• Model horse

    Model horse

    • Model horses are scale replicas of real horses. They originated simultaneously—but independently—in the USA, Canada, and the UK, followed later by Sweden (UK-influenced), Germany (US-influenced), Australia. They encompass a wide variety of fanbase activities, from those who simply like to collect, to those who enthusiastically show their models at model horse shows. Unlike model cars or trains, model horse collectibles do not need to be assembled from kits, although they can be altered to the collector's liking.

      The earliest popular brands of mass-produced model horses in the UK and the USA strongly influenced the collecting and showing trends in these two countries - the latex-bodied and haired Julips in the UK, and the injection moulded, hard plastic Breyers in the USA.

      Model horses have long been popular toys, mainly as mounts for soldiers or figures for model farms - essentially accessories for action figures. In 1920 Britains Ltd became one of the first companies to mass produce these types of figures. Over the years their range of equine figures expanded though they remained generic action figures; Roy Selwyn-Smith created some very detailed 54 mm ('mini') horses for Britains Ltd.

      Julip Horses Ltd, in 1947, created the first mass produced, stand-alone equine figures. Originally, Julips were stuffed soft toys in the tradition of companies such as Edith Reynolds, but later switched to hand-casting in latex (Julip Originals). Other companies such as Isis, Pegasus, and Otway, soon released their own lines of latex composition (the forerunner of resin) equines. Pamela du Boulay took the latex models to the next level with the creation of Rydal models in 1969 - highly accurate, airbrushed sculptures, each an artist original.

      In 2008 Helen and Alice Moore launched a line of detailed latex models, the Equorum Model Horse Stud. Hobby artist Donna Chaney, known for her porcelain figures, introduced a small number of latex equine molds known as RubberNedz in 2015.

      Many toy companies produce plastic equine figures as companions or accessories and a few of these have dedicated equine lines. One of these earlier companies was Dream Ponies, a product of Swallow Horsetoys. In 1971, they released a small range of injection moulded plastic equine models and accessories; Dream Ponies was later sold and re-launched as Magpie Models. Other brands with a significant following includes My Beautiful Horses by Vivid Imaginations; Plastech, manufactures of Thelwell Pony figures; and Sindy, a British version of Barbie which included a variety of horses in their product line.

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    • Model horse