Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Collectibility test: OF flockies vs CM flockies

My apologies for the very long delay in getting a new post up! I started a new job in August, and between learning the ropes, helping with a move for our entire department (100+ people), and busting my butt getting commissions painted, I've had very little time for blogging. But things are settling down finally, and I hope to be much more active again!

Flockies have surged in popularity lately, driven largely by some interesting models from the liquidation of the Black Horse Ranch collection last summer, and prices for them have likewise gone astonishingly high. There has been, however, a great deal of confusion about what constitutes an OF flocked model versus a custom or after market piece.

Several companies and a variety of hobbyists have made flocked models over the years, but the only ones that are considered OFs by hobby standards are those that were pictured in the Breyer catalogs, sold by Breyer at Breyerfest, or sold through the Sears, J.C. Penneys, or Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogs.

1984 Sears SR Flocked Misty and Stormy
These OF flocked models were made by the Riegsecker family of Indiana and feature fuzzy flocked coats, haired manes and tails, and sometimes glass eyes. (The Stablemates and Jack Russell from BreyerFest 2001 may have been flocked by a company other than Riegseckers. I'll update this post if I can find the answer.) The following is a list of all of the OF flocked models with links to pictures on the wonderfully handy Identify Your Breyer website.

Traditional Scale Flockies

Clydesdale Mare
---1983 (Sears): Flocked bay with ribbons and bridle

Fighting Stallion
---1985 (J.C. Penneys): Flocked white with bridle, surcingle, red plume, and ringmaster Ben doll

---1985 (J.C. Penneys): Flocked white with bridle, surcingle, red plume, and tutu Brenda doll

---1984 (Sears): Flocked palomino pinto sold with foal, Stormy (pictured above)

PAS (bay, chestnut, buggy)
---1983 (Montgomery Ward): Flocked chestnut (same as the one sold with the buggy below)
---1984 (Montgomery Ward): Flocked bay with bridle and lead rope
---1984 (Montgomery Ward): Flocked chestnut with harness and buggy

Rocking Horse (Saddlebred Weanling mold)
---1985-1987 (Regular Run): Chestnut with bridle and saddle on rockers
---1985 (JCP): White with pink mane and tail, pink tack
---1985 (JCP): Lavender with purple mane and tail, purple tack
---1985 (Sears): Black blanket appaloosa, black tack

Running Foal
---1984 (JCP): Flocked Palomino (sold with matching mare)
---1985 (JCP): Flocked white with pink mane and tail (sold with matching mare)
Running Mare
---1984 (JCP): Flocked Palomino (sold with matching foal)
---1985 (JCP): Flocked white with pink mane and tail (sold with matching foal)

Running Stallion (Unicorn)
---1985 (JCP): Flocked turquoise/light blue unicorn with darker turquoise mane and tail

---1984 (JCP): Flocked white unicorn with light grey mane and tail

---1984 (Sears): Flocked chestnut pinto sold with mare, Misty (pictured above)

Classic Scale Flockies

Black Beauty
---1984 (JCP): Flocked dapple grey with sleigh

Black Stallion
---1984-1987 (RR): Flocked bay with doctor's buggy

---1984-1987 (RR): Flocked bay (with matching teammate flocked bay Jet Run) and 4-wheeled Sunday church buggy

Jet Run
---1984-1987 (RR): Flocked bay (with matching teammate flocked bay Duchess) and 4-wheeled, roofed Sunday church buggy

---1984-1987 (RR): Flocked chestnut with 4-wheeled open buggy

---1984 (MW): Flocked flaxen chestnut with green delivery wagon (says MW)
---1987 (RR): Same as above, but wagon is painted solid green

Lippizan (Pegasus)
---1985 (JCP): Flocked turquoise/light blue unicorn with darker turquoise mane and tail (wings are bare white plastic)

---1985 (MW): Flocked black pinto with pony cart
---1987 (RR): Same as above

Other Scales

Companion Animal Jack Russell
---2001 (BreyerFest): Flocked brown and white (came with flocked SM G2 Morgan)

Stablemate G2 Arabian (Rearing)
---2001 (BreyerFest): Flocked chestnut pinto (came with flocked SM G2 Galloping Foal)

Stablemate G2 Galloping Foal
---2001 (BreyerFest): Flocked buckskin blanket appaloosa (came with flocked SM G2 Arabian)

Stablemate G2 Morgan
---2001 (BreyerFest): Flocked steel grey (came with flocked Jack Russell companion animal)

I have seen some flocked models not on the list above advertised as test runs, but without solid provenance (i.e. something more than hearsay), there is no way to prove that the models are anything other than aftermarket pieces. But an aftermarket flocked model is not necessarily a bad thing. As we've seen, prices for them are sky high, and with vintage custom collectibility becoming a thing (more on that in a future post), there will absolutely be a place for them at live shows and in collectors' herds.

Custom/Aftermarket Flockies

In addition to the official regular run and special run models listed above, Riegseckers made a whole host of custom flocked models to sell with their harnesses and buggies, plows, harrows, etc. Some of the models were customized with their heads turned or lowered and many were given long mule ears like the adorable Proud Arabian Mare below. Most had their manes and tails removed and were given flowing mohair replacements.

A pair of customized and flocked Belgians by Reigseckers (source: eBay)

Many hobbyists tried their hand at flocking as well, and they didn't just stick to horses!
Aftermarket flocked cow (source: eBay)
Some aftermarket models do not have haired manes and tails. They're
just flocked over the sculpted mane and tail. (source: eBay)

Some aftermarket models are more popular than others. Drafters, Adios models, and Stablemates seem to be of particular interest to collectors.

Adorable flocked G1 SM Drafter (source: eBay)
Now that I'm back to blogging, I plan to tackle the subject of rare Breyer packaging next time around. Thanks for reading!