Good news! It appears Breyer folks opened and fixed costume issues before shipping the models to retailers! Nearly all of ours arrived with fully intact costumes and one end of their box unsealed, showing it had been carefully opened for a correction, then closed up again. That was very good of them!
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Breyer has been experiencing issues with the costumes for this year's Holiday Horse. The glue being used at the factory to attach pieces of the costume is failing in transit, so parts of the costume are coming off. (This isn't completely new - Noelle, the 2008 Holiday Horse, had the same type of issue.)
The handling and vibration of the box in transit can cause hot glue to let go - Most of what we're seeing loose are the loops of cord under the horse's jaw, but we've also seen the feathered plume and occasionally the jewel drop, detached.
Since ours have not yet arrived as of this posting, we don't know if we'll see this issue within our shipment or not. When we pull items to ship orders, we take the models out of their shipping carton in order; we do not pick and choose for certain customers. This is the fairest way to distribute all models... Variations that appear randomly could go to anyone.
Breyer is shipping these as-is, and not offering returns to customers or retailers, so we must do the same. We will ship the models as they arrive to us, as long as the horse isn't broken. This means you may receive a model whose costume needs a little TLC on arrival. A bit of glue should fix it right up. We recommend either hot glue like the factory uses, or Gorilla glue, which we've had good luck with ourselves in the past. Carefully opening a box to correct a costume issue, then closing it back up again will not reduce the value of an in-box model.
If you do not want to take the chance that your model may need a little TLC on arrival, you may email Eleda to cancel your order before Snowbird arrives here for a refund on your purchase price. Any cancellations after arrival but before we ship your order will result in our 20% restocking fee being applied. Once your order has shipped, no returns or refunds will be allowed, per our normal policy.
The models we've seen are beautifully done, and we think you're going to love this beautiful stallion.