The original ceramic Hagen-Renaker mold, #25 Mini Thoroughbred Foal 40, was sculpted by Maureen Love Calvert, and leased from the company by Breyer for production in plastic. The Thoroughbred Standing Foal mold was released in 1975 and was discontinued along with the other Generation One molds at the end of 2005.
For a mold which saw limited production years, the run count is surprisingly high. Breyer released nine regular runs and eight special runs on this mold, putting him one ahead of the G1 Thoroughbred Lying Foal.
The birth a Breyer should be simple, right? Pour the melted plastic in the mold, let it cool a little, then pop out the little plastic horse. The still-warm model gets set aside to cool completely, then it's off for prepping which smooths off rough seams and prepares it for painting. Finally the paint is applied and the finished model is left to dry before packaging. Simple, except there's many a slip twixt the mold and the box.
Who would think the simple task of moving a freshly molded, warm Stablemate from the mold to the cooling area could be so fraught with peril? One minute everything's fine, then the person carrying you sneezes, involuntarily tightening their grip, and now you've got a flat shoulder, or a sway back, or a tucked head. The effect can be subtle or extreme; a deformity or an enhancement - it's all luck. I affectionately call this type of model a "Squeezie".
Many of the more subtle alterations go unnoticed.
I only noticed the curled ear because I was looking for some way to tell these two mares apart.
I bought the chestnut G1 Draft Horse in 2004 and it only took me ten years to notice his off-hind leg was extended further than normal. This isn't an uncommon issue for this mold.
The moved areas on this unpainted Riegseckers SR is difficult to photograph. The ribcage on the off-side has been smooshed down and the off-hind leg is stretched out a bit.
Model and picture owned by MySt and used here by permission. Standard G1 Swaps.
Speaking of outstretched legs, have a look at this G1 Swaps!
Extreme heat can cause non-factory warping, but the models above were either purchased new in package in their current state or, as in the case of the Draft Horses, are difficult to bend.
Unlike the Squeezies, molding issues usually have less than attractive outcomes.
Something happened to this 1995-97 Citation during the injection process leaving her with an off-fore hoof even more deformed than what has become typical and toothpick for a cannon bone. Ouch! Her off-hind hoof is also less than normal and she has a factory-original missing ear-tip. This is probably caused by gunk getting stuck in the mold.
The molds weren't the only part of the process that could go awry. The type of plastic used could also cause some fluctuations in the final product. It's easiest to see when you have a good sized conga, but it only takes two to notice not all Stablemates are created equal.
The shockingly yellow palomino is an old plastic 1990 SR while the seemingly massive grey is a new plastic SR from 1998. In general, new plastic models tend to be larger than old plastic models, but there is a certain amount of inconsistency between models of the same plastic type.
The G1 Swaps mold apparently suffered a minor malfunction early in its life. The space between the curve of the tail and the leg on the very earliest models is a clean, uniform gap.
Very shortly after the release of the Swaps mold, something happened - maybe a pinhole leak, maybe the mold not fitting quite tightly enough in the one spot - to cause plastic to leak into the tail gap, forming a thin skin. In 2005, the last year of production for this mold, Swaps began to appear with a tail hole again. This time the hole was hand-carved, not molded. As part of the preparation process, each model would get a quick little zip with a dremel; not being molded, these holes were not uniform and could often take a bit of the haunch or tail with them.
While not exactly a flaw as a little work with a fingernail can correct the issue, forgotten masking stickers are a production irregularity.
Model and picture owned by MySt and used here by permission.
I regret taking the blaze sticker off of my 1998 regular run G1 Quarter Horse Stallion, but this Lying Thoroughbred Foal is a lovely example, even if she's not mine.
Many thanks to MyST for providing a picture of her G1 TB Foal!