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Breyer Animal Creations (commonly referred to as Breyer), a division of Reeves International, Inc, is a manufacturer of model animals. The company specializes in model horses made from cellulose acetate, a form of plastic, and produces other animal models from the same material as well. Less well known are its highly collectible porcelain and resin horse figures, which are aimed at the adult collector market. The company also produces model tack accessories, such as stables, barns, and grooming implements in scale to its model 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. Model horses are sold through independent distributors and the Breyer website.
There are several scales of Breyer horse models:
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.
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