I blogged a while back about model ponies in the mid 1960s, but have since bought a load of Pony and Riding magazines from the early 1960s, which are wonderful source material for so much that I would like to write about but have not had time. The magazines have adverts for a whole range of model horses most of whom were defunct by the mid 1960s. As I was born in 1962, none of these ever swum across my ken, none were dandled over my pram to amuse or even bought in by an enterprising parent for Jane to have later. Ah well.
There was certainly a wider range of materials and styles than later on in the decade. Not all of the horses were made of rubber: Rowe Horses were made of silks. I wonder how many of them have survived. I guess very few, as the silk must surely have decayed. The horses were also pretty expensive: 60 shillings was £3 (around £50 in today's money), and Pegasus and Isis rubber models were around the £1.50 mark (around £26), which also included tack or a rider.
There were also these rather ritzy Edith Reynolds horses, made of real calf skin. They were presumably very expensive, as they were stocked by Harrods and Hamleys, and don't actually mention such vulgar things as price.
There were rubber horses too: here is one from Pegasus. The photograph is alas little better in the original, which is perhaps a reason why Pegasus didn't survive. Just a bit more attention to the quality of the photograph would have helped, but their Thoroughbred is shrouded in dark murk. It's an intriguing looking model though, with plenty of vim:
I also found these real oddities: bendy people. Quite what you did with them without the equivalent bendy horse, I do not know. Presumably the company weren't quite sure either, as the advertising pushes the figures as useful prizes for hunt balls.
The major company in the early 1960s was still Julip. I found this intriguing mention of specially commissioned Pony models in Pony Magazine, December 1962. Percy was a Przewalski horse, and Allsorts was a donkey. It certainly sounds from the copy below as if Percy and his friends were freely available .
Julip in the early 1960s didn't seem to stoop to the level of their competitors by providing photographs, like the one below, which is from December 1966.