Friday, March 31, 2023


I have a million and one things to do today so I’ll be ready to go when I get up tomorrow morning to drive the two or so hours to get to the live show. I’m not in terrible shape – certainly better than the last show I tanked at – but I’m freaking out a little bit because it’s just far enough away that there’s no turning back once I hit the road. 

Here’s one of the ones I’m leaving behind, incidentally. My Gwendolyn:

She was a 2005 BreyerFest Special Run, and a pretty limited one at that, even in those less-crowded times: they only made 550 pieces of her! I got super-duper lucky and managed to snag one of the last ones in my ticket time that year.

The other models I got that year included the Moody Andalusian Galahad – who was way more fabulous in person than his pictures suggested – and the Isabel & Chloe Unicorn set, which was also cuter than I imagined them to be. 

I wasn’t attracted to the Gwendolyn because of her piece count – the lowest of all the Special Runs offered that year – but because I thought she was the prettiest. When I saw what her piece count was, I did get a bit nervous. Hobbyists are hobbyists, you know...

I would have been fine with the Belgian Arthur – and I’ve even priced them occasionally, because his paint job is really well-shaded – but I’ve never had the gumption to pull the wallet out and actually pay up.

That was a bad year for Reeves in terms of piece counts: they miscalculated the demand for the plastic Specials in favor of the Porcelain Romantico. There were a lot of unhappy campers at the end of the lines that weekend.

The reason Gwendolyn got the cut from the showstring was because she’s just every so slightly yellowed, and the experience of my also very faintly yellowed Premier Club Marwari finishing second – in BREED!!! – to an Old Timer at the last show still stings. 

I mean, you could make an argument for the placement in terms of Collectibility, but Breed? Old Timer? Judges, man....

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Collection Busters

The Stablemates are packed for the show, and now I’m getting down to the nitty-gritty of the Collectibility. I didn’t realize I had chosen so many larger models, and now I need to make some hard decisions. (I do know who I have to cut, it’s just a matter of accepting it, and moving on.) 

The Best Customs Contest Traditional Prize Kansas made me wince a little:

On one hand, that means it’s pretty unlikely the Forever Saige mold is the BreyerFest Stagecoach Surprise, which is a huge relief for me. On the other, it’s a lovely Chestnut Appaloosa version of Forever Saige I’ll likely never get to own, because even if the mold isn’t that popular in the hobby in general, anything that limited is going to command a price beyond my comfort zone anyway.

(Has anyone actually bought any of those Gris Grises in the vicinity of $800, or is it just another aspirational thing on the part of sellers? I don’t need another, just curious.) 

Winning one is out of the question: prepping an entry for the Customs Contest is too late at this point, and I’ve already committed myself to finishing several other projects this year anyway. Most of which are on hold until I get both the show and my taxes out of the way. And some of the gardening too, while I’m at it. (Almost time to transplant the pepper plants to bigger pots!)

The Runners-Up Prize Stablemate Willamette is a little less tempting to me, only because the Darley Arabian mold has already come in Chestnut twice before, and a very shiny Palomino. This wouldn’t be a problem normally, but he’s only had six releases prior to this. But no Gray or a more standard Bay yet: weird how Reeves gets in color ruts like that.

(As everyone let’s out a deep sigh and mutters Django.)

And it is always a bit of a downer when they release the first nearly-impossible-to-acquire “collection buster” release on a new-ish mold. But at least it took them about five years to get around to it with the Darley Arabian, so it does not sting as much, I think. 

But again, it’s a moot issue for me, since most of my custom projects this year fall into the “stress-relief” category. And I’m totally fine with that – in fact, that’s one of the things I’m looking forward to as the weather warms up: a lazy weekend afternoon or two with just me and the Dremel and some otherwise unloved body box inhabitant, making a noisy mess of things in the garage.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Silver, Gold and Gloss

Another scattershot post; the past few days have been pretty rough personally, and I have that show to get ready for next week that I’m still not ready for. (I do finally have all the supplies, though!) 

First off, one of these days I’ll get one of those Gambler’s Choice Micro Run surprises in the mail, but yesterday was not that day:

Not that big of a surprise, really. The bigger annoyance was that my shipping box was not only not fully sealed – just a single piece of cellophane tape between it and total shipping annihilation – there was no ephemera. Yeah, I know, I actually wrote the darn thing, but the fancy-fancy actual printed and distributed copy that my archives demand was not there. Bummer.

Second, I wasn’t quite as enamored over the Test Color Rose Gray Sabino Big Ben as everyone else was this week, though if I had “won” him, I certainly wouldn’t have hesitated to take him. In spite of the fact that I have several varieties of Test Colors, I think it would be neat to own one of the publicly “raffled” ones, and it is impossible to dictate which one the Universe chooses for me. 

But again, this week was not that week. At this point I think I’ll have odds of finding a random old BreyerFest Test Color on eBay. And speaking of that, that vintage Froelich I was pining over was relisted at a much more reasonable starting price. Hmm, something to reconsider…

Third, RIP Joe Giella, one of my favorite comic book artists; he inked many pivotal Silver Age stories, including “Flash of Two Worlds” (The Flash #123, September 1961) which introduced the comic book fandom to Earth-2 and the concept of the Multiverse. I was also faithful reader of the comic strip Mary Worth for many years (yes, really!) because of his work on it. 

And finally, there was the explosion in the chocolate factory in Pennsylvania that has me a little on edge, considering where I work. 

Back to paperwork. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The Deluxe

Originally I was going to wait until either Easter or my birthday to open up the “Deluxe Grab Bag” I bought, but work’s been kinda exhausting and a little nuts and I figured eh, go for it. I would have probably found out what everybody got by then anyway, and by opening it now I’ll still be able to enjoy the element of surprise.

I think you’ll find the results interesting, to say the least. My Grab Bag (#3) contained:

  • 2021 issue of Just About Horses
  • Stablemates Friesian Cross
  • Stablemates Paint Horse
  • Stablemates Appaloosa Sport Horse
  • Stablemates Mustang
  • Fairytale Friends Sage
  • Stablemates Suncatcher Set
  • Unicorn Serendipity
  • Matte BreyerFest Rheverence
  • Charm and Gabi Rider Set
  • Crafting Til Christmas Advent Calendar
  • Stardust Styling Head
  • The World of Breyer Puzzle
  • Hope of the Year
  • Breyer Breeds Chestnut Trakehner
  • Classics Silver Bay Morab
  • Elsa

Yeah, you read that right: Elsa. I won’t bore you with the details of how this happened, but this now means I now own THREE of the Normande Cows now. 

It was definitely not by design! So if anybody out there needs a NIB Elsa at retail plus postage, I got you covered, yo…

As far as what I’m keeping from this box, I think it’s just going to be the Serendipity and the Puzzle; the Hope appears to be nicer than the one I got back in December, so that’s probably an upgrade, too. Everything else I either already have, or don’t want/need. I was kind of hoping that I’d get one of the Breyer Breeds releases I didn’t already own, like the Chalky White Roy or that pretty Silver Bay Black Beauty, but no such luck.

But I took a gamble on this one because I figured Reeves learned their lesson on the previous less-than-stellar boxes, and it looks like I will come out ahead of this deal financially. A refreshing change of pace from the two BreyerFest Grab Bag Bummer Boxes I got stuck with last year! 

Yeah, technically they both got canceled out by the Gloss Quelle Surprise in the NPOD Grab Bag Box and the Two Dollar Test Color Ginger stomped all over everything, but I still ended up with way more stuff to sell than I was expecting.

And now I have even more! Needless to say, if there’s anything here that anyone is interested in, drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do, because I definitely do not have enough room in the car for all this nonsense at BreyerFest.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Risk Assessments

Like everyone else, I’m a little gobsmacked by the final selling price of the Sample Paddy, and making side eye at some of the Samples sitting on my shelf, like my Nosferatu, that sweet BreyerFest Aintree with the handpainted battleship gray hooves, or the one that (I think) would probably bring the biggest bucks right now, the Wedgewood Brighty Nugget:

An extra 2K in the bank account would not be unappreciated! 

But this situation also gives further lie to the currently accepted wisdom that the market is on a bit of a downturn. The people who had the money to spend on thousand-dollar Alborozos still have money to spend… on other things.

There was a little more going on here than just that, obviously. First and foremost is provenance: there is little reason to doubt that a model purchased straight from Reeves is not what it is advertised as. 

Some of the things I’ve seen advertised as Tests or Samples lately – models that are very clearly just minor variations, or very obviously Shrinkies – do make me wonder about my fellow hobbyists. Do the sellers genuinely think their items are what they claim them to be, or are they pushing the truth envelope and gambling on low-information hobbyists to make the call in their favor?

(I’d rather not believe the latter, but I also know better!)

The other big thing going on here is that the Cleveland Bay mold has been having its moment since BreyerFest, when it was revealed to be the Rotating Draft Surprise. And, of course, it was a St. Patrick’s Day themed model whose auction closing date was on St. Patrick’s Day. 

As I mentioned above, I already have a lot of Samples, so this one was no temptation. I even have a Sample Cleveland Bay somewhere (the 2012 BreyerFest SR Tunbridge Wells, if you are curious.) The provenance might be shaky on some of mine, but I’ve also not spent much more than store retail ($35-70) for them either. 

They were within my acceptable level of risk, and I recommend anyone else also aspiring to add a Sample or two to their herds to also assess their risk levels, and plan accordingly. 

It should come as no surprise that the Sample Brighty is on my Collectibility show string short list; the Breed documentation is finished, and I’m hoping to finish the Collectibility part tonight. 

And in closing, it should also come as no surprise that I was not picked for Magpie. I suppose that means I should now order my Vintage Club Secretariat. Will it be a Gold Charm? I wish, but probably not!

Thursday, March 16, 2023


Dealing with a lot of petty annoyances over the past few days. First, there was this:

As for what happened to my beautiful big Chocolate Moose… I bumped him. Nothing dramatic at all, I just happened to brush him as I was putting a binder away and ploop! Off popped the antler. 

He is over 50 years old and a lot of the plasticizers in the plastic that keep it flexible have evaporated over time, so it is not a complete shocker. But it’s still a bummer: I spent forever looking for the perfect Chocolate Moose, and now he’s no longer perfect!

Then I caved and bought one of the Deluxe Grab Bags. Yeah, I know the last round of Grab Bags didn’t go over well, but I just got a nice (and not so little!) profit sharing check and the next thing you know, click-click-click. I’m just hoping that there’s one or two things in there worth the gamble; I’m pretty easy to please, so I’m guessing maybe? 

I’m not feeling lucky, just optimistic. Spring is just around the corner, you know.

I’m not so optimistic about the latest Birds of a Feather release Magpie:

It’s in that beautiful Gloss Midnight Blue-Black color I love so much on my Omega Fahim, but it’s been a while since I’ve been picked for something. But you can’t win if you don’t play, so…

More annoying is the fact that the e-mail for Magpie (and the last several e-mails from Breyer, in fact) have ended up in my Spam folder. While actual Spam… has not. Oh, except for the VIP ticket e-mail that was completely redundant. That’s some messed up spam filter you got going there, Yahoo!

Rolling my eyes at the Cleveland Bay Paddy Sample Breyer put on eBay, too: at the price (over $1000 already, really?), and the preponderance of commenters on Facebook who had no idea that this model was actually released over ten years ago. 

It’s just depressing: I know that history is not everybody’s thing, but when a significant (and/or very vocal) subset of hobbyists can’t be bothered to either read or do 15 seconds of research before commenting, it makes you question your life choices.

And finally, and darn, someone just listed a beautiful old Julie Froelich model on eBay – on a Running Mare, no less! As much as I’d love a vintage Froelich, that’s not going to go cheap. Sigh. 

That’s one thing I do need to add to my BreyerFest shopping list this year: Vintage Custom fixer-uppers. I’ve been enjoying the process so much with that Black Stallion mystery custom that I wouldn’t mind adding one or two more to the craft table. 

Monday, March 13, 2023

Miniature Family

The only thing keeping me awake right now is more than the daily recommended allowance of those new Oreo-flavored Oreos. (They’re my new favorite flavor!) 

I woke up last night with a pretty intense sinus headache that had me seriously considering a trip to urgent care; I took some pain meds and managed to get another couple hours of sleep, but I’m still feeling a bit woozy. Though the mini cheesecake I had for lunch probably didn’t help, either…

Even though my weekend was significantly shortened by work and by Daylight Saving Time, I’m pretty close to finalizing my showstring for BVG Live. I dropped a few Collectibility entries and added a few more Stablemates, since working on my Stablemates was supposed to be my big experiment this year anyhow. 

The documentation is also coming along adequately: if I pick at it a little bit every day, all I’ll have to do the night before is toss the totes, binders and toolbox in the car and head out the door in the morning. 

(I decided to not take the night before off, so that’s just about all I’ll be able to do!) 

Since I’ve either given up most of my worst vices – and am working on the others – just about the only thing I could give up for Lent this year was buying stuff on the Internet, aside from the obligated “club” purchases. I’ve missed a couple of pretty sweet Buy It Nows on eBay, but otherwise it hasn’t been too terrible an experience so far: I need to buy less stuff anyway. 

I just opened my Stablemates Nadira and Zaahir, incidentally:

Much nicer than I expected them to be, especially the Foal Zaahir. The original G1 Standing and Lying Down Foals have come in a Gloss Finish before, as the 2017 Charcoal Vintage Club Bonus Stablemates Licorice and Jellybean. But in spite of the multiple releases the Mare has had, this is the first time she’s come in a true Gloss Finish – and it suits her quite well, I think!

I’m not the first one to point out that, of course, Nadira and Zaahir pair up quite nicely with the 2020 Stablemates Club release Sultan, the Gloss Dappled Bay G1 Arabian Stallion. I would have paired them up here for a photograph myself, but I didn’t feel like digging him out again, especially since I didn’t have any plans of going back into the Stablemates storage boxes until next weekend at the earliest. 

I’m sure it was intentional, and most likely a callback to one of the original Christmas Stablemate Special Runs: the “Miniature Family” featured in the 1975 Sears Wishbook, which included the Bay Arabian Stallion, Thoroughbred Mare, and Standing Foal. 

(It also happens to be the toughest of the Wishbook Stablemates releases to find in its original box, which says something!)

Friday, March 10, 2023

The Little Things

It’s been a rough week and Saturday, alas, is not going to be any better. 

On a slightly more positive note, most of my seeds have germinated. Well, except for the ones now stratifying under a two-foot-tall snowbank in front of the house. 

In other good news, I am apparently still enrolled in BreyerFest Live. I had heard about the brouhaha with the full tables and collector’s classes, but since I avoided putting in for either, all that nonsense floated right by me. Thank goodness.

I haven’t had much of a chance to work on the show coming up in (ulp!) three weeks, other than a little more Stablemates sorting. I’m seriously considering this guy, an NPOD find from several years back:

It’s the first, original release of the G2 Thoroughbred in Shaded Gray, sorta

What happened was that several pieces in the 1998 Just About Horses Stablemates Gift Set had production issues – paint problems, masking problems, molding problems, you name it. So some new and improved versions were made as replacement pieces.

And the leftovers from that effort ended up as the Stablemates “starter pack” in early versions of the wooden 5905 Stablemates Display Shelf, because one does not simply make a handful of Stablemates as replacements. 

I can’t remember exactly which BreyerFest I found them in the Breyer Store; I’m not in a mood to go digging through my records right now. I do remember a pile of the boxes on one of the tables; I opened them up, noticed that they were the replacement Stablemates, so I tossed a set in my buy pile because Stablemates, and went on my merry way. 

This was back in the days when Store Specials weren’t a thing yet and there was utterly random stuff put out at utterly random prices. Leftover QVC Specials, stray NIB Regular Runs, leftover bits of Gift Sets (dolls, tack, bags of accessories), sample packaging, whatever. 

Most of the time I had no idea what I was buying, I was just buying things that I wanted without any consideration for what it could be worth. I like it: I want it. 

And when it turned out to be even more than I hoped for? That made it all the better.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

A Wee Trio (No, Not That One)

Experiencing some scheduling issues again; as a consequence of that, I only got 4.5 hours of sleep last night, and I’m feeling a little loopier than normal.

(Long story short: I’ll be fine tomorrow. No worries!)

I didn’t get quite as much done on my live show documentation as I thought I would over the weekend; I’m still debating over the last handful of cuts. (I’m aiming for half Collectibility and half Stablemates…)

Oddly enough, my main problem wasn’t obsessing over the minutiae of Breyer History, but falling down the rabbit hole of rare or obscure horse breeds and freaking loving it. It’s taken me back to my elementary school days, when little horse nerd me would check out the big encyclopedias of horse breeds over and over and stare at pictures of Frieburgers, Lokais and Vladimir Heavy Drafts.

Anyway, I’m a little short on time (needs sleep, I do), so here’s a small assortment of my favorites that are in the running:

The Flaxen Chestnut G2 Saddlebred is from the 2018 (Series 2) Walmart Horse Crazy Surprise Assortment. Nothing especially remarkable about the release itself, other than the fact that most of them in that particular series had remarkably attractive and well-executed paint jobs: the Saddlebred was the prettiest one of the bunch I eventually found.

(It was the beginning of the Stablemates Chase Era, before we got bored and/or irritated by it, and all my nearest Walmarts were plundered early, and often.)

The Black G1 Arabian Stallion is a rather fetching release of this mold, from the 1991 Sears Wishbook Special Run Stablemates Assortment. My Bay one always does well, and I wanted to add another G1 Arabian to my live show mix: he was the best of the rest, aside from my NIP Dapple Gray (who I only show in Collectibility). 

And finally, that’s the Florida Cracker Horse from the underrated 2007 BreyerFest SR “All-American Trio” Stablemates Set, the one that included a Black Pinto Tennessee Walker and a Chestnut Appaloosa Colorado Rangerbred. All three were super nice, but I just adore the detail they put into the paint job on the Paso Fino mold.

Well, that’s it for today. Off to water some plants and get some serious sleep.  

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Over and Out

Ugh, I am 100 percent over the weather this week. I am absolutely not leaving the house this weekend if I don’t have to.

(I don’t have to.)

The Volunteer application is up, and there’s only a twenty-day window to apply. So, go forth and apply, if you’re so inclined. Thumbs up, would recommend the experience…

Speaking of new experiences, after surviving my brush with death earlier this week, I decided to do this after all:

I went with a half table because of space issues: I still have a lot of sales stuff to bring with me again this year, so I genuinely don’t have the room for a lot of Traditionals anyway. It will also help keep me from blowing up my showstring beyond a manageable amount: I want this to be a fun experience, not a stressful one. (This is also why I chose not to do a Collector’s Class.)

As long as there are no other weather-related catastrophes, I should be able to go through my Stablemates stash for viable candidates for BVG Live over the weekend – and from there, I can figure out who and what to bring to BF Live. 

(I already have the Collectibility stuff for BVG Live kinda-sorta figured out, except for the paperwork. You know that’s my happy place, yo…)

I need to get to bed early today – the chaotic weather and post-apocalyptic driving conditions ate away at my soul this week – but here’s a little model horse content: I finally opened up my Ponies & Palm Trees Strapless Sarong! 

And as I feared, I got a real pretty one with nice dapples and everything. Nuts! I need less stuff, not more. Maybe I’ll show her at BVG Live and see how she does before I make a decision. I’m thinking Hungarian Warmblood, maybe?