From their humble beginnings as a plastic manufacturer in Chicago Illinois, Breyer has always been one step ahead of the game. This year marks their 60th anniversary creating model horses, which is a worthy celebration for any company, Breyer’s long and sometimes fascinating history makes this celebration even sweeter!
In 1950, Sam Stone was the owner of the Breyer Molding Company, a plastics company that created parts for everything from airplanes to home goods, like clocks. Sam Stone was asked to create a horse for a clock by the company Mastercrafters, a frequent customer of Breyer, and the western horse was born. The Western Horse resembled another popular model horse of the 1950’s: Hartland’s Champ. It is still unclear which came first, something highly debated to this day! Western Horse was mounted over a Mastercrafter’s clock and marketed at Woolworths to a huge success! People began asking for more, and many asking for just the horse!
Breyer began to mold horses on their own, apart from Mastercrafters’ clocks. These became some of the very first Breyer models, from the Western Horse and the Western Pony (its smaller counterpart), to the Proud Arabian Mare and Clydesdale Stallion, these first horses ranged the world with the variety of breeds and spanned beyond horses. Breyer also created dogs which were popular at the time; a poodle and boxer were some of the favorites!
In the 1960’s Breyer expanded into unthinkable heights with dozens of new different molds. Some of the most popular were the Fighting Stallion and the Family Arabians. Breyer was using a glossy paint during this time that gave many of the horses the look of porcelain. These horses are highly collectible today due to their scarcity.
The next decade brought an oil crisis which greatly effected Breyer as well as the growth of the model horse hobby where live showing became popular and clubs and groups began to form.
The 80’s and 90’s were truly the explosion of the model horse hobby and Breyer. During this time, Breyer was purchased by the company “Reeves International” and the offices and production was moved to New Jersey. Breyerfest was born in 1990 and the model horse hobby exploded through events such as this and the wide spread usage of the internet.
Today in the 21st centrury we are lucky to have dozens upon dozens of Breyer’s to choose from, including a special one for 2010, Golden Oak Stables is proud to offer, Diamond Jubilee, a silver filigree American Saddlebred Stallion! This model symbolizes 60 years of innovation and beauty created by Breyer!
So grab Diamond Jubilee today, and celebrate 60 years with America’ favorite model horse creator!