Thursday, 7 January 2016

Breyer Classic Haflinger Mare

This girl actually arrived before Frankel, but he was much too impatient to wait his turn :)

So, you may remember I recently talked about the Breyer Classic Haflinger mare and how I'd like to add her to my collection. Not long after that post I found one being sold second hand with good reference photos, and decided to go for it. The photos made her colouring look nicely subtle, but I didn't get too excited until I saw the model with my own eyes. After all, online photos of models can be vastly different to real life, for many reasons, such as lighting, background, editing etc. 

My new mare arrived promptly, and I was quietly happy with the outcome. She was a lot like her sales photo. Despite the fact that she's Classic scale I'd expected her to be bigger, for some unknown reason, so I was a little surprised at her size. But that's just me being weird :)
 I can definitely see why this mould has become such a runaway hit with so many collectors and customisers. She's just so lovely and well-balanced, with the sweetest face. She makes me think of a wise school pony, patiently teaching children and adults how to ride as she plods obediently round the sand school or down a bridle path on a hack. She'd be the absolute beginner's pony, probably the one the instructor puts the timid riders on so she can relax their nerves and show them there's nothing to worry about.
 At the same time, I can completely see this mould pulling a pony trap on a quiet drive out, bringing home a hunter's deer strapped to her back or walking behind another horse as a pack pony. And there's no doubt she'd make an excellent broodmare, probably one who's already had a couple of foals and is well  experienced in rearing youngsters by now. She just so wonderfully diverse.
 It's really nice to see a slightly older mare in Breyer's lineup. I'm no expert when it comes to ageing horses, but I'd probably say this girl is in her early to mid teens, based on how she's sculpted. I certainly wouldn't call her a young mare, but she's not yet an old lady either.
 I've seen photos of some models with quite poor over-spray on their forelocks, but my girl seems very well painted. Maybe it's just less noticeable on a subtler chestnut.
She's got a gorgeous long mane and tail, and I love the fact that her mane looks a little tousled and thick, just like a real native pony. The slight feathering on her fetlocks is also a nice touch.
 She's a really lovely girl, from any angle. I kinda wish the sculptor had added chestnuts, at least to her front legs, but that's a minor thing.
  I like the fact that each of her hooves are carved to resemble a real horse's hoof, not just left flat plastic.
  I like the fact that she's got shading and isn't just a flat chestnut. I like the darker colouring on her knees and hocks, and it's really nice that as well as the grey on her muzzle, she also has grey shading around her eyes, ear tips and even her 'mare parts'!
 That's right! Whilst Breyer's stallions and geldings have been anatomically correct (for the most part) for years now, this is the first Breyer mare I've seen with a suggestion of udders between her legs. Now, they're not much, just a couple of bumps in the mould, but it's clear that they're intentional and certainly a step in the right direction.
 I appreciate that Breyers are often given to younger children to play with, and there are parents that are uncomfortable with their kids' plastic animals being anatomically correct. But I personally think that stallion parts are far more explicit than mare's udders. On the other hand, there may be a problem with the injecting moulding process that makes it difficult to produce mares with udders. If that's the case then maybe this is the first sign that Breyer are working out how to overcome that problem? I know I appreciate that little extra touch of realism, and hope it continues in future moulds.
 Normally I wait until I've got the model in my hands and can see it with my own eyes before I choose a name for them. But this time I had a name already picked out for this girl. I've called her Gypsy, after a palomino Welsh Cob mare I saw in a pony magazine when I was a child. It was the very first time I'd come across 'gypsy' being used as a name for an animal, and I thought it was really pretty. And whilst my mare isn't palomino or a Welsh Cob, she reminds me of the photo I saw all those years ago, and I think the name suits her.
Of course, now that I have the gorgeous mare I'm finding myself drawn to her cheeky little colt. The palomino from the Pet Groomer set would probably work best as her baby, colour wise (I'd just call him a very light flaxen chestnut). But the bay tobiano from the Colourful Foals set is just stunning! I'm having a real struggle trying to decide whether to get him (and his filly friend) or not, especially as I don't have a very good mother for him. I don't know whether I'd call him a Haflinger x (and say he got his colouring from his father), or have him be an orphan with Gypsy as his foster mum... Anyone got any ideas or suggestions?


  1. I have the pet groomer and I love the foal! He's vey metallic though, but they do look cute together. I have her and the dartmoor mare and foals and they are all so cute! I break the rules though and call my mare a gelding, that way they have a "family". Yeah i'm a dork. Haha.

    1. Ooh, do you think you could take pictures of the palomino foal and Haflinger mare together? I'd love to see what they actually look like paired up :)

    2. Sure, I'll add them to the next post!

    3. Psst. I posted their pictures in my latest post. And the color of the photo is very true to the real color.

  2. Gosh, Gypsy is gorgeous! I wish mine looked as stunning as that. I fell victim to the annoyingly poor paint jobs the more recent (?) new ones have. Ah well. *sigh*

    1. Aww, I'm sorry. That was exactly the reason I bought her second hand rather than through a retailer, since I had no control over the model I would be getting. I wish more toy stores and tack shops in the UK sold Breyers: then we'd have a chance to hand pick our models.