This model was released on the popular Ethereal/Conquistador mold #582, sculpted by Kathleen Moody. He was a Breyerfest special run in 2011, one of the four possible models available as part of the "Spun Gold Surprise" special run line item #711134. He is one of 400 produced on this color. I wish I'd been able to attend the 2011 Breyerfest - there were so many goodies!
Ethereal is another one of those molds that make me go gaga. I want him in every color! My only nitpick is that I think gloss would have been AMAZING on this particular color - but it was only the second time Breyer had done the surprise model and I guess they were still figuring out how this whole "Surprise" thing was going to work. I'm generally ambivalent about gloss - either/or is fine with me in most cases (though I try to get both if possible) - but this guy is an exception.
The color on this model is pretty great, though - he photographs beautifully against a black background. I guess I'm just a sucker for pearly things, because I love the pearly effect on his mane and tail, and his golden sheen. If only I could get my hands on the rare one for a decent price!
Truthfully, sometimes I wish they'd do another Surprise item like this release - toss out the matte/glossy split and just do some different colors, maybe on a few different molds. They've gotten pretty predictable over the last few years - mix it up a bit! I don't think anyone really had much of a guess as to what the surprise was in 2011, or 2012 for that matter. Since then, though, the hobby usually has it narrowed down pretty well by the time Breyerfest comes around - I know we had it down to Roxy or Zippo in 2013, and nobody was surprised about the Nokota in 2014 or Lonesome Glory last year. This year's Esprit seemed like a foregone conclusion right from the get-go.
Breyer seems like a company that prides itself on being unpredictable- that and holding secrets close to the chest. So I hope next year is something that throws us all for a loop!
(Chasing the Chesapeake is TOMORROW! Whoo!)