Many Mini Hooves

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Originally published June 22, 2016 during Birthday Week

Gift Sets - BreyerFest Store Models

At first the only special models available at BreyerFest were the celebration model and the test run auction models. Then they tried out a few surprise special runs which sold out very quickly and caused quite a bit of bitterness in those who had missed out.

Later, special runs were announced in advance and sold in the Breyer store. Sometimes, lucky folks found surprises such as samples, test, and assorted warehouse extras tucked away in odd boxes in the BreyerFest store.

Some of the special runs could be a bit odd, such as the two sets of flocked models released in 2001. #710201 Flocky Set I (2001) consisted of a dapple grey G2 Prancing Morgan and a red and white Companion Animal Jack Russell Terrier.

#710401 Flocky Set II (2001) was a chestnut tobiano G2 Rearing Arabian and a buckskin blanket appaloosa G2 Cantering Foal. The flocking is a layer of finely chopped coloured fibre applied over a glue-coated body; it gives the model a rather chunky look and some find it off-putting.

In 2004, a pile of mall white boxes could be found in the Breyer Store. This Mystery Box contained four models from the 1998 Just About Horses collection and are probably re-packaged leftovers from those made to replace damaged models from the JAH sets. The G2 Thoroughbred, G2 Shetland Pony, and G2 Warmblood are all the same as those previously released, but the G2 Clydesdale was a bit different.

While the original JAH G2 Clydesdale has a white basecoat under his grey colour and is lightly roaned, the Mystery Box model had his grey colour sprayed directly on his bare plastic and is without roaning. This gives the Mystery Box model a more delicate, slightly translucent look.

Originally published May 6, 2016

Gift Sets: Go West! - West Coast Jamboree "Wee Trio"

The West Coast Jamboree was the unofficial BreyerFest of the West. From 1992 to 2004, Sheryl Leisure and her gang of merry helpers provided the collectors of the west coast with a model horse extravaganza. Many of the big model horse brands provided special runs, including Breyer, Stone, Hartland, Hagen-Renaker, and the short-lived Horses 2000. On alternate years, the show would host the North American Nationals, resulting in an even larger crowd.

The special runs provided by Breyer were usually Traditional scale, but for 2004, what became the final year of the Jamboree, they supplied a set of G2 Shetland Ponies called The Wee Trio.

These three models were painted to represent real Miniature Horses located in California. Around 600 of #704304 Wee Trio were produced with a glossy finish and were sold to the general public at the show. Though the models were small, the colours were lush and featured details such as pink-tinted eye-whites, painted chestnuts, and on some, detailed hooves.

Lazy Days Midnight Lightening is the black tobiano with a "cape" style pattern which extends over the back of the shoulders; the barrel, chest, neck, and haunches are left black. The four socks are disconnected from the rest of the pattern and the models have pinkish eye-whites.

Lazy Days Midnight Lightening, known as “Leo” was born in Norco, California in 2002. In 2004, Leo began work with Stampede Of Love as a therapy horse and later as an equine painter. In 2017 he retired to the pasture where he continues to delight his owner, Tara Needham. This lovely little pinto boy is only 27" tall!

Legally Blonde is a rich and creamy palomino with a metallic finish, unpainted white mane and tail, painted chestnuts, shaded muzzle, a small star, and pinkish eye-whites. I have a vague memory that this colour is supposed to be golden champagne, but I have yet to find a source to confirm this.

Santee Dottaloosa is a grey blanket appaloosa with stencilled hind-stockings, pinkish eye-whites, stripes on the off-fore hoof, and pinkish eye-whites. As with Legally Blonde, I have a memory of this colour representing something different than it appears. Though I cannot find a source to confirm it, I recall the real Santee Dottaloosa being a silver black pintaloosa.

Santee Dottaloosa was born in 1995 and passed away in 2006. His full brother Santee Ricky Boy continued his legacy.

Breyer has a history of using glossy models as the rare or prize models, but this time they are the common version of a set and the matte the rare one. Around 200 of the Wee Trio sets were produced in matte finish and given away to the judges and other staff who helped at the 2004 Jamboree.

The colours were the same, but the models were matte to satin in finish. It can be a bit difficult to tell the matte sets from the glossy. Santee Dottaloosa is the easiest as the finish is usually very matte and the grey colour gains depth from the gloss.

The metallic finish on Legally Blonde can make things tricky, but a close examination of the mane and tail can determine a matte or glossy finish.

The hardest is Lazy Days Midnight Lightning - the black markings tend to have a bit of a satin shine on the matte models; look closely at the white areas as these will differ more from the glossy models.

Originally published April 15, 2016

Gift Sets: The One Everyone Wants - The German Special Run

Usually, the more recently an item has been released, the easier it is to acquire. The G2 models tend to follow this rule, even the rarer of the releases can be easier to find than more common, but much older G1 models. One of the exceptions to this rule is the German special run set, which was almost impossible to obtain from the start.

Produced as prizes for the 2006 German Horse Fest, often referred to as the German BreyerFest, this set features five G2 molds in stunning colours with a beautiful high-gloss finish. The exact numbers produced are currently unknown, but the hobby estimates that around only 16 of these sets were given out. A couple of sets appeared later in the BreyerFest sales tent, AKA the Ninja Pit of Death.

The set consisted of a palomino G2 American Saddlebred, a flaxen chestnut G2 Andalusian, a black sabino G2 Clydesdale, a black roan G2 Rearing Arabian, and a buckskin tobiano G2 Thoroughbred, all with an extremely high gloss finish, much like the 2002 QVC Silver Cup sets.

Many thanks to Deb Walsmith and Tara Needham for providing pictures for this post!

Originally published September 23, 2016

Excerpt from: Gift Sets and Singles: BreyerFest Store Models

#711077 All American Tribute (2007) consisted of representatives of three American Breeds. 1,250 of these sets were produced.

The G3 Standing Stock Horse is a Colorado Rangerbred in flaxen liver chestnut blanket appaloosa with star, eye-whites, and hind pasterns with striped hooves. The G2 Paso Fino is a bay dun Florida Cracker, and the G3 Tennessee Walking Horse is a....Tennessee Walking Horse in black tobiano with four white legs and purple ribbons.

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