This is always a popular question within the Model Horse Hobby but there are always two things to remember when answering this question:
1. A model is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it.
2. Condition affects the value considerably
The best ways to determine what a model is worth is to read sales lists from various people and then see what actually sells at what price. Remember, just because someone is asking a sum of model for a particular model it doesn’t always mean that the person could sell it. For Example: Say a person called Brenda Breyer had a model for sale. The model is Big Ben and she is asking $60 for him.
Remember, just because Brenda Breyer is asking $60 for her Big Ben does not mean she will be able to sell him for $60. Big Ben is a very common model. To know what your models are worth, you have to know what, how common, how popular (i.e.: do people like that mould?), and what condition they are.
If Brenda Breyers model is missing his head and two legs, she probably won’t be able to sell him at all. If he is beautiful with wonderful shading, no rubs or breaks, and comes with his original box in
perfect condition, she might be able to get $30 at the very most for him. Why? As mentioned before, Big Ben is really easy to find and not in demand.
However if Brenda had a Gold Florentine Five-Gaiter model, even if with a couple of minor rubs and
scratches, she will easily get several hundred pounds. Why? Florentine models are extremely rare. There were very limited amounts made during the 60s and are highly sort after. A decorator model is a model, which is blue or gold in colour. Personally, I have seen decorator models advertised for several thousand pounds.
Q: How do I know if my model is a regular run model (common model) or a special model?
A: Regular Run models are models which are show in the annual consumer catalogues and can be found from Breyer retailers around the world, like Utterly Horses for example. Regular Run models are the most common models. All models not shown in the consumer catalogues are called special runs. Special run models are made in limited amounts and for a limited time.
Mid year items are models, which are released half way through the year by Breyer. These include the Christmas models. These models are not in a consumer catalogue and so are classed as special runs. Q: Are all Special Run Models worth the same amount of money?
A: The simple answer to this question is no. Breyer produce a vast amount of SR models but a different quantity of each. For Example: The Halloween Horses, they make about 5000 models whereas a special run model at Breyerfest they may only make 1000. The Breyerfest model would be more valuable. The SR Models that fetch the highest value are: Test Run Models (only 1 model ever produced in the whole world) and low quantity special runs. However, there are times in which a regular run can be more valuable than a SR. The models which come under this are: Decorator Models (blue and gold coloured models), rare regular runs, flocked models, woodgrain models and sometimes certain limited /commemorative editions.
Q: How do I know if I own a Rare Breyer Model Horse?
A: As mentioned before, if you model is not in the Breyer consumer catalogue then it is classed as a special run and so more valuable than a regular run. Another way of finding out which models are rare in your collection is to invest in a collector’s guide. These books have all the information of every Breyer model ever produced and give values against models.
Q: Do you have to keep the models boxes to add to the value?
A: Packaging is not important to the values of Breyers. Generally they add very little to the models value. My tip would be to hang onto the boxes, which have colour backgrounds as these ones tend to add about $2- $5 to the value of the model.
Woodgrain models: In the late 1950s and early 1960s Breyer produced some models that appeared as it carved from wood, a brown with light and dark streaks like the grain in wood. These models were produced, as regular runs but are more valuable that most special runs due to the rarity of them.
Flocked Models: Flocked models have a fuzzy coating, occasionally have glass eyes and usually have smooth hooves. Sometimes these models were produced in bizarre colours like purple! These models are rare to find in very good condition as most were produced during the 1980s.
Test Run Models: A test run model is a model produced in a run of 1. It is the only model ever produced in a particular colour. They are made as a prototype to see whether the colour suits the mould etc. These models are extremely rare as normally all test run pieces are kept by Breyer
Price depends on boxes and condition.
Whether you are storing them, playing with them or displaying them, here is a little guide of the best things to do.
To box or not to box:
Some collectors prefer to display their models in their boxes which is a great idea if you do not want the models touched and or kept in mint condition. Before you put them away and forget about them for a couple of years, just make sure you check the models over. Some models may look perfect on one side but on the models off side (side nearest box) there may be a slight rub from the actual boxing. It is best to check this before they are stored so you are able to remove the model from the plastic ties, repackage it and store him safely.
– If the model is wearing any tack (Christmas, Mid Year, SR models) make sure you remove the tack before you close your models box and wave goodbye for a couple of years. Some tack discolours models if they come into contact too long. Once a model has discoloured it is very hard to remove the stain. Q: Do I have to keep all my Boxes?
A: No, it is not essential to keep your Models Boxes. The only boxes that are possibly worth keeping at the coloured background boxes, which add about $2/$4 value onto your model horse.
Breyer Models and Sunlight do not mix well. Most Breyer models have a vent hole which allows air to escape (and the models to breathe!) This hole can normally be found in the nose or the corner of the mouth of a model. Without a vent hole and left in sunlight, your model can turn from a beautiful model horse into a gigantic beast in a couple of hours. We have a couple of models, here at UH, that look like they are balloons! The simple answer to this problem is do not display your models in a sunny spot or leave them in a hot car too long.