Our first Breyer shipment of the year kicked off a flurry of activity around here, with horses being sorted, packed, shipped, priced and shelved. Since then, we've received two more shipments from Breyer, with still more expected to arrive soon. So, what's going on with that (and with your pre-order)?
Breyer is filling dealer orders as quickly as they can. Even at their size, this doesn't happen all in one day, or even in one week. I know we all want our horses first, but reality says we must wait until they can get them shipped. Triple Mountain's order this year was three times the size it was last year - a testament to the popularity of the new molds and releases! Good job this year, Breyer! However, to try to keep all the dealers appeased, it *looks like* they're shipping some here, some there. Or perhaps they themselves are receiving them in a scattered way from US Customs. We don't know, but we've never seen an order split into so many separate shipments. Here's shipment number one:
What that means is that while we got some of the Masons we ordered, we haven't yet gotten them all. We're also still waiting on some of our Empres, some of our SM Mystery Surprise bags, and most of our SM Mystery Foal sets. We're filling pre-orders in the order they were placed, so those who ordered earliest will get filled first, and so on, until we run out of a model. The rest of the pre-orders will get filled, in order, as more arrive.
A funny thing happened with the SM Mystery Foal sets... Well, actually, it's more annoying than funny. For a reason I can't fathom, Breyer decided to re-use the same model # for the new sets as they did for the last ones. That means when the new ones arrived at their warehouse, they were slotted with whatever remained of the previous year's sets. When the good folks at the warehouse picked them for orders, they ended up sending some old and some new. Doh! We've put in a request to return the old versions and have the ones we ordered shipped asap, along with a suggestion that re-using model numbers is a really, really bad idea - It frustrates dealers, frustrates customers, and results in a lot of return shipping for Breyer to pay (along with the shipping to send the correct ones afterward). Why they do this sometimes is a mystery to me. It has happened with at least one item every year that we've been in business: The first time was with the Mini Whinnies, the second the SM Truck and Trailer set, and now the Mystery Foal sets. Come on, Breyer... Using new numbers for new items is pretty basic stuff, and would save you a lot of money and time! ....So, we're waiting on the rest of our Mystery Foals still.
Along with those, Zena is still on back-order. Apparently the mystical unicorn does not possess the power of teleportation, since she's now the last item on our order that we've received zero of so far.
We'll keep you posted and rest assured that as soon as models arrive, we're packing orders to get them right out to you. There have been a lot of long days when we haven't stopped packing until after 9pm (having started at 7am), but we love it, and will keep it up with each shipment.
So, what do we think of the new releases that have arrived?
Glad you asked!
Let's start with Empres, since we're so tickled about working with his owner to send special Empres mode gifts to the people and farms who were involved in raising this handsome horse.
The models we've received so far a rich red bay with highlights... very nice... and the presentation set he wears looks really good! It's got a bit of sparkle, but only enough to be elegant, not obnoxious. We didn't think we'd be excited about a bay horse model, but he gets a big thumb's up!
EZ To Spot is pretty special as a model - He is (correct me if I'm wrong) the first model to include both masked spots and splatter spots on the same horse!
This was a brilliant idea by Reeves, and the two styles blend beautifully. The result is that the model has the real EZ To Spot's spot pattern on his face and hindquarters, but each model is truly unique in the mid-section! Some have a lot of spots, some have a few. Additionally, he has grey roaning on his forequarters, at his flanks, etc., providing even more variation. We liked the styling of this model so much that we lined them all up on a shelf and compared every one of them. It was a blast, because there was such a neat variety!
Latigo Dun It wears an extraordinarily gorgeous body color, and the Breyer photos are ugly in comparison to the real model.
He has a deep, rich liver chestnut color with lots of shading and highlights. His mane and tail are a creamy, silvery, opalescent, shimmery, crazy-pretty accent against his body. That drab grey in Breyer's photos? Well, metallics in paint don't photograph well. You've got to see this guy in person. Our only humbug for this guy is his dappling... It's far too hand-drawn and blatant for our tastes. He's lucky he's such an overall gorgeous color to make up for it.
The Grey Shire was love at first sight for me!
I was unsure about the mold until we got Markus, and this guy is just as handsome. And so a conga begins. He is a soft white-grey with gentle shading in all the right places and most of them have dappling so subtle you don't even notice it at first through the box. His bobs are well-painted and give him that splash of color that brightens his whole appearance. Big thumb's up for this big guy!
California Chrome is done in a soft chestnut, not the dark red chestnut we've seen so much lately, so that's a big relief.
They did a pretty good job matching the horse's color, and then they included a cool surprise: He's got Chrome's one little Bend-Or spot on his right hindquarter! One dark brown spot, just like the real Chrome has... Nicely done, Breyer. His box is also gorgeous, and I have no doubt that a lot of collectors will choose to keep this guy in his box because of the box itself. The back has some beautiful images of Chrome and statistics about his career. Fans are already loving him.
The new Let's Go Riding Western and English sets, well... The horses are very nice, the riders are decent.
We can stop before we get to the tack, which is always rather basic in these sets, which are designed mainly to be the first tack kids get to use with their horses. Roemer is a neat liver chestnut pinto in this year's set, and his rider wears a light green and white outfit that goes beautifully with his coloring. Not sure why they chose the Friesian for the Western set, and in palomino at that, but I have to admit he looks great in palomino! They gave him a turquoise saddle pad to match his rider's blouse, which has a surprisingly nice Western feather pattern applique on the front. I'd like to have that shirt in my size, please!
We have two new Foals for the Best Friends series, each with a blanket and a bracelet with a horse charm that you can wear.
Shadow is a black sabino Clydesdale named Shadow with high whites that you can only see when you remove her floral pattern blanket. Milo also hides a surprise: She looks like a buckskin, but under her polka dotted blanket (symbolism?) is a spotted Appy blanket. She also has a little stripe that's adorable.
In Classics we've received the new decorator Day Dreamer.
She's done in blue clearware with a rainbow along her side. The part we didn't expect (and really like) is that her lower body from her belly down is frosted white, adding depth and interest to the model.
No, we didn't forget about Mason! How could we? He's been so popular that he's actually out-selling some of the new Traditionals!
Does he live up to the hype? Yes! The sculpt is really good - He's got the elegant build and movement that we have been hoping for in a Classic Saddlebred. They gave him a soft grey color which makes him a real standout and then boxed him in a field of lavender... Quite pretty. Often inaugural releases gain value over time, and I'd expect this will be one of them, as I can imagine a whole parade of lovely colors to follow on this mold.
Stablemates, Stablemates, and more Stablemates!
That seems to be this year's theme, and we don't mind a bit.
We have a whole new set of 8 Singles, and they're all pretty neat, from the grey Icelandic to the metallic palomino Pacer, to the black pinto on the Rearing Arabian. They've been selling quickly so I'm apparently not the only one who thinks so.
Mystery Surprise bags are also a huge hit. We're selling them fast than Breyer can ship them, and no wonder - Have you seen the releases in this group? Stunning! And then, of course, there's the little matter of the copper filigree Treasure Horse that will only be included in approximately one of every four display boxes.
Three new 4-horse sets are also out this year:
Wild At Heart includes a neat variety of horses that could easily have Mustang ancestry. There's a sorrel pinto reiner with beautiful shading in his mane and tail, a golden palomino Mustang with a star, a grulla on the Appaloosa mold, complete with leg barring and dorsal stripe, and a dark strawberry roan with one sock and a snip.
Dapples & Dots gets "ooo"s and "ahhh"s from everyone who sees them. The dapples, a dapple grey Endurance Arabian with white mane and tail, and a dappled bay on the Valegro mold, a quite impressive. As for dots, we've got a chestnut blanket Appy on the Driving mold with a big, shield-shaped star and splatter spots, and the star of the show: The Rearing Andalusian in semi-leopard Appaloosa that's so light he's almost palomino Appy. What a beauty! (I will not collect that mold, I will not...)
And then, what the heck -? There's a Glow in the Dark set. At first I rolled my eyes, but the concept has really grown on me. What's wrong with a set of pintos that look normal in daytime but act as a night light at night? Nothing! And the variety of colors included is quite lovely. All have masked patterns, which include a bay on the Warmblood, palomino on the Loping QH, sarm sorrel on the Morgan, and black with lots of detailed edges on the Icelandic. Even if they were "normal," they'd be popular for their neat colors... Glow in the dark is just the cherry on top of that sundae!
I'd love to report on the Mystery Foal sets, but they came and went so quickly I didn't get two seconds to look at them. When the rest arrive, and pre-orders have been filled, I should have time to check them out better. I did note that the creamy palomino Andalusian was very matte but looked good that way, and the grey Valegro was quite nicely done, as well.
We also have some new CollectAs in the Breyer lineup this year, and they're quite nice as usual. Far above Schleich in quality, CollectAs are gaining a great reputation among collectors and at horse shows alike. Here are this year's neat additions:
Rocky Mountain Horse Mare and foal (sold separately)
And we're delighted to announce the return of some CollectAs that we'd been asking Breyer to add back into the lineup: The dappled bay Dartmoor Pony stallion, metallic buckskin Akhal Teke mare, and the deep bay Morgan Stallion!
So overall, Breyer scores high on this year's models! We think you'll agree when you get yours. With such a strong start, we have really high hopes for the rest of the year's mid-year and fall releases, too. It's an exciting time to be a collector!