Breyer’s first model of Secretariat was released in 1987, and since then, a Secretariat model has been in production for 28 of the 33 years since that debut. Secretariat lives on in the Breyer line today on our dynamic, galloping “Smarty Jones” mold, a model that is also one of our longest-running in the current line with over ten years of production time! This just goes to show how much of an icon Secretariat is in the world of horse racing – even though his 1973 Triple Crown victory is nearing 50 years ago, “Big Red” continues to inspire racing fans and horse lovers alike.
Throughout the years, Breyer has released a handful of special edition Secretariat models, including a model with a blanket of roses, a Classics (now Freedom Series) limited edition, a gold version to celebrate what would have been his 20th birthday, and a miniature golden Secretariat that was released as part of the 2020 Vintage Club!
The Unstoppable Misty
Breyer's model of Misty was inspired by Marguerite Henry's beloved 1947 children's novel, which itself was inspired by the story of a real Chincoteague Pony who lived with the local Beebe family. Misty was later purchased by Marguerite and lived with her in Illinois for 11 years before she returned to the Beebe Ranch, where she lived for the remainder of her life.
Breyer's model of Misty has the distinction of being the longest-running Breyer model of all time! She has had a few design changes and updates over the years, but Misty has been in continuous production since she first debuted in 1972 - that's 48 years! Although originally sold on her own, most Misty models have been sold as a set with her foal Stormy and a copy of the "Misty of Chincoteague" novel since the mid-2000s. Stormy has also had an unbroken production run since her debut in 1977!
The story of this beloved pony continues to rivet young horse lovers to this day, and that's what makes her a true Breyer Hall of Fame legend.
The One That Started it All
The horse that started it all is an obvious choice for the "Breyer Hall of Fame," so of course we had to induct the Western Horse! It's a story familiar to many Breyer fans: the Breyer Molding Company was approached to create a horse to adorn a clock in 1950. After interested customers started contacting the company in hopes of buying just the horse, the rest was history! Breyer Animal Creations was born, and 70 years later, we're still creating models for horse lovers everywhere!
The Western Horse has long been a staple of the Breyer line - the original palomino model's release ran for over 40 years, and has since been used as the base for portrait models of famous Hollywood heroes such as Trigger and Topper. In the past decade he's also worn some very intricate, modern coats that have brought new life to such a classic piece. Here's to 70 more years of Western Horses!
A True Breyer Icon
Our final "Breyer Hall of Fame" inductee is Big Ben! First introduced in 1997 as a portrait of the unforgettable Canadian show jumper of the same name, Big Ben - and specifically the silhouette of his sculpture - has become an image that is synonymous with the Breyer brand. His image has been featured on multiple pieces of merchandise since his debut.
In this sculpture, beloved Breyer artist Kathleen Moody perfectly captured the poise and grace of the horse in motion, and he is a perfect example of what draws us to horses in the first place. That also made him the perfect choice for our 70th anniversary logo! Here's to you, Big Ben!