Sunday, June 22, 2014

Meritus

Here’s a photo of the knockoffs, from a manufacturer called Meritus:


As far as I know, Breyer didn’t do a whole lot to combat companies making knockoffs of their molds back in their Chicago days. The reasons are obvious: a high percentage of their own molds at that point were knockoffs themselves. If they did decide to pursue, the manufacturers that Breyer copied from might have started getting ideas, too. Things could have gotten very messy - and very expensive - in a rather short period of time.

Pot, I’d like to introduce you to kettle.

One company that they apparently did fight - and win - against was Meritus.

At some point I did buy a Mint in Box Meritus horse - I think it was the Classic Arabian Stallion - for my archives. I no longer have either the box or the horse, but I do remember that the legal disclaimer sticker that was slapped on the box had a rather wonderfully indignant tone to it.

It was something like: Those jerks made us put this stupid sticker on the box! Except a little more polite and legal-sounding, though not much.

I can’t locate the original ad or sales list that I bought it from, but here’s a clip from one of Marney’s sales lists, ca. 1984, where she was selling some herself (click to enlarge):


The reason I believe Breyer pursued legal action in this case was that Meritus copied no ordinary molds: they were the Classics Quarter Horse and Arabian Families. These were molds leased from a company - Hagen-Renaker - that sued them back in the late 1950s.

If they were not legally obligated to do so, Breyer may have felt it was the right thing to do anyway, to keep in Hagen-Renaker’s good graces. And possibly to keep from losing the leases.

I’m not sure if I’ll be keeping these particular guys. I’d love to locate another Mint in Box example with the legal disclaimer, again, for my knockoff collection; I’m not sure why I got rid of it in the first place.

2 comments:

Dressagekid said...

Interesting. Where are you going to sell stuff at breyerfest?

ANDREA said...

In my room at the CHIN, of course! AFAIK, Room 312.