Cool Flea Market Find: Breyer’s “Molly the Mule”

It's easy to imagine Joe or Johnny West getting into a heated tug-of-war with a decidedly defiant

Joe tries to calm Molly down— It’s easy to imagine Joe (or Johnny West) getting into a heated tug-of-war with a decidedly defiant “Molly the Mule” from Breyer. Imagine the possibilities! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

The original

This closeup of another original “Molly the Mule” shows it came in a basic brown and black color scheme. Excellent paint job! (Photo: kismetkennel)

Get UP, Girl! Just a quick heads up to notify you about a cool scale animal discovery made this past weekend at the 3rd Sunday flea market located in Bloomington, IL. As fans of 1:6 scale already know, Breyer horses, despite all of their wonderful qualities, are a tad undersized for most of our purposes at 1:6 scale. They’re actually typically sculpted at about 1:10 scale or so, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. Occasionally, the company puts out creations that can easily “blur the line” of acceptability between the two scale universes and look perfectly appropriate when posed alongside GIjOEs or Johnny West figures. For example—“Molly the Mule!”

This wonderfully painted blond version of Molly was recently spied over on ebay. (Photo: ebay)

This wonderfully painted blond version of Molly was recently spied over on ebay. (Photo: ebay)

Molly is a superbly sculpted and uniquely posed, “balking” beast of burden. It requires very little imagination to accept her use at 1:6 scale. If you don’t know much about mules or donkeys, you should know they come in a wide range of sizes (and colors) and are used for a variety of tasks. The smaller breeds were—and still are—used to pull children’s wagons and serve as canyon and/or mountain-climbing pack animals. Medium-sized mules (like ol’ Molly, here) are most often seen pulling fruit-n-vegetable vendor’s carts or farm plows. The largest mule breeds are typically harnessed together into teams for pulling heavily laden wagons. To me, Molly seems like a dead-ringer for those medium-sized breeds. That makes her appropriate for use in a wide variety of dioramas, all the way from the Old West to WWII European villages. YES!

This spotted version was found for sale online, still in its original box. Superb! (Photo: ebay)

This spotted version of “Molly” was found for sale online in its original box.  (Photo: ebay)

Bottom Line: My slightly nicked Molly the Mule will require a little TLC, but once restored, she will be a wonderful addition to my growing collection of diorama-ready animals. I only paid $5 at the flea market for her, but when I later researched Molly online, I found you can still pick up new ones on ebay and elsewhere for between $25 and $200 (depending on its year and version). Molly was apparently very popular, because she’s been remade in many different colors and patterns. You’ll have a wide choice depending on your preferences (and budget). I can’t wait to touch up my own brown-n-black Molly and add some real leather reins and rigging to her as well. Happy Hunting!

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