Sunday, March 22, 2009

Discovering the World of Schleich!

You know a toy is attractive to kids when you get a box in the mail and when you opened it, the kids grab it and disappear with it. That’s what happened one Thursday morning, when the Schleich package arrived and my kids saw what was in there. A total of 12 wild animals came into our house. My children took them and even said “Now we have real animals to put on the ark!” and off they went to play with the ark and the animals. My 2nd son was so excited to see that a baby black bear was in the package because he already owns a Webkinz black bear. Do you think that much school was done after the package was in the house that day? Not book work obviously but a different kind of teaching starting with the Oh-So-Precious lesson of sharing (for my youngest son) and interaction between the animals. Here's a picture of my older kids discovering what was in the box (after I remove the packaging of each animals.).

Some of you might be wondering what is Schleich? Schleich is a leading manufacturer of animal figurines and imaginative play worlds. It was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Germany. Today, they distribute their products to over fifty countries! The products can be found in specialty toy stores, Micheal’s, Toys R Us and so on. Their passion is to create educational products that promote imaginative play. And they did! It a joy to just hear my kids playing with the animals (and the ark we already had).

The toys are crafted with great care and attention to detail. They are durable and easy to handle by children. Schleich’s products are manufactured in both Germany and China. I was curious because I saw that all the animals had Germany and Made in China under them. Since there was so much recalls from China last year I asked the vendor about the testing made on their products. I have been told that all the design, including sculpting and modeling, takes place in Germany. As for the testing, Schleich does an extensive testing of all their products with a third-party testing laboratory which tests every single paint color. Pretty impressive don’t you think?
Personally, I plan to expand our new collection of Schleich action figures. Why? Simply because they are so realistic. I can see ourselves using these as we learn about animals and their habitat. It’s so nice to see that Schleich not only create one animal for a specific kind but made the effort to create the male, female, and baby version of it. Each has their own particular characteristics and it’s easy to point them out to the kids.

We don’t have a zoo in the city where I live. In fact, the closest worthwhile zoo there is can be found 4 hours away from our place. To introduce the zoo menagerie to the kids, we look at books and also DVDs but now I think I have discovered another way to do so via the Schleich action figures of wild animals.

Schleich do not only do animals as figures. As a matter of fact, Schleich offers over 500 items in their collection. They have a whole bunch of themes from which you can use as teaching elements.

Specific play sets
Farm animals
Farms buildings and accessories
African animal nursery and accessories
Prehistoric animals including dinosaurs (which would be a hit with boys!)
Sea animals
Land animals
World of Knights
World of elves
World of the American Frontier
The Smurfs (remember the little blue guys? Well a movie is in the making believe it or not!)

I’m so glad that we are not in the medieval time yet in our studies because it will give me some time to get a few characters from the World of Knights. I am planning to use them as we go through our history lessons. Same goes with the World of the American Frontier. Like it or not, Canada has a similar history than the States so I could easily use some character of the World of the America Frontier to simulate a more Canadian history lesson.

I am totally impressed with the quality and the realistic details on the figures we have received. And the kids love them. They are having a blast with them and already are asking if we will get more in the future. This product is already much loved in our house and we are looking forward to discover more of the Schleich world!

Schleich do have a presence on the web at . Please note that they are looking into expanding the educational aspects of their site. Consequently, new features will be added in 2009. Also, the have a photo contest right now so check it out Now until March 31, 2009, send in a photo of your family's farm diorama using Schleich animals and accessories, and you could win a Schleich Red Barn valued at $159.99!

The prices of the Schleich Action Figures vary depending of the model you want to get. Visit your local store to know how much they are. You will be impressed with them. Guaranteed!

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