As part of Breyer's 70th birthday celebrations, we took a stroll through Breyer history all year round on our social media channels! Our theme for November 2020 highlighted Breyer's holiday collections over the years. What started with a little grey pony has since become Breyer's longest-running tradition, and the Breyer holiday collection is a yearly reveal that thousands upon thousands of horse lovers look forward to each year.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter- although our 70th anniversary celebrations have drawn to a close, we are still celebrating #ThorwbackThursday every week! Join us for your weekly dose of Breyer history.
The Holiday Horse series is perhaps the best-known of all of Breyer's holiday offerings. Why not start things off with the little grey pony that started it all?
1997 saw the release of Snowball, the very first release in the Holiday Horse series. Today's Breyer Holiday Horses are known for their elaborate, decorative costumes, but Snowball's decorations are much more simple: a decorative sash with a bow and four leg wraps. For authenticity, each model also received a special engraving on the belly that reads "Season's Greetings '97."
Now going strong for 24 years, Snowball marked the beginning of Breyer's longest-running model series to date.
Original promotional photo for Snowball
Breyer has had an annual Holiday Horse model since 1997, but did you know that one year, we had two? 2002's Holiday Horse - or in this case, horses - was Sugarplum and Peppermint, a pair of fillies bedecked in fuzzy blue and white winter wear.
Along with the two foal models, this set also included a wooden sleigh, bundles of presents, and even a little pile of snowballs! Their story is yours to tell - are they off to deliver gifts to their friends, or start a ruckus with a snowball fight?
Original promotional photo for Sugarplum and Peppermint
Breyer's Holiday Horse Series debuted in 1997, and in 1999 the very first Stirrup Ornament was released. They have since become an essential companion piece to every Holiday Horse since!
Every Breyer Stirrup Ornament is embellished with its year of release, making it a perfect holiday keepsake for years to come - shown here is the Stirrup Ornament of our 2007 Holiday Horse, Wintersong. With more than 20 different Stirrup Ornaments now produced as part of the series, you could practically decorate a whole tree with them!
The 2007 Holiday Horse, Wintersong, with his accompanying stirrup ornament
Before the days of online shopping, kids around the country would eagerly await the holiday season for many reasons - one of which was department store holiday catalogs. Filled to the brim with gift items, clothing, and of course, toys, these enormous catalogs (some of which were 600+ pages!) were wishlists waiting to happen.
From the 1980s through the late 2000s, it was common to find Breyer models scattered throughout these catalogs - many of which were exclusive special run models. In any given year, multiple catalogs could each have an entirely different lineup of special Breyer models to collect!
Shown here are some examples of exclusive Breyer products found in the 1994 JC Penney Holiday Catalog. As you can see, sets with 2-3 Traditional scale horses were quite popular during this time. The JC Penney catalog was also known for its yearly Stablemates "Parade of Breeds" - a set of 12 exclusive Stablemates models refreshed every year.
A selection of models and accessories from the 1994 JC Penney holiday catalog