Friday, October 24, 2014

Singles: BreyerFest Goodies - Keychains!

The first four BreyerFest events (1990-1993) only featured the celebration model, a raffle model, and some test runs which were auctioned for charity; the volunteers at the 1993 BreyerFest were given special models for the first time. In 1994 collectors were treated to something new - BreyerFest special runs!37

At a time when the Stablemate line was being produced in China in new plastic, these special models were made of old plastic in New Jersey36. Gold-coloured key-chains with little metal Breyer logo fobs were added to G1 Standing and Lying Thoroughbred Foals, creating the first Breyer key-chains.

Models and pictures owned by Deb Walsmith and used here by permission.
Some collectors prefer to remove the key-chain hardware for aesthetic reasons or for easier display

Both colours were cast in a clear plastic which was tinted with pigment36; the regular run black Thoroughbred Foals are white plastic painted black. I can't seem to find how these were sold, individually or in pairs, but Nancy Young's text seems to imply they were sold individually. 250 of each colour on each mold were produced for a total of 1,000 models. Leftover models were sold through various mail-order companies after BreyerFest36.

The 1995 BreyerFest went back to the standard group of event models - celebration, raffle, volunteer, & auction - but the Stablemate Foals, still sporting keychains, reappeared in 1996, this time in blue and clear37.

Models and pictures owned by Deb Walsmith and used here by permission.

Like the 1994 releases, these four were made in New Jersey with clear cellulose acetate (old plastic); pigment was added to create the blue foals. Production numbers were uneven this year, but roughly 250 of each colour for an overall total of 1,000 models were produced36.

The 1997 quartet of special run Stablemate keychains were joined by a Traditional scale special run, a black Aristocrat37. This time, instead of having two pairs of foals, there were two adult molds, the Saddlebred and Draft Horse, and one pair of foals.

SR Standing Thoroughbred Foal and picture owned by MySt and used here by permission.

For the first time the keychains were made in China, but with a batch of old plastic specifically shipped out for the purpose by Breyer. In addition this was the first year the foals were produced in the standard way - opaque white plastic with airbrushed paint36.

The amber coloured Saddlebred was produced in the same manner as the previous clear keychain models. Like the 1994 black foals, the draft horse has been cast in a glossy, black-tinted plastic12, which looks and feels like it's been dipped in a heavy coat of gloss - these models have an odd thick & smooth look to them. This year around 500 of each model was produced34.

The feeding frenzy surrounding the purchasable special runs (especially the Traditional Aristocrat) prompted Breyer to release another Traditional special run in 1998, this time a charcoal Clydesdale mare, and to bump the numbers of the keychains produced to 1,000 each37.

Three of the four models were the now-standard clear and tinted-clear plastic, but the Arabian Mare was something a little special. Each model had opaque white plastic as a base with blue pigment swirled through it, creating a unique pattern each time. All four models were still produced using the old plastic and probably in the China factory, though this is only my assumption based on the previous year.

Subsequent years have brought ever more elaborate special run offerings to the point where a Special Run-free BreyerFest could scarce be imagined.

Many thanks to Deb Walsmith and MySt for providing pictures of their keychains!

No comments:

Post a Comment