If you're a model horse collector, chances are you have the site bookmarked. Here at Triple Mountain, we use it every single day! We're talking, of course, about www.identifyyourbreyer.com . For most of us, the site is some sort of mysterious encyclopedia of Breyer awesomeness, filled with photos of every known Breyer release ever. Need to discover which releases you're missing on your favorite mold? IDYB it! Find a model at a random shop and don't know what it is? IDYB it! We check every model we list on Triple Mountain on IDYB to make sure we have the correct production information before we make it live on our site.
IDYB is obviously a massive undertaking and a lot of work to maintain, with Breyer adding new releases several times per year, along with Special Runs, Breyerfest models, and even older models that weren't known or need photos updated. So, who do we have to thank for all this hard work that makes collecting SO much better than the old days of scouring box brochures, hoping to find the model you're looking for? Let me introduce you to one of our heroes: Janice Cox! She usually stays behind the scenes, but Janice agreed to let us to introduce her here. We want everyone to get to see who puts in all the effort to make IDYB such an amazing site:
We love you, Janice!
Janice didn't think anyone would be interested in hearing about the person behind the site, but we beg to differ! When a site is as important to a hobby as hers is, the person behind it is even more important.
Janice lives in California, USA, with several darling kitties and her own model horse collection, which she began in 1973. After taking some time off, she resumed collecting around 2000. Her first Breyer models were the black pinto Shetland and the bay Running Foal, and she says she still has a fondness for both molds because of it. She is also an avid collector of Family Arabian Stallions, something she and Eleda at Triple Mountain have in common, and occasionally share photos of new additions!
So how many models does she have in her own collection? She says: "According my records, I have about 1,400 models. This includes a lot of Stablemates, but I’ve also got a very large Classics series collection. I loved the Classic series when I was a child, especially Maureen Love’s racehorses, and I still like this series a lot." She also has a fondness for the big Marx horses and Hagen-Renaker ceramics.
Janice started Identifyyourbreyer.com way back in 2001! She says it began as a numeric list (not in order by molds like today, but by release numbers) just for her own use. She quickly realized it was much easier to use when she categorized them by size and mold instead, and other collectors immediately came to appreciate her site as a reference for their own collections.
Today IDYB includes tens of thousands of photos (yes, you read that right!) and is one of the most-visited model horse-related websites on the internet. Janice spends up to 2 hours every day answering emails, adding photos and editing listings, plus up to 10 hours each weekend, and many more hours when there's a big release event. "The start of the new year and BreyerFest are crazy busy, as you might imagine. I received roughly 50 emails with photos after this past BreyerFest, for example. I’m very grateful to everyone who takes the time to send in photos, and I wish I could use every one."
She says the best part of running IDYB is "getting to see in-hand photos of models I’ll likely never see in real life. In that sense I have the best Breyer collection in town!" She loves when collectors can add to the site's database by sending photos of older models that may still be missing from IDYB, or even variations that the community hasn't seen before.
Since her site is free to use, she includes a few advertising banners to help bring in enough money to pay for its hosting and such. If you click a banner ad to eBay or Amazon while you're visiting IDYB, she gets a few cents toward upkeep. (She didn't ask us to include that, but we feel it's an easy way to thank her for her work.)
At Triple Mountain, we're a big contributor of photos for Identify Your Breyer. As we write new inventory listings every week, we check her site and send her new, high-def photos to upgrade some of the early, low resolution images it started with. That way, when you open a photo on IDYB, you're more likely to get a large, crisp image to compare to your model. Many of the white-background images you find on that site came from Triple Mountain.
We've been asked before, "If they're your images, why do they say 'copyright identifyyourbreyer.com' on them?" Well, that's a matter of convenience and Janice's thoughtfulness. We don't watermark our photos when we send them, but she was concerned about them being used to represent other people's models on places like eBay, so she asked if she could add her own watermark to them, and we gave her permission. Going forward, though, to reduce confusion, she may mark them as "copyright Triple Mountain" instead. As a bonus, you may find that some of the horses you've bought from us are now being used as the reference for their release! You may even want to print a copy of their listing and photos from IDYB to keep with your model to show that he's famous!
To complement the IDYB site, Janice has also started its new sister site www.identifyyourcollecta.com ("IDYC") and brand-new this year: www.identifyyourhagen-renaker.com . The H-R site is still under construction, and she's happily accepting photos of older H-Rs with production information to help build that one. CollectA and H-R collectors will be very grateful to be able to find solid info on those brands in one place! If you have photos of models she's missing from one of the sites, please visit that site for the address to which you can send them.
She's embarrassed when I tell her she's a rock star in our hobby, as she's used to being hidden behind the scenes. She didn't think anyone would really be interested in hearing who works on the website, but you've proven her wrong by reading our article!
As collectors and horse lovers, we are eternally grateful to Janice for her dedication to the hobby all of these years! If you'd like to leave Janice a thank-you for the help her sites have given you, please feel free to post a comment here. (They may take a few days to show up, but we'll get them up!)