Sunday, December 19, 2021

Micro Run Madness

Just another reminder here that while there have been cases where I have sometimes been extremely exasperated by the direction of online speculation about future releases, I have never intentionally revealed anything in advance that I did actually have knowledge about. 

Zugspitze is here, but like my other Christmas gifts – including a set of Carbide Scrapers, and a Mini Hand Jigsaw – he won’t be opened until Christmas Day. Not that I’m expecting any sort of surprise within, I just want to open something on Christmas besides the Breyer e-mail.

Not that I’ll be getting around to using my new customizing tools any time soon; I’m currently making halfway decent progress on several long-term sewing projects as I’m also trying to catch up on a couple years’ worth of TV shows I’m rather dreadfully behind on.

(Yes, I’m multitasking while watching TV. I know I have a problem!)

But let’s get back to the Blue Bull Bunyan. 

This is the first Web Special Micro Run in a while – since Waban, I believe, in early 2019. There have been Micro Runs since, but they’ve either been straight-up Raffle Models, Prizes or variations/surprises within larger Special Runs, or tied to Exclusive Events. 

Web Special Micro Runs have been problematic since their inception nearly ten years ago. Early examples like the Lusitano and the Moose Ghost were sold on a first-come, first-served basis, which favored people who were at the right place at the right time – and had the money on hand to make it happen.

Then they switched to the online raffle distribution method, and that’s when things really went haywire. It happened very quickly: I don’t think I need to reiterate what happened with the Polled Hereford Bull Marshall, but it wasn’t pretty. 

Collectors who didn’t give two patoots about the models in question entered anyway, because the stakes were low (entering is free!) and the short-term financial rewards for flipping were high.

Now that’ve we’ve entered this current period of massive model speculation, I am genuinely fearful of the aftermath of this particular Micro Run drawing. How bad is it going to get?

Some of the prices of previous Micro Runs have been mitigated by the fact that many of them were on molds with a rather narrow fanbases: once the handful of people who were both sufficiently motivated and financially willing to buy them at elevated prices did so, the market flattened out. Prices didn’t necessarily get better, but they didn’t get… worse. And they can still occasionally be found for sale.

That hasn’t been the case with others, like the aforementioned Marshall, and (cringe) the Brighty Cornelius. All the bullet points suggest that Bunyan will fall in the later category: a popular Decorator color, on a rarely used mold that also happens to be a Bull.

Right around the holidays, when a lot of people are looking for a little extra cash to spend. 

I’m not getting my hopes up, because I know better. But I seriously considered – and had, within my means – almost completing my collection of the Walking Horned Hereford Bull this year. 

All I really needed before Bunyan was the Woodgrain, the Chalky variation of the original release, and Colton. While I consider the Vault Sale Colton a lost cause, several examples of both the Woodgrain and the Chalky have turned up in the past year that I either just missed out on or hesitated about. 

I’ve had a pretty good year, model-wise, so I shouldn’t complain too much, and maybe things will be fine and people won’t be too terrible. But still, not the way I hoped to close out the year, hobby-wise.   


Anonymous said...

I didn't win, entered for a friend. List is up and the flippers are at it already.

Flippers just disgust me. I wanted Zug so bad, didn't win, and cannot afford secondary prices. And this is one who will never go down in price. :(

Anonymous said...

I feel the same. Haven't won anything in years.

ANDREA said...

I didn't win either.

I wasn't expecting to, but it still stings. (Hugs my unopened shipping box with Zuggy in it.)

All we can do at this point is wait for the collectibles market to eventually implode. It will: it always does. In the end, the only people who make money on collectibles are the ones who manufacture them.

Vajarra said...

Well both the breyer blogs I follow got a Zug and I didn't :( i really like the bull and wasn't picked for him either.

Suzanne said...

For this reason, I'm in favor of people customizing to mimmic the OF's. As long as they don't try to pass them off as OF'S...

And I wonder how bad things will have to get before this market implodes. The worse things get, the more tightly people cling to comforting objects.