Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Unpopular Opinions

I suspected the speckly blue thing was the Classic Decorator, and I was not wrong!

He’s neat. I really like the Classic Morgan mold, but I haven’t found one in a color I like yet. All the original Silver Bays I found had significant masking issues, the Red Bay was a little bland, the Decorator Tie Dye model is too goofy for me, and I am reluctant to buy the whole Spanish Mustang(!) Family just to get the Solid Black guy. But Delft… is a maybe. I just wish he were a tiny bit fancier?

Then there’s the Traditional Decorator Nemea:

Nemea is an obvious adaptation of the very well-received Decorator Marwari from the 2018 BreyerFest auction. And proof that some Test Colors from the BreyerFest Benefit Auction are actually Test Colors!

As the Akhal-Teke mold is longer than a football field, he’s also not a priority for me. If I do get another example of the mold in the near future, I’m still hoping that it’s a nicely-shaded Adamek; I still haven’t found “the one” just yet.

I suppose I should address the brouhaha in the comments that broke out while I was busy binge watching art restoration videos and hand quilting. Since my fingertips are now a bit sore from that effort, I’ll try to keep things short and simple here.

Last year’s BreyerFest was Reeves’s first attempt at a true “hybrid” event, and… it showed. As I’ve said many times before, Reeves is not a large company, and the people who work their often have to fill multiple roles. 

Did they stretch themselves out a little too thin last year? Perhaps; on the other hand, since it was their first attempt at a true hybrid event, and they didn’t know what was going to work, and what wouldn’t. Like the online-only events, they will undoubtedly take the lessons that they learned from the first, and apply them to the second.

It’s a pretty safe assumption that there will be some changes, but the scope of the changes – and whether or not they actually “work” – well, we’re not going to know until we’re back in the thick of it again in July, right? 

(All I know for sure is that more volunteers will be needed, in-person and [probably] online. So if you’re interested, please apply!)

2020 and 2021 were events held under unique and extraordinary circumstances, and it is very, very unlikely that any future BreyerFests will be able to offer the full gamut of Special Runs and other items available at an in-person BreyerFest to online attendees.  

And as others have pointed out, what’s the point of having an in-person event if there is no stuff exclusive to the in-person event?

BreyerFest was originally designed and intended as a live, in-person event: an in-person experience cannot be fully or adequately reproduced online. Reeves’s attempts to duplicate the in-person experience in 2020 – for example, the whole timed ticket fiasco – often ended up causing more heartache than happiness. 

Personally, I think the way forward for them is simply have them be complementary events that happen to share some of the same models (the Celebration Horse, most of the Store Specials) and activities. And have models and activities unique to each experience. 

They’re apparently trying that with some of the Ticket Specials, restricting some of them to in-person participants only. My guess is that they’re also doing this with models that they foresee as being especially popular: they would rather make sure that they have enough of those models for people who made the physical and financial effort to go to Kentucky. 

I would hope that they do offer a little bit more in the way of compensation for online-only guests. As I suggested before, giving them a gloss option on the Store Specials would definitely help. 

But whatever they do, please remember that there are limits to what they can do as a relatively small company. Just a few years ago, the Online Option didn’t even exist: it’s going to be a while before they find the right balance of offerings. 

And remember that there are some people in the hobby – and life, in general – who will literally never be happy with anything, no matter what you do for them or what you offer them. There is usually something else going on under the surface there that no amount of pretty horses can fill. 


Anonymous said...

That comment thread was just depressing, and a good reminder of why I left the online hobby community. Even during the periods when Haynet was having flamewars more often than not, I don't remember anybody sulking because people who were lucky enough to go to Breyerfest were doing pickups for people who couldn't attend. For that matter, I don't remember anybody describing Breyerfest as some sort of arduous trial they were seemed more to me like people knew they were lucky that they could go, and looked forward to enjoying it.

Anonymous said...

As someone who was greatly disappointed in last year's online offers, I much appreciate the course correction to selective SRs being available to online attendees.

I saw a lot of people fuming over said selection but so far I find them very fair: a brand new mold and a vintage mold with foal and the surprise model is ALSO available to online people.

What grinds my gears - just like last year - are the people complaining that online attendees are getting anything at all. They act like gojng to BF is horrible and that SRs are the price they expect for this horrendous experience.
I'm sorry that people suffer from the heat but it has always been this way. If it's so bad why not campaign for making everything online again? But that's not what these complainers want. They just want certain people excluded so they can make money with SRs. Same song like last year.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being such a gracious and graceful voice of reason, and for always having excellent info about the ponies! Love these decos!

Anonymous said...

"And as others have pointed out, what’s the point of having an in-person event if there is no stuff exclusive to the in-person event?" get to be there? You get to see and touch the live horses and meet other hobbyists? There is a wealth of benefits to being there in-person that go way above and beyond mere SR access. There are also huge shopping benefits. Sure there are online stores during the hybrid event, but that's nothing like what you get access to being physically there where you have the added benefit of selecting physical in-hand models instead of ordering online and hoping for the best. You clearly have no idea how lucky you are to have good health, money and have the advantage of living in the United States. This hobby doubles in expense as soon as you leave the US and the opportunity to buy directly from Breyer is an incredible financial privilege. Why would anyone who had the money, means and good health ever choose NOT to make the effort go in person ---- regardless of SR exclusivity?

Unfortunately for the old school Breyerfest goers, the pandemic brought in hobbyists from around the world who never really dreamed of going to in-person Breyerfest. But we finally got to feel included in a bit of the fun and it's painful to have that taken away, even in part. And it's very frustrating to no longer have full SR access because the SR models are so expensive to get in the secondary market, especially when you aren't in the US and/or have a limited income.

Also, I have to say that pre-pandemic I never really thought about going to Breyerfest in person. But now, having been involved, if my health ever improves and I can scrape the money together, I'll be there in-person in a flash. Watching the live footage last year, it really looks like so much fun. I think that hybrid Breyerfest is an incredible advertisement of the physical event for Breyer. The only reason I can see for limiting the SRs is if the cost is somehow too overwhelming for Reeves.

Carrie said...

Art restoration videos are the bomb!

Corky said...

I *really* like Nemea!

MustangAB said...

Thank you someone for FINALLY saying it! The benefits of the live event are…the live event! I don’t understand why people make Breyerfest out to be this ordeal they are enduring as though it’s one of Dante’s circles of hell or something. SO many people would love the *luxury* of going. Yes, it’s a luxury. But making it more accessible to others can only be a good thing.

And yes, this hobby at least doubles in price as an international hobbyist 😬

Anonymous said...

I go to BF pretty much only for the models, hotel shopping, and to see friends I can only see there. I'm not interested in seminars or workshops. I've seen so many equine demos they're boring now. I have real horses, so don't need that either. I've done the live show, but it seems so biased I doubt I'd do it again if I DID go. Same people, same winners. And I don't do crowds well.

For the cost of hotel, transportation, kennel, horse sitter, food, etc, I can buy what I want secondhand and still come out on top.

I do understand the SRs limited to actual attendees, and and happy with what I CAN get virtual. It's better that what we got four years ago, which was...nothing.

Anonymous said...

It baffles my mind that people think the only good thing about going to Breyerfest is the special runs and imply people won’t go if you could get them online. If that were the case, the same people would’ve just used a pick up person this whole time. But they never do.

Anonymous said...

I only go for the models. Thats it.

I eat at the same restaurants I eat at at home. I don't care about the live equine acts. I don't watch seminars. I don't do the live show. People that do work for breyer seem to win. Same with Best Customs, people that do hired work for Breyer win the big prizes.

The runs now are so huge, it doesn't feel special to pay the big money to first attend and then the big prices to purchase them when they are near some regular run number.

It isn't to me as special and fun as it was 20 years or even 10 years ago.

Boulder Sheep said...

I love the broadening of Breyerfest, both in model availability and reaching out to Online and International attendees. Breyer still has its smaller, exclusive events for those who need to shut people out in order to enjoy an event. I think I will be trying out a pick-up person this year, because I love Nemea, and I may also do Online as well.

Anonymous said...

Breyer has done live Breyerfests for over 30 years prior to the pandemic...there was NO reason for them to drop the ball last year at the live event. It sure did show, all over the park. The same staff are in place as years before, this wasn't a first rodeo. They need to not make their lack of staffing and resources the problem of attendees. Some really poor decisions were made that should never have happened. This is a big reason why the "hybrid events" need to be done away with: stretching to do both means it's done at the in-person attendees' expense. They're charging more and providing significantly less at an event that people pay a lot of money to travel to and attend.

Anonymous said...

I love how people who have never been to BF gush about how great it is & that the excitement of going should be the incentive, not the models. How would they possibly know what it’s like?
I’ve been to several since I live just a few hrs away. Over those BF’s I’ve been pushed, elbowed, stepped on, had models snatched out of my hands, a kid spit on me, a woman who looked to be in her 50’s snatch up the SR ticket I dropped & run away with it & cussed at too many times to count. I’ve also sat on hard concrete for hours & hours in order to go to the NPOD only to see the great stuff disappear just before I reached it or be pushed aside by someone behind me as I tried to pick it up. I’ve seen physical fights break out when the SR’s were First Come First Served & there were no limits on how much one could buy.
I’ve also dealt with heat exhaustion, dehydration & caught the Clarion Crud twice which put me in bed for nearly a week once I got home (which was a week of unpaid time off from work in addition to the $ I spent just going to KY). And that’s on top of the bone-aching tiredness of simply attending & walking for miles throughout the KHP & hotel while dodging through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd carrying bags & models. BF ain’t no Sunday picnic & only those who haven’t been would think it is. BF is a test of endurance & the models are the pay off.
Yes, the seminars & workshops are nice but they’re the same every year so you only need to do them once. The live demos are usually good & I did make an effort to watch when I needed a break but again it’s pretty much the same year after year. I’ve never been to the Celebration of the Horse Performance because I’m too tired in the evening to drag myself to the All-Tech Arena which is on the opposite side of the KHP to the rest of the activities. I’ve never entered the contests because my odds of winning are minuscule & I’ve got enough to do just to prepare for the trip to KY w/o adding a contest entry to it.
BreyerFest Live is a very odd show where models that win at other shows & NAN don’t even place. Did it once & will not do it again. The extra time, prep work & $ just wasn’t worth it.
I’ve never won the raffle despite putting in $100 worth of tickets each year I attended so I’ll save my $ going forward if I ever go back which is doubtful now there’s an online component.
The main reason I went was for the models & too see friends. My last trip was in 2018 for Off To The Races & when I got home it took me nearly a month to fully recover. For 2019 I got 2 tickets & a pick up person. Last year I got an online ticket & did virtual BF AND I got 2 AA tickets & a friend who was going grabbed my SR’s for me. I’m doing the same this year. Now that BF has a virtual ticket that includes some of the SR’s I’ll just get 1 AA ticket. I doubt I’ll go back to KY. There’s no need to deal with the crowd or endure the heat when I can get the models without actually attending. And the $ I save by not traveling to KY (hotel, gas, food) can be spent on visiting friends throughout the year. So I am very grateful Breyer is offering a virtual option that includes some of the models. But if they didn’t I wouldn’t be throwing a hissy fit over it. I’d just buy tickets & get a pick up person the same as I did in previous years when I didn’t go.
You’re not being denied the models if you can’t actually go to KY. No one who can’t go has ever been excluded. Ever. The only requirement is a BF ticket. Whether the person who bought the ticket is the the one who’s actually there has never been a thing. So all those claiming that BF isn’t inclusive are being petty. BF has always been inclusive. Always. Just buy tickets & make arrangements to have the models picked up. It’s not that hard & it’s most certainly easier & far less expensive & physically taxing than actually going.

Lydia Lepic said...

I really love the Grecian pottery design on the Akhal-Teke! All of their historical decorator models make my heart go pitter-patter. :) I don't know how you can get any hand quilting done with an art restoration show going! Watching someone meticulously clean a painting while learning the provenance is too fascinating for me to make nice stitches. Haha! Unless I'd already seen the show before.

Anonymous said...

Some people clearly have very different experiences when traveling or attending events. I doubt BF would continue to increase attendance every year if it was so horrible. As usual, a vocal minority thinks they know everything. Believing one should be rewarded with SRs for in person attendance is an attitude that is more entitled than folks who want some fair online options, after having had the ability to participate equally in 2020 and 2021.

I don’t understand why so many people think getting a pick up person is a solution to everything. Pick ups with reliable and trustworthy individuals aren’t unlimited, and often not an option for international collectors. Also dealers and those who do pick ups as a business then have large numbers of tickets and have better chances of getting variations to sell at a huge mark up…

Anonymous said...

The previous years prior to "online Breyerfest" weren't horrible. They got better every year. Last year, however, was a total sh**show. It was patently obvious to attendees that they were being given less so resources could be committed elsewhere.