Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Someone Drops A Shoe

To work off the drama of the past several days, I spent a good chunk of my weekend either customizing or gardening. 

I didn’t get quite as far with the garden as I hoped: it was hotter than the bottom of a skillet outside, and it hasn’t rained in a while so the ground was the consistency of concrete. It’s definitely looking better, though.

I thought I was doing pretty well with a few of the customs I was playing around with, and maybe even close to done. Then I hit them with a little primer to check my progress, and discovered I seriously overestimated my customizing skills. 


But here’s a bit of good news: the vintage Black Stallion custom is finally finished! Just look at this beautiful boy:

I decided to go with a retro, poofy ‘80s-style hairdo. I am also inordinately proud of the base I made for him: most custom bases in the 1980s were rather crude (compared to the horse, anyway) and he deserved something classy to stand on. 

I am heartened by the support I received in the comments over the Performance Horse Affair. I was initially hesitant to come forward with the story, expecting that it might generate some negative feedback. 

But I thought it was important to put it out there, because (a) it was already a topic of discussion (b) it was something I was personally involved in, and (c) it did not have the happy ending people were imagining it did.

I have a feeling the model itself is now radioactive; I rather doubt we’ll be seeing it again anytime soon. If it does turn up again, it’s going to be awkward for everyone. 

Regardless, the best case scenario is that maybe this will lead to the hobby having a more open and thorough discussion about the etiquette and ethics of selling and reselling, instead of it disintegrating into insinuations that we’re price-shaming people by even mentioning money.

At this point there are between 500 to 750 BreyerFest Benefit Auction models floating around out there. One of them will be mine someday, I know it. There were a lot of weird, homely and unshowable things in those early auctions: Rugged Larks and Khemosabis and all manner of Classics, to name a few. 

This one would have been the best, most perfect ending of my quest. It was one of my favorite molds (Performance Horse), in one of my favorite colors (Red Roan), from one of the few BreyerFest Auctions I personally attended (1993), at an insanely good price.

Alas, no. But there’s an interesting postscript to the story. 

Here’s the other misidentified model I bought from the same seller the same day for the same price, and (fortunately) the sale wasn’t canceled several hours after the fact:

A nice consolation prize, I suppose, even though I already have another Classic Black Stallion Test Color in the stable. (I know, who gets to say stuff like that? Someone who’s not particularly particular about the Test Colors she buys!)

He feels a bit like a Marney Test to me, but his origins are unknown. The less flashy parts of Marney’s collection were being dispersed by sellers at BreyerFest in 1993 – including boring, solid-colored Test Color Classics, Hess Stock Horses and the like – so it’s entirely possible he was purchased around the same time as the APH. 

Not the happy ending I was hoping for, but I’ll take it. 


Nancy K said...

I would love to get my hands on one of those early auction Rugged Larks! I love him, flaws and all, and an auction model would be a fun addition to my conga.

Anonymous said...

It's entirely possible and even probable that the seller neither knows nor cares about what the hobby thinks is important. That model could have changed hands dozens of times by now and it often happens that non-hobbyists get rarities that they sell by whatever means. They might only have only a passing awareness of us.

Anonymous said...

Is the thinking that the seller just pulled the item, and won’t repost it anytime soon, or that someone contacted the seller and offered more money than the list price?

Lynn Isenbarger said...

I have the exact same Black Stallion. Mine came from a flea market in northern in Indiana in the mid 1980s. The seller said a family member used to work for Breyer and this piece and other models that he had to sell (including several other oddities) came from the factory. He did not speak English well so not much more info came from him. Mine is semi-gloss; looks like yours is, too. My front socks look higher than yours and are grey/black down the back of the leg. No other white on him.

Anonymous said...

they either offered far more money, or told them it's worth far more money.

Anonymous said...

I really, really love your Black Stallion RRH! He's such an underappreciated mold these days, and I'd love to see more people give him new looks. Heck, I've got one waiting on the workbench for seam and logo removal! I may have to move him up the list after seeing how nice yours is.

Suzanne said...

One word: FORELOCK!!! He is impressive though. I guess you brightened his color a bit, he seems to have a red glow I didn't notice on the "before" pics.
I found that mohair would form kinky little curls if dampened. It wouldn't be realistic, but it would certainly scream "80's!"

I did check out that seller. I don't think they are hurting for cash, judging by what they're selling. Perhaps the Breyers are being sold off for a friend or neighbor who passed away. I looked at "Send seller message" but I decided it would probably be considered harassment or something if I let them know what I thought of this.

Ha, now I am a bit intrigued though- I doubt they can relist that Performance Horse on Ebay. So did the informer contact them through Ebay? They couldn't have offered money that way, but perhaps sent an alternative method of contact, and from there they negotiated. Someone suggested they saw it on a Facebook group, but I don't think a Facebook post with the caption "Boy, did this person get a good deal!" would be enough for a seller to cancel a sale. (And it's unlikely they'd just happen to see it.) Also, didn't this happen overnight? As we've discussed, there are the collectors who have plenty of money to spend, and there are also collectors who don't share information about their collections in public. So you're probably right, he'll be out of sight for a long time. I am picturing a model-horse-loving supervillain cackling in front of a massive shelf of rarities. (Right next to that glossy palomino PAM!)

Sorry, Andrea, you're probably tired of this subject. On the bright side, I saw something fascinating among the completed BIN listings: a glossy dark palomino FAM with a clean white mane & tail, AND she seems to have her muzzle reduced by sanding or acetone- and a slight wash of pink paint over that. I am intrigued because I am wondering how common that is. My glossy alabaster has the same look. Like, at some point Breyer decided her nose was too big...

Anonymous said...

Who is the seller that was selling the Peformance Horse on Ebay? I can't seem to find it...but I'm interested in seeing it.