazing she sounds.

The inventory continues… slowly. Here’s a random selection from the latest box – the Traditional Man o’ War release #966 My Prince, sometimes called “My Prince Seal” because that’s how he was labeled on the box. For some reason, Reeves called his color Seal Brown, though it’s really more of an oddly shaded Chestnut. He was in production from 1996 through 1997, and consequently some came with bi-eyes, but my particular example does not. 

While I wouldn’t call him the prettiest of the Traditional Man o’ War’s releases – nothing can beat the original Red Chestnut with Battleship Gray hooves and eyewhites! – I am more than happy to have him here. I just wish I had the space to display him alongside all of my other Man o’ Wars. 

The last two Traditional Man o’ Wa were the 2018 BreyerFest Early Bird Raffle Riddle, and the 2016 Vintage Club model Storm. Prior to that, the last “mass-market” release of the mold was the War Horse Joey in 2012. I don’t think it’s likely that we’ll be seeing him again any time soon, but I’ll be there when he does. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

More Silly Sales Season Stuff

More Tractor Supply Exclusives are showing up, including the Appaloosa Ethereal Wilder and the Gray Bobby Jo Cirrus. Both are… different than I expected, but not enough to go out of my way to get them. 

The Stablemates Unicorn Foal Surprises are another matter. They might not even be actual Special Runs, but early releases of 2022 product, like the carded Stablemates Unicorn Paint Kits from a few years back. But with the Stablemates market being as crazy as it is, I’m not going to sweat over them, whatever they are.  

Second, the first offering in the 2022 Stablemates Club is an Appaloosa Fighting Stallion named Dax:

Maybe it’s just my Seasonal Affective Disorder kicking it into high gear this year (so much so that I broke down and finally bought a light therapy box this week) but I don’t find him all that exciting either. I mean, he’s nicely done and I love the name and all that, but maybe I’m just a bit tapped out on the Stablemates Fighting Stallion already. 

It also leaves me a little concerned: I’d rather not have the Stablemates line turn into a series of “miniaturized Traditionals”. With the release of the Mini Me of the Premier Club Fireheart, I worry that hobbyists are going to not just expect, but demand that every new Traditional mold release come with a miniature counterpart. I’d prefer entirely new molds, or releases adapted from other sources, like the upcoming Stablemates adaptation of Eberl’s Sharif, Twist. 

The latest Pony for Christmas is also out: a Bouncer named Gingerbread, in a blanket that looks like a Christmas Sweater!

It’s similar to the Bouncer release Apple Jack, but with two stockings and without the flaxen mane and tail. I am going to presume that, like last year’s Christmas Pony release Honeybunch, that there aren’t any additional markings hidden under the blanket. 

I would not be disappointed if there was, though. I am always up for a new Bouncer, regardless of the color or pattern. (Thought I did originally skip out on the Apple Jack because he looked a little too much like the original Kennebec Count for comfort.)

A bunch of other new, mostly non-horse merchandise has also been added to the web site, including a couple pairs of socks. The purple ones are 100 percent my style:

If last couple of years have been any indication, the addition of new merchandise to the web site usually precedes the Customer Appreciation Sale. I don’t know if I’m going to participate this year, especially since I just found out I have to work this weekend (and possibly others), and thus kicking my inventory plans down the road yet another week. I don’t need even more horses to account for. 

But if I can stick to mostly apparel and accessories (I do need more socks!) I just might. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Making Choices

Instead of participating in the Breyer Fun Day, going to the Motor City Comic Con, or even participating in Sweetest Day (it’s a thing around here), I spent my Saturday at DC FanDome and watching the new trailer for The Batman about twenty times.

Inventory is still in progress, and is going quite well, except for the realization that I have a Dapple Gray Old Timer problem. And more duplicates (of other things) than I thought. Once I’m finished with the process (next week?), I’ll let y’all know what my sales plans might be. 

As usual, it’s more of a space issue than a money issue. So stuff will be cheap, and not just compared to what everyone is trying to sell their stuff for. (I swear people are just using random number generators to price things at this point...)

I just unwrapped a couple of recent arrivals and I’m trying to decide what to do with them:

With Eek!, it’s more a matter of where I’ll put him than whether he is staying: I don’t know if he’s going into my window of glowy things, on my nightstand of glowy things, or in my little huddle of glowy things on my dresser.

(I like glowy things!)

The Favrile is a bigger problem.   

I bought him during the Second Chance Sale, mostly out of curiosity: I wanted to see what he looked like in person. The color scheme is definitely more of the “Rainbow Sherbet” variety of Rainbow seen on two recent Stablemate Unicorn Chase pieces, like the Magnolia and Croi. Mine seems to be a little bit greener than the average Favrile, and I like that, and I also like how they tried to make each leg a different color. (A thing they also did with the Seven Arts Surprise Decorator Rainbow Appaloosa.)

But I’m still not 100 percent sold on him, partly because I would have preferred a stained-glass-themed Decorator to be Translucent. I took a pass on the Web Special Nayati, and aside from the ongoing space issues, I am also reluctant to invest the necessary monies to acquire them now. 

If I’m going to collect a newer Classics mold, it’s going to be Mel Miller’s Brabant and also maybe Sarah Mink’s Malik, who incidentally is now available as a Unicorn in a color very similar to the radiant Sunset color the Brabant release Solaris does, sans glitter:

(I know some folks have very strong opinions on the matter, but I am neither pro- nor anti-mane-glitter.) 

Actually, come to think of it, the color is very similar to the 2001 Toys R Us Special Run Pacer Horse of a Different Color, who I have assumed was a very, very loose interpretation of Dunalino. 

Favrile will be sticking around a while, or at least until I’m able to get my sales act together. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Cheap Horses

Crankiness warning activated: this week has been messy, complicated and exhausting. I no longer have the patience or energy to engage with people who have the luxury of being angry all the time about everything – whether it’s about work, life or horses. 

I finally made it to a Tractor Supply this week and saw the Indian Pony Sayan. She is very pretty, but I am still not motivated to get her. I wouldn’t mind getting the Stablemates, but the store I visited didn’t have them, and I have a suspicion that I’m not going to see any of them any time soon.

My work schedule might be changing, again, so I literally have no idea when I’ll get back.

I did make it to a few Five Below stores this week to investigate the latest Breyer Mystery: these new Classics-scale “Paddock Pal” Horses and Unicorns. I haven’t found the horses yet, but I did buy the four Unicorns. My favorite is “Cherry”:

When I first saw them on eBay earlier in the week, I made the erroneous assumption that they were possibly Reeves’s entrĂ©e into the 1:6 Scale market: they looked a lot like the vintage Marx Horses preferred by military miniaturists, both in terms of style and materials. The box was also very similar to the “Touchability”boxes used on the Breyer-branded Plush Aurora releases, some of which can now be found in the toy departments of some Meijer superstores. 

(Meijer is a slightly more upscale, Midwestern equivalent to Walmart that very occasionally carries Breyers. But none currently: the plushes are distributed by Aurora.)

Some of the initial speculation about the origins of these models was… interesting, to put it politely. When it was discovered that they appeared to be a Five Below exclusive, my first thought was: Oh, so this is how Reeves is trying to break into the “Discount Store” market.

One of the few bright spots in the retail market has been the rise of Discount Stores like Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and my personal local favorite, Debby’s Dollar

A lot of name brands have been tailoring products for the Discount Store market, and I was just wondering when – or if! – Reeves was going to tap into that market. Reeves had dumped some of the Walmart Stablemates at Five Below before – and some of the more recent Blind Bags are also showing up there again. 

As for the criticisms about the materials, the quality, or the fact that they’re even in discount stores at all, I find most of them moot. These are intended as an inexpensive, entry-level product. For most non-hobbyist consumers – we’re talking parents, grandparents and younger children – a plastic horse is a plastic horse. 

They’re a significant step up from the usual equines available at this price point, and are therefore more attractive product for a child who may potentially outgrow their horse phase. And for those that do not, the brand recognition is built-in. 

I find them interesting. There are several Five Belows in my area, but I do not know if I will go out of my way to find the horses: as I mentioned before, my time is currently at a premium. 

(FYI: I still think they need to do 1:6 Scale horses.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Gran Cavallo

Clarification: while I did have a VIP ticket, I had an additional All-Access BreyerFest ticket as well. 

With the way the aftermarket is at the moment, I think getting selected for any random Breyer web drawing is simply not going to happen. But entering every one that I’m at least eligible for will at least increase my chances of getting picked for something eventually, however infinitesimally. 

And I didn’t get picked, which is fine. I may end up buying a few extra of the Store Specials for a newer coworker’s daughter; neither one of them knew that BreyerFest has been online the past two years. 

(No really, they had no idea. I find it a little hard to believe as well, but it’s a good reminder that dedicated hobbyists do essentially live in a bubble.)

But I did manage to push through my inventory and hit my target goal (halfway!) so I finally opened my Second Chance Sale box:

Alas, no Purple Paso for me, but I love my Gran Cavallo anyway. Actually, he might even be my second favorite BreyerFest Special Run this year, after Uffington and slightly ahead of Seurat. In fact, I think if I had seen him firsthand at BreyerFest prior to purchasing, I may have gone with him over the Surprise model, instead. 

Peruvians tends to be a bit more conservatively colored than other South and Central American breeds, and most of the mold’s past releases have reflected that. He reminds me a lot of the Seal Bay auction piece with the ermine spots, one of my favorite BreyerFest auction pieces ever.

Sunday, October 10, 2021


I still haven’t opened up the box with the Gran Cavallo yet – not out of fear, apprehension or the possibility of disappointment, but because I am saving it as a reward for hitting the halfway mark in the inventory process. 

And that is taking a little longer than expected: I didn’t think I bought that much this year, but the inventory is telling me otherwise. Doing my year-end paperwork this year is going to be an absolute breeze, though.

I was kind of hoping to reach my target by the time the Second Chance Sale opens up to All-Access people on Wednesday, but it’s looking iffy. I kind of doubt my luck is going to be good enough to get me a second go-round at the Special Runs anyway, but I dutifully put my entry in just in case.

(If I do snag a spot, I will either go for a Surprise, or a Pech Merle.)

I have opened other recent arrivals, including the Equidae:

Apparently I have a thing for unusually-colored Othellos; the only ones I have in my possession that could be described as reasonably realistic are the production run BreyerFest 2012 Celebration Horse Mariah’s Boon, and the 2003 BreyerFest porcelain Galway Warrior. The 2018 Volunteer Model Churchill is also a “realistic” color, but one that’s very unlikely on a horse of his body type, at least without some very creative pedigree assignments. 

It’s been noted elsewhere that Equidae is the first production Rainbow Decorator where the rainbow is reversed: his head is purple, and the tail is pink. His paintjob is also flatter and less shaded, and most definitely more opaque, as opposed to previous Rainbow Decos, which tend to feature more translucent coloring.

I don’t know if this is a change in this color going forward, or simply an aesthetic choice specific to this mold and/or design. My guess is that Rainbow Decorators are going to be a lot like Silver Filigrees, where the kind of paint job you get depends on who painted it that day.  

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Bay Indian Ponies

Regarding the Tractor Supply Special Run Indian Pony Sayen, I am not understanding why everyone is all “It’s about time we got a simple Bay paint job on the Indian Pony, yay!” when the Red Bay Black Horse Ranch Special Run Indian Pony has… existed since 1987? 

I mean, yeah, there were only 400 of them, and a lot of them turned into Shrinky Puddles of Goo, but nevertheless the notion of putting the Indian Pony in a Solid Bay paint job has been visited before. 

I much preferred the Liver Chestnut one that was briefly depicted on the Tractor Supply web site, but I guess that was an unselected prototype that we may or may not see someday somewhere else, like the Zippo Pine Bar “Chance” that ended up a Mid-States Special Run instead. 

I’m currently in the middle of completely revamping my inventory system at home, so the last thing I’m looking for is more models. 

(If I implement it correctly, I’ll never lose track of anything again. I’m hoping.)

Thriller and Equidae have both arrived but are still unopened, and my Second Chance Sale stuff is supposedly going to be here by the end of the day. The answer to the question of my Gran Cavallo – Purple, or Not Purple? – also won’t be answered until at least the weekend. And maybe after I get a few more boxes of inventory done.

(Twelve down, 26 more to go! Oh, joy…)

I also drew up a preliminary list for the Customer Appreciation Sale, if it happens at all this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets delayed or canceled entirely because of the supply chain issues, but it never hurts to be prepared. 

If it does, I just hope all the Stablemates I want are back in stock by that time.  

Sunday, October 3, 2021

The Test Subject

While I’ve had my share of fabulous Internet finds, the thrill of actually acquiring one still hasn’t faded after all these years. But it doesn’t feel entirely real until it arrives at your front door:

Initially I thought he was one of that class of models where a production color has been altered in some way, usually with the addition (or more rarely, the absence of) an additional layer of factory paint. You see them every once and a while – Chestnuts turned into Bays, Palominos turned into Buckskins.

One of the more recent Special Runs of this type was Koh-I-Noor, a 2018 Web Special on the Totilas mold that was created from leftover pieces from the 2017 Christmas Horse Winter Wonderland.

There are lots of Test Colors of this type that were created in the 1970s and early 1980s, presumably by employees. I also suspect that the small number of Production Run models that were issued in both Palomino and Bay probably had some flawed Palominos turned into Bays, though I’d classify those more as oddities or variations than actual Test Colors. 

So when I bought this Five-Gaiter, I assumed he was one of that subcategory of models, presumably a Sorrel with added black points (among other things). Even his braids are white and red, just like a typical #52 Sorrel Five-Gaiter.

No, this dude is way weirder than that, and I’m not just referring to the arbitrarily added chain reins. He has a masked blaze – like several Five-Gaiter releases in the late 1980s and early 1990s, such as Wing Commander – and his color definitely has yellow undertones you don’t see in your average vintage Breyer Sorrel. He also has tri-colored eyes similar to the lizard-like “bi-eyes” that were experimented with in 1995, though more neatly rendered. 

You know who he most reminds me of, though? Releases like the Half-Year Shams in the early 1990s, including the infamous “Green Bay” Sham from the #3163 Arabian Stallion and Foal Gift Set. He has the same gray overspray that’s meant to add depth and shading to the base color, but just turns the entire model a weird muddled shade of greenish-gray, instead.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this guy was simply a model that wasn’t so much designed, but experimented upon. In other words, he’s not a Test Color, but a Test Subject. 

And as such, so much more fascinating to me than fancier, more modern Test Colors.