Schleich is a wonderful German brand that is responsible for the creation of thousands of super realistic hand-painted figurines. The Entropy Elves caught up with Schleich’s head of business development and product management, David Albert, who is based at Schleich HQ in Germany, to find out more about this iconic toy.
The animal figurines have been in production since the 1980s; what were the very first ones? In 1935 Schleich started with wire figures and the first Schleich figurines were the Smurfs. The first animal figurines were farm animals and horses.
How do you decide what new Wild Life and Farm Life animals to introduce? We are always trying to introduce animals that have never been produced in the past and, of course, we want to provide our customers with a fresh and exciting assortment.
The new Trakehner Stallion
The new Pot-Bellied Pig
Can you tell us about the design and production process – what is done to ensure each animal is so realistic? There are three major factors that guarantee the quality of Schleich:
- We work very closely with research institutes and universities to make sure that every figurine looks as realistic as possible.
- We do the complete process in-house — each toy is precision-engineered by a German master craftsman who works on a wax mould for up to six weeks for the finest detail. After injection moulding and finishing, the figurines are all decorated by hand.
- Schleich also has a very exact quality control program which also guarantees the highest quality.
Do you have any personal favourites? I definitely love the male elephant. It looks so impressive with its huge tusks.
What do you think people love the most about Schleich? The quality of the figurines and their very realistic look and feel.
Besides fun; what other benefits does playing with Schleich figurines have for children? The educational value is quite high while playing with Schleich figurines. All of our Farm and Wild Life animals exist in real life and they have the same proportions and colour as the real ones. With fun and exciting play concepts, Schleich encourages imaginative play and a child’s creativity.
What’s something that may surprise people about Schleich? Every figurine is hand-painted meaning each figurine is unique. An Elf figurine, for example, takes 100 steps to get painted. This means that each figurine looks a bit different than the one right next to it.
What are the next animals you’re working on releasing; or is it a secret? We can’t reveal too much, however we are currently working on complete themes including accessories and new animals for 2015 and 2016. It’s very exciting…
Are there any nice stories from over the years about children and their Schleich figurines that have particularly stuck in your head? We receive lots of letters from all over the world from children telling us about their animals and favourites. Schleich has dedicated staff members who answer the letters.
The latest team member at Schleich HQ in Germany
How common is it for adults to collect Schleich? We have a lot of customers that are adults and most of them collect our beautiful horses or the Smurfs.
Discover Schleich, including all the new release models, at http://www.entropy.com.au/schleich
Get your Schleich figurines for 25% off until July 31, 2014 and enter our competition Bring Schleich to Life before Monday, July 14 here: http://bit.ly/1iD6MTy