Friday, March 04, 2016

Gift Sets: Horses in Unfamiliar Places - Retailer Special Runs I

Breyer certainly keeps collectors on their toes. There are certain stores where we've learned to expect a yearly batch of special runs such as Target, Walmart, Tractor Supply Co, etc., but there are times when we're thrown a curve ball.

Now, there was a period in the 1990s and early 2000s when QVC, the television home shopping channel, would have Breyer segment. Collectors with cable would eagerly tune in for their chance to snatch up one or more of these limited special runs. In 2002, the first Stablemate scale specials were offered, a set called the Silver Cup Series.

The packaging was similar to that of the earlier Just About Horses stablemate set with blue boxes and blue sponge inserts. The models all featured a high gloss "porcelain-like" finish.

The set included four G2 models:a shaded bay G2 Warmblood, bay frame G2 Stock Horse, dapple grey G2 American Saddlebred, and a shaded chestnut G2 Rearing Arabian. One G1 mold, the G1 Draft Horse in the decorator colour known as Charcoal black and a small silver trophy finished out the set.

Just a little while later that same year, a second set in the series was offered. The boxes were the same, but this time the inserts were black "velvet".

Several of the same molds were used, but the colours were completely different. This time the G2 Warmblood was a grey tobiano, the G2 Stock Horse a bay blanket appaloosa, and the G1 Draft Horse a pale, shaded flaxen chestnut or palomino. The new molds were a bay G2 Thoroughbred and a G2 Prancing Morgan.

Despite the name, there weren't any further additions to the Silver Cup Series.

T.J.Maxx, and its EU alter-ego T.K.Maxx, has been known to stock Breyers from time to time. These are usually over-stock items from other stores and are generally regular run Classic models with the occasional Traditional or Stablemate item.

In 2004 Breyer through us a curve ball when a very unusual Stablemate set started popping up in stores. At first it was thought to be a one time thing, maybe a couple of unreleased sets escaped somehow form the factory, but it turned out to be an actual special run for the store.

#701774 Horses of the World contained six models of different breed types in some very appealing colours. Of the six, one, the G2 Clydesdale was a re-release of the bay model from the recently retired #5901 Stablemate Assortment, but the others were all new.

There was a G2 Warmblood in a very light flea-bitten grey, a palomino G2 Paso Fino, a black G2 Andalusian, a black dun G2 Shetland pony with a stripy mane and tail, and a dark flaxen chestnut G2 Rearing Arabian. The set also contained four blue fencing panels and a box of hay.

Many thanks to Sharon Walbridge for providing pictures for this post!

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