Saturday, December 31, 2022

Holiday Leftovers

Feeling a little overwhelmed: aside from getting the second Shingles shot yesterday, I also had to work this week. While I certainly appreciate the extra money, it’s put me a little bit behind on my end-of-the-year activities. 

I have to keep reminding myself to not multitask. And to also stop looking at various photos of carriages, sleighs, chariots and other horse-drawn vehicles, because I do not have time for that nonsense, no sir. Work on your taxes like you had planned all along, girl!

And quilting. I managed to finish one yesterday, and another today. Neither one particularly well, but as my Art School instructors drilled into our heads: done is better than not done

(Only 35 more to go, LOL.)

I passed on the $200 Grab Bags. I’m sure they’ll be at least decent, but as I’m going through all my sales and purchases for the year because of the tax paperwork, I can see that my purchases are significantly outweighing my sales. Which may be contributing to that feeling of overwhelmingness. 

Gabriel was supposed to arrive on Tuesday, but he showed up this afternoon. While I appreciated his punctuality, that’s when I knew he was going to be a loose-maned version:

He, and the other colors I’ve seen on the Internet are very reminiscent of vintage anodized aluminum from the 1950s and 1960s, especially the purple ones. 

There’s been some suggestion that the Gabriels might be overpainted BreyerFest Nikolases, and considering how thick and automotive-like the paint is, that’s certainly a possibility, at least with the loose-maned ones. 

Though I think it was more likely that they were molded at the same time as Nikolas, and painted a little bit later (September, according to the VIN). I don’t doubt some leftovers from the BreyerFest run could have been added in to supplement the run.

As I am rather fond of anodized aluminum (I’m very much a Midcentury Modern girl!), and I may consider chasing down the rest of the set in the future, if and when I get things a little more under control here. In the meantime, the next two days are going to be nothing but quilting and taxes. And sleeping, of course. 

In a little BreyerFest news…

I found it a little odd that the G2 Standardbred wasn’t included in the One-Day Stablemate selection for next year’s BreyerFest. But as I’ve pointed out before, Breyer has way more Standardbred or Standardbred-adjacent molds than most of us realize, so I am going to assume that we’ll see at least one of them somewhere in the lineup.

Hopefully not as one of the prizes or raffle pieces, because my luck is nonexistent there. I briefly did a deep dive in the research between success and luck yesterday, and it was just as depressing as I thought it would be. When it comes to model horses, I am definitely not a part of the 20 percent who end up with 80 percent of the goodies!

Off to bed early again, hoping to feel a little bit better tomorrow. I’m kind of amazed I managed to get anything done at all today, all things considered. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Little Miracles

After a few minutes of consideration, I decided to buy a Gabriel anyway. Mostly predicated on the assumption that Tahoe is very clearly not happening for me. 

I have no preference on the color, though I am intrigued by the braided mane change on the purple and gold ones. I haven’t been a big fan of the alternate braided manes on molds like Roxy, Idocus or Newsworthy, but it looks nice on Nikolas – in fact, I think I like it better than the loose mane version!

They upped the quantity of “Coals” to 24 this year, and I am going to presume that they are equally divided between loose and braided mane variations. I’d love to be able to find out in person, but I am not counting on that at all, especially since I already had my Christmas “miracle”:

FWIW, I did actually gasp when I opened it!

This is the first time I’ve ever pulled a Chase piece from a non-Walmart Blind Bag assortment in the wild. Judging from the state of the box when I found it, it had been gone through at least once before, obviously by someone in search of the metallic “Ultra Chase”, because all 24 pieces in the box were present and accounted for. 

There was no method to my madness: after I had groped for all the missing pieces from the standard Mystery Horse Surprise Series 3 and threw in a couple extras just for funsies, I literally grabbed the first Croi-corn I felt in the Mystery Unicorn Surprise box and headed to the checkout. 

(I bought a big bag of taffy, too, but I do that every time I go to that store because it’s the only place in a 20-mile radius that sells the good stuff, and I’m too cheap to buy it on the Internet.)

Other than that, I spent most of the 4-day weekend binge-watching my shows (yes, Strange New Worlds is as good as they say it is!) and working on a couple of long-term sewing projects. 

I was mildly surprised that they announced a second BreyerFest Diorama Contest – an online one, to complement the in-person one – though I am just as hesitant to enter it as the original. I think I’ll stick to my current plan of live showing and customizing, depending on how the beginning of the year shakes out. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Box

Still no Tahoe, which should come as no surprise. Elsa has arrived, and guess what, I am totally dorked out about the box she came in:

The Big Poodle is on it!

I know it probably means… nothing. The Big Poodle – as opposed to the Small Poodle, which has had a few releases since its rediscovery in the 1990s – has been out of production for nearly fifty years now, longer than any other animal mold other than the German Shepherd (who is damaged, and not functional), the Modernistic Buck and Doe (who are just plain weird). 

I suppose the In-Between Mare still counts as the Queen of All This: she was out of commission for nearly 60 years before she came back. 

The Big Poodle was in production, in one color or another, for about 15 years. It was officially released in 1958, but it was also for sale in Christmas catalogs and magazine advertisements by late 1957. Which would have made some sense back then: Poodles – both as pets, and as decorative accents – were very much a thing in the 1950s. If the mold was ready for production in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season, why delay the release and miss all those potential sales?

Especially since their first attempt – the mold now known as the “Small Poodle” – failed to find a market a couple years earlier.

By the 1970s, Poodles were no longer as popular as they once were, and with the looming oil crisis making Cellulose Acetate hard to come by, the Poodle mold was one of many things that ended up getting the axe in 1973. Anyone who has owned a Breyer Poodle or two knows that they are pretty hefty – usually scaling up at around a pound. 

For comparison, the Proud Arabian Stallion – one of the hottest new molds of the early 1970s – comes in at a rather svelte 11 ounces. In other words, you could make about three Proud Arabian Stallions for every two Poodles!

But anyway, I was momentarily excited by the possibility that the Big Poodle might return – if you’ve been to my house, you know I have a lot of these big boys – but the economics of it are probably just as unfeasible now as they were in the early 1970s.

Stranger things have happened: I don’t think most of us (even me!) expected the IBM to return. 

(The question is… when next? LOL’ing if she turns out to be this year’s XMAS surprise…)

(Honest, though, I’m just as much in the dark as you all.)

Thursday, December 22, 2022


They’re already releasing the contest information for next year’s BreyerFest, and I have to admit that I am kind of stumped about what to do about any of it. 

The “Driving the World Forward” Diorama Contest wants us to create a diorama “that recreates a scene depicting an innovation or invention that drove the world forward”. That’s pretty… vague, though I’d be hesitant to venture very far from the transportation-related suggestions they throw at us in the first paragraph of the contest page. 

And since most of my ideas are not transportation-related, I’m not sure I should even give it much more thought. I’ve been down that road way too many times, with not a lot on my trophy shelf to show for it.

The Customs Contest is what it is, but I was a little bummed by the Theme Class: Dressed to Impress. It’s not about customizing, but tackmaking?! 

Tackmaking is not customizing; it’s not even remotely the same skill set. If they wanted to have a tackmaking contest, they should have just done that and not wedged it into another unrelated competition.

Man, I can’t believe I am this annoyed by a class I’d never enter anyway. Now if the class had been about customized models with sculpted-on tack or accessories, now that I could have gotten into...

Even though the earliest model horses for the Post-WWII consumers market had molded-on tack – hello, Breyer Western Horse and Hartland Champ! – sculpted or molded-on tack has generally been frowned upon in customizing circles. 

In recent years, some customizers have been making novelty customs with sculpted bits of tack, clothing and costumes, and customizing carousel horses has become popular enough that they now offer more than one class about it at BreyerFest. 

So a class that focused on customs with sculpted-on tack and accessories would have been trendy, challenging and also within the already established parameters of this contest, which is supposed to be about… pushing the boundaries of customizing Breyer horses. 

Anyway, that would have been my input into designing this contest class, but they didn’t ask me. And probably rightly so: I haven’t finished a custom in years! 

I might still think about entering the Fantasy Class, because I have a couple of ideas that might work, if I can find the time. And assuming that they’ll seriously consider an entry that’s more than 5 to 10 percent actual Breyer parts. 

I want to do them, regardless; it is just a matter of whether I want to give myself another deadline next year.

Sorry so cranky, my homies. This year’s version of Snowpocalypse is coming and I made the mistake of going into a grocery store last night to pick up a few things – more goodies to add to the charcuterie platter I’m making myself to kick off the extended holiday break – and I had a total derp moment wondering why the dairy section was so empty. 

Oh, and no Tahoe for me, either. That doesn’t make me angry, though, just mildly annoyed. Who are these people who think it’s totally reasonable to spend $400 to $500 on a 1000-piece Special Run? That’s Vintage Kinda-Rare Woodgrain money! 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Little Extra Something

I bought another box lot. I wasn’t planning on it, it just happened to turn up during my five-minute daily shopping scans. And I couldn’t pass it up because it was really cheap – as in, I could sell all of them as body box models and still make a profit kind of cheap – but I think most of them are better than that. (I’m good either way: my body box was absolutely decimated at BreyerFest, and I could use a restock.) 

I’m going to try and behave next year and keep my purchases – Vintage and New – to a minimum, because of the usual lack of both time and space. Other than Stablemates, because there’s always room for Stablemates! 

As a matter of fact, I had to do a bit of holiday shopping yesterday, and during the trip I picked up a slew of blind bags from the local not-a-Tractor-Supply store. They were 40 percent off, and I wanted to give myself something to open up on Christmas Day, besides the Breyer Christmas Day Special Run e-mail. 

That I’ll make an effort to actually be up on time to see it before it sells out. But will I buy it? 

It depends. If it’s something like Emma, of course. But if not, it’ll have to be something really spectacular, but my brain is kind of jelly from the writing project I’ve been focused on all week, so I can’t even think what that could be. Something small and pony-ish, I assume. 

Astrid? Misty? Aristocrat? Seems a little too early for Nikolas. Personally, I’d go totally Retro and pick the Western Pony: the Palomino Groomer was a Christmas Catalog staple for over a decade in the 1950s and 1960s. Put him in an assortment of Deco colors – the original four, Charcoal, Silver or Rose Gold Charm/Filigree, whatever. 

Though I suppose that probably won’t work, since it did come in solid gloss black back in the day, too. Racehorse? Kennebec Count? Khemosabi? Another Christmas Kitten? 

I’m out of ideas, LOL. 

Here’s a few recent arrivals – more Stablemates, of course!

The Mini Fireheart is a Fireheart; while I understand why they decided to go a little outrageous for this release, I’m looking forward to the more realistic colors on the mold that I am sure are already in the pipeline. 

I’m undecided on the new little Haflinger; he’s better (more detailed) in person than his online photos suggest, but he does seem a little generic? He reminds me a lot of a Family Arabian Mare custom I lost the plot on a few years ago. (In a good way: the FAM is way more interesting to customize than hobbyists give her credit for.)

I do like Kit’s fancy clip pattern, though. I generally don’t: while I think they can be awesome when they’re properly executed on a custom, they tend to look goofy on Original Finish pieces. That’s because they’re usually just painted on, with no attempt to render the textural element. It kind of gives them a slightly discordant “My Little Pony” vibe.

It kind of works with Kit, because he definitely needs a little extra something. I can see this mold wearing some wild colors and patterns in its future, and wearing them well. 

And speaking of a little extra something, that would describe the 2023 Stablemate Club bonus model Nero, on the new mini Georg/Giorgio:

That’s a mold that doesn’t need fancy clothes, but I appreciate the effort! His bigger brother, of course, was a big hit at the 2020 BreyerFest as the impressive semi-leopard Noriker Oak.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Batting .500

In a note almost completely unrelated to the rest of the post, I am mildly shocked that the Zombie Snowman Classic Rearing Mustang Neva is sold out. I am not so enamored of him that I have to buy one at a jacked up price elsewhere on the Internet, though.

Speaking of…

Well, I was half right: they made 1000 of him:

I mean, yeah, he’s pretty, but let’s not kid ourselves here: even though they made 1000 of him, the aftermath of this drawing is going to be Marshall (the notorious Micro Run Polled Hereford Bull) level ugly. I would not be surprised if several hundred of them end up getting listed for sale within the first hour or so of the drawing.

Some will sell because many hobbyists can’t be patient, thus ensuring that the cycle will continue on, ad infinitum. 

Look, most of my life I didn’t have the money to not be patient, and I’m not about to change. Plastic horses are frivolous things, and life goes on perfectly well with or without them. (Or so I tell myself.)

There are way too many Silver Filigree releases – some of them nigh unattainable – for me to be a completist at this point, so I am not going to get too worked up if I don’t get drawn for Tahoe. This is very likely: I don’t usually get picked for the “popular” ones, though I did get Zugspitze last year somehow. So I don’t have a lot to complain about, really? 

I’ll just put my entry in, and worry about it when the time comes.

Since I don’t plan on being online too much in the next couple of weeks – I’m planning to staying as offline as possible through the end of the year to get some real-world things done – I’ll probably miss most of the drama, thankfully. 

Though I may stream some Star Trek stuff over the holiday break while I finish prepping that massive hexagon quilt project: I received a year’s subscription to Paramount Plus as an early Christmas present, and I’ve heard so many good things about Strange New Worlds

This week I’m trying a new sleep schedule to improve my productivity. It worked out great yesterday, but day two has been some tough sledding. I think I’ll hit the sack a couple hours early and try it again tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

A Little Hope

Just out of curiosity, I did a really quick survey of Elsas for sale (quick because I don’t really have time for shopping: I generally do quick five-minute skims for box lots and Belgians, and that’s about it):

24 on eBay (4 sold), 23 on MH$P. I have no idea on Facebook, because I don’t have an account (and please stop asking, people!) 

It’s an interesting but academic metric, since I was selected for one. 

The current betting line is that the Silver Filigree will be offered shortly after the initial purchase date for Elsa, which is the 15th. Absolutely everyone seems to think it’s Hamilton, but as I explained before, I think he’s replaced Othello and Silver as the mold everybody guesses for everything. 

Not unless they’re going to be offering at least a thousand of them. Which is entirely possible, but I’d like to think they be a little more imaginative with their mold selections when it comes to Winter Decorator Horses. 

I’m going to take a wait and see approach to it, though. Even though I promised myself to keep my purchases to a minimum until the end of the year, somehow all these packages keep showing up on my doorstep, including one with the Bouncer Hope in it:

Hey, it was a part of a half-price offer through Good Morning America, and I threw in some of the Stablemates I didn’t already have (including those goofy Wooden Stables) to get the free shipping. At that price, I couldn’t afford not to buy something!

I was surprised how iridescent the Hope is: her “pinto” markings glow like Mother of Pearl. The box is interesting, too: apparently it was designed to minimize plastic in the packaging?

Although I am usually in favor of more environmentally friendly packaging, speaking as a quilter, the plastic sheeting I salvage from the standard display boxes comes in quite handy for cutting templates. 

Especially for some of the multi-pieced affairs I’ll be mired in early next year. (Imagine a hexagonal quilt with 18 blocks of 55 pieces each. All handpieced, because doing hexi quilts by machine is more trouble than it’s worth!)

I wish I could collect the Bouncer mold more actively, but with the Tom Thumb, all the Gloss Prize models, Bilberry and the Boca, I’ll just have to stick to the handful of semi-affordable ones, which includes…

(looks around the Internet)

… just the Pink Magnum, apparently. Well, so much for even that notion. Maybe there will be something affordable at BreyerFest next year.  

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Elsa and Other Madness

Just a general head’s up here, guys: I’m not in a mood to put up with anyone else’s nonsense for the next week or so. I’m not singling out anyone in particular – everyone in my orbit is being undelightful to be around, and I am going to be charitable and chalk it up to the season, both holiday and weather. 

The darkest times of the year sometimes bring out the darkest parts of us all. 

Go get yourselves some sun lamps, go for a walk, go fire up the Dremel drill and cut up a random body in your body box. Just do something besides getting yourselves riled up over something you read on the Internet. 

(In case you’re interested, I’ll working on an old string pieced quilt top this weekend, whenever I’m not toiling away on a work project.)

I like Elsa. I think she’d make a lovely companion to my beloved BreyerFest Celtic Fling Special Run Angus Bull Hamish. I would still have preferred any other animal (especially since she was already used for another Holiday Animal Special Run in 2017, the Gold Charm Eldora and Sol), but Breyer Cattle collectors are nothing if not devout and loyal buyers:

I do not care that they’re making 1000 pieces of her. I am uninterested in her future resale value: that’s not how I roll. If Reeves thinks they can sell 1000 of her, that’s their business. If they discover that they’ve made a mistake, they’ll eat the loss, learn the lesson, and move on.

I didn’t think they’d sell nearly 500 pieces of that black and gold polka-dotted Bighorn Ram, but they did. I didn’t get picked, and I know I wasn’t the only one. (I’m good, guys: I have no burning desire for one. Bunyan, on the other hand…)

Elsa is prettier, and glossy, and on a Cattle mold, so I understand some of the mathematics behind the decision. I am not keen on the price, but I suspect that they did not have enough bodies lying around since the last time they used her in 2017, and firing up an infrequently used mold is not cheap. (And also not something you do for a few hundred pieces.) 

If the increased production numbers manage to suppress the urges (or profit margins) of potential flippers, more power to them. It’s depressing enough to see so many people so willing to cough up such enormous sums of money for certain rarities (like the Ponies and Palm Trees Centerpiece Afgana, ugh.) 

Even though I’m pretty good at securing rarities myself, I also have resources and a knowledge base that is not typical of most hobbyists. 

I’d rather more people get what they want, rather than the same handful of collectors not only getting what they want, but dictating the market prices for the rest of us.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Try, Try Again

I forgot to mention my favorite purchase in my Black Friday Box of Goodies: the sparkly sequined blanket! That Extra Pearly Gray Jet Run I found earlier this year was the obvious choice to model it: 

I’m not much of a tack person – new horses always trump a new bit of tack – but I do have a hard time resisting sequins. And also glitter: I may be one of the few collectors out there that doesn’t mind the glitterized manes and tails of many recent Unicorn releases. 

I haven’t gone as far as adding glitter to my actual customs, but that’s because I, uh, rarely finish them? But let’s not talk about that…

Since I was in Florida at the time and trying to minimize my time in the mundane world (which was part of the reason for the trip) the announcement about the newest entrants in this year’s Toy Hall of Fame almost completely flew by me.

We obviously didn’t make it in again, this year. 

While I do not have any personal animosity towards the property or its fandom, I am slightly annoyed by Masters of The Universe getting in before us. 

Mostly because, for better or worse, MOTU has often been portrayed in a negative light in popular (non-nerd) as an example a cartoon designed to sell toys. As a lifelong advocate for a toy that (a) has twice as much history, and (b) has thrived in spite of a nearly non-existent media presence, it does sting a bit.

It may have also been complicated by the possible stigma of horses being considered a “girl thing”. Like it or not, “girl things” are often seen as of less worthy of inclusion everywhere in any discussion about historical or cultural relevance.

For what it’s worth, I do think we actually got fairly close this year; we might even be in the same position Masters of the Universe was in a few years ago. I saw Breyer mentioned prominently in several stories about this year’s entries, and I myself became a (very) minor Fandom phenom talking about it back in September. 

Where Fandom goes, public interest generally follows.

As far as what we can do to make it actually happen next time, all I can say is what I’ve been saying for years: do what you can to increase public awareness. If people ask you what your hobby is, don’t deflect: just talk about it like any other person talks about their favorite activities! 

The more familiarity there is of the brand, and the hobby, the more public opinion will turn to our side. Pulling in some of those stragglers might just get us over the finish line next time.

I know it’s a hard thing for a lot of hobbyists to talk about the hobby in public; it’s never been an issue for me because I was born weird and never recovered. But I also think not talking about it creates a self-perpetuating problem: if we don’t talk about it because we think people will think it’s weird, the fact that we don’t talk about it makes people think we think it’s weird.

(Now there’s a sentence to end a post on!)

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Treading Water

This entire week I’ve felt like I’ve been treading water. I’m sure if I went back and documented everything, I’d feel otherwise.

Let’s see: I completed one quilt top, finished prepping another, and I’m making good progress on a third that I want to get to the block stage by next weekend. So, not actually unproductive? Interesting.

Some of it is the season, I’m guessing: with my schedule and the weather, all the days are kind of blending together into one gray mass. And there’s the fact that I’m experiencing a lull in my social activities/travel calendar. Sitting in the basement and binge-watching documentaries, as entertaining as that is, is not really a good replacement for human interaction. 

Since I am in a bit of a mood here, I decided to open up all my blind bag Stablemates. First up, the three Mystery Horse Surprises (Series 3) that were a part of my Black Friday order:

I like the little Loping Quarter Horse, but why couldn’t one of them be the Ultra Rare Metallic Chase? Just one of those darn things, is all I’m asking for…

The local farm store that’s not Tractor Supply just got a box in, so it looks like I might be spending a little time there in the next few days fondling bags to find the remainders. The two I definitely need – the Icelandic and the Reiner – shouldn’t be too difficult to pick out of the crowd. I don’t know if I want to risk grabbing more of the Loping Quarter Horse, though; my luck doesn’t run that way.

How about the Merry & Brights?

Yay, two different! After looking at everyone else’s online, I was hoping for the Irish Warmblood/Corbin, because his color was super-neat, but I am not displeased with the ones I got. The metallic purple color on the Mirado is really pretty, and I hope they use it more often elsewhere. 

And finally, the Appaloosa Sport Horse on the Corbin/Irish Warmblood mold. I had found all of the other Stablemates in that assortment at one of my local toy stores earlier this year, but he was missing – and remained so, until he recently reappeared on the web site shortly before the Black Friday sale. 

He is very attractive in this color, I will admit, but I’m a little in the dark about why he, of all the Stablemates in that assortment, was the difficult to find one. Is it because he is showing well? I have no idea.

A lot of what drives the popularity of some of the newer molds and releases is a mystery to me, which is probably why I haven’t had as much success as others while live showing them. That’s something I’m thinking about working on, for the new year. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Gaiter Bait

I was very fortunate to get the one model (aside from the Centerpiece, which will never happen ever) I wanted out of the event, the Cremello Five-Gaiter Okeeheelee:

(I only just realized today that the Park he’s named after is… full of ‘gators. Nice one, guys!)

I had decided that this was going to be the year I was going to finally acquire those Gloss Alabaster/Albino and Palomino Five-Gaiters that had eluded me all these years. Especially since all the Saddlebred love now belongs to Hamilton, who appears to have replaced both Othello and Silver as the model on everybody’s BreyerFest Surprise Model bingo card.

(Except mine. It’s going to be a while, guys. Seriously.)

But until I got Okeeheelee, it looked like the year was going to be a washout. I kept missing all the good ones – online, and in person – sometime by minutes. Like most models (and most recently, my Alabaster Proud Arabian Stallion) it looks like I’ll have to bide my time until the right ones come along.

So I was plenty pleased – and a bit worried – when I saw Okeeheelee, sitting there right in that sweet spot in between Albino and Palomino. He was my first choice, and my luck in getting picked near the front of lines is generally not good. The same goes with cremellos, sometimes in the most bizarre ways: it took me a year to finally get the “ordinary” Uffington, because the Holographic Silver just had to happen.

I got so lucky: I was seventh in line! I probably shouldn’t have worried, since everyone was having a conniption over the Bouncer, who would have been my first choice if the Gaiter hadn’t been there.

A few more thoughts about the trip itself…

Three things I miss about Florida:

The weather, obviously. Other than the hurricane part: snow is much easier to shovel than water. I spent a lot of my extended Thanksgiving weekend buried under a pile of blankets. 

Secondly, my friends – or more precisely, getting to hang out with other humans I can have interesting conversations with. And by interesting conversations I mean the engineering of stagecoaches, notable Florida Thoroughbreds, or the differences between Puerto Rican-bred and Colombian-bred Paso Finos. You know, normal stuff.

My family doesn’t really want to hear about the horses anymore (something I’m sure some of you might understand), and all my coworkers talk about are reality shows, football and their hair, three things I could not care less about if you paid me to.

And finally: passing as a reasonably put-together and competent person. I sometimes (okay, often) deal with Imposter Syndrome, and being able to walk around and not feel like a completely out-of-place weirdo was nice. 

I get a little of that at BreyerFest, too – the Imposter feeling, not the not-a-weirdo feeling, because I completely lean into the weird in Kentucky – but as I’m not on Facebook (or even the Internet all that much, lately) I managed to avoid knowing who else was going to be present in Florida (with a couple of exceptions). 

So I walked into that situation without any preconceived notions of how I had to behave or who to expect. Kind of like a real vacation, except with the happy coincidence of some of friends coming along for the ride. (In two cases, quite literally!)

And as I mentioned before, all the freaking out at the CSRs in the days leading up to the event also probably helped.

Time to crawl back under those thick, heavy blankets, and look at seed catalogs. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

More Exceptions To The Rule

Pretty excited about this little bag of mostly Hartland Tinymites!

I’m hoping there are at least some upgrades in here somewhere. (I see no Barkies, alas. I really need more Barkies!) If not, I’ll still have fun cleaning them up and sorting them out for the sales list.

Yes, I am a dork. Is that even a question? 

Here’s the other item that came with it, a lovely early Alabaster Proud Arabian Stallion with extra shading. He’s not perfect-perfect, but he’s pretty close, and I couldn’t argue with his price one bit:

That now means I have examples of the Proud Arabian Stallion in all three of his original release colors in acceptable – or more than acceptable – condition. 

That is not the case with the Proud Arabian Mare, and I doubt it ever will be. I find that bothersome, but not enough to spend the extra money to change that. I’ll find them at a price I’m comfortable with, and not a moment sooner.

(I have a lovely Dapple Gray, an adequate Mahogany Bay, and nicely shaded but battered Alabaster. And let’s not even discuss the Chalky variations…)

As I’ve mentioned several times before, vintage Alabasters are notoriously difficult to find in good condition, and the Proud Arabians are no exception. Considering the popularity of those molds in the 1970s, maybe even moreso!

I can’t count how many Alabaster Proud Arabian Stallions I’ve had in my collecting lifetime, but it’s been a lot, and they’ve come with the full gamut of problems: heavily yellowed, rubs, chipped ears, weird paint flaws, or (most commonly) scuffs galore. 

I also wanted an earlier example, rather than a later one: ones manufactured near the end of his production run in 1981 only had a bit of shading on the mane, tail, head and hooves. Very early examples – like the new guy – obviously have significantly more. 

The new guy isn’t quite as heavily shaded as some I’ve seen, but other than that (and a few stray marks) I have nothing to complain about. And he’s so white, he nearly glows! I am very happy to have made an exception for him. 

I also bought some Stablemates and a few random accessories (socks and blankets) from Breyer’s Black Friday sale: combined with a new mini Shop Vac I purchased in a store on actual Black Friday (half price!), that will probably comprise my Christmas Gift to myself this year.

Friday, November 25, 2022


More strangeness in my life: I think I might have sold a vintage quilt to a kinda famous quilting world person? I was packing up a couple of eBay sales earlier this week and did a double take on one of the labels!

It was a beautiful vintage African-American summer top that needed extensive repairs. I purchased it years ago at the local flea market, hoping to make those repairs myself. But in my efforts to get my sewing projects under control, I made the decision to let it go to someone with more time and/or technical skills.

I’m sure I’ll see it again someday. Probably in a magazine I’ll be skimming while standing in the checkout line at Kroger, or something…

Back to horse stuff. Or more specifically, mule stuff:

Some of my fellow Ponies & Palm Trees attendees were a little dismissive of the Green Group models, presumably because of their similarity to earlier releases: the 2015 Limited Edition Jubilation for the Mule Greenacres, and the 2008 Just About Horses Special Run Party Girl for the Strapless Sarong. 

And also, I suppose, their lower potential resale value. (This notion always blows my mind. Unless you happen to also be a retailer, Breyer is under no obligation to help hobbyists make money.)

I’ve been on a bit of a Brown Sunshine kick recently, so it was pretty clear to me that I’d be coming home with the Mule, regardless of secondary market. With the secondary being so messed up now, who’s to say if I even made a “bad” decision, anyway? It’s not like he’s going anywhere anytime soon.

The only member of the entire lineup that didn’t do anything for me was the Duende Golden Sunset; I have no special attachment to the mold (though I wouldn’t mind getting a Fabio, some day) and I wasn’t overly enamored of the color on him. Although my heart was set on the Cremello Five-Gaiter from the get-go (and I got him!), I would have been happy with the Solid Bay Belgian too, the only mold left in the leftovers from the Blue Group.

I am going to assume that the fact that the two Vintage molds used for this event just happened to be the very same ones I decided to focus on collecting this year was purely coincidence. (And I almost got both. So close!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Shiny and Bright

I have nothing worthwhile to contribute to the model horse conversation today, other than the fact that I bought a lot of stuff today that I shouldn’t. 

In my defense, I have been dealing with a lot of very dumb people recently, and at least one of the purchases (a box lot) will yield me a small profit, once I pull out what I want from it. 

That’s a good way to salvage a kind of crummy week, especially since I haven’t had an opportunity to intentionally make a lot of purchases for resale purposes. (The Sarong is still very much up in the air.)

The Merry and Bright Stablemates were a “for myself” purchase, not a “for profit” one, unless I get two identical pieces. I like them all, and the colors are neat, and very reminiscent (probably deliberately so!) of vintage Shiny Brite Christmas ornaments. 

I’ve decided against getting the Collector’s Club Gloss Palomino Emerson Chadwick – not because I don’t want him (I do!) or can’t afford him (I can!) but because I’m prioritizing my hobby money until the end of the year. If I do make any hobby purchases, I want that money to go towards Vintage items, rather than new ones. 

I’ve had very good luck finding high-quality Vintage items around this time of year, so it seems like a wise strategy.

Unlike the Stablemates, which is just an insane market in general, most Collector’s Club items are not particularly difficult to obtain second hand anyway (and in the case of recent special sales on the Breyer web site, first hand!), so I suspect my gamble will be a pretty safe one. 

I am slightly worried about the potential Winter Web Special animal, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, like I always do. Still hoping for a Dog mold, an Elk, or that Piebald Deer Family I have been clamoring for for years now. 

Another bull? Probably a pass, depending on the color scheme and actual mold used.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Luxuries of Time

Nothing particularly noteworthy to end the week on, other than (a) my clothes finally arrived in the mail from Florida and (b) it was a good week for Stablemates:

Premier Club Lyric, Deluxe Collector’s Club Ellington and the Exclusive Event Stablemate Del Rey. So hard to pick a favorite, they’re all pretty sweet!

The other items I acquired in Florida are still largely unpacked; I’ve been spending most of my spare time this week catching up on my sleep. This is the first week in ages where I have no immediate commitments or deadlines, and I’m going to take advantage of it while I can. 

And do normal human things. Read a book. Watch some TV. Finish embroidering some quilt blocks. (That particular project is so close to being done!)

While I do have several pictures of the Florida trip (and according to my coworkers, some of them can already be found on the Internet) I’m not sure I’ll be posting a lot of them here. While they’re not embarrassing per se, and I don’t mind pictures of myself being taken, I don’t like looking at pictures of me. It feels unnatural and super weird, like I’m looking at my own ghost. 

As for not telling you guys about the trip ahead of time, that was just a personal decision on my part. For one, I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was going to make it (my family history with the State of Florida, and all that) and well, I like the surprise. Just another footnote in my Year of Adventure.

If it happens again, I’ll be a little more forthcoming with my plans. (If anyone wants to come along for Wyoming, feel free to contact me. The more, the merrier!)

I didn’t get a centerpiece model – as I suspected, another unacquireable Polo Pony version of the Smarty Jones – but I was lucky enough to get one of the leftover models, the Strapless Sarong. I just missed getting the Belgian, dang it....

I didn’t even bother to unwrap her prior to packing her in my carry-on; I don’t dislike the mold by any means (I love my Bluegrass and my Pottery Barn Bay!) but reselling her to recoup the remainder of my trip expenses is a huge temptation. A temptation that would be easier to give into if I don’t spend too much time looking at her in any great detail.

I budgeted the heck out of this trip, so the short-term financial “hit” was not terrible at all. (In fact, I’m on track towards having my best year ever, monetarily.) So I have the luxury of time to make that decision, too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Light Housekeeping

Still recovering from Florida; aside from the weather, I work nights, so switching back to my vampire’s schedule can get a little messy. I should be back to “normal” in another day or two, I think. I have another five day weekend coming up next week that should help. (Thanksgiving, already?)

So today’s post is mostly housekeeping.

First: RIP Kevin Conroy. Every nerd has their Batman, and he was mine. I had hoped that, had there ever been a live-action Batman Beyond, he would have been able to also play him “in the flesh”. The closest we ever got was his depiction of a bitter, broken Batman from an alternative Earth in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event in the Arrowverse back in 2019. 

Second: It looks like I’ll have to take a pass on going to BreyerWest in Denver. The possibility of a couple of other trips has been dangled in front of me, including one overseas. More on them at a later date, if they transform into something beyond the hypothetical. I have a lot of other things to focus on, in the meantime.

Third: I apologize to any Customer Service Reps within earshot about my behavior in the two days prior to me leaving for Florida. I am not good on the phone even under the best of circumstances (I have telephonophobia), so having to make phone calls about a possible cancellation of a long-anticipated event just a few days before because the first ******* hurricane to hit Florida in November in nearly forty years is barreling straight towards your final destination is just about my worst case scenario.

The only positive outcome of all that was that I got all my anxiety out of the way before I arrived in West Palm Beach. I was so chill, in fact, that as I was going about my business on Friday afternoon I was mistaken for a resident. 

(Or maybe it’s just that I look very much like a Michigander, and so many of us move to Florida at some point, either permanently or temporarily, that we’re considered Appendix Floridians?)

And finally: my Atli arrived while I was away:

Breyer’s Silvers (the color, not the mold) are kind of hit or miss with me – with their Gloss Red Bay version first seen on the Uncalled For being a miss – but this fellow is just right! Incidentally, I managed to get a Lyric at the Early Access Black Friday Sale while I was down in Florida, after I finally remembered my web site password, LOL…

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Florida, Maybe?

If everything goes according to plan I shall be in Florida attending the Ponies & Palm Trees Exclusive Event this weekend.

It’s not looking so good as I write this, because of course it is. A hurricane this late in the season? More stuff that gets filed in the already overstuffed “weird **** that only happens to Andrea” folder. Great, just awesome. 

(Time to Google “Summer snowstorms in Wyoming” just in case, I guess...)

Though I suppose I should have anticipated to hit a few bumps in the road during my Year of Adventure. I mean I did: most of this trip is either free or (mostly) refundable, so I should not be worrying as much as I do, but I do. You plan for every contingency, and the Worst Case Scenario Gremlin pops up on the horizon and waves like an old friend, because he is. 

Why can’t that little dude take his own vacations and leave me the heck alone? (Okay fine, I didn’t see much of him in Chicago. But still!)

Anyway, enough with the doom and gloom. Maybe everything is cool and I am chilling with my friends in a semi-tropical environment that is not a post-apocalyptic landscape! Or maybe I am stranded in North Carolina reading a book. Or in my basement pouting, eating pizza rolls and waiting for a last minute virtual event. It will be an adventure regardless, even if it was not the one I was hoping for.

As a native Michigander, it’s almost a legal obligation to make at least one trip to Florida in your lifetime. There was one attempted family road trip in the late 1970s or early 1980s that got us as far as Tennessee before we turned back, but otherwise I have never been, until now. 

My brother was obsessed with Jacques Cousteau back then, so seeing the oceans and maybe the Manatees might have been a motivation, but I honestly don’t even remember the reason why we were going to go there in the first place. I know that my paternal grandfather had a place down there before he died (about ten years earlier), but I have no recollection if the trip was in any way related to that.

The opportunity to attend this event was presented to me, and since I had a friend who recently moved there and begged me to visit at least once, the stars aligned.

It’ll also been a good practice run for next year’s trip(s). It’s been a while since I’ve actually flown anywhere, and while BreyerWest is not impossible, it is a little impractical. I’m a warm weather person and flying to Colorado in February is not on my bucket list of travel destinations. 

See y’all on the other side.


I hope.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Atli, and Others

Unlike previous Gambler’s Choice releases in the Stablemates Club, I have no clear favorite among Atli’s four different color options: I like them all about equally, and I’ll be happy with whatever one I get!

I do love his name: it’s the Old Norse variation of Attila! The Hungarian part of me is pleased.

The bigger Stablemates news is that I finally picked up the last two Stablemates in the Dollar General set last week: I had to get some wrapping paper for the wedding shower, took a quick fly-by of the toy aisle and spotted them. 

You know, I think the Black Overo one is potentially live show quality! I have been thinking about going all-mini at a live show next year, just for the challenge...

It’s pretty clear now that these particular Stablemates are not nearly as rare as some hobbyists thought they were going to be. It should have been obvious, since they were being sold at Dollar General of all places, but sometimes what should be obvious, isn’t.

My life has been very instructive on this point.

That’s fine by me: I collect what I like even if it happens to be common. If anything, the existence of a lot of expensive or hard-to-obtain pieces dissuades me from pursuing things. That’s part of the reason why I don’t have many Silvers, Othellos, or Esprits. Just the ones I like, and (most importantly!) can afford.

Collecting is no fun if you can’t, you know, collect the things.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Dog Shaped, Dog Themed, or Just a Dog?

Ah, my head’s all messed up today! I had to do a double shift on Saturday, go to a wedding shower on Sunday, and deal with Daylight Savings Time on top of all that. And then the devastating news about Duran Duran… 

Today is still Monday, right?

At least I know I am not alone. This week promises to mess with the heads of all of us. I am kind of nervous about a potential Breyer Hall of Fame announcement, and might actually be mad if they don’t get in this time…

I didn’t bother entering for Kalahari; aside from trying to avoid any extraneous hobby purchases until the end of the year, I prefer dog-shaped Breyers to dog-themed ones. 

Speaking of Breyer Dogs, I’ve seen both the White Boxer and the Test Color Benji on eBay, yes. I’d love either (or both!) but their listing prices are a little out of my comfort zone. 

It’s become rather obvious that the White Boxer is not quite as rare as we thought it was, so I harbor a faint bit of hope I’ll randomly find one somewhere. 

Oh, and I’ve also seen that BreyerFest Test Color Donkey on eBay too. While it meets all my necessary criteria – it is a verifiable, documented BreyerFest Auction piece from before 2000 – the price is way too high, and I already have a Test Color Donkey anyway. 

For the record, I’m willing to go as high as $1200 to $1500 for an early BreyerFest Auction Test, but cheaper is always better, and I am not concerned about it being live show quality or not. I’d also prefer a mold I don’t already have a Test Color in, but I’m not going to turn down a Traditional Man o’ War or Trakehner if the price was right. 

I might be picky, but I am not stupid. 

I have a pretty busy week ahead of me, so that’s all for today, folks. 

Thursday, November 3, 2022


I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised to see them using a vintage mold – Chris Hess’s Trakehner – for next year’s BreyerFest Celebration Horse, Bravour 54:

The original Trakehner’s mold number is also 54, which I’m sure is just a happy coincidence.

As a big fan of the Hess Trakehner, I do have some mixed feelings about this mold selection. 

The first being that I still prefer the first version of the mold with his rougher coat and thinner tail. I suppose it’s possible that they might have a few unpainted bodies of the original mold floating around the warehouse, but I am going to assume that any models painted from these will be pricey and difficult to come by. 

The second one is that we know there will be Gloss Prize models of him: I do not have a good track record of obtaining these things. Even though the mold is not as popular as it once was, rare Glosses of almost anything drive collectors (and prices) mad.

(The prices for the Gloss Nikolases are still straight up ridiculous!)

And third – something I’m already starting to see – is that there’s going to be a backlash against using an older mold to begin with. And when I mean an older mold, I mean anything that predates Huckleberry Bey. And he was released in 1999!

Sure, there was a period in the mid to late 1980s and early 1990s – the immediate post-Hess period – where Reeves was still searching for suitable sculptors to replace him, with mixed results. 

But it is a little disheartening to see hobbyists and collectors being so dismissive of the first fifty or so years of Breyer’s output. The Trakehner’s underpinnings are a bit light in comparison to his body, and he’s not quite as clean or refined as newer molds, but I consider him one of Hess’s better efforts from that era. 

I just wish he showed better: I’ve got some darn fine examples, and they straight up get ignored in the show ring nowadays…

Some hobbyists also fail to realize that with most portrait models – and especially the Celebration Horse – the owners are actively involved in the development process. Newer molds may have been considered, and rejected. 

As I have said before, mostly in relation to the more recent Arabian releases, cleaner and more refined sculpts are not necessarily more realistic or accurate. 

When I took my car in for a bit of work at the dealership last week, I found out the service rep was also a horse person, and in fact owned a Paso Fino. I showed her a picture of the new Premier Club Paso Fino mold Cancion, but she much preferred El Pastor: the new Vivaldi de Besilu release looked just like her old mare!

And I have to say that the prototype for Bravour is also a pretty good likeness, too. Thumbs up from this old fart!

Monday, October 31, 2022

Behaving Myself

Looks more of the seasonal merchandise is finally in at Breyer, including the Neva that I’ve been eyeing:

There’s also another sequined blanket this year, but unlike the one that came in a gift set with Le Mer, you can buy it separately! (And it’s pink and yellow, one of my favorite quilting color combos!)

Breyer is definitely making it a challenge to behave myself.

But what’s really throwing me off is the Vintage Club announcement, and the picture of the first release in next year’s set, the Fury Prancer Rustler. Who also happens to be a Musicbox Prancer:

The surprise isn’t in the item itself – y’all know I’ve known about it for months, my homies – but that they just kinda-sorta snuck the reveal on the web site with all of the other stuff. For a couple of seconds there I was worried I had accidentally leaked something! 

(The line between me knowing things and predicting things is one I have to monitor constantly, as you may know.)

But anyways, I am glad the first release has been revealed. I’ve been wanting them to do a Musicbox Prancer for years now, and I am very pleased at the way he turned out.

I haven’t had the good fortune of owning a vintage Musicbox Prancer yet: like most things, it’s been a matter of either timing or money. While they are still hard to find, they’re not as rare as many collectors imagine them to be. 

Like Ranchcraft Lamps and various iterations of the Groomers, a higher percentage of them have survived because they had a purpose beyond being toys. Consequently, they were treated a little less roughly, and were less likely to incur the kind of serious damage that would get them thrown into the trash.

As for who and what’s in store for the rest of the 2023 Vintage Club lineup, you know the rules, guys: just wait and see. 

(I think it’s great, but I am also a little biased, LOL.)

Friday, October 28, 2022

Full Speed Ahead

Lately it seems like I’m running 1000 miles per hour, which wouldn’t mind so much if I didn’t suspect that there’s going to be a brick wall springing up out of the road at any minute. 

The new Premier Club mold Constantia is also going full tilt, though judging from the look on her face, I doubt nothing short of Inertron will stop her: 

It doesn’t seem like it, but there have been a decent number of Breyer Standardbred molds over the years. 

Well, okay, technically four, not counting CollectAs and things labeled or modeled after Standardbreds after the fact, like the 2010 BreyerFest Celebration Horse All Glory. Halla was part Standardbred, too, maybe I could count her as half...

Even so, that’s more than many other breeds have gotten!

It started with the original #46 Pacer in 1967, followed quickly by the #51 Adios in 1969. Then we got the Stablemate Standardbred in Kathleen Moody’s G2 mold assortment introduced in 1998. In 2000, the resin version of Sarah Rose’s Hambletonian was introduced, with a Crystal and MiniWhinny version eventually following. 

And now we have Constantia! (Is it any surprise to anyone that I’m calling her Johanna?)

Considering next year’s theme is “Driving Forward”, I strongly suspect that we’ll be seeing Constantia in next year’s BreyerFest Special Run lineup, though probably in a more conservative color. 

A Dapple Gray would be lovely, I think. I’m a big fan of Standardbreds in general, so I’d buy her in just about any color, regardless. Even Lemon Yellow Palomino Roan Pintaloosa.

That’s all I got today. I haven’t been sleeping well this week and it’s just about time for today’s attempt. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

More Ephemeral Things

The second Spooky Stablemate has arrived:

Yay, something different! I like the Stablemate version of Samhain better than the Traditional, but that’s because while I like Wixom just fine, I still pine for a pumpkin-themed original Hess Belgian instead. And the Stablemates Belgian mold reminds me a lot of him...

Even though I said I didn’t have any preferences when it came to the current crop of Halloween Stablemates, I was a little bummed that I didn’t get the Mischief Night: that’s the only one of the three that I have in its original, larger form. Alas, no twinsies for me!

I was a little more excited, actually, that I got this year’s Holiday Catalog:

Last year’s arrived mangled, and the year before I didn’t even get one at all, so getting a completely intact one was a happy surprise.

As a dedicated ephemera collector, I figure I’ll snag the 2020 (and a better copy of 2021) in somebody’s free box at BreyerFest one of these days. As much as I’d like to be an ephemera completist, they are not a thing I consider absolutely essential for research purposes.

I didn’t find a lot of paper freebies in Kentucky this year, mostly because I didn’t get in as much Clarion shopping as I wanted to. And when I did, the freebie boxes were pretty cleaned out. 

One thing I did pick up was this very amusing misprinted early Classic Racehorse box. It’s not in the best shape, but c’mon, how could I pass this up? 

“Quality Control was so much better in the old days.” Not really guys, not really!

The weather is going to be cooperative for the next couple of days, so I need to get hopping on all the photography I’ve been putting off. 

I’m aiming on reducing my inventory to half of what it currently over the next several months. Partly to accommodate the totes for a potential entry to BreyerFest Live next year, and also because of the big sewing project I have planned. 

I need to be ruthless with my overgrown fabric stash, and once I settle on some patterns, I intend on converting a lot of it into pony bags. Some to use (obviously) and the rest to sell at BreyerFest. Maybe even some to give away, depending on how productive I am. 

(Lately, not so much!)

Saturday, October 22, 2022

The Red Roan Mares

Why is everything so hard right now and taking three times as long as it should? Argh!

Oh yeah, I forget: it’s October. Me and October don’t mix. People who say their favorite season is Fall can politely stuff it. Keep your Pumpkin Spice nonsense, I prefer seasons with green growing things!

Anyway, here’s the story of the Red Roan Running Mares I promised.

When I first got into the hobby, I was obsessed with acquiring a Breyer Red Roan. I had just missed seeing them in stores – they were pretty much discontinued by the time I started collecting – so when I saw one pop up on a Bentley Sales Company “Discontinued” Sales List in the early 1980s, I rode my bike to the Post Office and sent that money order by the end of the day I received it.

I had no idea at the time she was the Special Run that debuted at Model Horse Congress in 1982. I was lucky enough to get the Red Roan Running Foal secondhand not long after it was released, but I was either unaware or unconcerned about the matching Running Mare. 

(Maybe because it seemed silly to me at the time to buy a Special Run of something that had already been released as a Regular Run item?)

I loved and adored her, but I was young and dumb and newly cognizant of the power of nail polish remover, and I… slightly customized her, as I did many of my model back then. 

I still have a few of those retouched models, but the Running Mare was sold some years later, I think during my first big collecting purge in the late 1980s. I was slightly embarrassed that I had done such a thing to what was in reality a rather scarce Special Run, and didn’t want to be reminded of my youthful experimentations with acetone.

I did acquire all of the original Red Roans eventually, three of them in one fell swoop at my local flea market. And all with Blue Ribbon Stickers, of course! I contemplated reacquiring a more minty version of the Special Run, but most of the ones I found were a little out of my price comfort zone. But you know me, I am fine with waiting…

At BreyerFest this year I wanted to focus on getting a few choice Vintage pieces, but high quality older items were hard to find. And every time I asked around, I ended up getting directed to rooms that had lots of Vintage Club items, which was definitely not what I was looking for. 

I walked into a room that was still setting up, and came across a couple of Red Roan Running Mares, one of whom was quite obviously the Special Run. They were still unpriced, and when I inquired I was informed that neither one was the Special Run, and the price for either was… less than a current Regular Run Traditional. 

All righty, then.

So I bought her. It was the logical thing to do.

The next day I was shopping in another part of the hotel, hoping to score something else that was higher up on my want list (scarce early Five-Gaiters, a Woodgrain, or a decent Dark Smoke or Gloss Dapple Gray Belgian). As I walked into one promising room, I glanced to my left to quickly scan a chorus line of assorted Running Mares, and I saw her.

My original Red Roan Running Mare.

I immediately vocalized my thoughts: “Oh my God, I can’t believe I’ve found you.”

I did not care who heard me; I doubt anyone was paying attention.

Did I start crying? I can’t remember. My hands shook as I picked her up and I went to the seller to tell her the mare’s origin story. In turn, I found out what my old gal (her name was Peppermint Twist, by the way) had been up to: she had been residing in California in a collection with several other Red Roan Running Mares. 

I managed to get her price down a bit – I think the seller saw how verklempt I was – and thanked her for allowing me to return her to her family, and give her a happy retirement from her travels.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Christmas Lists

Well, I thought I was going to talk about the Roan Running Mares today, but there’s been lots of odd bits of news in the past few days that should be covered sooner, rather than later. 

First, it’s good to know I wasn’t the only one who got shorted on the Spooky Stablemates! It would also explain why the CSR I spoke to was unfazed about it. That makes me less worried about the whole situation.

Second, they finally confirmed the dates for next year’s BreyerFest; I know there were several folks out there worried about the dates changing after that initial announcement, but I think most of the delay was in getting the legal paperwork ironed out. 

(I’m not privy to any of that, but based on prior experiences, it seems like a pretty reasonable guess.)

I’m kind of hoping that their casual mention of Morgans in their BreyerFest ad copy means we’ll be seeing the Stretched Morgan next year, but it’s more than likely another release of Troubadour. Which I don’t mind, but my Stretched Morgan Army could use a few fresh recruits. I don’t think the mold has ever had a truly acquirable BreyerFest Special Run release, so he is due. 

(I am not counting Bennington or Showboat, because buying a Special Run should not require the sale of your kidney.)

And right after I put my foot down on my new pony purchases, Reeves casually dropped images of a ton of holiday merchandise, including a creepy-cool Winter Decorator Classic American Dream named Neva:

I’m pretty sure those zombie snowmen want to kill me. I wonder if this design got its start as a Halloween concept and was…slightly repurposed? I really dig the dark metallic blue and silver combo; it reminds me a little of the more blue-ish variants of the Sham release Rana. 

I will likely end up buying the Christmas Socks, because I’m always up for more novelty footwear, but otherwise I think I’m safe from temptation. 

As far as the Holiday Pony Playset goes, even though I am a big fan of the Pony of the Americas, I’d rather stick to the original version of the mold, rather than whatever goofy mane and tail wigs they’re putting on it now. 

It’s also extremely likely that I’ll never find the original Black Appaloosa POA or any of the 2010 WEG Toby variations, so the risk of a spontaneous shopping eruption is very, very small…

(And every time I say something like that, something magical inevitably happens.)

Monday, October 17, 2022

Expensive Week

The words just haven’t been coming easy this week. Part of it is the season: this is the time of the year where my Seasonal Affective Disorder kicks in hard, and some days (like today!) it’s hard to even get out of bed. 

But a lot of it has to do with all the petty – and not so petty – personal and professional grievances cluttering up my mind. On the personal side? My Spooky Stablemates order arrived, one Stablemate short:

That’s… aggravating. Man, I’ve got so much on my plate now, and dealing with a missing Stablemate is NOT helping. 

A phone call has already been placed, and the second one will be on his way soon, but I’ll believe it when I see it. (Pretty sure if it does arrive, it will be a duplicate. But, whatever...)

This week has been so expensive, both literally and figuratively. I think I might take a pass on buying any non-obligatory horse purchases through the end of the year, including that Display Box of Stablemates I had been thinking about buying for myself. 

Looking around my office it’s quite obvious that I’ve bought enough for myself this year already!

(Suddenly remembers Chadwick, sighs deeply.)

I did manage to get a little bit of cleaning up in the office done yesterday, and made a few hard (and not so hard) decisions about some of that stuff.

For one, I’ve decided to sell off my Peregrine. Even though he did NAN in his class at the live show I didn’t do all that great at, I have not grown as attached to him as I thought I would. Maybe because I didn’t even get a chance to open him until the day before the show? 

Or maybe I’m feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff cluttering up my life, and I know he’ll be an easy sell I won’t lose money on? And that money will come in handy for other expenses coming up?

I always feel a little guilty with selling horsey things for a bigger-than-average profit, but I am at a point in my life where I am valuing experiences over things, and did I forget to mention that I’ve been pricing plane tickets and rental cars for my Grand Wyoming Adventure next year? 

I’ve gotten so used to BreyerFest that I had forgotten how expensive actual vacationing is. If losing Peregrine, and a few other choice pieces, gets me where I want to go, so be it. 

(And if you are wondering about those Red Roan Running Mares in the background, you’ll see them next post.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The Remains of History

Since we’re on the topic of Gambler’s Choices, I finally opened up my clear Jol:

I think Reeves missed an opportunity here with the gemstone Desatado release Fire Opal: imagine if that color had been painted in translucent and/or iridescent paints on a clear glitter body? 

I mean, it’s possible that they did try it and went “meh, didn’t work” and that’s why they went with what they did. But getting more creative with the translucent bodies – like they did with Jol, obviously – sometimes pays off.

(This is just a convoluted way of saying I want more glittery translucent Traditionals.)

Anyway, on a more melancholic note, the estate sale of our now deceased neighbors across the street was this past weekend. I went in at the beginning to get one last look around the place – and see what the family did not claim for themselves – and then at the end to see what sold, and possibly pick up a bargain or two.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but one of them was a Serial Cowboy/Lone Ranger/Hopalong Cassidy fan, and at one point there were at least a handful of related Breyers in the house. 

(Those were not present.)

So I picked out an assortment of the better Western-themed books (several signed!) and a few others: some as mementos, and the rest to supplement my depleted book sales stash, especially since I was out of town for the local AAUW Book Sale. One of the “others” was an inaugural edition of John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage that had handwritten notes on the days both JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald were assassinated. 

They also avidly collected Presidential memorabilia, so I know that that had to have meant something to them: history written while it was still raw and fresh. It felt so odd finding it there at the end of the sale, marked down and ignored until I picked it up. So I rescued it.

Although there is no history that would have been lost if it had been shuffled into a book sale donation pile – there’s nothing in those notes that adds or enhances our understanding of those events – the meta-narrative of the fact that it was a meaningful part of their Presidental history collection would have been lost.

Which is why I write what I do, when I can do it. As you know, I own many such meaningful things. This blog is not just about their history, but the history of the history, and why it’s important to have these things in my collection.

And in case you are wondering, you will not find any “bargains” at my (hopefully very far in the future) Estate Sale. The ephemera is going somewhere where it can be archived and documented for future historians, and several friends and family members know full well how much some of this stuff piled around me is worth.

Or maybe by then, it won’t be. I will be fine, either way, as long as some of the history remains, with it or about it. 

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Out and About

FYI: when the pharmacist says that the Shingles vaccine might kick you in the butt for a day or two, believe them! 

I don’t exactly have a lot of spare time right now, but most of my Friday had to be slept away: my body decided staying awake was not an option. Today I’m just mildly nauseous and have a slight headache: in other words, just your typical Monday, if it didn’t happen to be Saturday. 

This also arrived on Friday and was entirely predictable:

They don’t appear to have sold out yet – either they made more than they usually do of the Classic Gambler’s Choice Web Special, or since it’s a mold made last century nobody but us old farts want it anyway – so I’ll bide my time until the remainder get sold by other means. 

Earlier this week I was in the vicinity of another Tractor Supply that was even less well stocked than my local store, which only served to remind me just how rapacious my local co-hobbyists are. Just two lonely Snowbirds and a Zeke were left!  

Then I thought I’d take a chance at the local Dollar General that I hadn’t gone into in the past couple of months, and found these babies:

Yay, (the) cheap Stablemates! Someone had already swiped the Saddlebreds, but that’s okay: at least I found something. A win is a win, and I am taking it. 

I mean, cripes, even the Stablemates Sets at both Tractor Supplies – which are just early releases, not actually Special Runs or anything – were nowhere to be found.

(Yes, I am aware of the VIN numbers on the TSC releases kinda-sorta make them an exclusive variant, but the road to collecting Stablemate Variations is paved with madness.)

Like Johann, I am going to wait until the entire situation is less ridiculous. The Unicorn sets will be available everywhere eventually. And according to the Breyer web site, display cases of the standard, non-VINed version of the blind bags they sell at TSC will be in stock on the web site soon, so I will go with that as my XMAS present to myself this year, whatever series it happens to be. 

Will I get a chase piece? I’d love to finally get one of those ultra-rare metallic ones, but I am not counting on it. 

Whatever. I’ll just be happy to get a danged box. I don’t have the time to worry about it.