Friday, December 19, 2014

Why OF Breyer?

A thread was started on Blab recently asking, "Why do you collect?" An excellent thread idea and it really got me wondering... well, why do I collect? Specifically, what draws me to OF Breyers so much more than Stones or customs or resins?

A trend I've noticed amongst younger collectors recently is wanting to "move on" from Breyers and onto customs and artist resins, as if there's a progression every self-respecting collector should go through. It's totally fine with me if you want to change the direction of your collection - but the uppity attitude of some collectors once they shed their childish toy Breyers is a bit off-putting.

In the OF realm, some claim that Stone's color and quality control is better than Breyer's. A well-done Stone does look fantastic, but I've acquired a handful of Jersey-painted limited run Breyers this year and they all have blown me away. The crazy amount of masking on Praline, the dapple grey veining on Dixie, the subtle shading and beautifully painted bi-eyes on Jump for Joy... Breyer certainly deserves some credit. (And come on, did you see Zydeco?! Good lord, he was a sight to behold in person. The bitterness of missing him by only a couple people still stings.)

Seriously... thumbs up to Breyer's painters. That must've been a pain.

Yes, there's problems with box rubs, masking, and paint flaws, but that's the nature of the beast when it comes to a mass-produced product. No model is 100% perfect, regardless of the company or the artist... which I feel some collectors (again, younger ones especially) lose sight of. Stone has its fair share of quality control issues as well - for example, it seems like these days you can't get a glossy model without some form of a painter's DNA embedded within, be it hairs, fingerprints or otherwise.

Let's be honest, Breyer's really stepped up their game in the past half decade or so. In 2007 or 2008, things like the Premier Club, with not one but THREE new molds a year from top hobby artists, would be completely unheard of. The addition of series like the web specials and highly-limited special event models has proved that Breyer can compete with more "high end" companies aimed at the mature/adult model horse collector. Some of their kid-centric promotional material can get quite cringey, but they've recognized the market and tapped into it.

Another thing I've always admired about Breyer is their continued collectibility. Of course, aside from a select few releases, the regular runs and more open-ended special runs tend to hover around or below issue price, but they release just enough small runs to hold their rarity. (There's a reason an OOAK Stone can cost $100-200 on a standard body while an OOAK Breyer is almost unheard of for under four digits.) The hunt for vintage pieces is arguably even more fun than chasing the newer limited runs - I've had a handful of good find over the years. Someday I'll get my hands on a vintage decorator.... someday.

I don't know why I'm wired that way, but for whatever reason I'm drawn more to collectibles (OFs) rather than art pieces (CMs and ARs). I'm an OF Breyer collector at heart, and I'm proud of it! Nay-sayers be damned.

At the end of the day, I collect what I like. What I like is a little bit of everything - it's just that about 95% of that everything comes wrapped up in a yellow and blue box.