Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Realistic Animal Play Sets

“More animals—cool!” were the first words out of my kids’ mouths as soon as they saw the box from Schleich. I thought we would send the whole lot (half a dozen assorted animals) to my nephew for his sixth birthday since my girls are eleven and almost-fourteen. But, no, the teenager snapped up the zebra and the bunny rabbit because they were “just soooo cute.” My eleven year old laid claim to the penguin (“I like it.”) and the monkey (“Me, in another form.”).

The Schleich figurines are not your typical cheap, plastic, fake-looking models. They are heavy-duty, well-made animals. I have never seen such exquisite detail on toys. They could even be collected and displayed.

The Schleich Web site and catalogue currently have over 500 figurines and play sets available, with more coming later this year. Their categories include farm life, wildlife, forest animals, plants and trees, human figurines, pets, dinosaurs, dogs, sea animals, prehistoric mammals, knights, elves, American frontier, and Smurfs. Of course, all of these categories include the appropriate accessories. Schleich play sets and figurines can also be found at specialty toy stores, Target, and Toys R Us.

Check out their Hobby Farm photo contest (open through March 31; complete rules can be found here): We are looking for the most creative farm diorama featuring our animals and accessories. Open to all age groups, we encourage family participation in building a farm setting that shows your imagination. Once you've finished your diorama, you just need to submit your best photograph (one only) to us via email (HFHphotocontest@Schleich-S.com).