Many Mini Hooves

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Originally published December 4, 2015

Play Sets: Equine Life

Soon the horse and rider sets just weren't enough. In 2001 Breyer took it up a notch with play sets highlighting four scenes from equine life.

Of the four sets, #5307 Circus Play Set was the only one which didn't consist of a parent/foal pair. Instead, the set featured two adults: a G2 Andalusian and a G2 Shetland Pony, both in pure white with yellow hooves and black eyes. The set included two sections of pink circus ring, purple and yellow rings, circus blankets, star jump, and circus stool, pink head-plumes, and a black and white sitting puppy. This set had the shortest run, with it being discontinued at the end of 2004.

#5308 Dude Ranch Play Set was the only pair of patterned models - the G2 Stock Horse and G2 Trotting Foal in bay leopard appaloosa. The legs and muzzle of the models are softly shaded and there are hand painted stripes in the mane and tail. The spots tend to be glossy and thick, like enamel paint, and like the stark black eye, can be a tad messy. This set came with four panels of dark wood-effect fencing, a western hitching post, campfire, red lantern, red and white barrel, and a silver water trough. This set had the second shortest run, with it being discontinued at the end of 2005.

The final two sets get a bit complicated as they contained G1 foals and were produced long enough to cross that G1 extinction line.

The #5306 New Arrival Play Set was first issued with a shaded chestnut G1 Thoroughbred Lying Foal with two hind socks, shell-coloured hind hooves, and brown fore-hoof and was available through 2005. In 2006 the G1 foal was replaced by a G2 Scratching Foal. The new foal was a harsher orange-chestnut with little shading and only one hind sock on the near-side. This final version of the set was available through 2007.

A shaded bay G2 Paso Fino accompanied the foal in both sets. She was without any markings and tends to be satin to semi-gloss in finish. The set came with four panels of yellow fencing, a blue trough with hay, blue pitchfork, blue and yellow body brush, red tack trunk, silver bucket, a bundle of carrots, and a hay bed for the foal - this was not included in the G2 version.

Both models in the #5309 Horspital Play Set had been released before in black, but unlike the earlier release, both models were new plastic with stencilled markings. Both are a soft black, but the G1 Thoroughbred Standing Foal has four socks and a star to the G2 American Saddlebred's two socks (off-fore and near-hind) and solid face. The mare also has dark, cranberry-coloured braids. This lovely pair were available from 2001-2005 until the G1 foal was replaced by an identical G2 Scrambling Foal. The set included four panels of white fencing, bale of hay, white and red medical kit, red pitchfork, blue bucket and trough, green garden hose, and white horse blankets with red edges. This set was available until the end of 2007.

In 2003 two new single-horse sets were added to the gift set line-up; both were discontinued at the end of 2005. This time the theme was slightly more fanciful.

The G2 Clydesdale made his first gift set appearance in the #5910 Medieval Play Set in a beautiful bright flaxen chestnut with four stockings, bald face, and large spot on the off-side of the barrel. The accessories in this set were heavy on the glitter - the green-leafed tree, banner, treasure chest, trophy, warrior princess, and jousting tack all came in for a liberal dose of the sparkle.

The #5911 Fantasy Play Set featured the first fantasy colour on the G2 Rearing Arabian. The body is a pearly white with blue shading, blue mane, a white tail striped with blue and gold, gold hooves, and detachable pearl white wings. He was accompanied by a slightly goofy sitting dragon holding a crystal ball, a dark-haired princess, treasure chest, and a tree with some fantastic foliage - as with the Medieval Play Set, the glitter was strong with this one.

Many thanks to Sharon Walbridge and MySt of My Stablemates for providing pictures for this post!

Originally published March 4, 2016

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

T.J.Maxx, and its UK alter-ego T.K.Maxx, has been known to stock Breyers from time to time. These are usually over-stock items from other stores and are generally regular run Classic models with the occasional Traditional or Stablemate item.

In 2004 Breyer through us a curve ball when a very unusual Stablemate set started popping up in stores. At first it was thought to be a one-time thing, maybe a couple of unreleased sets escaped somehow form the factory, but it turned out to be an actual special run for the store.

#701774 Horses of the World contained six models of different breed types in some very appealing colours. Of the six, one, the G2 Clydesdale was a re-release of the bay model from the recently retired #5901 Stablemate Assortment, but the others were all new.

There was a G2 Warmblood in a very light flea-bitten grey, a palomino G2 Paso Fino, a black G2 Andalusian, a black dun G2 Shetland pony with a stripy mane and tail, and a dark flaxen chestnut G2 Rearing Arabian. The set also contained four blue fencing panels and a box of hay.

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

Originally published March 10, 2017

Play Sets: More Horse Life

The Stablemate gift sets are perennial favourites and there was a bumper crop between 2008 and 2010.

#5405 Horspital Play Set (2008-09) consists of a golden-toned red bay G3 Standing Stock Horse and a matching G3 Standing Foal. They came equipped with white-bordered red horse blankets, four panels of white fencing, a blue water hose, bucket, medical box, and tote with various medical supplies.

#5407 Stablemates Dude Ranch Play Set (2008-09) comes with a few panels of brown fencing, a ranch gateway, hay bale, and a feed bag. The horses are a black G2 Stock Horse and a bay G2 Cantering Foal. The colour of the foal closely resembles that of a black foal going through its first shedding.

Target #720232 Pony Gals - Horspital Play Set (2009) contains two of the prettiest colours on these molds. The G3 Standing Thoroughbred is a smoky grey tobiano and the foal is a soft chestnut tobiano. They come with white, red-bordered rugs, yellow fencing and hose, blue trough, and medical supplies.

Target #720234 Pony Gals - New Arrival Play Set (2009) is another beautiful special run set. The mare is a soft palomino G2 American Saddlebred and the foal a buckskin G3 Standing Foal. They come with pink fencing and pitchfork, yellow tack box, manger of hay, and a brush.

Play Set #5409 Horse Play Set (2010-12) marks the return of the SM tree. In addition to the greenery there's yellow fencing, a blue trough, and a hay bale. The horses are a bay blanket appaloosa G3 Rearing Andalusian and a soft palomino G2 Scrambling Foal.

Play Set #5411 Pony Care Set (2010-12) contains a pair of adorable ponies - a chestnut roan G3 Highland Pony and a dapple grey G2 Shetland Pony. They come with white fencing, pink pitchfork, red trough, hay-filled manger, brushes, and a carrot.

Many thanks to Deb Walsmith and Sharon Walbridge for providing pictures for this post!

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