Friday, December 04, 2015

Play Sets: Equine Life

Soon the horse and rider sets just weren't enough. In 2001 Breyer took it up a notch with play sets highlighting four scenes from equine life.

Of the four sets, #5307 Circus Play Set was the only one which didn't consist of a parent/foal pair. Instead the set featured two adults, a G2 Andalusian and a G2 Shetland Pony, both in pure white with yellow hooves and black eyes. The set included two sections of pink circus ring, purple and yellow rings, circus blankets, star jump, and circus stool, pink head-plumes, and a black and white sitting puppy. This set had the shortest run, being discontinued at the end of 2004.

#5308 Dude Ranch Play Set was the only pair of patterned models - the G2 Stock Horse and G2 Trotting Foal in bay leopard appaloosa. The legs and muzzle of the models are softly shaded and there are hand painted stripes in the mane and tail. The spots tend to be glossy and thick, almost like enamel paint, and like the stark black eye, can be a tad messy. This set came with four panels of dark wood-effect fencing, a western hitching post, campfire, red lantern, red and white barrel, and a silver water trough.This set had the second shortest run, being discontinued at the end of 2005.

The final two sets get a bit complicated as they contained G1 foals and were produced long enough to cross that G1 extinction line.

The #5306 New Arrival Play Set was first issued with a shaded chestnut G1 Thoroughbred Lying Foal with two hind socks, shell-coloured hind hooves, and brown fore-hoof and was available through 2005. In 2006 the G1 foal was replaced by a G2 Scratching Foal. The new foal was a harsher orange-chestnut with little shading and only one hind sock on the near-side. This final version of the set was available through 2007.

A shaded bay G2 Paso Fino accompanied the foal in both sets. She was without any markings and tends to be satin to semi-gloss in finish. The set came with four panels of yellow fencing, a blue trough with hay, blue pitchfork, blue and yellow body brush, red tack trunk, silver bucket, a bundle of carrots, and a hay bed for the foal - this was not included in the G2 version.

Both models in the #5309 Horspital Play Set had been released before in black, but unlike the earlier release, both of these models were new plastic with stenciled markings. Both are a soft black, but the G1 Thoroughbred Standing Foal has four socks and a star to the G2 American Saddlebred's two socks (off-fore and near-hind) and solid face. The mare also has dark, cranberry coloured braids. This lovely pair were available from 2001-2005 until the G1 foal was replaced by an identical G2 Frolicking Foal. The set included four panels of white fencing, bale of hay, white and red medical kit, red pitchfork, blue bucket and trough, green garden hose, and white horse blankets with red edges. This set was available until the end of 2007.

In 2003 two new single-horse sets were added to the gift set line-up; both were discontinued at the end of 2005. This time the theme was slightly more fanciful.

The G2 Clydesdale made his first gift set appearance in the #5910 Medieval Play Set in a beautiful bright flaxen chestnut with four stockings, bald face, and large spot on the off-side of the barrel. The accessories in this set were heavy on the glitter - the green-leafed tree, banner, treasure chest, trophy, warrior princess, and jousting tack all came in for a liberal dose of the sparkle.

The #5911 Fantasy Play Set featured the first fantasy colour on the G2 Rearing Arabian. The body is a pearly white with blue shading, blue mane, striped blue tail, and gold hooves, and detachable pearl white wings. He was accompanied by a slightly goofy sitting dragon holding a crystal ball, a dark haired princess, treasure chest, and a tree with some rather fantastic foliage - as before, the glitter was strong with this set.

Many thanks to Sharon Walbridge and MySt of My Stablemates for providing pictures for this post!

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