No one knows for sure who coined the term conga line, but the term refers to a line of Breyers or another brand of model horse in the same mold, in as many colors and finishes as one can find. Because Breyer horses are hand painted, the color and marking variations among Breyers can be fun to collect. A conga line can even include copies of Breyer horses made by different companies in different scales! Like the dance for which it is named, it implies a line of horse models all in a row in the exact same pose, like people dancing in a big line at a wedding or other group dance.
Why Collect Breyers In a Series?
With so many molds, colors and companies to choose from, why should a model horse collector focus on just one mold in all its variations? Collectors focus on many different aspects of the hobby. Some choose Breyers that appeal to them; certain molds win their hearts, or they just like the look of a particular release. Other collectors find they love sculptures by one particular Breyer artist such as Maureen Love, Chris (Christian) Hess, Kathy Moody, or others. Still others focus one one or more breeds such as Arabians or draft horses and try to become experts in these breeds.
Whatever your fancy, selecting one mold to acquire can be a fun way to focus your collecting efforts. A complete conga line of all the colors ever released in a mold is a sight to behold; one line can easily fill shelves in a model horse collector's cabinet, especially for older molds such as the Western Horse, the Family Arabian Stallion, or the Rearing Horse.
Value of Complete Collections
Yet another reason to focus on one mold and create a conga line is value. The value of Breyer horses depends on the condition and rarity of the particular mold, color and finish. Not all older Breyers are worth a fortune; many older Breyers are quite commonplace.
However, collectors often seek to acquire their own series of molds and complete conga lines of their own, and a group of Breyers of one mold may fetch a higher price as a group than splitting them up and selling them single. Lots are popular on auction sites such as eBay, and collectors may bid eagerly for the entire lot to obtain one or more rare molds within the lot.
Showing Conga Lines
Collector classes focus on rare or oddball colors such as pink, blue and other strange model horse finishes. Occassionally you will find collector classes that include groupings of particular molds. This offers you the chance to show off your conga line. Most collectors, however, just love showing off their congas to friends on their Facebook pages, stable pages on photo sharing sites, or their blog.
A conga line can take a beloved mold and make it the focal point of your collection. Pick a Breyer mold, look up the various releases in a good collector's guide, and start the dance!