The Early Years
Breyer Animal Creations® began as the Breyer Molding Company, a Chicago, Illinois-based plastics manufacturing company. Its first model horse, the # 57 Western Horse, made its appearance in 1950. It was a special order for the F.W. Woolworth Company, made to adorn a mantelpiece clock. The company was then flooded with requests from people who saw it and wanted to know if they could purchase just the horse! By accepting that one order, the Breyer Molding Company had changed the focus of its business and company direction forever!
Reeves International, Inc is a New Jersey corporation with offices in Pequannock and Wayne, New Jersey . Reeves was founded by Swiss entrepreneur Werner J. Fleischmann in 1946. Reeves entered the toy industry as the U.S. distributor of fine European toys and collectibles to the “carriage trade,” that is, toy specialty stores and fine department stores. Top brands such as Stieff, Corgi and Britains were staples of the Reeves International portfolio. Through these fine brands, Reeves earned an outstanding reputation for sales and distribution. From 1946 through the 1970s, Reeves became one of the nation’s top distributors, operating from its showroom in New York City with a nationwide sales force. And, in 1998, Anthony Fleischmann, purchased Reeves International, Inc. outright from his father Werner Fleischmann. Today, Reeves International is still privately held.
In the 1970s, along with the globalization of the toy and collectibles industry, Reeves began to modify its business strategy to shift from sales and distribution to manufacturing proprietary brands. With that goal, Reeves began to acquire manufacturing companies. Reeves International acquired the Breyer Animal Creations brand in 1984 and has gradually completed the transition from distributor to a manufacturing and marketing company in the last 20 years. Reeves International also owns The Big Dig®.
The Breyer Animal Creations brand is Reeves International’s largest line. Today, under the Reeves International umbrella, Breyer manufactures plastic, porcelain, and resin model horses, animals and accessories for play and collecting.
Breyer model horses, which begin as artist’s sculptures, are all handcrafted and hand-painted with airbrushes and paintbrushes. Approximately 20 different artisans handle each individual Breyer model from start to finish – a process, which, 62 years later, is still done by human hands, not machines. Even today, no two Breyer model horses are ever exactly alike!
- Reeves’ Breyer Animal Creations brand dominates the model horse market in volume, sales, distribution, innovation, and quality.
- Breyer products are carried in specialty toy stores, tack shops, agricultural stores and agricultural specialists like Wheatbelt, Tractor Supply, Midstates and Purina Mills, as well as at toy chain retailer, Toys R Us.
- Breyer brings approximately 300 unique horses, animals and accessories to market each year. Created in unique sizes and packaged into distinct lines from the upmarket Breyer Gallery of porcelains and resins to the cuddliest Plush ponies, Breyer is best known for the realism and authenticity of its model horses.
- Breyer has also expanded its line to include jewelry, casual clothing and other equestrian-themed products.
- Breyer manufactures and ships approximately 5 million model horses each year, including Special Editions and tack and accessories.
Breyer has a strong collector base for which it published am annual collector publication Just About Horses (JAH), has an online Collector Club, and hosts BreyerFest, the world’s largest model horse collector and equine festival each year.
Licensing and Other Partnerships
Starting in 1998 with the release of Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer, Breyer has become Hollywood's "go-to" company for horse films. Breyer has made the official model horse of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Seabiscuit, Dreamer, Flicka and more. With other licensing alliances including Scholastic, Macmillan Children's Publishing, WNET's NATURE® and now Michael Morpurgo's War Horse, the magic of the Breyer brand continues to grow each year!
In 2005, Breyer's parent company Reeves International began to distribute Breyer in the United Kingdom. With the success of its UK expansion, Reeves has gained distribution for Breyer in the following countries: Canada, Russia, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and South Africa.