Schleich is one of the biggest toy manufacturers in Germany and the world’s leading provider of toy figures. The company was founded in 1935 by Friedrich Schleich, who developed velvet-covered dolls made of wire and wood in 1946, thus bringing the first Schleich toy to the market. The product range consisted of only 13 figures in 1950, but seven years later it had increased to nearly 70, including the popular Walt Disney figures Bambi and Pluto. The first Schleich animal figures were launched two years later, starting with a sea lion family, an elephant and a kangaroo. Schleich achieved worldwide fame in 1965 with the popular Smurfs figures, but the animal figures have become its core range from the 1980s.
With Schleich, children learn what animals really look like while playing. They learn more about the animals’ natural habitats and the way they interact with each other. The figures help stimulate children’s creativity and imagination, mould their social behaviour, and promote their development.
The design of the figures and play worlds, the manufacturing of the production tools and also the quality and safety tests are performed in Germany to this day. Production is carried out at the company’s headquarters in Schwäbisch Gmünd as well as other production sites abroad. Schleich figures are crafted with great attention to detail, from the first sketch to the final design of the lifelike figures, with specialists from museums and zoos involved in the process to ensure a lifelike and accurate depiction of every animal. Each figure is unique and is still painted by hand today.