The value of a model horse depends on several factors, including
condition, rarity, and popularity of that mold and/or model. You can get an
approximate value for your models from online auctions
as well as books like Felicia Browell's
Breyer Animal Collector's Guide, Fifth Edition
(which is updated as the
Breyer Animal Quick Reference),
The Model Trading Post Insurance Guide 2016.
For a detailed look at what goes into a model's value
How Much is My Breyer Model Horse Worth? by
Triple Mountain Model Horses.
Buying Model Horses
The prices you will see listed in price guides are for
good condition, with some minor ear tip, tail, and hoof rubs and/or factory
problems such as overspray or blurred markings. If your model has a lot
of scratches, a seam split or any type of break it will have a much
lower value. A very rare model (see below) may still fetch a high price
in poor condition, but common models in "played with" condition simply
don't have much value, even ones twenty or more years old.
Rarity: If a
model was available for many years (the bay Running Mare and the palomino Family
Arabians, for example) its value will be
much less than that of a model that was issued only for a year or two.
and Just About Horses'
Connoisseur Models are all
examples of models with small runs that retain their value well over
If a model came with a hang tag, certificate of
authenticity, ribbon, blanket, or other item it is generally
worth more if those accessories are included. Unlike
in other hobbies, however, most model horse collectors
prefer their models out of their original packaging so that
potential buyers can see any hidden factory flaws or box
rubs. Some collectors do value having the original
collectors manual, if
there was one, for very old models and for those that are a
part of a gift set such as Breyer's Holiday Horses. Use your best judgment when
considering what to hang onto and what to throw away.
You may already have a
dealer nearby (check your tack and toy stores along with the
retail chains listed in
Special Run Distributors)
for new and recently discontinued Breyer model horses.
Classic and Stablemate scale models are commonly found in
the retail chains, with Traditional models more common in
the western wear and tack stores. Listed below is a variety of Internet sources selling
Breyer model horses and you may also find some good deals
Amazon.com, along with free shipping. Even
allowing for the cost of shipping you may find that you'll
get a better deal through the Internet although you won't
be able to see the model in person before you buy it.
If you're just coming
back into the hobby after a long time away it's easy to get
overwhelmed by the sheer volume of models available; there
are thousands of discontinued models for sale, and more than
a hundred more are released each year. Unless you're
independently wealthy or just won the lottery you'll need to
decide what you'll focus on, such as one or a handful of
favorite molds, breeds, scale (Traditional, Classic, etc.)
or colors. You should also try to be patient, even when you
find a model for sale that you simply must have.
Unless your model is extremely rare there are bound to be
others out there just like it, so take time to decide if its
condition and price are right for you before you commit to a
purchase. Remember, breathe! Don't let someone talk
you into buying something just because it's a "great deal."
It's only a great deal if it makes you happy to own it!
Selling Model Horses
Many people, when they find out that the
horses they collected as a child are considered valuable today decide to
sell their model horses. There are many way to sell them, but first go
back and read my section on model horse values.
The biggest problem most childhood collectors have is that their models
were (gasp) played with, and now have many scratches, chips, and even
breaks. Dirt and scuff marks may be removable--see my
Model Horse Vet Care page. Everything that remains
after cleaning affects value and you need to have a realistic idea
of what your collection is worth before you begin. Collectors are very
particular and you'll need to be able to accurately describe your
model's flaws--"good condition for its age" simply won't cut it
if you want to get a decent price.
Once you know what condition your models
are in you'll need to identify what you have. While it's possible to
just take photos of your collection and sell the lot on a site like
eBay you'll get a much better price if you can accurately describe what
you have and what condition each model is in and do even better if you
sell them individually. If you don't know what you have use this
site to figure it out. With extremely few exceptions every Breyer model
known is described on these pages and the site is set up to help even a
complete novice identify what she/he has. If you try to identify your
model yourself you'll learn more about what you have and may even decide
to return to this wonderful hobby! If you are absolutely stuck you can
email me for
help. I won't identify your
entire collection for you (and don't provide estimated values at all),
so please don't ask.
As soon as you know what you have and
what condition they're in you're ready to advertise your
models for sale. The most
popular way to do that is by online auction.
Be as accurate as you can regarding the condition of the
model, and be sure to provide photos of multiple views of the model if possible. The photo(s) must be clear enough to show the condition of the model and
large enough to make out details. Use as low a starting bid as you can
and be prepared to answer questions during the auction period. You can also use
sales lists or other methods to sell your models, and I've listed
some of these resources below. If you don't want to sell your models
yourself or want to sell them in a single lot I suggest
contacting a dealer who works on
Once your model sells be ready to pack
it well and ship it out as soon as you have received
payment. People know each other within the hobby and the
best way to sell models in the future is to develop a
reputation as an honest, reliable seller.
Dealers: For buying new and recently discontinued models authorized dealers
may have what you're looking for.
A few dealers also buy and sell older ("vintage") model horses. Some
of the retail chain stores that I've found Breyers in include tack shops, Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us.
Breyer now sells models
online at list price. Starting with
"Delia" in October of 2008 Breyer also sells
Web Special models from
their site that are available nowhere else.
- Authorized Dealers - A
listing of mail order and Internet dealers,
including those who buy/sell on consignment.
- Special Run Distributors
- Breyer frequently releases models that are available only through a
certain store or distributing company, most of which are listed here.
Online Buying and Selling:
- Thousands of Breyer listings and high traffic make this site very
popular but listing fees can be high.
- MH$P offers text and photo ads at little to no cost. It has a much smaller
reach than eBay but is well known within the hobby.
Exchange - The most active email list for the buying, selling, and
trading of model horses. Listings are free.
Model Horse Blab
- Blab has free basic discussion forums. There is a section for the posting of models
for sale and wanted available to paid members.
Media - Models are now frequently sold through
user groups on sites like Facebook and Instagram. These
groups are free to join and use but have little or no
buyer protection. You can find these groups using that
site's search engine. Be sure to check references (see
above) before entering into any private transaction and
use a protected payment method such as PayPal (avoiding
that company's "Friends and Family" payment
- This free online classified is a good way to
buy and sell locally, avoiding the hassles and
perils of shipping.
Sales: Probably the most fun way to find
what you need. Careful hunting can turn up some amazing
bargains but be careful of how much you pay,
especially in antique shops; in my experience many models there are grossly overpriced. Having
a collector's guide with you when you shop will help determine what's a fair
Live Model Horse Shows: these
competitions almost always have "for sale" tables. This is probably
the best way to buy when you want to be absolutely sure of a model's
condition and is a great way to sell your models without the hassle of