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Haflinger Horse from Safari, Ltd: A Review of a Miniature Toy Animal
The haflinger horse, a stout and sturdy animal, was once the favorite of the war effort in Europe due to its sure-footedness. This was a blessing and a curse as it prompted the breeders to crossbreed it with smaller horses, nearly breeding out the original haflinger stock bringing and them near extinction. After the war, the breeders reversed the process and introduced larger horse breeds and original bloodlines, giving the haflinger a new lease on life.
Like a war veteran, the Haflinger Horse from Safari, Ltd. shows the steeled gaze and deep wisdom of a lifetime of hard work and endurance through rough times. The look on the face of the horse almost says “let me tell you a story”, and the eyes, deep brown and weary, begin the tale of strife. The haflinger’s jaw is set, as if it well knows the taste of a bit and the nose flares as if remembering the small of gunpowder and smoke.
Down the head and back a bright cream-colored mane contrasts on the chestnut coat, with long strokes that highlight the thickness of the hair. The main drapes to the legs where the deep defined muscles not only suggests their power, it reminds us that this is a working horse and not just for show. Along the back and to the rump the same strength pulls your eyes over the toned rear legs. Both legs end in sturdy hooves, shod with bright horseshoes, like metals on a general.
The long tail, which runs from the rear to almost the ground, mirrors the contrast of the mane. Its long, ropey strands are thick, yet have a soft appearance, especially up against the detailed muscles of the legs. The tail sits like a decoration on the uniform of this veteran, a dressy affectation that one could imagine dirty and tattered during the wars, but now is bright and brushed.
This Safari, Ltd. figure, like most animals available from the largest figure company in the United States, relies more on general feel than heavy detail in painting or sculpt. However, the Haflinger Horse does have a bit of fine detail subtly placed in various places, such as the nose, the hair by the hooves, and lightly across the body’s hair. There is also some extra detailed color in the nose and hooves and along the back, which almost makes up for what could be considered a rush job on the mane and tail.
Even with these minor “flaws”, the Safari, Ltd. figures are very good quality with an affordable price. Recommended for ages 3 and up, the Haflinger Horse would make any stable proud for play or display.
The Haflinger Horse can be found online on many websites including Ebay and Many Miniatures.
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Fun and educational toys and collectibles for all ages.