Posts Tagged by #breyerwest2017
|April 13, 2017||Posted by aidanstoytrove under Model Horse|
The Website, BreyerFest 2017 Pickups, Videos and More!
Here’s to jinxing the new website server but so far everything is running great, wow! Thank you to all that helped us test out the new server. This is looking like it will be a good hosting service for us for the time being. We do have more grand plans for when and if the website really takes off but this is the most economic choice right now and should offer MUCH more stability than the past few months. We use GoDaddy for both our domain and web hosting. I was so very close to outing GoDaddy on their deplorable performance but they made it right as far as I’m concerned and we will stick with them for now. If anyone else uses GoDaddy and is having website problems, keep bugging them, be the squeaky wheel like I was and they may just fix it in the end!
We installed caching on the website. GoDaddy’s built in cache was the original problem with our website. We installed a caching program that we have more control over and will hopefully work with our website. As always, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you encounter any website errors. Specifically, caching programs tend to have a problem with the Store Cart and Checkout. These are the areas that we are concerned with. We are aware with some glitching on the mobile website and are working to remedy it.
You may notice that we started using Google Adsense with the website. If users find this to be too obtrusive, we will stop using it or cut down on the number of ads. As always, your feedback is appreciated!
So that’s what’s up on the website front! Last week was rather interesting. We were without power, internet and cell service (we don’t have a ground line) for part of Thursday and most of Friday. This really put a damper on our productivity. It’s amazing to me just how much we depend on power and the internet! We had hurricane like winds that brought down a lot of our fence. We are a bit concerned about the roof as there were shingles flying everywhere but we have no way of knowing their origin. The barn where Miss Baya lives is on well water. The poor barn lady kept priming the pump every time the power blipped on only to go down minutes later. Those horses need their water!
On the topic of model horses (ya ya, get to the horses already!) We are officially accepting a limited number of pickup slots. You can find the pertinent information at the link below:
BreyerFest 2017 Pickup Information
Breyer has revealed all of the BreyerFest 2017 Special Runs that they will prior to BreyerFest. The last Sneak Peek is yet to be fully revealed but we have a pretty good idea on the mold and have opened presales for him. However, we won’t make an official listing on the website until the full horse is revealed.
We have some great pricing going on for many of the 2017 Breyers. Please check them out.
Lastly, we have a whole slew of videos that have been posted to Aidan’s Toy Trove YouTube Channel.
There is some rare footage of my unpacking my personal collection Breyer Custom Horses.
We also have some video footage of the amazing Breyer Horse Steampunk Creations created by the talented Elayne Watrus.
The Booth of Elayne Watrus at BreyerWest 2017
Breyer Custom Steam Punk Amber by Elayne Watrus
There a lot of other Breyer Videos (and Copperfox!) Please feel free to browse around our YouTube Channel.
I’m looking forward to the end of the week and bet that you are too. It’s been a busy week!
|April 3, 2017||Posted by aidanstoytrove under Model Horse|
BreyerWest 2017 Part 1, 2 & 3 + YouTube Videos
I have been working on writing a BreyerWest 2017 Part 4. However, it still takes me quite a bit of time to get the formatting to look right on the website and the backend of the website is still crawling along at a snail’s pace. If you haven’t heard already, we are in the middle of a migration to a new website server. The website migration started 3 days ago and is due to finish any day now. We are waiting for the magical email that will tell us the migration is complete so we can flip the switch so to speak and make the website live on the new server. Our current server has caused us a lot of downtime, frustration and excessive page load times. We are crossing our fingers that the new server will remedy these problems. If it doesn’t, we have a backup plan in place!
What the ongoing server migration also means is that, new blog posts and new products will likely be lost and will have to be manually redone when the website is live on the new server. We have A LOT of news to share and new products to list but we’re waiting on the new website server to save ourselves a lot of redundant work.
I realized that our BreyerWest blog posts are a bit spread out and that a lot of the BreyerWest Videos haven’t been shared here on the website. So today’s blog post will be short and sweet. I am providing some easy to click links to everything BreyerWest that has been shared by us so far. There is more BreyerWest content coming (hint, there are YouTube Videos set to go live every day this week!) but here is what we have shared so far:
- BreyerWest 2017 Part 1 Blog Post
- BreyerWest 2017 Part 2 Blog Post
- BreyerWest 2017 Part 3 – The Copperfox Herd Blog Post
- Aidan’s Toy Trove YouTube Channel BreyerWest 2017 Video Playlist
Have a great week everyone! It’s cold and windy here but it is sunny. Spring is in the air!
|March 29, 2017||Posted by aidanstoytrove under Model Horse|
BreyerWest 2017 Part 3 – The Copperfox Herd!
Hi everyone! We arrived home safely from BreyerWest 2017 but I came home in less than optimal shape. We finished loading the cargo trailer at the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo around 11pm on Sunday and drove straight home. We pulled into the driveway around 5 am on Monday morning. I slept for 2 hours on Monday morning and then ended up taking a 2 hour nap in the afternoon which cut into the time that I had planned to unpack and get reorganized. Eeek! I have been feeling a bit under the weather and it seems that recovering from our weekend of plastic pony madness took me a solid 2 days. The best that I could manage on Tuesday was to get one package shipped and to start listing horses to eBay. We had the eBay Store closed while we were gone and now we have over 100 listings that expired while we were gone and those need to be relisted.
I’m finally beginning to feel a bit better. My fatigue level finally been brought back to a more normal level. Thank goodness! You should be seeing BreyerWest blog posts, pictures and videos going up on the website, Instagram and YouTube. Hurray! We haven’t been as quick at shipping these past 2 days but we are back on track and should be back to shipping orders within 24 hours. We want customers to be happy and know that that quick shipping is important! Our apologies for the delay in shipping for Monday and Tuesday but now we’re back on track.
I have lots that I want to share about BreyerWest 2017. We had a great time and there was so much going on that is was at times it was a bit overwhelming. We had a 10 x 10 booth that will be upgraded to a 10 x 20 booth next year. We apologize for the tight space in the booth this year. Was everyone cozy?? We did great at the BreyerWest Open Show and our show herd earned us a number of NAN cards and Championships. Hurray! I will make a blog post featuring some of our winning Breyer custom model horses.
Today I want to talk about the Copperfox Model Horses that we brought to sell at the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo 2017 that was held from March 24th – 26th in Albany, Oregon. We had absolutely no idea that we would have these amazing UK based horses on hand to sell. On a whim, I emailed Becky Benfield, the mastermind behind Copperfox Model Horses. I wanted to know if there had been any progress made on having US based Copperfox Dealers and I mentioned that we would be attending The Northwest Horse Fair and Expo in 2 weeks. My memory is a bit of a blur at this point but Becky started to pull out all the stops and had Copperfox Model Horses waiting for us at our hotel when we arrived on Thursday, March 23rd. Prior to going to our hotel which was located a half hour from the Linn County Fairgrounds, we spent a long day setting up or Aidan’s Toy Trove sales booth. We arrived around 2pm and left the fairgrounds around 11pm.
We pulled into the hotel a bit before midnight. We loaded the 3 BIG boxes of Copperfox Horses onto a cart along with our suitcase and computers and lugged everything up to the 4th floor where our room was located. Little did we know we had a surprise in store for us! When I inserted the key into the hotel door, the LEDs flashed red and green. I thought this odd but the door opened, so what they hay, right? We turned on the lights and started to lug everything into the room when SURPRISE, we noticed that the room wasn’t clean. The bed wasn’t made and there were empty drink bottles on the counter. Eww? We squeezed ourselves back into the tiny elevator and went back down to the front desk to request a new hotel room. Our new room was also on the 4th floor so back into the elevator we all went. I breathed a sigh of relief when the LED’s on the door lock flashed only green. We brought all of our ‘stuff’ into the room and kept the luggage cart for the night, shhh. We deserved that luggage cart right??
I lay half dazed on the bed and stared at the Copperfox tape encasing the boxes of what was sure to be beautiful horses (and ponies!) But I was tired and all I really wanted to do was sleep. In the end, the horses won out and I opened a case full of horses to take a quick peek. I was very excited to see Superman, Cadno, Lakeview Knight and Celtic Warrior for the very first time! In fact, this was the first time that I have ever seen a Copperfox Model Horse up close and personl! I didn’t open any of the other shipping cases other than to confirm that the contents looked to be in good condition. I packed the Copperfox Model Horses back into their shipping case and went to bed around 2 am.
We briefly debated pulling the Copperfox Model Horses from their shipping cases to make transporting them easier. All of our show horses were still loaded into the car and were taking up quite a bit of room. We had left the cargo trailer at the fairgrounds. Cargo space was at a premium and hubby said that I couldn’t leave Aidan behind at the hotel and pile his seat full of ponies. What’s the problem with that?? But it was raining out and we didn’t want to risk water damage to the lovely Copperfox packaging and we opted to leave them in their original shipping cases. It was like playing real life Tetris getting those 3 cases of Copperfox Horses into the car on Friday morning but we did it! We arrived at the Horse Expo at vendor opening time, 8m and proceeded to finish setting up. We had A LOT of work to do but we prioritized getting the CopperFox Model Horses out and gave them prime real estate on our front table so people could look at all of them in person. We had a lot less space to work with than we would have liked but it worked!
At 9 am I left the sales booth and headed over to the BreyerWest Open Show to set up my personal show horses. Hubby was manning the sales booth (manning…get it?!) while I was showing. We did some shuffling so he could get his horses on to the show table while I stood at the sales booth. The floodgates opened at 10am which was the official start time of the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo. There was a whole stampede of people rushing into the horse expo but I only caught a glimpse of it as I was still unpacking show horses. I remember glancing up and seeing a huge swarm of people over at our sales booth. I thought this would be the worst of the rush, but alas, nope!
We decided to not open the sales of the Copperfox horses until 3 pm. This was around the time that I was finished with the Open Model Horse Show last year but unfortunately the show ran much later this year and it had me in quite a panic. All through the morning and early afternoon we had many visitors at the booth that were delighted to see and handle the Copperfox Model Horses in person. Many people thought that they were made of fine china or porcelain! People were amazed at the crisp detail on all of the Copperfox molds. We are glad that we decided to delay sales on the Copperfox horses so that people could see them because at 3 pm, the Copperfox horses grew wings and took flight!
I was dashing back and forth from the Open Model Horse Show to our sales booth to make sure that the Copperfox sales were running smoothly. There were a few hiccups with releasing the Copperfox herd at 3 pm. A lot of potential purchasers were also still at the model horse show (like myself) and our sales booth had a line of people waiting to purchase Copperfox horses. Lakeview Knight was in high demand and we only had 2 on hand. We ended up selling him by lottery. Our apologies to those that missed out but we will try to have more stock on hand next time. We also limited sales to 1 per person per transaction. This seemed to work well and enabled everyone to purchase at least 1 Copperfox Model Horse. Some people stood in line for their Copperfox horse more than once!
I was finished with the model horse show by 5 pm and hurried back on over to our booth. I was delighted that so many of the people that had purchased horses earlier in the day were still around and wanted to talk more about Copperfox Model Horses. We had a mini gathering of sorts. I was leafing through the individual Copperfox horses’ information cards right along with other hobbyists and everyone had a lot of fun learning about the various molds. There was a lot of talk about the Copperfox horse sculptors. Most notably, Morgen Kilbourn! It hadn’t clicked in my head until Morgen Kilbourn stopped by the booth that she was the sculptor of the Irish Sport Horse. That was a major DUH moment on my part! Morgen was judging at the model horse show on Friday and was a hobby demonstrator on Saturday. I know that Morgen signed at least 1 Copperfox Superman during the event. How cool is that?
We specifically held back some Copperfox Model Horses for viewing and purchase on Saturday. Saturday was twice as busy as Friday. I had so much fun showing the Copperfox horses to hobbyists and nonhobbyists alike. There were a large number of model horse collectors that had never heard of Copperfox Model Horses and they were amazed with the quality. There were even non model horse collectors that stopped by the booth just to see the Copperfox horses. Their eyes lit up when they opened the boxes to look inside. The Black Pearl Friesian Dance Troupe was performing and in addition to the Friesians was a Welsh Cob stallion named North Forks Cardi. This very special horse is trained in Grand Prix Dressage and was shown on the long lines. The Welsh Cob floated around the arena in the trademark airy trot that is so frequently seen in the breed. People were very excited to see the Copperfox Model Horse Tiger Woods after watching the Friesians and the Welsh Cob perform!
We still have a lot to share about BreyerWest but this is a good stopping point. We just reserved vendor space at the Western States Horse Expo and will be bringing a selection Copperfox Model Horses to see and purchase! We hope to see you there!
|March 26, 2017||Posted by aidanstoytrove under Model Horse|
BreyerWest 2017 Part 2
Hi everyone! We are having an absolute blast here at BreyerWest! We have been very busy and I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to post more pictures of all fun happenings this year. BreyerWest seems to be seeing a lot more foot traffic this year than was here in 2016. And that’s a good thing!
Today is Sunday, the last day of the event <sniff>. We’re willing to make some deals at our booth. Please don’t be afraid to make offers on any of our model horses. We can’t discount the new current stock or Copperfox horses much if at all, but the retired and miscellaneous stuff is fair game.
We are very close to being sold out of Copperfox Horses. I believe we have around 6 left. Please come and take a look at this wonderful new line of UK horses. The quality on them really must be seen in person to be appreciated. You are welcome to open the boxes and handle each horse! They really do each have unique personality of their own.
Our biggest hit has been our $5 barrel which the lovely girls in this picture are excitedly picking through. We are very pleased to be moving old merchandise out and we couldn’t be happier to see the smiles on the children’s faces picking out a new model horse 🙂
I personally am dreading breaking down the booth. We can’t begin breakdown until 6pm and have to be out of the building by 9pm. If you could help us out and give a horse a home, we would surely appreciate it! I’m truly overwhelmed by all the friendly faces that came to visit us during the event. It almost seems surreal to be meeting so many of our online customers in person! That’s it for now, it’s time to head to BreyerWest and set up for Sunday! Thank you everyone!!
|March 25, 2017||Posted by aidanstoytrove under Model Horse|
BreyerWest 2017 Part I
BreyerWest 2017 is now in full swing. We had a rather rough start to the trip. We had a hard time cramming everything into the trailer. We hit the road around 8:30am on Thursday. Less than a half mile into the trip we heard a large BANG and SCREEEEEEECH coming from the cargo trailer. It sounded like a tire had blown. Luckily, we were in a spot that we could easily pull over at. It ended up being the tow stand. We forgot to put the locking pin in place, phew!
We drove the trailer for the very first time on Highway 199 which is a very narrow windy road which drops off a cliff into the Smith River. Driving parts of that road can be rather nail biting. Once we hit Interstate 5 it was clear sailing. We stopped for a quick lunch in Roseburg and arrived at the Linn County Fairgrounds around 2:30pm. I quickly ran into the Expo to meet my new friend, Elayne Watrus who is vending beside us. That was quite exciting but then the real work began.
In order to fit all of our model horse inventory inside of the trailer, the shelves had to be assembled inside of it. This meant that we had to pull ALL the inventory off the shelves before we could unload the shelves from the trailer and begin setting up our booth. We checked the weather and it was supposed to start raining at 6pm and I kept checking the time. Moving the shelves inside the Expo and tweaking them was quite the chore. Then the banner refused to connect where we wanted it. We were finally starting to load inventory onto the shelves when it proceeded to dump rain outside, right on top of all of the inventory that we had just dragged to the side of the trailer in order to unload the shelves. We all darted outside to drag the inventory back into the trailer but the boxes still got pretty wet and we were positively drenched.
We worked on the booth until 11pm on Thursday evening. We were the last people in the building and still had setting up to do in the morning. Exhausted, we dragged ourselves to the car and unhitched the trailer, or rather TRIED to unhitch the trailer. It seemed to be stuck on the tow ball. We eventually got it off after a lot of prying and fiddling and even a few choice words. Even more frustrating, the trailer is not hitching correctly now but is a problem that we will have to solve before we leave on Sunday.
We opted to stay in a hotel in Salem as it was considerably cheaper than staying close to the Fairgrounds. We drove to the hotel and checked in. We had FOUR big boxes waiting for us when we arrived. 3 were full of Copperfox Horses and one had some customs that were being returned after having been repaired. We filled up a hotel cart with all the boxes and our laptops and lugged our suitcases behind us as the cart was completely full. We went up to the fourth floor where our room was. When we opened the door to our room, SURPRISE, the bed was unmade and there were empty bottles on the counter. We trooped on back down to the front desk to request a new room. The second room worked out just fine but gosh we were all so grumpy! We hadn’t eaten in 12 hours and the only open food place we could find was Dennys but hey, it was food!
We finished eating and went back to the hotel where I dove into the contents of the Copperfox boxes. Hubby typed away at some pricing sheets for our sales booth. When we were finished (or finished enough to finish in the morning, LOL) it was creeping up on 3am. Our alarm was set for 7am. I had a hard time getting out of bed but we arrived back and the Horse Fair and Expo center right around setup time at 8am. I helped finish what I could in the booth until 9am when I needed to switch over to BreyerWest show mode. Last year, the BreyerWest Open Show ended fairly early and we scheduled the Copperfox Horses to go on sale at 3pm. I was hoping that this would give everyone a chance to take a good look at the horses and that the show would be nearing the end around 3pm. WRONG. The show ran until closer to 6pm. My hubby, the trooper that he is, dealt with a whole MOB of people wanting to purchase Copperfox horses. We were happily able to rehome 10 of the horses and ponies on Friday. We will have more horses available on Saturday and hopefully some on Sunday as well.
I’ll try to write a bit more about the BreyerWest Open show tomorrow and I will take some more pictures tomorrow too. Goodnight everyone!