Friday, March 20, 2009

Review: Schleich Action Figures

"I want the cat!”
“NO! I want the cat. It's so cute!”
“I called it first!”
“Did not!”
“OK, you can have the cat, but I get the horse and the elephant.”
“Come on! I like the elephant toooooooo.”
“But you have the crocodile!”
“I let you have the donkey. Give. me. the. elephant!”

No, this conversation was not an exchange between preschoolers nor some bizarre exotic animal trade between adults. This conversation was just a snippet of the negotiations that took place between my regressed 9 and 12-year-old when the Schleich box arrived at my house. Thankfully they worked out the division of toy animals without tears. Barely.

What was so special about these toy animals that brought out the gimmes of kids this age? If you don't know, obviously you have not seen the gorgeous figurines by Schleich. I was about ready to snatch the and run with the elephant myself.

Schleich has been around for over 75 years and has been manufacturing quality figurines since the 1950s. I was sent a collection of animals from both the Farm Life and Wild Life animal series. I'm not a stranger to this company; my son has admired figurines from their knight line carried by our local specialty toy shop for a couple of years. My daughter oohed and awed over the fairy figurines in the catalog sent with our package, once the animal negotiations were completed. In addition to figurines, they also have some wonderful playsets and accessories, such as a castle, barn, and stable. All in all, there are over 500 figurines and accessories from the following categories:

  • Farm Life
  • Wild Life
  • Forest Animals
  • Trees & Plants
  • Human Figures
  • Pets
  • Dinosaurs
  • Dog

  • Sea Animals

  • Prehistoric Animals

  • Replica Saurus

  • World of Knights

  • World of Elves

  • World of American Frontier

  • Smurfs

  • Schleich doesn't produce just your average plastic play thing. Schleich action figures are of very high quality and very detailed, living up to their philosophy of responsibility to parents and children.

    "The design of our products is as realistic and naturalistic as possible. This enables children to experience the large variety of nature - from domestic animals on a farm to wild animals in the jungle.

    When deciding on licensing products such as comic figurines we pay careful attention to their character and the message they carry. Educational aspects play a more important part than possible sales potential."
    Each item is hand-painted and has a nice feel in the hand. Even my kids noticed the fine craftsmanship. These figurines neither look cheap nor feel cheap.

    Schleich action figures will hold up to some enthusiastic playing, yet are impressive enough to inspire the start of a collection. The detail of the figurines brings up the level of educational value of these toys. They would be excellent to add interest to a unit study of a particular animal, as a 3d version to hold and study. The American Frontier series could be used as an extension of history studies by allowing children to act out what they've learned or as part of a diorama or display for friends and family. My daughter used some of the figurines as a model for drawing. Since Schleich takes such care to make figures as realistic as possible, they worked as a great study for a budding artist.

    Of course, not everything has to be pure educational value. These toys are perfect for good 'ole fashion play. Whether you child has a menagerie of pets to tend or is called to battle a dragon as a knight, these figurines will likely strike up some imaginative play in no time. With Resurrection Sunday coming up, I may considered purchasing a few to put in baskets. Another cat might be a good choice in an effort to keep the peace!

    The figures I received range in cost from $2.49 - 6.49. They can be purchased in a variety specialty toy stores or direct from Schleich online. Visit the Schleich site to view the various figurines available, search for a supplier near you, set up a wish list or have fun in the playground with games featuring the figurines.

    What did others from the TOS Crew have to say about Schleich? Click here to find out!


    Anonymous said...

    My 16 year old daughter collects them. Especially the horses. They are fabulous figures. I even get tempted to buy them.

    Suzanne & Duncan Forbes said...

    We have the castle set from them - and love it. This past year we spent a month in Germany and bought some princesses and knights for our kids to go with our castle set - fun stuff!

    Debbie said...

    Your reviews are great. Since your children are older than mine, I'll be back to glean wisdom from experience.
    Debbie from SquigglyTwigs.

    Joy @ Five J's said...

    We have a few of the Schleich figures, and the kids really like them. I love that they have the adult/baby combos. When my kids have a few bucks to spend, they love to pick one up.