Originally, people bought model horses because they were fun. What started as horse toys has now become a huge collector’s hobby. The same thing happened with baseball cards, comic books and a lot of other toys.
Question #1: Why are you collecting? This must be the first question answered because the answer to this question will determine the answer to every other question that follows. In my opinion, there is only one right answer to this question. Collect horses because it is fun! Just because an item is worth a lot of money doesn’t mean it has to stop being fun. Money has a way of getting things bent out of shape. When it comes to collecting anything, there will always be people who have their eyes so focused on the money that they have lost sight of the fun. Now that we have answered this key question, we can move on to other questions.
Question #2: Which horses should I collect? If you answered the first question correctly then this one is easy. Collect the horses you like the most! You can collect your favorite breed or your favorite colors or anything else that you like. There are a variety of sizes from large horses in the 1:9 scale, such as the Breyer Traditional line which are about 9 inches tall, to small horses in the 1:24 scale, such as Schleich horses which are about 3.5 inches tall. If you enjoy having a rare model horse, you might have to pay more to get one but there are discontinued and limited editions available. Breyer publishes an annual collector’s guide book which lists the market values of many model horses. However, just because these dollar values are printed in a book does not mean you can sell your horses for those prices. The so-called value is only real if you can find someone who is willing to pay that amount. With the Internet, collectible hobbies have become buyer’s markets because even rare items are now much easier to find. As a result, the actual prices on the street are often lower than what might be listed in a book. If you are looking at collectible toys as an investment, I recommend finding somewhere else to invest your money. Collectible items are not a good investment. Even if your horses hold their value, trying to liquidate them into cash is not very easy and often more trouble than it is worth. Plus the process of trying to sell your horses is full of pitfalls because it has a way of zapping all the fun right out of the hobby.
Question #3: Where do I get more information? There are different ways to learn more about model horses and the hobby of collecting them. First, you can subscribe to hobby magazines like ‘Just About Horses’ from Breyer. Another magazine is ‘Model Horse Showers Journal’. Second, you can join clubs to meet other collectors. Clubs offer newsletters and shows you can attend. Club fees are usually very low considering what you get. Some clubs are specific to a horse breed while others are focused on a particular region. Third, you can get loads more information just by surfing the Internet. Just do a Google search for model horses or horse toys.
Question #4: Where do I buy model horses? There are two markets, one for new horses and one for previously-owned horses. You can find new horses available in most toy stores, but the biggest selection and easiest place to shop is online. Many retailers provide large images so you can clearly see what you are getting. For previously-owned horses, the best places to shop would be online, at hobby shows or by subscribing to hobby newsletters where other hobbyists are allowed to list their horses for sale.
There is a lot to learn about this hobby. The main point to remember is to enjoy your horses and enjoy the ride!
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Joe Kanooga is a father of two kids, a successful business owner and the author of numerous articles about Breyer horse toys. Click here to download a free horse toys guidebook filled with hobby tips, ideas and information.
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