If you come into the Midtown Mercantile Merchants Antique Mall looking to add to your herd of Breyer horses you just might find some. I found a foal grazing on a shelf just the other day. Cute, huh?
The Breyer Molding Company of Chicago made their first model horse, the # 57 Western Horse, in 1950. It was a special order for the F.W. Woolworth Company, made to adorn a mantelpiece clock. The company was flooded with requests from people who saw it and wanted to know if they could purchase just the horse. By filling those orders the Breyer Molding Company changed their focus and changed the play time of children, especially girls, everywhere! Today they are collected by mostly adults. And while most are very affordable there are some rare models that can sell for thousands of dollars.
In the mid twentieth century most little girls read the books, “Misty of Chincoteague” and “Brighty of the Grand Canyon” both by Marguerite Henry. Breyer delighted many children when they made models of the scrappy pony and the funny little burro from these books.
Today, some are made especially for high end collectors. They start out expensive and tend to go up in value. Sometimes, in the past, a variation in the paint job might have occurred. For example, there is a common mold typically called the Proud Arabian Stallion. For many years it was produced with a dappled gray coat and a gray mane, tail and hooves. However, a few of these models came from the factory with black manes, tails, and hooves, and black socks or stockings. These special, rare models, are considered variations of the Dapple Grey Proud Arabian Stallion and are very valuable compared to the regular model.
Unlike some collectible toys, Breyer horse packaging does not usually add to the model’s value. Unfortunately, there have been some issues with pre-2000s packaging, in which if a model is left in the box for an extended period of time, the box can actually cause harm to the horse’s finish due to rubbing of the paint on the sides of the box or on the plastic ties binding it to the packaging, therefore diminishing the model’s value. So if you have an older model get it out of that box and let it run loose!
Address: Midtown Mercantile Merchants Mall
4443 E. Speedway, Tucson AZ
Carol Fenn 3-2017