The Story of Breyer
The Breyer Animal Creations® Story
Breyer Animal Creations began as the Breyer Molding Company in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The company manufactured custom-molded plastic products for various industries, including the US Defense Department. In 1950, Breyer accepted an order from retailer F.W. Woolworth to create a plastic horse to decorate a mantel clock. The order was for 2000 plastic model horses, but that one order was to change the company’s direction forever. As toy collectors and horse lovers learned of the horse’s remarkable authenticity, demand for the horse alone increased. In response, the Breyer Molding Company began to produce and market the standing horse model, known as #57 – Western Horse, alone.
Gradually, the creation and manufacturing of authentic, realistic plastic model animals – especially horses - formed the core of the Breyer Molding Company’s business.
Enter Reeves International
Founded by Swiss entrepreneur Werner Fleischmann in 1946, Reeves International, Inc. was a privately held New Jersey corporation with its administrative offices and distribution facility located 45 minutes west of Manhattan. As the initial and exclusive U.S. distributor of numerous high quality European toy brands such as Steiff, Corgi , Britains , Märklin, Kouvalias, and Furga, Reeves was instrumental in the establishment and overall development of the U.S. independent and specialty channel of distribution.
Throughout the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, Reeves introduced top brands into the U.S. market and rapidly became one of the nation’s top distributors of high quality, branded specialty toys while earning an outstanding reputation for sales and distribution. Beginning in the late 1970s, as a result of changing industry dynamics and structure, Reeves sought to acquire and/or develop a proprietary brand and business. In 1985, Reeves acquired the Breyer Animal Creations® brand of model horses and accessories, which it recognized as underperforming but possessing significant potential.
A Move East
As a result of Reeves International’s acquisition of Breyer, the company was relocated to Reeves’ home base in New Jersey. Reeves International’s strength as a distributor and marketer to the specialty toy and gift markets, combined with the quality and authenticity of the Breyer product, sparked a period of tremendous growth and
innovation for Breyer which was now known as Breyer Animal Creations®.
Between 1985 and 1998, through innovative product development, proper market segmentation, a balanced blend of unique and well-designed traditional new marketing mechanisms, as well as a broad multichannel sales approach, the Breyer business grew substantially; both top and bottom line, and Breyer became recognized as the premiere brand of model horses and equine themed toys, gifts and collectibles.
Today Breyer remains the largest, most well-known and respected premium brand of model horses and equine accessories, with a broad product offering of approximately 400 unique items and millions of units sold annually. Each and every horse given the Breyer brand is meticulously hand-painted, just as they were when Breyer first began in 1950. Breyer models are sold in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia.
Breed Apart: Breyer creates enduring collectibles and supports the model horse hobby with events and activities that encourage lifelong collectors.
Licensing and Other Partnerships
Breyer is especially known for its Traditional, 1:9 scale ‘portrait’ models of great champions like Secretariat, Hollywood heroes like The Lone Ranger’s Silver and Roy Rogers’ Trigger and literary legends like Black Beauty.
Starting in 1998 with the release of Robert Redford’s The Horse Whisperer, Breyer has become Hollywood’s “go-to” company for horse films. To date, Breyer has made the official model horse of the following:
The Horse Whisperer
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
Michael Morpurgo’s WAR HORSE
Breyer has also been a sponsor of such prestigious international championships as the FEI World Cup Finals and the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, where it was the Official Model Horse.
With exciting new programs on the horizon for 2013, it seems that the magic of Breyer continues to grow each year!