Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Test Model on Breyer Website!

Looks like Breyer has another entry in its "Unload old tests on the website for dubious prices" scheme. Here's a photo:



My response: Meh. I don't collect the mold and the color isn't very interesting. Not even going to enter for this one. If I'd won the Ranch Horse I would have kept it, and the Indian Pony probably would have sold for quite a bit more than $850, but that's not a gamble I want to take with this one. Good luck to everyone that does enter, though!

Monday, August 29, 2016

And then...not much.

Slow news day today. I thought we'd see more information released after Friday's bombshells, but there's not much to report except rumors about this year's Tractor Supply model or models. Apparently, according to sources on Blab and the Modelholics Anonymous Facebook group,  the SR's name is Santana, and there may be another named Garrett. However, I'm not convinced that Garrett won't end up like Chance and show up next year.

Personally, if Santana is the TSC model, I hope it's on Forever Saige (though that may be a minority opinion). I like her sassy expression, and would definitely enjoy having another to join my 3 in throwing shade everywhere they look. We'll just have to wait and see! It shouldn't be too terribly long now until those are finally revealed.

Not much new to report on the Chasing the Chesapeake front, either. I've managed to switch my work days so we can go, but I'm anxiously awaiting the full schedule release so we can get to planning. My job requires coverage almost 24/7, so the fewer days I'm gone, the happier my supervisor will be. So I'll be waiting until we get the full schedule to buy plane tickets and make a hotel reservation. Ugh! Hurry up already!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Featured Model - 8/27/2016, Giverny


Welcome back to another edition of Featured Model! This week's lovely model is... Giverny!





This model was issued in 2015 for that year's Breyerfest, a run of 1,200. He's an example of the iconic Huckleberry Bey mold, sculpted by Kathleen Moody in 1999.

Okay, first off: I don't care what anyone says - I love this model. I've always had a weakness for rainbowy things, and this guy is no exception. Add that to his pearly whites - and gloss! and I'm sold any day of the week. I'd love to see this guy's color on, like, every Breyer mold ever. He even stands well, which brings me to my next point.

A lot of people don't collect Hucks due to the many issues with the discs eventually getting broken. I've had four models wind up with pegs stuck in their hooves, including my most recent purchase. So we are in the slow process of drilling pegs out of feet (two down, two to go). It is frustrating to have a brand-new horse show up and then have the peg break off in the horse's foot within 20 minutes of getting him out of the box.

However frustrating it may be, though, it's not enough to make me sell off my Hucks. Though I do wish they'd make better stands; I imagine they must have to ship out a ton of replacement stands every year. Ah, well. My Giverny and his compatriots will always have a place in my herd.

Friday, August 26, 2016

MORE BREAKING NEWS!

MORE MID-YEAR RELEASES ARE OUT AND THERE'S A UNICORN OTHELLO AND GOLD VALEGRO AHHH!





My wallet is crying now...I already preordered all three of them...presumably other stuff is going to be revealed, but what? I'm almost afraid to find out now...

Breaking news! Mid-States special run revealed!

This year's Mid-States special run has been revealed - Chance!


Sorry for the crappy cell phone screenshot - it's hard to post from the road. So, Chase is a "red dun pinto" on the Zippo Pine Bar mold. The mystery is solved! I know we were all scratching our heads last year when a special run named Chase showed up on a list of SKUs, only to never appear. The only question now is why he showed up on last year's list. I suppose the most logical explanation is that, since these models are planned years in advance, he probably just slipped onto the list by accident.

My wallet, at least, is sighing in relief. Another model I don't need to buy! I liked Zippo better when he first came out (though I've never owned any examples of the mold), but that faded along with my liking for stock horses in general. Now, if the Tractor Supply SR turns out to also be something I don't want, they'll have achieved the trifecta of second-half-of-the-year releases, with Chance and Gideon. With Chasing the Chesapeake now coming up on the horizon, I need all the breaks from spending I can get!

The rumor on Blab is that more releases will be announced this weekend, so I might have more to post later! Ahh, the excitement!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Chesapeake!


Tickets for Chasing the Chesapeake went up for sale today, and boy howdy, Chesapeake is a winner!



I had been thinking just the other day that Breyer needed to use Giselle for something, and they came through with this! I love her. While I was hoping the ticket model would be on a Ruffian, I am not disappointed with this one at all. Though I am a little less than impressed with that Photoshop job, but that's nothing new.


I did snag two tickets to the event, as I was (more or less) able to figure out how to rearrange my work schedule so we could attend. Barring any unforeseen disasters, I should be able to travel to Delaware in two months and, ideally, report from the event as it unfolds! I'm excited to see what the special runs are. I'm still hoping for a Ruffian, Totilas, Smarty, maybe a Carrick. I'm not really sure what other models they would use, with the eventing theme. Maybe Salinero, though I don't collect him. So many possibilities! Maybe this year they'll announce the special runs in advance. It's so cruel to make us wait all the way up to the event itself to find out what they are!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Chasing the Chesapeake: Update!

Breyer has updated their club news to add that the tickets for Chasing the Chesapeake will go up for sale on Thursday, Aug. 25! No time, though; hopefully they add that in later. No word on the Chesapeake model, or what the host hotel is either! I'm hoping the tickets will have more info with them. I'm still working on whether or not we can go; hopefully I can get that straightened out by the time tickets go on sale.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Chasing the Chesapeake!

One of the news items released earlier this week was news of the "Chasing the Chesapeake" event coming in mid-October. From the Breyer website:

1
  
Breyer is off to Maryland this fall for our annual Collectors' event! To kick-off the weekend, we'll head to Elkton for a tour of Vintage Farm at the Fair Hill Training Center featuring Michael Matz, show jumping legend and trainer of the beloved Barbaro and Belmont winner Union Rags.  Following the tour, we'll head over to the Fair Hill International Cross Country Course for a course - walk hosted by some of Saturday's competing riders. The night will conclude with a Maryland inspired dinner in the exclusive Fair Hill VIP tent! On Saturday morning, we're headed back to Fair Hill to spend the day on course with some of the biggest names in eventing. After an exciting day of competition, we'll return to our host hotel for fun dinner and early Halloween Costume Contest.  Cap off the weekend with exclusive models created specifically for Chasing the Chesapeake.
Entries are limited to 200 Collector Club members. Not a member? You can sign up here!

Tickets to the event will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Stay tuned to Collector Club News for the date and time.  Please note that participation in this event will require a significant amount of walking outdoors and cross country over uneven ground and gravel surfaces.  Please take this into consideration when deciding to purchase your ticket to attend.

Itinerary*

Friday

Tour of Vintage Farm @ the Fair Hill Training Center, Elkton, MD
  • Tour the farm where champions like Union Rags got their start and meet Olympian, show jumping Hall of Famer, and esteemed trainer Michael Matz.
Fair Hill International Cross Country Course Walk, Elkton, MD
  • Get a behind the scenes look at how riders prepare for competition day as you accompany them on a course walk.
  • Dinner in the Fair Hill International VIP tent

Saturday

The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International 3-Day Event, Elkton, MD
  • A day out at the cross country portion of the 3-Day competition and watch the riders compete the course you got to walk first hand!
  • In true cross country style, lunch will be served at our very own tailgate tent.
Dinner and Halloween Costume Contest at host hotel, Wilmington, DE
  • Bring your favorite costume for an early Halloween bash!

Sunday

STORE DAY - exclusive Special Run Models featuring 2016 "Chasing the Chesapeake" Celebration Model, Chesapeake.
*Subject to change.


Exciting stuff! I'm still investigating whether we'll be able to attend. I'm scheduled to work that weekend, but I might be able to pull some shenanigans and make a whirlwind trip out East. The itinerary already looks like the event is being planned better than Sweet Home Chicago was. The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go awry, of course, and this IS Breyer we're talking about, so something will be bungled. Let's just hope it's only minor things.

On to special run speculation! Where to start? With an eventing theme, I'm guessing many of the SRs will be on Breyer's Thoroughbred and/or Warmblood models; Ruffian, Smarty, Carrick, Cigar, Show Jumping Warmblood, Lonesome Glory, maybe a Flash, Totilas, Valegro, Salinero, etc. It would have been nice if they'd revealed what Chesapeake is right away like they did with My Kind of Town last year, but maybe next week we'll get more info.

It's disheartening that they would wait until 2 months before the event (again) to reveal any information about it. We get it, guys, you like to play your cards close to the chest, as it were, but it makes it hard to plan anything with such short notice!

It's also interesting that they went back to the first-come, first-served system with the tickets. I personally liked the random draw better, simply because it avoided any issues with the tickets going up for sale and then selling out before I even got a chance to see them. The tradeoff, of course, was the nerve-wracking wait until the first draw, not getting picked (but hubby was), then another nerve-wracking wait to be picked from the wait list. So, maybe first-come first-served will work better. The tickets to Passage to the Pacific took a while to sell out, so maybe that will be the case with these, too. Especially if they're priced at $295 or higher.

I am really excited for this event and hope I get to go! I'll be eagerly awaiting more details from Breyer. Gimme my pony crack now!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Breyerfest Leftovers Are Up!

The moment we've all been waiting for has arrived - Breyerfest leftovers have been posted to Breyer's website!

Included in this virtual truckload of goodies are items from several Breyerfests past, including Stunt Double and the Dances with Wolves porcelain from 2010, Wish on a Star and the Aurora porcelain from 2011, Prince of Chintz from 2012, and many, many other things!

Fortunately, none of it was anything I needed. I was surprised to see the Platinum Star from 2014 listed. He was the hottest item on the list at Breyerfest that year (luckily for me, as I don't collect the mold), so I was surprised that any of them were still available. I am less surprised that Stunt Double (2010) is still available, as I remember seeing leftovers of her in the Breyer store at Breyerfest 2012 and 2013. Seems someone overestimated the popularity of that special run, and/or failed to take into account that we'd already seen an Indian Pony in pretty much that exact same colorway back in 2002 with High Sierra.

I was also surprised to see Namib listed among this year's leftovers, as I'd thought I heard she sold out on Sunday afternoon. Clearly, word of mouth isn't always to be trusted. Mamacita and Chico appear to have sold out on the website, however, so they must not have had as many of them left over at the event as I thought.

I have seen some grumbling that these models aren't available to the general Collector Club masses, but it makes sense. If they were made available to the general public, it wouldn't be fair to those of us who bought the tickets, traveled to the events, stood in all those horrible lines, and so on. It removes the incentive to actually GO to the event. A large part of Breyer's marketing is that these models are only available at Breyerfest. Sure, they're breaking their own rules a little bit by putting them on the website in the first place, but limiting it to 3-day-ticket-holders only helps to keep things exclusive. Just my two cents on the matter.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Aaaand...Shannondell is now available!

Wow, I didn't expect it to happen quite this soon, but Shannondell is now ready to order!



I don't regret my decision to sell this model and his John Deere ribbons to someone else. I can't collect every new thing Breyer releases, and he just doesn't wow me enough to make me want to add him to the herd. Better to let him go to someone who really loves him (and maybe the Green Bay Packers).

I did like the loose mane/tail option a little better, but the obsessive collector in me would never be happy unless they were both in my stable (Townsend Acres?), and the prices these guys are commanding on the secondary market are insane.

So, now I'll just be wondering what we get to see next! Crossing my fingers that it's something good.





 
 
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Featured Model - 8/16/2016, Frolic


Hello and welcome to another edition of Featured Model, where I pick a random model from my collection, give some stats on it, and provide commentary. This week, our lucky model is...Frolic, the Springtime Foal!




This model was released in spring 2004, and presumably ran until the end of the year. She is item number 1230 on mold number 489, Ashley. Sculpted by Kathleen Moody, the mold made its debut in 1997 with accompanying mold Amber.

I remember when this model came out, because at the time it seemed like Breyer had run out of ideas and decided to go all-in on the "Think spring!" theme. Several spring-themed plush horses were released concurrently, and I remember seeing all of them featured in a spread in JAH and thinking, "They really need to hire someone else to do their product development."

On further inspection, however, she is rather cute. I like the combination of colors they used, though I'd personally like to see more blue (my favorite color, so I may be biased). I love the little winged eyelashes and the pearly effect on her tail. The masking on the butterflies seems to have been pulled off fairly well, unlike the bats on 2002's Nosferatu. I'm still not sure that this model really needed to exist (and neither was anyone else, based on her short production run), but she could have been a lot worse.

That brings me to the end of this week's edition! Tune in next week to see which model I'll feature next!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Shannondell winner has been announced!

The winner of the first Shannondell off the production line has been announced - it's going to Rebecca R. in Kentucky. Congrats!



This means Shannondell will most likely be ready to order soon - maybe even by the end of the week. While it's a nice sculpt, I already presold mine - he just doesn't do it for me, despite the fact that I like drafters. I think it's his right hind leg; there's just something odd-looking about it. That, and I really needed to do something that would bring some money in; I've been buying so many horses lately I can't even keep track of how many are coming in versus going out. Add that to my unofficial rule of selling at least one Premier club release each year and poor Shannondell just doesn't get to stay.

So, it could go either way with the next release; either it's something I love, that I won't sell, or hopefully it's something I don't like, but is popular with everyone else so I can sell it and at least break even. It could go either way at this point, and I'd be happy with that. I believe the next release is an Eberl, though, so most likely it will stay. We'll have to wait and see!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Triton is here!

My Triton arrived a couple of days ago! Here's a pic:


He's quite the handsome fellow.

I was a little worried that the elastic cord holding the info card around his neck would leave yellow residue in his gloss (it happened with my Let's Celebrate), but fortunately, that wasn't an issue. I didn't see any other major flaws when I was looking him over, so this "Sharpieloosa," as some are calling him, is free to join the rest of my herd!

Let's hope they keep doing these Classics special runs in the future. I have around 20 Classics models in my collection, but wouldn't mind having more. The problem is, I don't collect most of the available molds, so hopefully they can get some new ones added to the lineup.

I know Reeves would like the brand to be more popular, because it was one of the questions they asked us in the focus group I was part of at Breyerfest 2013. The group's suggestions included coming out with more new molds, better sculptors, and (my suggestion) more special runs. So far, they seem to have followed that advice fairly well - Flurry, Frosty, Julien/Sophia/Cosette, the two unicorn mare and foal sets, Andreus, and now Triton (and probably others I'm forgetting) have all been released since that focus group happened. We've had two new molds: the repurposed porcelain Sir Buckingham and Harper, both sculpted by Sommer Prosser. So we know they are at least trying to make the Classics more of a hot item. Let's hope they continue those efforts in the future...and cross our fingers for a matching Shire B! Go Sebastian!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Featured Model - 8/10/2016, Ideal

Hello and welcome to Featured Model, a (hopefully) weekly post where I will feature a random model from my collection, give some stats on it and provide some commentary! Let's kick things off with... Ideal!



This handsome guy - item number 1200 on Breyer's mold #579, the Show Jumping Warmblood - was released in 2005 and ran until 2007. He was sculpted by Sue Sifton. This was one of the first times the mold was available with the loose mane and tail combination, after Inconspicuous and a few auction models.  I think he may also be one of the earliest examples of alternate mane/tail options, now that I think about it. The Ideal model was a portrait of the real Ideal, a successful Oldenburg show horse, breeding stallion and Breyerfest guest.

I will start off by saying that I really like the Show Jumping Warmblood mold and wish I had more of them. Unfortunately, it seems a lot of other people like him too, because prices for him are always more than I want to pay! I acquired this model a couple of months ago after finally finding one for a price I liked. On top of that, he's dapple gray, which is one of my favorite colors. I love him!

I have noticed, however, a tendency for these models to "slump" or "droop" on their stands, and this Ideal is no exception. He is possibly the worst offender I have in regards to this issue - not only does he droop downward noticeably, but he also leans slightly to the left. My original release chestnut SJW from 2003 also droops to about the same degree, but fortunately doesn't lean. Of the seven SJWs I have, it seems like the older the model is, the more it droops downward - with the exception of the Royal Kaliber (2004) I found at Breyerfest a few weeks ago. However, he didn't come with a stand, and I have no way of knowing how long he's spent forlornly lying on his side.

This does make me worry for the future of these models. It doesn't seem like one leg can support all of the model's weight without slowly drooping downward. Will it keep progressing until the outstretched front leg touches the ground? Is there any way to prevent this, other than storing them on their sides? I suppose one could try using fabric or something else to suspend them from the bottom of a shelf/surface above them, but that would be a lot of work if you have a lot of these guys in your collection. I suppose we'll have to wait and see what happens with them.

Either way, this is one of my favorite molds, and I look forward to seeing future releases!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ricochet is available!

The August Stablemate Club release has been revealed!



Meet Ricochet, on the G3 Rearing Andalusian mold! I love this guy, no matter what anybody says (and I usually hate pink!), although he does elicit thoughts of cotton candy. Crud, now I'm hungry!

Maybe I'm just happy that there's finally a release I won't need to sell. Everyone who guessed this mold can pat themselves on the back for being correct! I can't wait to get mine on order!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Looking to the Future: Vintage Club 2017


It may be a bit early to start speculating about next year's Vintage Club releases, but I'm going to do it anyway. It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, surfaces from this photo that was sent out to club members a few years ago:



So far, club members have seen:

Amigo, the charcoal Adios;
Halo, the Appaloosa-Performance-Horse-colorway on the Stretch Morgan;
Commander, the smoke Five Gaiter;
Denim (Diamonds?), the Copenhagen pinto Shetland Pony;
and Kiowa, the Indian Pony pinto on the Jumping Horse mold.

Molds that appear in the photo, but were used in the VC in other colors, include the Running Stallion, Man o' War, Quarter Horse Gelding, the Belgian, Semi-Rearing Mustang, Fighting Stallion, Running Foal (with Mare) and Western Prancing Horse.

Whew! I didn't realize quite so many of those molds had been used already. That only leaves a few of them from the photo: the Grazing Mare (presumably with the Foal), Western Horse, Thoroughbred Mare and Nursing Foal and the Longhorn Bull.

It's safe to assume they won't repeat any molds just yet - there are plenty of other vintage molds left that don't appear in the photo. I'll strike out all molds from the '80s in this list. These include: the Appaloosa Performance Horse, Black Beauty, the Black Stallion, Bolya/Halla, Brighty, Buckshot, the Clydesdale Mare and Foal, the Donkey, El Pastor, all three Family Arabians, the Foundation Stallion, the Fury Prancer, Galiceno, Haflinger, the Hanoverian, Justin Morgan, Legionario, the Lying Down Foal, Midnight Sun, Morganglanz, the Pacer, Phantom Wings, Phar Lap, the POA, possibly the PAF, Quarter Horse Yearling, the Race Horse, Saddlebred Weanling, San Domingo, the Scratching Foal, Sea Star, the Shire Mare, Smoky, the Stock Horse Stallion, Mare and Foal, Stud Spider, the Trakehner and the Western Pony.

That's a long list! I hope I didn't forget anyone. I don't think there's anyone on there from later than 1985. I have no idea what Reeves is considering the endpoint of the vintage molds. At this point it might be safe to consider everything up until 1990 or 1995 "vintage," but I don't know how many people would agree with me on that.

Of the molds that aren't lined through above, I think the Pacer, possibly Brighty, the Clydesdale Mare/Foal, some combination of the Family Arabians, Stud Spider and the Western Horse make good candidates. Of the foal molds on the list, I don't think they'll be used unless they could be paired up with an adult (but I doubt Phantom Wings or Sea Star will be used at all). I could see them doing a Scratching/Lying Down Foal set, however, since that's been done before. The Longhorn Bull may be a possibility, based on his inclusion in the test photo. I doubt Midnight Sun or the Donkey will be used, based on the former's bad history and the latter's...well...rather homely aesthetic.

Personally, I'm hoping we see the glossy alabaster Thoroughbred Mare and Nursing Foal next year, simply because they are two of the few vintage molds I collect (and I'd love to see them on my shelves!). The Adios is another I collect, and I did get the Amigo from a couple of years ago (as well as Mr. Chips, because I also collect Newsworthy). I've yet to actually join the Vintage Club, though, so my opinion may not be worth much.

As for the contemporary mold/vintage paint job and complimentary Stablemate, I don't want to speculate about those at all. So far there doesn't seem to be any discernible pattern to how they're chosen, so I'm content to wait and see.

Either way, I'm crossing my fingers for that Thoroughbred Mare and Nursing Foal!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

2nd 2016 Collector Club Special Run - Gideon


One of the new releases shown at Breyerfest was the upcoming second Collector Club Special Run model Gideon on the Smart Chic Olena mold. Photos I took at Breyerfest:



I'm not entirely sure what that color is, honestly. Looks like some type of dark buckskin or bay?

In any case, I won't be ordering him, as I don't collect the SCO. Nothing particular against the mold; I'm just not that into stock horse molds for whatever reason.


The same thing happened with last year's Tallulah; nice color, but not on a mold I collect. I ended up selling my Latigo because he wasn't growing on me. Same with Wyatt and Bobby Jo. I do like Geronimo, however, so he must be the exception to the rule. I also liked Roxy (only on her show side), but not enough to pay the big bucks most of her releases tend to sell for, so I finally gave up and sold my three at Breyerfest this year.

I guess the upside is that my wallet will be happy. Better luck next time!

Friday, August 5, 2016

August Stablemate Club Rumors...

It's August, and that means the next Stablemate Club release should be coming out soon. I'm really hoping this one is a keeper, because none of the previous three releases were on molds I collect. Fortunately, I've been able to sell them without losing money, but it's disappointing nonetheless. I do want Django, so at least I'll have that, but for a club with six releases, it would be nice if at least a few of them are on molds I actually want.

The latest rumors on Blab are that the new release's name is Ricochet. Current speculation is that this refers to the Rivet mold (Western-ish name?) or the G3 Rearing Andalusian (because of the image on the little satin bags the horses come in). Of the two, I'd definitely prefer the Rearing Andalusian, but I'd be happy if it was pretty much any of the G2s, or possibly the G3 Belgian, Friesian or Cantering Warmblood.

Time will tell if "Ricochet" is the correct name, or Rivet is the correct mold (I kinda doubt it since he was already used for Breyerfest this year and will show up at the end of the year for the Vintage Club freebie). At this point, the best I can hope for is that it's something that gets to stay with me.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

BreyerHorses.com Web Exclusive - Triton


So, the latest addition to the Breyer web site is the new Classics special run, Triton. He's certainly an...interesting fellow.




Despite his amateurish paint job, I ordered one, because I'm always happy to expand my Classic Shire A conga. The bonus? He's glossy! And he really doesn't look that bad. I definitely prefer him over the Pluto from the Let's Go Riding English set:
While I may be biased - as I've never been a fan of the Pluto mold - I'm not going to lie. I definitely like Triton better, even though The Little Mermaid was the first thing I thought of when I saw the name (why didn't they save it for a run similar to Under the Sea?).

There's no indication of a piece count for this release, but I'd guess around 1,000. Seems like I remember Flurry's run being around that number (back when you could add more than 12 of them to your cart at a time to see how many were left).

His price is a little bit higher than I would expect a Classic to cost: $35. Flurry and Frosty were both $25 if I remember right. Of course, there are already profit-seekers on eBay trying to sell him for $45 or more. It never fails. At least wait until it sells out, people.

Triton is available for purchase here - no collector club membership required. He does qualify for the Collector Club discount, surprisingly. It'll be interesting to see when/if this run sells out, and it does beg the question: are they going to make a Shire B to match? If so, I suggest he be named Sebastian!

Welcome to the blog!

Welcome to my new blog! I'll be posting about new Breyer releases, Breyerfest-related items and anything else Breyer-related I feel like talking about. Anyone who knows me knows I rarely take anything seriously, so there will most likely be some good-natured ribbing of Breyer products as well!

A little about myself - I'm a Breyer collector who lives in the midwestern US. I received my first Breyer horse (Ara-Appaloosa FAF! Still have it!) as a birthday present in approximately 1994 and started collecting shortly thereafter. I did take a break from collecting during my college years, but returned to the hobby in 2010 shortly after graduation. I am not affiliated with Breyer in any way, shape or form. I attended my first Breyerfest in 2012 and have been lucky enough to be able to go every year since then! I love this hobby and hope to be able to collect and attend Breyerfest for many years to come.