A few days ago I was once again jabbling into my model horse memories (this happens more often than you think when you get older) and then the thought came to me “why not write something about it in the MPM?” There are some readers who didn’t experience the early years of the model horse collecting hobby in the 80ies, for them it might be interesting to read as it used to be. And those of the readers who were there at the time might reminisce like me. So then . . . . Once upon a time . . . .
. . . a small community of people in Germany who were interested in model horses. Some of them founded the Model Horses Club in 1979, which, according to an advertisement in the magazine “Pferde Heute” gained a lot of popularity in the summer of 1981. The club magazine, the model horse magazine, was designed by readers who typed their posts on the typewriter, glued the photos into it and sent them all together with the post to the respective club management. She put the issue together, copied it in black and white and sent it to the subscribers. What was the joy when you finally held the MPM in your hands. There were not only reports about new horses that could be called one’s own, but also conversations of other kinds, such as this crossword puzzle
In the days before the internet there was only one way to see the horses of other collectors: Visit live shows or take part in photo shows. The former were still rare at that time (the first live show in Germany took place in Bielefeld in 1985, followed by more shows in the following years, but there were only 3 – 4 a year, distributed all over Germany), so the second variant was used. Each collector was able to organize a photo show, and he could design the classlist as he wanted. The organizer was able to advertise classes for all breeds and bridges, award prizes or not (in the first case a starting fee was required, otherwise you only had to enclose a stamped and addressed envelope). Putting on such a show was a lot of fun,
was also associated with some work: Sort photos by class, lay them out on the table, set them up, write down results, finish certificates, sort the photos again (this time by participants), pack everything into the envelopes, paste them and finally bring them to the post office.
In the photo below you can see some collector friends who visited me in August 1988 and me doing some of these activities:
It was not easy to get Breyer horses (Schleich and Co. at that time, as well as Stone) in the 80s. The fewest toy shops in Germany had them in their assortment, so we had no choice but to order directly from Breyer in the USA. This was done by post, was paid with International Money Order and cost 30 DM at the time, so it was not exactly cheap. When all this was done, it was time to wait. And wait and wait, because the horses usually came by land and ship, which meant they were always on the road for about three months. It really took patience! When the parcel finally arrived after passing through customs, the joy knew no bounds. The scissors were taken, the packaging was cut open, the package was torn open, the Breyer box was opened and there it was, the long awaited and longed for horse! My biggest order directly from Breyer was in 1988 when there was the Lady Phase taken out of production two years earlier as a special run called “Breezing Dixie” – I bought 30 pieces! At that time I didn’t know that almost all models would always come back at Breyer, then in different colors, and I loved this model (and still love it)! Yes, I admit, I was crazy at the time.
So that this report does not consist almost entirely of text, I would now like to say a little more about the models of that time. We collected mostly of-models, the Cust-models were rare. In the mid-1980s, the first modified horses in the USA came to Germany. They were quite expensive, which is why I only bought a Cust-Lady Phase there after a lot of thought. It was altered by Jane Gary and cost me 200 DM at the time.
I loved painting myself (and still do), after receiving my first MPM in August 1981, in which there was a report about repainting, I also dared to paint my models. First I used Revell colors, but then I switched relatively quickly to Waconfin, a poster color. The paint mare “Delta Shoshonnie” was born out of a lady phase, and she got a foal called “Don Mesquito” (Standing Stock Horse Foal – unfortunately I don’t have a photo of him at the moment), both had live horses as a model.
To be continued ...