Horses Still Hold Sway: Breyer Animal Creations Then and Now
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June 2003 | Vol. II - No. 6

June 2003 | Vol. II - No. 6 TDmonthly SEARCH


The Brass Ring

 
Horses Still Hold Sway: Breyer Animal Creations Then and Now

Having been with Breyer Animal Creations for ten years, Director of Marketing and Product Development Stephanie Macejko has seen many new horses join the company stable. However, with the scheduled July 2003 release of Universal’s new film Seabiscuit, this summer is looking to be “a good time for horses.”


Tobey McGuire in Universal's Seabiscuit, premiering July 2003

“We’ve carried Seabiscuit products in the past, but the horse had been retired for a number of years,” says Macejko. “We’ll be working with Universal in releasing our new Seabiscuit [model horse].” Part of that promotion will involve an exclusive arrangement with Wal-Mart to sell the company’s new Seabiscuit Set. Stephanie took some time to let us in on her company’s long history.

 

It Began with a Clock…


Stephanie Macejko

The Breyer brand began in Chicago as the Breyer Molding Company, which specialized in contract plastics molding. In 1950, Breyer received an order to produce a plastic horse to decorate a mantle clock. The horse was so realistic that toy and model horse collectors began to ask how they could buy the horse alone. Thus, Breyer's #57 Western Horse became the first of hundreds of unique, realistic animal models that Breyer has made, most often in plastic, but also in porcelain and resin.

Going Large

In 1984, Reeves International Inc. acquired the Breyer Molding Company. A privately held family-owned business, Reeves had built its reputation in sales and distribution of fine European toys and collectibles, such as Stieff, Corgi and Britains. Today, Reeves owns the Breyer brand, Bosun Boats and The Big Dig.

Little Girls and Big Collectors


New Seabiscuit Plush

For our Breyer line, we focus on girls between the ages of 5-14 years. We started a plush line in 2002 to introduce younger children to our horses too. We also have a large and dedicated group of adult collectors that are important to our business, and we make special edition product especially for them. Our Breyer Gallery makes beautiful porcelain, resin, and bronze pieces for anyone who wants to acquire a realistic and authentic piece of equine art for their home or office.

Much More than Toys

We host retail events and publish a magazine, Just About Horses, dedicated to model horses and the real horses that inspired them; host BreyerFest, a model horse and equine festival that attracts more than 5,000 attendees (now in its 14th year); and [we] have a website, BreyerHorses.com, dedicated to promoting the model horse hobby. Our product is carried in toy specialty stores, mass-market accounts, tack and agricultural stores, on the Internet and in catalogs.

A Storybook Horse

Because we reflect the horse world and make models of the horse world's legends and heroes, many of our horses are perennial best-sellers. But if I had to pick one, I would select The Black Stallion, inspired by the classic children's novel The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley. We have carried this model since 1981 and it is still very popular. It is part of our series for young readers and is packaged with a copy of the novel.

Old School is New Again

Parents seem eager to buy toys that help kids use their imaginations and stretch their skills. Kids who collect model horses have a whole hobby world to get involved with that gives them a fun way to learn about history and other cultures, and learn social skills and good sportsmanship by competing in model horse shows. As a traditional toy marketer, we are the happy beneficiary of that trend!

 

Writer's Bio: Tim Connolly has a degree in film production from the University of Texas at Austin and writes screenplays when he isn’t test-driving remote control speed boats in his bathtub.


 
 


 




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