Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Varaition Gallery: G1 Saddlebred #5001

Today's post marks the beginning of our Variation Gallery series. My aim is to display a number of examples from a single run to provide a picture of the range of variation that could be found in just one colour. If you would like to contribute to a future VG post, please check out our list of photos needed.

Regular Run Stablemate Assortment
#5001 Saddlebred

Friday, December 20, 2013

Look-Alike: G1 Arabian Stallion

The G1 Arabian Stallion comes in every colour you could want...as long as what you want is some shade of brown. Okay, maybe it's not that extreme, but the majority of this mold's runs were either bay, chestnut, buckskin, or dun.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Variation Spotlight: G1 Draft Horse #5055

Regular Run Stablemate Assortment
#5055 Draft Horse

The long life of #5055 made it a fun model for variation hunting. Light to dark colour variations, stockings, facial markings, flaxen or self coloured mane and tail, this run had it all.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Conga! G1 Arabian Stallion

The original ceramic Hagen-Renaker mold, #47 Mini Arab Stallion4, was sculpted by Maureen Love Calvert, and leased from the company by Breyer for production in plastic. Released in 1975, the Arabian Stallion mold was discontinued along with the other Generation One molds in 2005.

During this time, Breyer released eight regular runs and thirteen special runs on this mold, putting him in shared third place with the G1 Arabian Mare in the top four most used Stablemate molds.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Gift Set: Special Run Stablemate Assortments - Passing the Torch

Unbeknownst to collectors, 1992 would mark the end of the Stablemate Assortments issued through the Sears Wish Book. The assortment this year would be one of many firsts: it was the first special run assortment issued in the new plastic, it featured the first unequivocally appaloosa stablemates, and it also contained the first non-grey dappled stablemate. The colour palette for this group was a bit drab compared to past years, but the models were still lovely.

1992 Stablemate Assortment IV
1994 JCPenney 12-Piece Stablemates Set

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Variation Spotlight: G1 Citation, Silky Sullivan, Swaps #5650

Regular Run Gift Set
#5650 The Saddle Club Stablemates Set

Both of my Saddle Club II sets were bought new in box, but there was about a decade between their purchases. My first set was made from the usual plastic, but my second set was a bit strange. Like the SR Citation from last Monday's Profile post, the models in the second set I purchased were made from that odd translucent plastic.

I didn't include the G1 Arabian Mare from this set since we saw her recently in the Look-Alike post and I don't own a "normal" version of the run for comparison, but she too is made from the same translucent plastic.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Look-Alikes: G1 Arabian Mares

Welcome to our first Look-Alikes post. Here we will cover models that either look similar or sound similar on paper. If you're not overly familiar with the Stablemate releases or are working from a description without pictures, it can be easy to get stuck with the wrong model.

RR #5017 "Arabian Mare" 1975-88 vs. RR #5130 "Arabian Mare" 1989-94

Friday, October 25, 2013

Footnotes: The Stamp of Approval - B for Breyer & Other Mold Stamp Stories

Each G1 Stablemate mold has a copyright stamp which consists of the text: "Breyer Molding Co" with a date of either ©1975 or ©1976, depending on when that particular mold was released. When referring to the copyright stamp in this post, I mean this full stamp, not just the © mark.

There have been times during the history of the Stablemate line when the mold mark may have been changed or removed for one reason or another. Damage to the stamp can occur when the model is still soft after being removed from the mold or from exposure to heat or a corrosive substance later in its life.

Footnotes: The Stamp of Approval - A Tale of Two Nostrils, A History of the G1 Morgan Stallion Mold

The popular Morgan Stallion mold always has to be a little different. While a bare-belly on another G1 mold likely indicates an early release, it's not so simple with this mold.

First, bare-belly examples the dapple grey and alabaster models from his "Arabian Stallion" days do exist, though not long into the "Arabian" period he was given the standard copyright stamp; he was dated 1975 even though he was meant to be a later release.5

Bare-belly bays aren't uncommon, but hard to positively identify. I have a couple myself, but unless you are the primary purchaser or bought him second hand NIP (New in Package), one cannot say with absolute certainty that particular bay is a 1975 "Arabian Stallion" or a 1976 #5035 "Morgan Stallion". Still, relatively simple, right? Not even close.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Variation Spotlight: G1 Thoroughbred Mare #770198

Sears Special Run
#770198 12-pc Stablemates

As the 1990s progressed, the colours of the Stablemate releases started becoming more and more consistent, but variations still popped up now and again. A fine example of a later-days variation are these 1998 SR G1 Thoroughbred Mares.

Though the picture of the set in the catalogue showed what looked like a steel grey mare with a bald face, the production model turned out a bit different - a liver chestnut-going-grey; her body colour was generally a slightly brown-toned charcoal grey, but could be a shade or two lighter or darker.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Conga! - G1 Arabian Mare

The original ceramic Hagen-Renaker mold, #46 Mini Arab Mare1, was sculpted by Maureen Love Calvert, and leased from the company by Breyer for production in plastic. The Arabian Mare mold was released in 1975 and was discontinued along with the other Generation One molds in 2005. During this time, Breyer released ten regular runs and eleven special runs on this mold, making her one of the top four most used G1 molds.

Friday, October 04, 2013

It's My Party and I'll Blog if I Want To

Since today is my birthday I thought I would have a look back through my collection and do a  group photograph of the various Stablemate scale models I received on my birthday. I ran a little database query and was shocked by the results - out of over 800 Stablemates, though I purchased many with birthday money, I only received three as actual gifts!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Gift Set: Mares and Foals - Return of the Thoroughbred Foals

1996 was a bit disappointing as far as Stablemate fans were concerned. The excitement of the new singles line had worn off and the big Saddle Club switch didn't exactly make headlines. When the 1997 line was announced the mini doldrums would be completely forgotten . Not only were there new sets, but the sets contained the long-lost Thoroughbred Foals!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Variation Spotlight: G1 Arabian Mare, Morgan Stallion, and Seabiscuit #5650

Regular Run Stablemate Assortment
#5650 Saddle Club Collection

Since we've introduced the Saddle Club, let's take a look at a couple of variations from the first release of this set. Today you're getting a three for the price of one as we cover the three models from the set most likely to exhibit variations.

First we have that lovely pumpkin coloured chestnut Seabiscuit. The model on the upper level was from my original set while the lower model was purchased as a single some years later.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Gift Set: Special Run Stablemate Assortments - the Sears Years

Mail order special runs were a long-established institution, but in 1989, Breyer and Sears teamed up to bring collectors a little something new. This was the year a gift set of twelve Stablemates was included amongst the special run offerings in the Sears Wish Book. Granted only five of the twelve were models exclusive to the set, but still, twelve models all at once!

Later sets would bear the title "Parade of Breeds", but for now they were just the Stablemate Assortment with a roman numeral indicating release order.

1989 Stablemate Assortment
Missing: black Saddlebred

Friday, August 30, 2013

Footnotes: What Makes a Generation?

On the MMH Facebook page, a question was asked about how the generations are classified and whether it shouldn't be by artist. (And then the whole thread was lost due to technical difficulties) It's an interesting question and one I had not considered before.

By general hobby consensus the molds are grouped by release date rather than by artist. If the generations were grouped by artist, they would look something like this:
  • G1: Maureen Love G1 Molds (16 total)
  • G2: All Moody G2 molds + three of the G4 molds (15 total)
  • G3: Sarah Rose G2 Foals (4 total)
  • G4: Jane Lunger G3 molds + three of the G4 molds + three of the G5 molds (22 total)
  • G5: Brigitte Eberl G5 mold (1 total)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Play Set: The Little Red Stable - Paper or Plastic?

In 1976 Breyer expanded the Stablemate line to include a pair of barns and a play set. The most elusive of these items was the #7100 Wooden Stable. This rustic barn and corral was only shown in the 1976 catalogue and its exact production dates are uncertain.

Though this set looks quite sturdy and detailed, the Breyer History Diva reports a disappointing lack in quality. Maybe it's fortunate they're rare.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Variation Spotlight: G1 Saddlebred #5002

Regular Run Stablemate Assortment
#5002 Saddlebred

The most sought after variation in this run may not even exist outside of the model used in the 1976 catalogue picture.

When the Stablemates were released in 1975, there was only one actual picture of a model, the dapple grey Saddlebred; behind him were drawings of three families, a mixture of the Arabian Stallion, Arabian Mare, Thoroughbred Mare, both Thoroughbred Foals, and the Morgan Stallion (who wasn't even due to be released that year).

Monday, July 01, 2013

Singles Assortment: The First Generation - Dawn of the Minis

Stablemate molds are divided into groups, or generations, based on release date. Generation One (often shortened to G1) consists of the molds released in the 1970s. These were all sculpted by Maureen Love Calvert and were leased from Hagen-Renaker, Inc., a major producer of fine china figurines. Each model is stamped with "Breyer Molding Co" and either © 1975 or © 1976, depending on the date that particular mold was released.

Friday, June 28, 2013

I Think We Need a Little Structure

It occurred to me after my first informative post that it would probably be less confusing to start at the beginning rather than trying to jump into the middle and be stuck adding explanations and asides that could be covered in a more coherent manner with chronological posts. So I pulled The Evolution of the 2006 Target Special Run Sport Horse and Foal Set and replaced it with this, a bit of an outline of the types of posts you should expect to see here and an explanation of some of the terms I'll be using.

Also, I'd like to explain a bit about some of the language you may notice in the posts to follow - I equivocate, a lot. This is not from any desire to deceive or cause confusion, on the contrary, because variations are so rife within the Stablemate line and due to certain blank spots in its history, it is often impossible, or just unwise to make an unqualified, declarative statement of fact. With Stablemates the best motto to have is "Rarely say Never"

I do not know everything about the Stablemate line and have seen only a minute sample of the models produced, so I cannot claim to know every variation of shade and markings in which a model may be found. Therefore, the use of qualifiers will abound when describing a colour or other issues. If you find you have a model which contradicts a statement I have made or a conclusion I have drawn, please use the email on this site to contact me, I'm always interested in adding to my knowledge base.

Welcome to My Obsession

Hi, I’m Heather and I’m a model horse collector. If the term means nothing to you, it would probably be best if you just backed away slowly without making eye contact. Trust me. If you thought, “Oh cool, me, too!”, you’ll feel right at home here.