British Equine Collectors' Forum

For All British Model Horse Collectors

What are Craft, Toy & Foundation Models?
Above picture shows a group of Rare Troy Models. These are carved from wood.
Craft, Toy & Foundation Models - And the love we have for them!

Written by Kristin Bennellick

Craft, Toy & Foundation models (CTF), no matter the brand are still very much loved to this day. They are found in personal collections all throughout the hobby and these collections are pretty outstanding!
These collections can vary from one type of CTF model i.e. Julips, Magpies or Schleich or can contain a vast variety. No matter what the collection includes, seeing these vast collections in person can be pretty awesome and some may even contain models dating back to the very beginning of the British hobby.

There are older models from several Craft, Toy & Foundation brands still found here in the UK. To see them in person is like taking a peek into the model and its brand's history. If you ever get to own one, you have a piece of wonderful history on your shelf that can never be replaced.

I've seen some outstanding collections within this hobby and you can really see why people fall in love for the Craft & Toy models. They have an appeal to them that sometimes cannot be replaced and are, without any doubt a joy to look at.
Everything from the way they are created, to the materials used to make them, to their brush-able manes and tails (if they have them of course).

Some of the CTF brands can be posed and have legs that can be moved to represent different gaits and positions. This has come in very handy when creating scenes for live showing, photo showing and picture stories and has created endless amounts of fun for the hobbyists that own them. I've seen some fantastic pictures of posable ponies in my time and along with it, some very entertaining GIFs!

Within the model horse hobby there are many artists who paint a wide variety of models bringing them to life for the entire hobby to see. We see beautiful resins being brought to life by talented artists as well as a variety of different plastics but customising does not just stop there, CTF models can also be transformed to look completely different, ranging from a repaint to a full re-sculpt. A whole transformation from the original with a finished result that is truly outstanding!

There is a wide variety of Craft & Toy brands available on the market so depending on your tastes depends on what you go for. One thing is for certain though and that is that all CTF brands have something in common - they last and have a durability that cannot be replaced. 

Some of the brands are pretty hard to damage due to the rubber based plastic used and therefore are perfect for children who enjoy playing with 'toy' animals. Certain brands like Schleich, Papo and Safari will give endless amounts of hours of playtime without anything breaking - a massive plus to the child and of course to the adults wallet!
Alongside this, Craft & Toy models do have exceptional detail; this can include veining, genitalia, hoof detailing, texturised coats and much more. Some brands have more detail than others but that's what gives them personality and character. Some of the brands age beautifully as well and as mentioned earlier, are pretty amazing to see in person.

The most commonly known of the CTF brands to me are Julip, Schleich, CollectA, Mini Whinny's, Equorums and Safari but Papo, Britains, Edith Reynolds, Grand Champions, Magpies and My Beautiful Horses are also well known by many other collectors. There may be more Craft Toy & Foundation brands out there but these, from what I have seen are most commonly found within the hobby.

I have always found a place in my heart with Craft Toy models as I have always had them in my collection as a child and so will always find a place for them. I just love them for their overall appearance and uniqueness. They are characteristic and that is what makes them so lovable.

I will always have a vast range of CTF models in my collection because I love them and that's what makes any collection personal and unique - an important aspect within the Model Horse Hobby!

Within the hobby we do have many live shows and photo shows throughout the year with some show holders dedicating a whole show or a section of that show to Craft & Toy brands. This allows sole CTF collectors a chance to show their collections alongside other CTF brands which is fantastic!

There is also some photo shows held throughout the year that dedicate a section or a whole show to CTF models. Sometimes these shows also provide a range of prizes including Rosettes for each champion placing. I myself have held a CTF photo show with a OF and CM division and I found judging it very challenging yet a whole load of fun! The models entered were outstanding and it took me a good while to get it all judged as the quality and amount of entries was fantastic!

Craft Toy & Foundation models will always remain a treasured part of this hobby especially here in the United Kingdom. It's wonderful to see them loved as much as they used to be before more types of model became available. It?s also lovely to see children from fellow hobbyists enjoy CTFs as much as their parents did with some models being passed down to them.

No matter how much the hobby expands with its variety, we will always remember those that started it all off and in doing so remember the history of the Model Horse here within Great Britain.

What is 'CTF'?

is an abbreviation of 'Craft/Toy/Foundation'. It is also known as 'CT'.
The CFT section was devised to give models such as Schleich, Julips, Magpies, Britains and MBHs an equal chance of competing at shows. They have been given their own section so they are not directly competing with other OF models such as Breyers and Peter Stones.  

Craft - For models that are Handmade, these can be made from wood, self-harding sculpting or modelling clay, felt and wool etc. This includes: Electra, Shadow, Woodcote, Apis and Troy models etc. It also includes the older 'Foundation' Equorum models.       

Included is a sub-section called 'Craft Collectibles' this is for the newer highly detailed 'bendy' models made from latex such as Equorums (Newer versions and OOAKs) and RubberNedz. Rydals are sometimes included in this section too due to the higher quality of finish.   

Toy - Models that are predominately bought as play for the younger generation - These include: Sindy/Barbie Horse, Grand Champions (GC), My Beautiful Horses (MBH), Early Learning Centre (ELC), 'Flockies', Schleich, Bullyland, Ertl, My Little Ponies (MLP), Julip HOTY Range, Papo, Mini Whinnies, Mojo etc.
Due to the higher standard of sculpting and finish of CollactA models they are normally shown in the OF section of shows alongside OF Breyers/Peter Stones.

Foundation - Models originally designed for play or as collectables pre 1980s (UK Based companies).  This includes: Julips (both vintage and the new Originals), Isis, Magpie/Dream, Edit Reynolds, Otway, Pegasus Toys, Rydal (see above) and Britains etc.

CTF models are extremely popular with British collectors and it is quite common for the CTF classes at Live shows to be one of the biggest sections. Many shows will divide the classes into different sub-sections to cater for many types of CTF models. Lots of shows also run sections just for Custom CTF models and some shows also hold CTF Performance classes as well.