Hobby Terms

Following is a list of hobby-specific terms commonly used on our website.  We hope this helps answer any questions that may arise when reading an item description.  You may also contact us anytime with additional questions.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of model horse terms - For a much longer, more in-depth list, please see the glossary at IdentifyYourBreyer.com


Basecoat Chalky - See Chalky, below.

Bio Card - Small paper or cardboard document which describes the real horse or breed that a model represents.  Some of these were separate paper cards adhered to the inside of a box, while others were printed directly on the back of the box.  Collectors often cut them out of the box to keep.

Body condition / Body quality - Model includes major post-production damage, possibly including repairs, breaks, missing parts.  Possibly suited for a child's carpet herd, but mainly sold for the use of customizers.

Breyer - Model animal manufacturing company which has been in business in the 1940s, with their first model horse produced for sale in 1950.  Based in the US, production occurs in China.  Most models are made of cellulose acetate, a non-petroleum-based plastic. They have also occasionally sold models made of resin, porcelain, metal, crystal, etc., along with jewelry, clothing, and other items.  They are the premier company in the business with the greatest amount of models in production and an annual convention called BreyerFest.

BreyerFest - Annual convention hosted by Breyer in Lexington, Kentucky.  Generally held the second weekend of July at Kentucky Horse Park, the three-day extravaganza which began in 1990, draws tens of thousands of visitors.  It features hundreds of real horses and thousands of models, including workshops, a huge model horse show, and models available only at the event.

Bubble card - Cardboard-backed package with "blister" or "bubble" plastic front holding model against backing.  This is the most common packaging style for Breyer Little Bits/Paddock Pals and Stablemates single models.

Chalky - Style of model most commonly featuring a thick white paint basecoat over the plastic and below the horse's coat color.  The white areas look opaque and "chalky" compared to the whites on unpainted models which have a bit of translucence.  Most chalkies were created during the Oil Embargo of the early 1970s, when pure white plastic was very expensive.  Breyer recycled colored plastics during that time and then gave them a white basecoat so the colors wouldn't affect the horse's coat color.  These are called Basecoat Chalkies.  A second type of Chalky is known as Chalky Plastic, which involves no basecoat, but instead is made of a different type/mix of plastic which is itself opaque, matte, and chalky in appearance.

Chalky Plastic - See Chalky, above.

Classic - Size designation by Breyer, described  by them as 1:12 scale.  Adult models are usually 6"-8" tall from floor to eartips, with foals and ponies being smaller.

COA - Certificate of Authenticity, a paper accompanying certain models, usually those which were created for special events or in very limited numbers.

CollectA - Model animal manufacturing company based in China with worldwide distribution.  They are known for accurate, life-like sculptures of horses, pets, farm animals, wild animals, insects, sea life, and dinosaurs made in play-friendly vinyl. Most are approximately 4-5" tall, though they also produce a small line of 1:12 scale horses and their "box of mini" animals, which is a boxed set of animals averaging 1" high.  Breyer took over US distribution of CollectA in 2017 and reduced the number of models available to US retailers, but making it easier for us to order those. 

Commemorative Edition - Limited edition model offered through regular retailers for a single year, and generally hand-numbered under their belly.

Custom/Customized - Model has been altered.  Customizers can be impressive artists, who resculpt, reposition, repaint, and even add faux hair manes and tails to models, and command high prices for their work.

Decorator - A model created in a color that is intentionally not natural in the real horse world.  Decorators may be in any (or all) colors of the rainbow, metallic, glittery, clear translucent, etc.

Excellent condition - (as used on our site) model shows some moderate wear and post-production damage.

Factory Mint condition - Just as it was produced, with no post-production damage whatsoever.  Model will still include some factory flaws, as no model is perfect. 

Hagen-Renaker - Model manufacturer based in the US since the early 1900s.  Their models are all handcast in ceramic and handpainted, with all production taking place in the US.  Sizes of models vary from "minis" at less than 1" tall to large models up to around 9" tall.

Horse of the Year - Breyer Classic scale model series with each designated model available for a single year only.  These are generally the inaugural release for a new mold.

Limited Edition - Model made in limited quantity or for a stated limited time (such as Breezing Dixie, Limited Edition for 1988). 

Little Bits / Paddock Pals - Size designation by Breyer, described by them as 1:18 scale.  Adult models are usually ~4" tall from floor to eartips, with foals and ponies being smaller.  Originally called Little Bits, this scale premiered in 1983.  The scale was renamed in or after 1995 to Paddock Pals, and then retired altogether in 2009.

Magic Eraser - A sponge-style cleaner from Mr. Clean that can be used to remove marks from unpainted areas of Breyer models.  These are often in collectors' model tool boxes for rescuing marked-up models.  Beware, though, they do not discriminate between factory paint and unwanted marks, so they must not be used on painted areas.  In some cases, they may also dull glossy finishes, so as with all cleaning methods, use at your own risk and test in an inconspicuous place first.

Museum Putty - a non-hardening "silly putty-like" product that is used by museums and collectors to secure items to shelves without damage to either the shelf or the item.  Museum Putty is removable and re-usable, and is often used in the model horse hobby to help keep tippy models upright by placing a small ball under one or more feet and pressing the horse gently onto the shelf.  Only a ball the size of a baby pea is require for a Traditional model, and a package will usually secure 60-100 models, making it cheap insurance against falls.

NAN / NAN Card - NAN stands for North American Nationals, the crowning show of the North American Model Horse Show Association (NAMHSA).  Models only qualify to go to NAN by winning First or Second Place at a NAMHSA-approved show.  When they do this, they can receive a NAN card, which allows them to enter NAN, held annually at Kentucky Horse Park in conjunction with BreyerFest.  A model with a NAN card is often valued higher than an equivalent one without it, as it has been "show proven:"  chosen as a winner at a live show, so it is usually in Factory Mint condition and may have especially nice coloring.

Near Mint condition - (as used on our site) Model has only the slightest post-production damage or noticeable factory flaws, so that it except on close inspection it appears Factory Mint.

NRFB / Never Removed From Box - Model is still attached in its original box with its original box ties, or still in a sealed box/bubble card, as it left the factory.

OF / Original Finish - Wearing the paint job that it was made with, with no post-production alterations.

OOAK - One of a Kind.  A model that only one was produced of.  Peter Stone Horses is known for producing OOAKs.

Paddock Pals - See Little Bits, above.

Peter Stone - Former president of Breyer Animal Creations, Peter was the face of Breyer from the 1950s to the early 1990s when disagreements between him and the Board of Directors resulted in him leaving to start his own model manufacturing business.  Stone Horses is a US-based businss with molds made in China but painted in the US.  Their focus is on very small (less than 20-piece) runs of models and OOAKs (one of a kinds).  Some command very high prices.

Regular Run - Model in unlimited production for at least one year, available through all regular retail channels, and listed in the box brochure for that year.

Saddle Club - Series of models produced by Breyer to represent horses and riders in the popular book series of that name.

Schleich - Model animal and toy manufacturer based in Germany (production in China) producing a large variety of horses and animals in play-friendly vinyl.  They also produce some of the best play sets on the market, with lots of accessories.

Shrinky - Model whose plastic is beginning to break down into its solid and liquid parts, resulting in the model shrinking and sometimes deforming.  This has mainly occured on models made from the late 1980s to mid-1990s, though not every model made during that time will become a shrinky.  Symptoms include the smell of vinegar in the early stages, then wet oily patches appear as the plastic begins to separate.  Model may be noticeably smaller than others of its release, and paint will take on a faded appearance.  With continued aging, it will begin looking "lumpy" as the shrinking will be uneven.  Legs may also begin to warp.  Known in the film industry (old movies are made of very similar material) as vinegar syndrome, the symptoms seem to be exacerbated by airtight storage, so most collectors that have shrinkies prefer to keep them on open shelves with good air circulation to slow or arrest the process.  While often considered a "fatal flaw," some collectors actively seek out shrinkies for their novelty.

Special Run - Model produced specifically for a certain retailer or event, not available to all retailers, and not listed in the box brochure for that year.

Stablemates - Size designation by Breyer, described  by them as 1:32 scale.  Adult models are usually ~2.5" tall from floor to eartips, with foals and ponies being smaller.

Stone Horses - See Peter Stone, above.

Sunbathing - Restoration of a model by allowing it to sit in a sunny place where the sun's uv light gradually removes yellow discoloration and brings the whites back to bright white.  This is the easiest restoration process there is, since you basically place your model in a safe, sunny location and just turn him over every few days until he's done.  The biggest caveat to this technique is to watch the temperature where he is, as models (particularly older ones lacking vent holes) can overheat, causing them to permanently bloat or crack a seam.  Ideal temps are between 45-75° F (7-24° C).

Traditional - Size designation by Breyer, described  by them as 1:9 scale.  Adult models are usually 10"-11" tall from floor to eartips, with foals and ponies being smaller.

Very Good condition - (as used on our site) Model shows significant post-production damage but generally has no breaks beyond possibly chipped ears.  Generally suited for a kid's carpet herd or for customizing.

Vinegar Syndrome - See Shrinky, above.

Woodgrain - Color produced by Breyer and other manufacturers, mainly in the 1950s-1960s.  These models were handpainted with stripes in varying hues of translucent brown, making them resemble stained wood with graining.


This is by no means a comprehensive list of model horse terms - For a much longer, more in-depth list, please see the glossary at IdentifyYourBreyer.com