When you get a chance to play in clay, you find out why Hagen-Renaker made so many mini animals and goofy things... it's as cheap as dirt. The only real expense is the labor. Plaster, clay, firing.... costs are inconsequential.
Gayle Roller was able to buy the molds from Beachstone/Storybook Figurines, the company owned by Mary Renaker and her husband Eric. They did a lot of little figurines, like carousel animals, religious and Nativity figures, pins, unicorns, and the storybook illustrations of Eulalie. Gayle had so many little character molds, she didn't know what to do with them all. I helped her clean them up, and taught her to cast them, so she gave me the little "toy soldier" mold. My kids were both in the marching band in school, so I resculpted the toy soldier to reflect their marching band costume and made a master mold. Thus was born the "Bando" (which is what the marching band kids call themselves) We spent six years as Bando parents, hubby in particular was heavily involved in the band, and a couple of times I made Bandos to sell to raise money for the band. The 'regular run' has white pants, a purple shirt with a gold thing across it (what do they call that, anyway?), a white hat with a purple band and a gold circle on it. The hair was sometimes painted to match the kid's hair if we sold them to the Bando parents. When my son's band was invited to play at Carnegie Hall in NY, and we had to come up with all of the money, I made a set that had white, black, and gold clothes, with a little tag that thanked the buyer for supporting the band. The special memories that the kids have from their band days are worth any amount of work.
Today's prize is a set of Bandos... one regular run, one special run. And the winner is... Carrie Rouillard! Congrats, Carrie!