Sunday, July 31, 2022


Whenever I have a monetarily-better-than-average BreyerFest, I always fear the inevitable payback. 

Win a Raffle Model? Epic Roommate meltdown that ends with me sleeping in a patio chair near the pool in the hotel. I am uninvited to that wedding and never see this person ever again.

Get picked to Volunteer the first time? In the month prior to BreyerFest, a half dozen different roommates leave me in the lurch for a full double suite, including one who informs me three days before I leave. Oh, and my first Volunteer shift is 9 a.m. Friday, so I have to watch people march past me into one of the best NPOD years ever. 

(‘Twas the year of the German Stablemate Sets and the Interior Decorating Show Samples. Nuff said.)

Win the Costume Contest the first time? Break a tooth so bad it needs a crown. (And me without dental insurance!) 

Win the Costume Contest the second time? Break my foot. Insurance does cover most of it, but because I wasn’t able to work full-time for a month afterwards, I end up with a credit card debt from all my other expenses that takes me nearly five years to pay off. (It never got bigger, but it also never got smaller.)

This year: get a Glossy Surprise Model in a Warehouse Box in the NPOD, a Test Color Ginger in the “Body Box”, and that beautiful Carina Zeitgeist as the Volunteer Model. This year’s payback?

I bought two Warehouse Finds boxes off the website during BreyerFest, spending nearly $450 (cost + shipping + taxes) and this is literally all I’ll be keeping from it:

The most exciting thing in the boxes? The free magnet! And of course, the 2019 One-Day Stablemate just had to be Arya, the one Special Run that sent me into an apoplectic fit that year. 

(I still don’t like it, but this is the third one I’ve ended up with so far – all against my will, I wish to have on record – so by accepting this one I hope the Universe will finally stop sending them to me.)

I also purchased a Torlinie, but he was thrown underneath one of the Warehouse Find boxes, and I am stunned he is still in one piece. 

Or maybe not: even though the box was big enough to stuff an actual Shetland Pony in, it was about 70 percent packing material.

(He’s really cute in person, by the way! Would definitely recommend!)

All told, I will probably lose at least $150 on this deal, maybe more: none of the extra stuff is in particularly high demand, or even selling at retail. I already have plenty of better things to sell, and when I finally get the time, that is what I am devoting my limited resources to. (In other words, it is all probably BreyerFest sales fodder for next year. Bleh.)

While I more than made up for it with everything else I acquired over the weekend, this also happened to come at the end of a rough week for me and definitely did not help improve my mood. And it was pretty much why I spent a significant chunk of my Sunday in the garage getting some quality time in with unsold bodies and my Dremel drill. 

(Suddenly I am possessed of the idea of turning a Western Prancing Horse into a replica of an antique Staffordshire Pottery Zebra. Because sure, what is one more unfinished custom project, hey...)

Next time, I think I’ll skip the online Grab Bags entirely and just order things that are a known quantity.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Breyer's Body Box

Why am I buying even more stuff on the Internet? Argh! 

I swear, every year I tell myself that I’ve bought too much stuff at BreyerFest, and then I turn around and go on a buying spree for the month afterward. 

Anyway, here’s more stuff I bought in the NPOD – more “bodies” from the Breyer Body Box:

The Classic Black Beauty is from the #2404 Fire Wagon Set; I sort of blanked on grabbing the matching Ginger after finding the Chalky Test Ginger. They Fire Wagon horses are not quite in the same demand as the Classic Clydesdale Drafts from the #2405 Delivery Wagon Set, but they’re still a little on the scarce side, for Classics. 

The Standing Stock Horse Foal has been a source of fascination to me for a while now (I really need to finally finish that custom one I started last year!) This Rocky might be a Sample, but I’m just happy to have him regardless. 

The Classic Andalusian Stallion is the scarce Blockbuster Special Run of Hildago from 2004. I’ve been wanting one, and at two dollars I really couldn’t beat that price. There’s also the slight possibility he might be a Sample too, and that didn’t hurt.

I also purchased a Shadow of Blue – the BreyerFest 2001 Special Run Amber in Black with blue undertones. I already had one, but I had a weird feeling she might have been a Sample or Test, too. I inspected her at the hotel later, but came to the conclusion that I was misinterpreting her overspray as something else. 

I priced her pretty modestly and put her on my sales shelves a few hours later; she was gone by the end of the day. If I had known she was going to sell that easily, I might have bought a couple of the Leah’s Fancy Breyers that were also in that bin for the same price!

Unlike the $5 “bodies” they sold the day previous, there did not appear to be a limit on the $2 Classics and Foals. I decided to limit myself to five, because that seemed like a good number, and there was no need to get greedy. I made my one big “find” with the Chalky Ginger, and I was good. While I’m pretty sure I could have found another treasure or two, but I thought I’d let others get the opportunity to dig.

I kind of wish Breyer hadn’t co-opted the term “Body Box” for this particular offer, though. Aside from the fact that most of these models were better than body quality, it also created quite a bit of confusion at the hotel, with a lot of kids asking for “Body Box” models. What I – and most people at the hotel – had in their body boxes was not comparable to what Breyer offered. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Actual Uffington

Not everything that needed to be done is done, but I can’t put off reentry into the “real world” any longer, alas. Allegedly my work schedule will be changing again next week too, which is also complicating things a bit. Bleh.

So anyway, if you’re expecting a follow up from me on anything, expect it some time this week.   

Oh, and for what it’s worth, my exhaustion was simply exhaustion, and nothing else. I am old(ish) and have been operating on four to five hours sleep for the past several months to meet various deadlines, and BreyerFest. I took all the reasonable precautions at BreyerFest, including limiting my shopping time at the hotel and maintaining social distancing when it was feasible. 

I am now, at least for the next month or so, deadline free, so my body is taking advantage of that and trying to get me reasonably caught up on sleep. The only things I have actively planned for this week – aside from catching up on old, unfinished business – is gardening, and figuring out what the heck happened to my sales inventory. 

(Somehow I ended up with three different sales lists?)

Speaking of shopping, here was my first “big purchase” of BreyerFest:

Even though I was focused on Vintage stuff, I wasn’t going to pass up a pretty darn nice Cremello Uffington for less than $100, especially since the cheapest ones on the Internet are still hovering in the $150 range!

Hobbyists are always so concerned that the models they want will get more expensive over time, when that’s generally not the case. Wait long enough, and you’ll eventually find what you want at a price you can afford.

This is also why I’m a little exasperated by people buying Special Runs at a crazy markup right now, when they didn’t even bother selling off the leftovers on Sunday, supposedly because of concerns over the weather. 

There’s still a bunch of stuff to be distributed, people! Let your bank account take a nap too, at least until the leftover sales are officially announced.

(I think I might need a Landler, eventually. Maybe a Rapunzel, too.)

Supposedly some Holographic Uffingtons showed up in few of the Warehouse Finds boxes, so when I managed to snag a box Saturday morning, there was a (very tiny) concern in the back of my head that I’d end up with another. Because that would be just my luck.

Fortunately that was not the case. I would rather take whatever mojo I have left for the year and roll it forward (when is the drawing for the next Exclusive Event, anyway?)

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Lucky Breaks

To give you an idea of just how tired I was this week, I came home from work yesterday, ran a few errands, ate dinner, decided to take a quick nap clutching one of my favorite finds from BreyerFest (as one does), and didn’t wake up for nearly 14 hours.

Here is the model in question, who somehow managed to survive the experience unscathed:

A Glossy Bay Appaloosa Quelle Surprise from a $200 Warehouse Finds Box! Who is, of course, not going anywhere because I almost never get Gloss Surprises, when I manage to actually get a Surprise at all. (The Appaloosa was my second choice after the Perlino that year. The spotting pattern is really nice, and Gloss Dark Bay is never not awesome, duh.)

The rest of that box was also pretty decent:

  • BreyerFest 2016 Special Run Furano
  • BreyerFest 2021 Crystal Sherman Morgan “Prisma”
  • BreyerFest 2018 Special Run Scamper Boxed Set
  • BreyerFest 2020 Gloss Cheesecake

I traded the Furano for a Buckskin Pech Merle, and sold the Prisma and the Cheesecake for cost (more or less) at the hotel later in the day. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the Scamper set yet; he’ll probably be for sale later in the year when I finally (ha!) get my act together and start selling stuff regularly again. 

Other people were not as lucky with their boxes, and others moreso. I believe someone received a box that had both a Purple Gran Cavallo AND a set of Silver Bears. If I had gotten that one, a medical intervention would have ensued, because screaming and fainting would have definitely happened.

But I think I did okay. Better than I expected, anyway. Definitely worth sitting on the pavement for two and a half hours watching Gamera movies. 

Anyway, since my body decided to sleep half a day away, that’s all you’re getting today. More tomorrow, I promise!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The Two Dollar Test

I still feel very much like a coagulated puddle of sweat and Gatorade, so you’ll have to forgive me for continuing to be a little antisocial until the end of the week or so. 

It’s nothing personal guys, I just think I underestimated how emotionally overwhelmed I’d be at being at the first in-person BreyerFest in three years. I thought I’d be prepared because I’d been to two live shows and Motor City Comic Con in the months previous, but I guess not!

Everything is out of the car, but I probably won’t be finished unpacking and sorting until the weekend. In the meantime, I also have to deal with some work-related stuff and getting the garden back in shape, too. (Wax beans are imminent!)

I wasn’t able to bring home the Dapple Gray Belgian or any of the Five-Gaiters I was looking for (there was a dearth of vintage stuff at the hotel this year), but I did find a few neat things I’ll be sharing over the next couple of weeks. 

But there is one little thing I do want to share with the group right now. I was actually getting a little obnoxious about it by the end of the weekend, but I think you’ll understand why when you see it.

I didn’t get a chance to go to the NPOD Friday morning, because I had actual stuff to do both at the hotel and at the KHP. I did hear about – and see! – some of the goodies pulled out of the “Body Bins” later in the day, though, including a Matte Dappled Black Five-Gaiter. 

(Yes, I whimpered a bit. But it went to someone who is almost as obsessed with vintage stuff as I am, so I know he will be well-loved.)

Since I didn’t have anything to do first thing Saturday morning, I decided to be brave and go for it.

The only complication I ran into was the fact that Reeves didn’t handle the numbered tickets very well: they had two sets of tickets for the two stores, and instead of handing them out more or less in order, (i.e. either one-one, two-two or in alternating groups of five or ten) they handed out the first 200 sequentially, and then the second set of 200 sequentially. 

That meant that many people would be getting into – and out of! – one of the stores before people who had gotten there several hours earlier. Not cool, guys! They also claimed that both stores had the same merchandise, but I knew that was not the case, which is why I fought to get into the main store in the Covered Arena. 

(This had apparently happened the day before, so that was something I was prepared for. And it was also remedied the next day. And forever, hopefully. This is not rocket science, guys!)

Anyway, after all that nonsense, I found this fabled body bin. It was almost all Classics that day, with some Traditional Foals also in the mix. I’m not as familiar with Classic oddities – in spite of owning an awful lot of them! – but I dug through the bin and pulled a few things out that I thought were worth my time. 

(Technically they were all “worth the time”: everything in the bin was Two Dollars!)

Then I grabbed this Ginger and said to myself: well, she’s peculiar:

She’s Chalky, with natural-colored hooves, tons of pinking, and handpainted eyes. Yes, dear readers, I found myself a two-dollar Test Color! 

A friend of mine pointed out that she might be a Test for the First Christmas Horse Snowball, on the Haflinger mold, and I think she might be right, or at least in the neighborhood.

She’s not in the best condition, and I doubt she’d show well anywhere, but I love her all the same. Especially since I found her at a BreyerFest with a $65,000 Auction Test Color in it! 

I know that the prices at the Auction this year discouraged a lot of people from imagining that they could ever afford a Test Color, but as my little “Snow Baby” shows, it’s not always about the money. Do your research, do the legwork, and treasures will eventually find you.

(I’ll take her out of her bag, eventually.)

Friday, July 15, 2022

Low Muscle Family Arabian Mares

Most Breyer molds have been modified at some point in their production life. Some of the changes can be chalked up to maintenance and repairs, and others are a result of changing tastes or breed standards.

And sometimes, we have no idea why changes are made at all. I suspect that some of the changes – like the alterations to the Clydesdale Stallion – might have been an instance where additional details were added to a mold to camouflage a serious repair. 

We know that the Family Arabian Mare has a complicated mold history. In addition to the In-Between Mare – the mold that briefly bridged the gap between the Old Mold Mare and the Family Arabian Mare, and looks a little like both – there’s a third variation of the mold who is so rare she only appears to exist in the 1960 Dealer’s Catalog.

It should not come as a surprise, then, that there appears to be yet another mold variation of the Family Arabian Mare. 

I happened to notice the difference while I was cleaning my most recent FAM acquisition, the Dark Sorrel. At first I thought her slight lack of detail was due to her possibly being bloated, like my Sorrel Family Arabian Stallion but nope, she just has… less molded in detail, particularly on the left side of her neck and (to a lesser degree) on her right shoulder. Here’s a comparison of that section of the neck in question, compared to my other Sorrel FAM’s neck:

(More on that in a bit…) 

That really pretty, really early Gloss Alabaster Family Arabian Mare I acquired earlier in the year also has this same lack of mold detail on her neck and shoulder! Since that one came with that pretty nice Old Mold Appaloosa Stallion, it’s safe to assume that this means the Mares with less detail – I’m calling them “Low Muscle” FAMs – are obviously an early, or the earliest mold variant of the FAM. (Barring the discovery of a “left mane” variant, if one ever actually existed outside of the catalog.)

What’s really interesting is that my other Sorrel FAM has the neck muscle striations and extra shoulder detail. This means that the Sorrel Family Arabians had to have occurred early on in the mold’s history, and spanned the transition between these two variations.

What this also suggests is that the Matte Sorrel Family Arabians were the first Family Arabians, outside of the Woodgrains, to be released in Matte, and were issued concurrently with the Gloss releases in Alabaster and Gray Appaloosa. 

I still happen to think that they were a variation of the Bay, rather than a separate release; whether it was for a specific customer, a random thing, or something else entirely is still a matter of debate.

It will be interesting to see if I can find any Gloss Charcoals or Gloss Palominos in the “Low Muscle” variation. I’m pretty sure that those two colors were not released on the Family Arabians until 1961 at the earliest, so it seems unlikely. 

If they do, the timeline will have to be revised. Of course.

So anyway, guys, y’all now know why I’ll be obsessively checking Family Arabian Mares over the course of BreyerFest. It’s all about the research, folks….

Monday, July 11, 2022

Girl Things


The Samplers are done, the packing is about 90 percent done, and I just have to finalize a few details on the history displays and other nonsense. And also pack my lunch, charge my phone, go to the bank, get gas…

Anyway, here we go again with the Toy Hall of Fame talk:

I am on board with this, and my offer to donate my archives to them in the future (whenever I am done with them) if Breyer finally gets in still stands, but I am still not overly optimistic. 

I think the biggest impediment now is not that the brand doesn’t have a big enough public footprint (though that would help), it’s that it’s perceived as being more specifically girl-oriented, and “girly” things in general have a harder time being recognized as something culturally or historically significant. 

Horses being a “girl thing” is a relatively new development, actually. Before the mid-1960s, horses were mostly a “boy thing”: sure, books about girls and their horses did exist (National Velvet, for example), but one of the most popular series of horse books in the mid-20th century was Walter Farley’s Black Stallion, which was about a horse… and his boy.

One of Breyer’s earliest licensing agreements was with the TV show Fury, which also involved a horse… and his boy.

And let’s not forget The Chronicles of Narnia: just about every horse girl’s favorite in that series was: The Horse and His Boy. 

(I actually preferred The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but I digress.)

Reeves has been working hard to change that perception, but I still think it’s going to continue playing a factor in the voting for a while.  

Friday, July 8, 2022

Good News, Last Minute Prep, and Volunteer Stuff

Things are going… okay? 

A stressful thing we had been waiting on at work finally happened, and it went really well! (Whew!) Alas, the party to celebrate will probably happen while I am away, bummer…

I went through my summer shorts and found that most of them still fit. I was a bit worried since I gained a few pounds during the pandemic, but fortunately it wasn’t quite as much as I had thought. (I still need to do something about it, but I’ll worry about it after I get back.) 

The Sampler is done and just needs to be printed; I’ll be picking up the toner cartridges Saturday afternoon since I’m almost out. Sunday will probably be spent yelling and/or glaring at my printer, getting it to all work. I am hoping to have the PDF up by the time I leave Tuesday morning, but my schedule is tight and I can’t make any promises. If not, it will be the first thing I put up when I get back the Monday morning after.

I will have a very limited number of hard copies of the 2020 and 2021 Samplers on hand. The 2020 is on my other computer and involves some obsolete fonts, and I’m not sure I’ll have the time to deal with fixing all that ahead of time. 

The car is already partially packed; I have to work Monday, and it’s going to be HOT here, so the actual horses can’t go in the car until Monday afternoon at the earliest. I’ll also have to dig some of my usual prep stuff out of the closet, but since I have to work Saturday too I won’t be able to get around to that until Saturday night at the latest…

And finally, I have to get my displays ready for BreyerFest. 

Remember how I’ve been joking about having a meet and greet at the Kentucky Horse Park during BreyerFest? Well… I kinda-sorta do have one in the Hobby Information Booth this year! As a part of my volunteer duties, I’ll be in the tent from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday to meet all of you in an official capacity and answer any questions on Breyer History you want to throw at me! 

As I’ve said before, a lot of times it’s hard to judge if something is authentic or not unless I get to examine it in person; if you happen to have something you want me to look at, feel free to bring it and I’ll do my best to give you a fair assessment of its authenticity, and everything I might know about its origins. 

I won’t do price estimates, though. With the way the market is right now, I don’t think I have a really good grasp of what anything is going for, and there are others out there who specialize in that sort of thing anyway. (I would also end up giving you an estimate of what I would pay, and I am notoriously cheap.)

In addition to bringing out some of my rarities, I’ll see about bringing some of my scarcer bits of ephemera for you to ogle at too; how much I bring will depend on how much room I have in the car. 

I’ll also be in the Hobby Information Booth from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, primarily as a Greeter, but I’ll be available to talk about history and answer questions, too. Because you know, history dork here!

And in one last exciting bit of news: It really looks like a Legion of Super-Heroes series is coming to HBO Max! I thought they were kidding before, because us Legion fans are kinda sensitive about the subject, but it’s apparently really going to be a thing. Sprock, yeah!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The Sorrel Family

Here’s the evidence that I am not totally crazy:

Behold! An entire family of Dark Sorrel Family Arabians!

And here’s the Five-Gaiter that came with the Foal, many moons ago. That was such a deal!

The Western Prancing Horse and Fighting Stallion that I have in this variation are on the lighter side, incidentally. 

The fact that there’s a lot of variation in all of these variations is an excellent argument for the idea that these were not a one-off Special Run items, but things with extended production runs. 

That’s obviously the case with the #114 Bay Western Prancer, who appears to have been made in this variation for most of his production run. 

It’s a little less clear with the Fighting Stallion. Based on the fact that early ephemera pictures depict the Sorrel variation, I think he was made in that variation at the beginning of his production run, but switched over to Breyer’s early version of “Bay” (reddish-brown body with black mane and tail and black hooves) pretty quickly. 

This obviously throws the chronology for Gloss Bay Fighters into question, but I do not want to get into that contentious issue today.

So where does that leave the Family Arabians? Good question! I tend to fall into the “it’s a production variation” camp, rather than “previously unknown/undocumented Special Run”, because two of the other Sorrel variations turned out to be just that: variations, not independent Special Runs. 

The questions then become: when, and for how long? Those, I am not so sure about.

Back to the paperwork!

Sunday, July 3, 2022


This weekend’s plans included working on my BreyerFest paperwork, and weeding and pruning the garden.

How are things going? The garden’s looking great. The paperwork, eh, not so much. Most of the writing is done, it’s the formatting and photography that might do me in. 

I always hope to get things done early, but it never works out that way, you know?

I also cleaned up my new Sorrel Family Arabian Mare and… discovered some things about her. I I think I’ll save that piece for a BreyerFest posting, though: it’s going to involve a little more research than I’m capable of right now. Let’s talk about my little Shelburne instead, who arrived late Friday night:

Ah, so cute! The promo pics definitely did not do him justice.

Most Breyer Morgan releases, until recently, were pretty conservatively colored. Heck, we didn’t even get a Chestnut Morgan until 1975, with the release of the G1 Morgan Stallion and Mare! I find this endlessly amusing, especially since Chestnut is the most common color among registered Morgans.

Though they did toy with more daring shades in the form of Test Colors, it wouldn’t be until the year 2000 that we’d see more colorful Morgans as production releases: the Dapple Gray BreyerFest Raffle Model Showboat on the Stretched Morgan (mold #48), and the Dappled Buckskin portrait of Montana Harvest on Justin Morgan (mold #65).

(I’m not counting the Dapple Gray and Alabaster G1 Morgan Stallions because they were technically released as Arabians.)

It’s not so big a deal now, of course. In fact, the initial photos of Shelburne, as I mentioned above, actually left me a little unimpressed. I chalked this up to (a) the perennial promo photo issues Reeves has, and (b) me being pretty picky about Buckskins in general. 

But his color was much richer in person, and his gloss is nice and thick, too. That certainly doesn’t hurt!

My favorite part of him, however, is his name. The Shelburne Museum has one of the finest collections of American Quilts in the country, and as a quilting nerd it’s definitely something I want to visit someday.