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Originally published July 19. 2013

Play Set: The Little Red Stable - Paper or Plastic?

In 1976 Breyer expanded the Stablemate line to include a pair of barns and a play set. The most elusive of these items was the #7100 Wooden Stable. This rustic barn and corral set was only shown in the 1976 catalogue and its exact production dates are uncertain.


Though this set looks quite sturdy and detailed, the Breyer History Diva reports a disappointing lack of quality. Maybe it's fortunate they're rare.

1976: Green - The Opposite of Red

The original Little Red Stable wasn't actually red, it was green and was called the Stablemates Stable, but the idea was the same.

When the second batch of Stablemates molds were released in 1976, the first play set also made an appearance. The set consisted of the new Quarter Horse Stallion and Mare and a pair of the Thoroughbred Foals - all in dark bay - with their home, a palatial green cardboard stable, which could also be purchased separately. As is so common for this time, all four models came with a variety of leg markings, and in a plethora of shades and finishes. My variations on this set can be seen in later posts and we will also cover how to tell the two bay regular run foal pairs apart.


For the first year this set was called #7200 Stablemates Stable, but when the 1977 catalogue came out, it had been re-listed as #3085 Stablemates Stable Set and the picture was only of the box, no models to be seen. 1978 was the same, but the next year brought about something a bit different.

Beginning in 1979 and through 1980, when the set was retired at the end of the year, the name and number remained the same, but now the pictures showed a bay Seabiscuit instead of the Quarter Horse Stallion. This Seabiscuit appears to be the same as the assortment release. Because the 1977 and later catalogues only showed the box, it's possible for Breyer to have made the mold substitution pre-1979, but the hobby generally accepts 1978 as being the final production year for this G1 Quarter Horse Stallion.


The 1976 catalogue picture showed a family which appeared to be dark liver chestnut sporting high white stockings and white faces. It is thought that these were just test models used as stand-ins for the actual production models for the catalogue pictures, but rumours exist of similar models being found in early sets.

1995: The Little Green Stable Goes Modern...and Red


One of the 1997 mid-year releases (available in August) was new Stablemate Stable set - #59197 Stablemates Little Red Stable Set. This time the little barn was a red, modern, plastic affair with swinging doors and a tack room, and came with an assortment of accessories: a jump, three barrels, a water trough, and some fence panels in addition to the two Stablemates - according to the promotional flier, a grey Thoroughbred and a chestnut Arabian.


The promotional pictures in the mid-year release flier didn't look that interesting; the models were the same alabaster Citation and bay Arabian Stallion as in the individual assortment, but when the sets were released, collectors got a pleasant surprise.


Instead of the recycled Stablemates, there was a smoky alabaster Quarter Horse Stallion and a pretty gold-toned chestnut Arabian Stallion. Though this set ran for several years, it never appeared in the box catalogues and in 1999, the G1 molds were replaced by G2s.

1998: Something Special


The only other G1 Little Red Stable set to be produced was a special run. In 1998, instead of the usual 12-piece set, Breyer released a trio of models with the same regular run barn and accessories through JCPenney.


The models in the #706698 Stablemate Barn set were a black blanket appaloosa Native Dancer, a bay roan Quarter Horse Stallion, and a "dun" Arabian Mare. Apparently, these sets weren't a big seller, because they are extremely hard to find on the second-hand market.



Originally published August 21, 2015

Play Sets: The Little Red Stable, Part II - Still Little, Still Red

In 1999 the Generation One models in the #59197 Stablemates Litle Red Stable Set were replaced by two Generation Two models; the name and number of the set remained unchanged.


The leopard spotted G2 Mule is the same as #5609 from the Stablemate Assortment, but the chestnut frame overo G2 Stock Horse is unique to the set. This pair was available through 2001.


In 2002 a new set was released to fill the void left by the discontinued Little Red Stable, this time the barn looked a little less New England and a little more Wild West. There was only one horse in the #59198 Stablemates Western Ranch, a black frame overo G2 Stock Horse. The set was a little bare when it came to accessories, but it did include a cowboy...and fire. The Western Ranch was only available through 2002, the next year it was replaced by yet another incarnation of the Little Red Stable.


The number, #59197, was the same as the previous Little Red Stable Sets, but the name in the catalogue was changed to Stablemates Red Stable Set. This time both horses were new releases, a dark bay frame overo G2 Warmblood and a chestnut dun G2 Clydesdale. The Stablemates Red Stable Set ran from 2003 through 2006 before the G3 models took over.


2006 was a busy year for the Little Red Stable. Not only had a new version of the set been released with a G3 model, but this snappy set popped up in K-Mart stores. The Special Run #79197 Stablemates Country Stable Set came with a lovely bay roan G2 Standardbred and delicate light chestnut blanket appaloosa G2 Stock Horse.


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

Originally published June 25, 2016 during Birthday Week

Gift Set: Stable Storage

The early 2000s were a time of experimentation for the Stablemate line. Play sets, gift sets, and activity sets flourished.


One of the more unusual offerings was the #5905 Wood Display Shelf with Three Stablemates, a barn-shaped shelf which was advertised in the 2002 mid-year catalogue and was available from then through 2003.


The models which came with the shelf were models left over from the #5901 Assortment:

  • G2 Clydesdale - #5604, bay
  • G2 Rearing Arabian - #5603, white grey
  • G2 Stock Horse - #5601, buckskin blanket appaloosa



Originally published January 1, 2016

Play Sets: Pocket Barns

After the Little Red Stable came the littler red stable - the pocket barn. These small plastic barns are about five inches tall and open on a hinge to reveal an interior large enough for an adult Stablemate and some accessories. The barn and loft doors all work and there is a carry strap enabling one to carry the building like a purse.


#5993 Pocket Barn Carry Case (2002-04) was the first Pocket Barn released and came with a bay blanket appaloosa G2 Cantering Foal and a handful of accessories - three white fence panels, a blue bucket and pitchfork, and a blue and yellow hay box and body brush. the barn is yellow with burgundy roof and trim.

The next year a special run Seabiscuit Pocket Barn was released in a red and blue colour scheme.


The #5913 Pocket Barn with Veterinarian set was released in 2005 right on the cusp of the great Stablemate Swap. A G1 Saddlebred in bay tobiano was available in 2005, and its G2 doppelganger in the form of a G2 American Saddlebred was available from late 2005 until the end of 2006 when the set was discontinued.


The barn is a classic red with white trim and the accessories include three panels of yellow fence, a nifty green garden hose, a red and white vet kit, a tube of ointment, a spray bottle, and a veterinarian.


The Target special run #720032 Stablemates Flower Barn (2006) is a very spring-like affair with a daffodil yellow barn with a bright blue roof and sea-foam green trim. The accessories include a jaunty little blond girl, a sitting dog, three pots of flowers, and three panels of yellow fencing. A G2 Warmblood in a gorgeous metallic dapple buckskin completes the set.


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

Originally published July 22, 2016

Play Sets: Smaller Than a Breadbox - Pocket Barns II

The release of Pocket Barn sets saw a spike in 2007/08 with a regular run and a handful of special runs.


#9962502 Deluxe Farm Pocket Barn (2007) could be found at Mid-States Distributing/Rural King stores. This somewhat crowded blue barn with red trim came with a black blanket appaloosa G3 Standing Stock Horse, matching G3 Standing Foal, and a bay roan G2 Mule, plus a cow, rooster, chicken, pig, rabbit, veterinarian, fencing, trough, bale of hay, and other accessories.


Various Retailers, such as Target, carried #720052 New Arrival Barn - Stablemates Pocket Barn with Mare & Foal (2007). This set contained a green barn with white trim, yellow fencing, hay trough, water trough, and a chestnut tobiano G2 Paso Fino and a buckskin tobiano G3 Lying Foal.

This set was released later in 2007 as the regular run #5918 Pocket Barn with Mare and Foal (2007-08)


A new pocket barn could be found in Target stores in 2008, #720047 Veterinarian Pocket Barn (2008). The model in this set is the same G2 Paso Fino from the #5306 New Arrival set. A veterinarian, fencing, and assorted accessories were also included.

There are a pair of pocket barns in the current line, both containing foals.


#5932 Scrambling Foals Pocket Barn Play Set (2012-2018) comes with a baby blue barn with white trim, yellow fencing panels, a G2 Trotting Foal in bay, and a palomino pinto G2 Scrambling Foal.


The baby pink barn with purple roof and white fencing in the #5370 Horse Crazy Pocket Barn (2013-2017) is certainly eye-catching. A palomino G3 Standing Foal is accompanied by a girl doll in blue jeans and pink jacket.


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