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Originally published October 24, 2014

Singles: BreyerFest Goodies - Keychains!

The first four BreyerFest events (1990-1993) only featured the celebration model, a raffle model, and some test runs which were auctioned for charity; the volunteers at the 1993 BreyerFest were given special models for the first time. In 1994 collectors were treated to something new - BreyerFest special runs!37

At a time when the Stablemate line was being produced in China in new plastic, these special models were made of old plastic in New Jersey36. Gold-coloured key-chains with little metal Breyer logo fobs were added to G1 Standing and Lying Thoroughbred Foals, creating the first Breyer key-chains.

Some collectors prefer to remove the key-chain hardware for aesthetic reasons or for easier display.

Both colours were cast in a clear plastic which was tinted with pigment36; unlike the regular run black Thoroughbred Foals which are white plastic painted black. I can't seem to find how these were sold, whether individually or in pairs, but Nancy Young's text seems to imply they were sold individually. 250 of each colour on each mold were produced for a total of 1,000 models. Leftover models were sold through various mail-order companies after BreyerFest36.

The 1995 BreyerFest went back to the standard group of event models - celebration, raffle, volunteer, & auction - but the Stablemate Foals, still sporting keychains, reappeared in 1996, this time in blue and clear37.

Like the 1994 releases, these four were made in New Jersey with clear cellulose acetate (old plastic); pigment was added to create the blue foals. Production numbers were uneven this year, but roughly 250 of each colour for an overall total of 1,000 models were produced36.

The 1997 quartet of special run Stablemate keychains were joined by a Traditional scale suprise special run, a black Aristocrat37. This time, instead of having two pairs of foals, there was a pair of adult molds, the Saddlebred and Draft Horse, and one pair of foals.

For the first time the keychains were made in China, but with a batch of old plastic specifically shipped out for the purpose by Breyer. In addition this was the first year the foals were produced in the standard way - opaque white plastic with airbrushed paint36.

The amber coloured Saddlebred was produced in the same manner as the previous clear keychain models. Like the 1994 black foals, the draft horse has been cast in a glossy, black-tinted plastic12, which looks and feels like it's been dipped in a heavy coat of gloss - these models have an odd thick & smooth look to them. This year around 500 of each model was produced34.

The feeding frenzy surrounding the purchasable special runs (especially the Traditional Aristocrat) prompted Breyer to release another Traditional special run in 1998, this time a charcoal Clydesdale Mare, and to bump up the number of keychains produced to 1,000 each37.

Three of the four models were the now-standard clear and tinted-clear plastic, but the Arabian Mare was something a little special. Each model had opaque white plastic as a base with blue pigment swirled through it, creating a unique pattern for every model. All four models were still produced using the old plastic and probably in the China factory, though this is only my assumption based on the previous year.

Subsequent years have brought ever more elaborate special run offerings to the point where a Special Run-free BreyerFest could scarce be imagined.

Many thanks to Deb Walsmith and MySt for providing pictures of their keychains!

Originally published November 13, 2015

Singles: More BreyerFest Goodies - Keychains

The BreyerFest Special Run keychain trend continued after 1998, this time with the new G2 molds.

Like most of the previous keychains, the 1999 offerings were decorators. These four were sold as pairs with only 1,500 of each pair being produced. #710899 BreyerFest Stablemate Keychain (1999) consists of a gold G2 Mule and woodgrain G2 Clydesdale. The #710999 BreyerFest Stablemate Keychain (1999) set was a woodgrain G2 Andalusian and a clear, rainbow glitter G2 Shetland Pony. Unlike the earlier sets, these and all subsequent sets were new plastic.

The keychains returned to the BreyerFest store in 2000, but this time the four models were sold as a set instead of in pairs. Three of the four were metallic colours with a high shine - a copper G2 American Saddlebred, silver G2 Rearing Arabian, and gold G2 Stock Horse. The fourth model was a pearl white G2 Warmblood. There were 2,000 sets of #710200 Stablemates Keychain (2000) produced.

The following years brought about a few changes. There were no keychains for the 2001 and 2002 BreyerFests, Breyer decided to experiment with flocked and porcelain Stablemates instead. 2002 also saw the introduction of themed BreyerFests which would play a huge part in later Stablemate special runs for this event.

The theme for the 2003 BreyerFest was "Blast From the Past"; in keeping with this theme the "Mod Squad" was offered, two G2 and two G1 models in "psychedelic" colours. The G2 molds were swirled coloured plastic like the 1998 G1 Arabian Mare - pink and orange for the Rearing Arabian and green and white for the Stock Horse.

At first glance, the clear orange G1 Draft Horse and the clear fuchsia G1 Saddlebred appeared to be more sedate, that is until you got them under a black light where they glowed! 1,000 of the #711103 Mod Squad Keychain Set (2003) sets were produced.

Many thanks to MySt of My Stablemates and Stacy Quick for providing pictures for this post!

Originally published September 23, 2016

Excerpt from Gift Sets and Singles: BreyerFest Store Models

After a two year hiatus, the Stablemate keychains were least a Stablemate keychain.

#711985 Stablemates Keychain (2005) is a G2 Prancing Morgan in what is called "charcoal" in Breyer-lore; the closest horse colour it resembles is called "black silver". This glossy model had four socks, a bald face, and gold keychain hardware with a small fob with the Breyer Logo. Around 2,000 of these models were made.

There was a distinct lack of keychains at the 2006 BreyerFest, but they returned in 2007. #711307 Cream Soda (2007) is a G3 Belgian as an American Cream Draft Horse in gold champagne with four socks, blaze, red and blue tail ribbons, slightly metallic finish, and silver keychain hardware. Around 2,500 of these keychains were made.

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