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Breyer Animal Creations began as the Breyer Molding Company, a Chicago, Illinois-based plastics manufacturing company. Its first model horse, the # 57 Western Horse, made its appearance in 1950. It was a special order for the F.W. Woolworth Company, made to adorn a mantelpiece clock. The company was then flooded with requests from people who saw it and wanted to know if they could purchase just the horse! By accepting that one order, the Breyer Molding Company had changed the focus of its business and company direction forever!

Reeves International, Inc is a New Jersey corporation with offices in Pequannock and Wayne, New Jersey. Reeves was founded by Swiss entrepreneur Werner J. Fleischmann in 1946. Reeves entered the toy industry as the U.S. distributor of fine European toys and collectibles to the “carriage trade,” that is, toy specialty stores and fine department stores. Top brands such as Stieff, Corgi and Britains were staples of the Reeves International portfolio. Through these fine brands, Reeves earned an outstanding reputation for sales and distribution. From 1946 through the 1970s, Reeves became one of the nation’s top distributors, operating from its showroom in New York City with a nationwide sales force. And, in 1998, Anthony Fleischmann, purchased Reeves International, Inc. outright from his father Werner Fleischmann. Today, Reeves International is still privately held.

In the 1970s, along with the globalization of the toy and collectibles industry, Reeves began to modify its business strategy to shift from sales and distribution to manufacturing proprietary brands. With that goal, Reeves began to acquire manufacturing companies. Reeves International acquired the Breyer Animal Creations brand in 1984 and has gradually completed the transition from distributor to a manufacturing and marketing company in the last 20 years. Reeves International also owns The Big Dig®.

The Breyer Animal Creations brand is Reeves International’s largest line. Today, under the Reeves International umbrella, Breyer manufactures plastic, porcelain, and resin model horses, animals and accessories for play and collecting.

Breyer model horses, which begin as artist’s sculptures, are all handcrafted and hand-painted with airbrushes and paintbrushes. Approximately 20 different artisans handle each individual Breyer model from start to finish – a process, which, 62 years later, is still done by human hands, not machines. Even today, no two Breyer model horses are ever exactly alike!

Reeves’ Breyer Animal Creations brand dominates the model horse market in volume, sales, distribution, innovation, and quality. Breyer brings approximately 300 unique horses, animals and accessories to market each year. Created in unique sizes and packaged into distinct lines from the upmarket Breyer Gallery of porcelains and resins to the cuddliest Plush ponies, Breyer is best known for the realism and authenticity of its model horses.

Breyer has also expanded its line to include jewelry, casual clothing and other equestrian-themed products. Breyer manufactures and ships approximately 5 million model horses each year, including Special Editions, tack and accessories for model horses.

Breyer has a strong collector base for which it published am annual collector publication Just About Horses (JAH), has an online Collector Club, and hosts BreyerFest, the world’s largest model horse collector and equine festival each year.

Starting in 1998 with the release of Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer, Breyer has become Hollywood's "go-to" company for horse films. Breyer has made the official model horse of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Seabiscuit, Dreamer, Flicka and more. With other licensing alliances including Scholastic, Macmillan Children's Publishing, WNET's NATURE® and now Michael Morpurgo's War Horse, the magic of the Breyer brand continues to grow each year!

In 2005, Breyer's parent company Reeves International began to distribute Breyer in the United Kingdom. With the success of its UK expansion, Reeves has gained distribution for Breyer in the following countries: Canada, Russia, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and South Africa.

Breyer Animal Creations a division of Reeves International, Inc. is a manufacturer of model animals. The company specializes in models made from cellulose acetate, a form of plastic, and are best known for their model horses, but has branched out into porcelain and resin horse figures as well. Breyer began producing models of dog breeds in the 1950s and other domestic animals such as cats, farm yard animals, and wildlife in the 1960s. The company also produces model tack accessories, such as stables, barns, and grooming implements.

Since 1990, the company has held a model horse festival for model horse collectors called Breyerfest at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Breyer also hosts several other events in other parts of the country, such as Breyer Fun Days, special invitation only events, and model horse shows. Breyer also publishes a quarterly magazine called "Just About Horses".

Breyer Animal Creations was founded in 1950 in Chicago, Illinois, originally called Breyer Molding Company. They gained recognition when the company was commissioned by F.W. Woolworth to create a horse statue (now known as the # 57 Western Horse) to adorn a mantel clock. The horse was approximately 1:9 scale and the model was retained as payment for molding the parts. Orders began to roll in for the horse only and the Breyer Animal Creations company was founded. Since then, Breyer has become a leader in producing model horses.

In 1984, Reeves International acquired Breyer Animal Creations and spent the next 20 years completing its transformation from toy distribution to manufacturing. Today, Breyer remains a wholly owned subsidiary of Reeves International

There are several scales of Breyer horse models:
Traditional: 1:9 scale (each model is around 8" H × 11" L)- the most popular scale.
Classic: 1:12 scale (dollhouse; about 7" H × 5" L)
Ponies/Pony Gals: same as Classics
Paddock Pal 1:24 scale (about 6 inches to 4 inches) - Now retired, but some products are still available.
Little Bits (about 4.5" to 5" tall)
Stablemates: 1:32 scale (about 7 cm H × 6 cm L)
Mini Whinnies: 1:64 scale (each "adult" horse is only one inch tall)

As of 2008, the Ponies line has been replaced with a similar line titled "Pony Gals". The line differs from other Breyer products in that the models have brushable manes and tails and may have jointed heads, necks, and legs, and are marketed towards younger children.

Each horse is cast in a two to three piece mold. Both halves are then put together and the seams are sanded and polished. Markings and color patterns are usually obtained by using a stencil known as a mask, although most older models were airbrushed by hand, with markings such as undefined socks or a bald face merely left unpainted. Most detailing, such as eye-whites (common on 1950s and 1960s models and is now enjoying a resurgence in modern models), brands, or other individual markings are painstakingly hand-painted. Sometimes, a variation in the paint job occurs. A variation is a difference, usually in the paint job, of one or a minority of a model as they came from the factory. The reason for variations is rarely known. For example, there is a common mold typically called the Proud Arabian Stallion (abbreviated PAS by collectors). For many years it was produced by Breyer with a dappled gray coat and a gray mane, tail and hooves. However, for some unknown reason 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 PAS model and are very valuable compared to the regular model, which is quite common.

Breyer uses a number of different molds, with most molds having been released in several colors. For instance, there is a commonly used mold referred to as the Family Arabian Stallion (so popular that it is known as "FAS" to collectors). Breyer has released runs of this mold in a multitude of different coat colors with various markings and details such as socks and blazes, appaloosa blankets, even Native American paint decorations since its original production in 1956. Models may also have different finishes, such as matte or glossy. Each version of a particular mold is considered a separate model, and is almost always given a number and name. In certain instances, however, some models do not receive a number—these may be known as "special runs". New molds are often introduced, and old ones are sometimes "retired".

The coloring and marking variations are infinite, of course, and include all the variations found among actual horses. Breyer also releases models in more unrealistic colors--"decorator models"—such as "wedgewood blue". Some decorators are painted Copenhagen or filigree, which is much like small spotted paint splotches all over the body and they are usually light blue or gold. Several decorator models have scenes and images painted on them, and even a few have been cast in a translucent form of cellulose acetate to look like blown glass. The company recently introduced a metallic "two-color" paint with a very flashy effect. Models painted with this paint are typically limited edition.

A particular model horse can be graded, or valued, in several ways, depending on the purpose of the grading scale.

Unlike some collectible toys, Breyer horse packaging does not generally affect 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 horse's paint on the sides of the box or on the plastic ties binding it to the packaging, therefore diminishing the model's value.

Common flaws in used models are scratches, rubs, breaks (ears, tails, legs), seam splits, bent legs, yellowing, and so on, which come from use or careless storage. Other flaws come from the factory, such as very slightly off-target painting or slightly sloppy detailing, badly sanded seams, or bent legs (from improper cooling). Some flaws from the factory are considered variations and are sought after by collectors as rare oddities.

The rarity of the model is the other primary method of judging collectability and value. A model can be defined as rare if was released for a short time period a long while back, so there are not many left in circulation, or if it was released in very limited numbers. The most extreme cases of this are the very few Breyer releases that are one-of-a-kind (OOAK), which are always given out as prizes or sold off at auction for charity at the yearly Breyerfest gatherings. These horses are by far the most coveted and highly valued model horses.

Model horse shows are a way for collectors to show off their models' rarity. In a show, a model is described as being one of two grades: Live Show Quality (LSQ) or Photo Show Quality (PSQ). LSQ means that the horse and all tack accurately depict the real animal and must be in good enough condition (considering flaws from the factory as well as from use) to be inspected on all sides. PSQ is less demanding, since both horse and tack can be seen from only one side in the photo and close examination is not possible. Therefore, the standards of condition and realistic appearance are not quite as high.

Another branch of the model horse hobby is customizing, in which a single model is remade in some way, making it unique. Sometimes models are simply repainted or have patterns etched in their existing paint (appaloosa blanket or paint horse markings for instance), while other models are repositioned by being heated and then shaped. In the most drastic cases the artist will completely re-sculpt the model, cutting body parts away, repositioning and reattaching them, and re-painting and finishing them. Breyer models are popular candidates for customizing, due to their inexpensiveness and ability to be easily obtained.

Depending on how well the customizing was done, how well-known the artist is, and how attractive the results are, these special, one-of-a-kind models can sometimes sell for thousands of dollars.

BreyerFest was first held in 1990, and from then on it has been held annually in July at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. This is a three-day festival for model horse fanatics. During this three-day period, attendees can buy models, sell their own, or trade with others, purchase specially-run Breyer models sold only at this particular event, and participate in huge model horse shows. There are also classes that teach how to paint, customize, and repair models, and lectures on collecting and judging models. Special guests of honor, usually renowned trainers and famous horses, are also present and perform for the attendees, and each year at least one real horse upon which a model has been based on is in attendance so that Breyer fans can see the inspiration behind the model. There are tours of Lexington horse farms and racetracks, a huge nightly Breyer trade fair among all the open rooms up and down the halls of the main hotel, and one huge official "swap-meet" in the ballroom. At the Breyer facility, silent auctions for special edition models are held. Bids can go up to at least $1,000 per model and often much more. There is also a 'Celebration Horse' every year, which is usually a famous horse that a model is made after. The model is included in the purchase price of a 3-day ticket. Each of the festivals has a different theme: Breyerfest 2009 was called 'Birthday Bash' (as it was Breyerfest's 20th anniversary), Breyerfest 2010 was called 'Lights, Camera, Action!', as it was based on movies as a theme, and Breyerfest 2011's theme was Fairy-tales. The 2012 theme was "British Invasion". It was based on the 2012 London Olympic Games. 2013's theme was "denim and diamonds". The 2014 theme will be "Silver Celebration", celebrating the 25th anniversary of Breyer.

Just About Horses (JAH) is Breyer's model horse magazine. Six issues a year, this is the most popular model horse magazine in America. Subscriber benefits include membership to the Breyer collector club, access to rare, limited-edition models, sneak peeks into Breyer releases and events, chances to win models in contests, and so on. The magazine is now forced to go out of print, due to the fact that bimonthly magazine has grown expensive to produce. The last issue was published in the fall of 2011 as a big finale. JAH continues the magazine online to people who subscribed.

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