Many Mini Hooves

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Originally published January 16, 2015

Gift Set: What's With All the Fanfare?

In 2000 Just About Horses subscribers were offered the opportunity to purchase an exclusive special run on the Traditional sized Iron Metal Chief. The run consisted of the big four decorator colours (Wedgwood, Florentine, Copenhagen, & Gold Charm) to be distributed as a gambler's choice - you wouldn't know which one you had until you opened the box. All four models went by the name of Fanfare and were in celebration of Breyer's 50th anniversary.

Wedgwood, Gold Charm, Copenhagen, Florentine

Four years later Just About Horses offered their subscriber a similar special run. The colours were the same, and in keeping with the gaited nature of the original release, the Mini Fanfare mold of choice was the G1 Saddlebred. One could say this could count as one of the “Mini Me” sets.

The blue models had solid gold braids and the gold models had solid blue braids. All of them had bald faces and four white socks.

Gold Snowflake, Sugarplum Snowflake, Blue Snowflake, Silver Snowflake

This time, unlike the Traditional special run, the four colours came as a complete set, but collectors weren't out of the woods yet, the sets came with a bonus, a gamblers choice G1 Draft Horse in one of four decorator snowflake colours.

The Mini Fanfare set was announced in the Sept/Oct 2004 JAH issue and collectors began receiving their packages in late October. The models came luxuriously displayed in these lovely presentation boxes with a certificate of authenticity slipped inside. A total of 1,500 sets were made, which meant there were only 375 of each of the drafter colours available; why does this mold end up with all the hard-to-find releases?

Many thanks to Sharon Walbridge, Deb Walsmith, and Elizabeth Emswiler for providing pictures of this set from their collections!

Originally published July 10, 2015

Gift Set: Just About Horses Special Run - Return of the Old Plastic

The picture of the Stablemate Assortment was not the only attraction in the 1998 July/Aug issue of Just About Horses; the announcement of a new special run was bound to steal the show.

5,000 sets of the complete line of the new G2 molds, in special run colours, were offered to Just About Horses subscribers. The sets were to come in presentation boxes, complete with a certificate of authenticity. As if this weren’t enough, as icing on the cake, these models were to be produced, for one time only, in old plastic!

The colours in this set, like those in the new G2 assortment, pushed the boundaries of previous Stablemate paint jobs. Dapples, a wide variety of facial markings, detailed duns, and unusual colours such as silver dapple and sabino roan were all trotted out.

Some models, such as the black leopard appaloosa Stock Horse, grey Thoroughbred, and bay Prancing Morgan had their white markings painted on rather than being masked out on the unpainted plastic. Both the dark dapple grey Andalusian and the black silver Shetland Pony sported the new airbrushed dapples.

The paint used for this run seemed to be thicker than usual which gave some models a thick edge to their masked markings. Complaints about the roan Clydesdale in particular, were so bitter that Breyer produced a quantity of replacement models for the most vocal.

The sets were delivered in December - mine arrived on December 21, 1998, less than a week after the new G2 assortment became available at my local Breyer shop.

Many thanks to Sharon Walbridge for providing pictures for this post!

Originally published March 4, 2016

Excerpt from: Gift Sets: Horses in Unfamiliar Places - Retailer Special Runs I

Now, there was a period in the 1990s and early 2000s when QVC, the television home shopping channel, would have a Breyer segment and collectors with cable would eagerly tune in for their chance to snatch up one or more of these limited special runs. In 2002, the first Stablemate-scale special, a set called the Silver Cup Series, First Collection 2002, aired on the show.

The packaging was like that of the earlier Just About Horses Stablemate set with blue boxes and blue sponge inserts, and came with a certificate of authenticity. The models all featured a high gloss "porcelain-like" finish.

The set included four G2 models: a shaded bay G2 Warmblood, bay frame G2 Stock Horse, dapple grey G2 American Saddlebred, and a shaded chestnut G2 Rearing Arabian. One G1 mold, the G1 Draft Horse in the decorator colour known as Charcoal black, and a small silver trophy finished out the set.

Just a little while later, that same year, a second set in the series, Silver Cup Series, Second Collection 2002 was offered through QVC. The boxes were the same, but this time the inserts were black "velvet".

Several of the same molds were used, but the colours were completely different. This time the G2 Warmblood was a grey tobiano, the G2 Stock Horse a bay blanket appaloosa, and the G1 Draft Horse a pale, shaded flaxen chestnut or palomino. The new molds were a sandy bay G2 Thoroughbred and a dark seal bay G2 Prancing Morgan.

Despite the implications of the name, there were no further additions to the Silver Cup Series.

Many thanks to Sharon Walbridge for providing pictures for this post!

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