Collector’s Classes: Showcasing Your Models

Collector's classes are the place to showcase your most prized models. Woodgrains, decorators, old glossies, and limited editions take the spotlight in these competitions. The overall presentation, however, plays a key role in putting together a winning entry.

Many live shows offer at least one collection class. There may be separate classes for youth and adults, for plastic and china, or even for different brands or sizes of models. A few shows offer a themed class for entries such as Horses in Literature or Famous Racehorses. Another variation is the Conga Line Class, a lineup of horses produced from the same mold. In addition, there may be classes for customized and artist resin models.

Typically, the OF Breyer® Collector's Class judging criteria include condition, rarity/age, presentation/viewability, and variety. These may be prioritized or given equal weight.

Collection classes typically require eight models to be displayed as an entry. As you select your models, be sure they are in top condition. Choose only models with no chips, breaks or rubs. While a tiny ear rub may be forgiven on a 40-year old Woodgrain, it won't be ignored on a recent special run. At shows where the criteria are prioritized, condition is usually number one.

Rarity and age are also very important. This is often what makes the difference between a really good entry and an outstanding entry. If you have some old models - pre-1970, for example - in excellent condition, consider including them. If you're a youth exhibitor, don't worry if your models aren't that old. Other youth competitors will likely have newer models, too.

Try to choose some rare models such as Connoisseurs, which come in editions of only 350. Over the years there have been countless limited edition, special run, BreyerFest raffle, and test run models that could be excellent additions to your entry.

Variety can be interpreted in several ways: size, color, finish, breed, regular run, special run, test run, etc. Unless the rules specify a certain size (Breyer Traditional® or minis, for example), it's a good idea to include different sizes. If your collection is primarily Traditionals, try to include a Classics® or Stablemates® size.

This entry shows wonderful variety, rarity, and age

This entry shows wonderful variety, rarity, and age.

Select colors and finishes that look good together and show variety. While eight woodies could rate high in age and condition, they would score low in variety. Instead, two woodies, a decorator, two old glossies, and three mattes would be more balanced.

If possible, try to incorporate different breed types - ponies, drafts, stock, and light breeds. Unless the rules prohibit it, collections aren't limited to horses. A modernistic buck or doe, a bull, elephant or other animal can be a great addition.

When it comes to tack, only include tack that was original with the model. For example, a Christmas horse with its Breyer-produced costume or a Western Horse with its plastic saddle and chain reins. For a neater appearance, remove any leg tags used in other classes.

To present your collection, use boxes as risers to make varying heights to create an attractive display. Any sturdy box will work, provided it's a suitable height. It may take a few to achieve the desired "shelves." Practice at home so you know everything will fit. Remember to adhere to any specified space limitations. If no size is designated, 32" is reasonable, as an eight-foot table divides into three 32" spaces.

Practice at home to achieve a balanced and pleasing display, such as this.

Practice at home to achieve a balanced and pleasing display.

Use a cloth drape to cover your boxes and define your entry. Stick with a solid color, as prints may be too "busy" and distract from your models. Be sure the edges are hemmed, as frayed edges look messy. If the sides are a bit too long, neatly fold them under.

Place your models on the display. Don't stand them right next to the side of a box, as the judge won't be able to see that side of the model. The judge wants good visibility to assess condition. Arrange them so they look balanced and are facing in the most pleasing directions.

Once you have figured out where each riser and each model goes, make a simple diagram to refer to at the show. Shows can be hectic, especially if you're participating in multiple divisions. Your diagram will save you time and stress on show day. Before you pack your models for the show, be sure each is clean and dust free.

The final step is documentation. Each model should have a small, neatly printed or computer generated label. Include model name, number, year(s) produced, number produced (if known), and any other important information (such as BreyerFest Celebration Horse or JAH Special Run).

Curled labels detract from this otherwise outstanding entry.
Curled labels detract from this otherwise outstanding entry.


If your model is signed, you may note this on the label. To show the signature, place a small mirror on the tablecloth under the belly.

Depending on your space and display, you may choose to include certificates of authenticity, a page from a JAH about your model, or other documentation. Be sure it adds to your display. If it looks crowded or distracting, just stick with the labels you made.

As you can see, a lot of planning goes into putting together an outstanding collection entry. Through careful selection and proper display, you'll have an entry you can be proud of!

Regional trends and individual show rules may vary, so please check before you enter.

You'll need to know:
- The number of models required in a collection
- How many collections you may enter
- If there are any class themes
- If non-equine models are allowed
- If there are space allocations
- The judging criteria
- Any other special guidelines