GEICO's Breyer Horse "Trophy"

GEICO's Breyer Horse "Trophy"

This morning I was alerted to a funny basketball Breyer connection by the Breyer Sightings blog, which tracks sightings of Breyer horses in movies and TV shows.  (They do some great work, by the way, you should totally check them out!)

They reported on the "trophy" which was awarded by the NBA to the inaugural H-O-R-S-E game in Phoenix.  The game was sponsored by GEICO, and the players spelled "GEICO" instead of the traditional "HORSE."  Nevertheless, the NBA kept up the theme by presenting the winner, Oklahoma City Thunder player Kevin Durant, with a Breyer horse "trophy."

After doing some research, this trophy appears to be the retired Classic size "Palomino Pinto Stallion," Classic model #664.  This was made using the Black Beauty mold, which was originally sculpted by Chris Hess in 1980.  The Palomino Pinto Stallion was issued from 2006 to 2008.

Squinting at the NBA H-O-R-S-E trophy, you can see that it has GEICO and some kind of NBA All-Star logo on the inside of the box.  It looks to me as if the whole thing is still relatively NIB - meaning that the clear plastic front is still in place.  However, given the lack of glare on the "trophy," that may not be the case.

The question I have is whether GEICO is working with Breyer on re-issuing Palomino Pinto Stallion #664 in a special NBA H-O-R-S-E edition.  Or if GEICO contracted with Breyer to make a single model just for the game.  Or if some GEICO intern was tasked with buying the cheapest Breyer model they could find, and slapping some GEICO stickers inside the box.

So many questions, so few answers!  So far as I know, no one else has even tracked down the model used for the trophy.

I don't follow the Classic models as much as I could, even though I like them a lot as collectibles.  Most of my remaining collection is Classics.  For some reason I like the way the detail scales down, and they seem to be generally more realistic than the Traditional models, which often go the artistic route more than I would like.  Upon doing some research, I found evidence that Palomino Pinto Stallion was not a very popular model.  Even though it has been discontinued for two years, many outlets still have models for sale - at less than the original sticker price.

I wonder if this was meant as the ultimate insult!  Not only did the winner receive a plastic toy horse, but it's a plastic toy horse that no one wanted in the first place!

To make things worse, fans have been up in arms about the game ever since it was announced that it would be sponsored by GEICO, and that players would be playing GEICO instead of HORSE.  Never underestimate the power of corporate sponsorship, this message brought to you by Nabisco courtesy of MGD Light's "Breyer Horse of the Day" which is underwritten by the Coca Cola company, along with a grant from the Unilever Family of Foods.