Monday, March 30, 2009

Review: Schleich Action Figures


Apparently, I've been living under some sort of "rock". (Amazing, but true.) I had no idea what all the buzz amongst my fellow CrewMates was about when word came that we'd be reviewing Schleich action figures.

At first, I had visions of hero-type action figures in my head. You know, little G.I. Joe, typical-boy-type stuff. But then, I learned these babies were really animals. Suddenly, my thoughts quickly changed from "Hmm. Might be interesting" to "Animal action figures? Are you serious?! There's no way my children are going to play with those things!"

Well, it is with a huge slice of humble pie that I type the following words. (Drawing in a deep breath for strength...)

I...was...wrong!

Completely, unexpectantly, horrendously, shame-facedly WRONG! These figures aren't just your typical plastic animal. No siree, Bub! These figures are more along the lines of future cherished heirlooms vs. your standard throw away, toy box litter!

Just in case you've been living under the same boulder as I have (Howdy, neighbor!), allow me to introduce you to this outstanding company.

Schleich is a German company founded in 1935. By 1950, they chose to focus their energies on the production of high quality, comic type figures. Characters such as Snoopy, the Smurfs, and those from The Muppet Show proved to be this company's ticket to the collector's Hall of Fame. By the early 1980's, the company expanded their product line to include both domestic and wild animals, as well as dinosaurs.

Now, here is where I pause for another bite of that hard-to-swallow humble pie....As I looked over the products on the Schleich website, I was stunned to see several of my former Smurfy friends staring back at me.

When I allowed my mind to travel down through the dark, Swiss cheese recesses of my memories, I vaguely recalled seeing a large "S" on my Papa Smurf's foot!

Could he have been a Schleich toy, and I--with my feeble, 6 year old mind--wasn't even aware of the treasure my young hands beheld? Yes, I do think he was. Oops!

Moving on!

By 2003, Schleich's products expanded once again, this time adding Knights, the Wild West, and Elves themed play sets and figures to their repertoire.

For the purpose of this review, we received 1 each of the following:
  • Black-Brown Rabbit
  • Standing Sheep
  • Piglet Eating
  • Male Chimpanzee
  • African Black Rhino
  • Female Giraffe

     

My son, Ethan immediately latched on to the piglet and rabbit. Sierra took hold of the chimp (which I just learned Ethan has since swiped--ahem), and Abby snatched up the giraffe, rhino, and sheep! Not a very fair way of dividing them up, but I think you can see just how important these animals are to the kids. ;o)

Each figurine is hand-painted and "textured". No ordinary, slick, colored plastic here! Not only that, but they have hoof or paw prints on the bottoms of their little feet! How cute is that?! Another not-too-cute in my opinion, but still better than the average "toy", is the fact that they're anatomically correct.

Meaning the male chimpanzee is indeed....male! (Ahem)


These charming figures would be great for any nature lover, as well as compliment many nature/animal studies. Their chunky size is perfect for little hands (developed for ages 3 and up), and because they stand on their own (without that annoying topple-over effect), they can be proudly displayed with ease. (Perfect for those Science dioramas!)

You can purchase Schleich action figures through the company's website, or at various local retailers including Target (which I found--again--by surprise). The figures range in price from $2.49-6.49.

Due to their charm, outstanding detail, excellent craftsmanship, and superior affordability, we proudly award Schleich action figures 2 happy thumbs up! :o)

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