There are a lot of things to love about Schleich Toys. They have fabulous collections of toys that include figures of animals you can find nowhere else in the world. Every toy is of high quality, hand-painted, and collectible.
The company has worked hard to form lasting relationships with toy stores around the United States, in a personal way that other toy manufacturers just do not put time into.
They have a rich history, and they have worked hard towards a future that excites fans across the globe. So, what is the very first thing people tend to say to themselves when they encounter a Schleich toy for the first time?
“Schleich? How the devil do you pronounce that?!”
In America, we have become used to companies having made-up names that do not mean anything. An excellent example of that is the ice-cream company, Häagen-Dazs, who made up a German-sounding name for marketing purposes. German names are popular because so many people associate Germans with quality.
Schleich, pronounced Sh-like, is an authentic German company, based in a German town called Schwabisch Gmund. Although it started quite small, Schleich has grown to become one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world. How did it become such a huge success? To understand that, you first need to know how they started.
A Brief History of Schleich
The Schleich company was founded in 1935 by a young German man named Friedrich Schleich. After years of development, the company released its first toys in 1946. These simple bendy figures were made from wire and wood and covered in velvet. The concept was developed by Eve Zippel and named ‘Jopo.’ Eve Zippel would go on to design over 400 toys for Schleich throughout her career there.
As you can imagine, these original Schleich toys were extremely labor-intensive to produce. They did not hold up well to regular play, and almost none of them have survived to the present day. This could have caused problems for the company, but innovation won out. Only two years later, Friedrich Schleich’s fortunes changed dramatically in a way that changed the world of toys forever.
In 1948, Schleich filed a patent for a toy consisting of a metal frame encased in a rubbery material. The novel toys that resulted from the process could be bent into different shapes - whatever shape a child could want. However, they could always be bent back to normal. They were a huge success.
Over the next decade, Schleich continued to develop and perfect different methods of producing these wonderfully bendy figures and selling them throughout Germany.
It was in 1965 when Schleich started producing Smurf toys that the company finally achieved recognition across the world. Then, in 1967 Schleich released their first unbendable toy figures. These consisted of a sea lion family, a kangaroo, and an elephant.
These first figures were wonderfully detailed and highly popular. Schleich toys have only become more detailed and more sought after in the decades since then.
Creation and Production
In the very beginning, each original figure started as little more than a few drawings and a chunk of clay. Decades may have passed, but that part of the process has stayed pretty much the same until more recently. If you would like to learn more about their current model production methods, we have a fantastic article all about it right here!
Did you ever wonder what Schleich toys are made of?
The simple answer is that they are made of non-toxic PVC, TPE, and/or ABS that passes all quality standards in the U.S.A, across Europe, and in Australia. However, to say they are non-toxic is to ignore a lot of the story. We all know these toys are high-quality, but what exactly makes them that way?
The quality of materials and the safety of the children playing with the toys they produce has always been important to the Schleich company. For this reason, all materials used by the company are checked for toxicity.
They are not merely checked one time and passed! Every single material is checked regularly, from the plastics to the paints. Not only that, all companies that supply materials for use in Schleich toys are expected to continue to meet the same high standards.
The result of all this rigorous attention to quality? That is simple, and it is something that matters just as much to the Schleich toy factory as it does to you as a parent. When your little one chews on a Schleich lion’s head, you can rest assured that there is nothing at all inside that toy that is going to harm your baby. This dedication to authentic quality is what sets Schleich apart from the rest.
How Schleich makes toys is truly a fantastic thing.
Schleich Flagship Stores
We can proudly say that Maziply Toys is the first Schleich Flagship Store in New England and the longest-running in the United States and, having launched in March of 2019. You can also read our original Schleich Press Release. However, you may be asking yourself, what is a flagship store, and what makes it such a special designation for us here at Maziply?
A flagship store is the very first store of its kind opened in a given location. This does not mean that it is the first toy store ever to sell a toy company’s toys or that the flagship store is the very first toy store in that location. Instead, you might think of a flagship store as being a company’s way of introducing themselves to a new community.
Starting in 2019, Schleich decided to deepen its brand further into the U.S. market. Instead of opening stores of their own, they partnered with a few important retailers across the nation.
They used what is known as the store-in-store concept. These toy stores within toy stores are showpieces that excite people young and old with displays unlike you have ever seen outside a cartoon. By October of 2019, Schleich had installed 20 new flagship stores from New York City to California and locations in-between.
Schleich at Maziply - Through the Years
We were proud to be selected by Schleich to act as one of their flagship stores and participate in the store-in-store program. But that does not mean we were not always dedicated to selling Schleich toys! Officially founded in 2014 as an online retailer, we made the leap to brick and mortar in 2015 when we opened our massive Kingston, MA location.
(Our children, of course, think we opened this store for them. Silly things. We opened it so we could play with all these great toys!)
We have always had a great variety of toys geared toward helping your little ones develop their imagination. However, many of our favorite toys come from Schleich - and it is not difficult to see why! Just take a trip back in time with us to see some of the great toys Schleich released in 2015.
When you have finished looking back in 2015, you might want to check out the other years. Schleich toys in 2016 saw the most hooved toys Schleich has ever released in a single year. These included everything from horses and livestock to wild animals.
Schleich in 2017, saw the release of the Tinker Horses - a personal favorite of mine. Of course, there were a lot of other toys that year too. Many of them are already becoming highly sought-after collectors’ items. That is the magic of Schleich and yet another great reason to collect their toys - they increase in value over time.
By the time Schleich toys in 2018 were made, the Horse Club was in full swing. There were so many new horses and playsets it was challenging to keep up with them all. The dinosaurs they released that year were some of the most amazing we had ever seen, and who could forget all the great toys from Eldrador?
2019 has only just passed us by, but we still feel nostalgia for it. Schleich had some great releases in 2019, so be sure to learn about them.
And of course, that brings us to today, where Schleich 2020 releases continue their awesomeness! The number of toys Schleich releases every single year is enough to blow the mind. Unless you were sitting in the store playing (shopping for your kid) every weekend, chances are you missed some great toys.
With so many great toys available from Schleich, it can be difficult for anyone to keep up with all of them. Somehow, the company manages to keep track of everything. What’s more, they even figure out how to categorize them all into just seven unique Schleich brands.!
With some of the toys they put out, the brand is obvious. However, there are a few that throw even us for a loop. Let’s look a little more closely at the Schleich collections we all love so much.
Schleich Wild Life
When you get down to it, all life started as wildlife. We domesticated horses, chickens, cows, and other herd animals. We domesticated wolves and created dogs. Cats domesticated humans and trained us to clean up after them.
When Schleich refers to wildlife, they mean the many animals we cannot or do not tame. There are a lot of different animals that fall under that heading. They have creatures from across six continents and the World Ocean.
Now, you would expect a company that sells toy figures based on animals to sell something like a giraffe or a lion. You would not be surprised to see a brown bear or a kangaroo, or even a blue whale.
The artists at Schleich, however, go well beyond expectations. Of course, they have all the different animals your child clamors for. These animals are familiar but still exotic for most of us. What child does not want to take a leopard home?
The thing that makes Schleich Wild Life different is that they also have creatures your child has never seen before. These are animals you probably cannot identify on sight either.
When you visit a Schleich flagship store like Maziply, you come face to snout with creatures like the Giant Pangolin and Oryx. It may be the very first time in your life that you have even lain eyes on an Okapi or a Quokka. This gives you as a parent the fantastic opportunity to learn with your child. You can show them that learning is a life-long activity that we can all enjoy together.
Check out our Schleich Wild Life collection.
Schleich Farm World
Schleich is a company that fully understands how enchanting something as simple as a farm can be for a child. They create a truly immersive experience with the different farm sets, barns, and accessories they offer under the Farm World brand.
In Schleich Farm World, you can be a farmer with a few herds of cow in your barn. However, you can also find cowboys on broncos, rounding up cattle or sheep. You can find draft horses to plow your fields. There are pigs and rabbits, sheepdogs, and even geese.
There are a lot of different animals in the farm collection that every child is familiar with. There are even more that they will not know by sight. That is part of what makes Farm World so exciting. Yes, a cow is a cow. However, there are so many different types of cows and so many different types of horses and dogs.
Having this vast and ever-changing variety helps your little one to understand that there is a lot to learn in the world. Even when things seem familiar, there is something new to discover right around the corner.
Take a look at our Schleich Farm World collection.
Schleich Horse Club
Some of the best fun to be had is right here in the Schleich Horse Club. Horses are loved the world over - as much by little boys as they are by girls. Schleich understands this, so they offer us horse barns and stables, training rings, veterinarians - everything we need to make the most out of our horseplay!
It is difficult looking at all the pretty horses and not getting excited, but Schleich figured out how to take playtime a step further. They produce little saddles and blankets, and all the horse tack your child needs to tame and ride those little horses. No matter which horse the tack originally comes with, it still fits on any other horse in the Horse Club line.
Even better, they have a variety of little figures to ride those horses. Nothing wakes up a child’s imagination like being able to envision themselves as the rider, and Schleich goes well above and beyond to ensure that your child can do just that.
Explore our Schleich Horse Club collection.
Speaking of going above and beyond! Schleich produces the world’s greatest dinosaurs. There have not been better dinosaurs in the world for at least 60 million years.
The artists at Schleich put a lot of work into producing dinosaurs that are based as close as possible on the real beasts. To this end, they not only study over the available fossil evidence, but they also listen to archaeologists.
This is why Schleich dinosaurs are not the dull, flat green lizard-like dinosaurs you grew up playing with. These dinosaurs are colorful. Some have feathers. None of them drag their tails.
We may never know precisely what most dinosaurs truly looked like, but we do know Schleich Dinosaurs are closer to reality than anything else you will ever see.
Don't let our Schleich Dinosaur collection scare you!
The beasts of Schleich Eldrador are legion. There are so many different monsters to look at and play within this collection. Schleich artists took their inspiration from old literature when it came to the general concept behind many of these monsters. However, one only need to walk through the Bayala section of the store to see they took things a step further.
Sure, there are ice and fire dragons, but there are also earth and water dragons as well! Two-headed Hellhounds, Fire Golems, Snow Wolves, and even Kraken - no place in Eldrador is safe from the beasts that roam that land. Far more importantly, no child could ever grow bored with such a variety of monsters at their disposal!
Find your favorite Schleich Eldrador Creatures!
Even your wildest dreams come true in the land of Bayala. For this collection, the artists at Schleich went all out. From adorable pink baby dragons to under-sea horses, the toys that fall under this brand name are a feast for the senses.
Torn from the glittery fantasies of little princesses, you will find every variety of unicorn, Pegasus, and winged unicorn here. Plenty of fairy friends wait to greet your child - and your inner child - in Bayala.
Fall in love with our Schleich bayala collection!
Finally, we come back to Licensed Schleich toys. It was the first toys created under this brand designation back in 1965 that helped propel the company into homes across the world. The Smurfs were all the rage back in the ’60s. They perfectly epitomized the American culture of the time with their peaceful, loving message, “Goodness makes the badness go away.”
It should not be a shock that Schleich still produces Smurfs to this day. However, were you aware they have also created other cartoon characters over the years? These have included characters from Disney, Marvel, Peanuts, DC - the list goes on!
Schleich has a long history of creating toys that both children and adults are thrilled to collect and play with. Each highly detailed, toxin-free figure is a small work of art worthy of being added to any collection. As a result, we all wait with a barely contained anticipation for the start of each new year.
Those of us that collect Schleich toys—for whatever reason—know that the company is going to wow us again. Each year brings something exciting and unexpected. Best of all, we know that whatever it is, it will be a masterpiece.
What we notice a little less is what is happening while we wait for the new toys to arrive. We scarcely notice that some of the old toys quietly left the building. This is the very reason it is so crucial for the dedicated collector to stay on top of these new toys. Getting them as soon as they come out is the only way to ensure you do not somehow miss the boat!
The wonderful worlds created by Schleich enchant us all. They have been thrilling us for over 80 years. Here’s to the next 80 years!