|Headquarters||Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany|
|Products||Smurfs, animals, knights, elves, dinosaurs|
Schleich is a German producer of toy figurines and accessories. The company is headquartered in Germany. The traditional market for Schleich products is Mainland Europe, with half their sales in Germany. However, their toys are sold worldwide and are now becoming quite popular in the United Kingdom, Australia and North America, where the Schleich figures are available from Target, Meijer, The Toy Animal Company, Toys "R" Us, and also in the prestigious FAO Schwarz toy shop on Fifth Avenue.
Schleich was founded by Friedrich Schleich in 1935. Its figurines were first released in the 1950s with the development, production and marketing of comic figurines such as Snoopy and The Smurfs. In the early 1980s they added animal figurines and Muppet characters to their range of products. Until the end of 2006, Schleich was a family-owned business. It was then taken over by the British investment company HgCapital, who paid 165 million euro for an 80% share.
Design and Production
The design of products and the creation of tooling is mostly in-house. Production is at the German headquarters and in production facilities in foreign countries, with the figures being hand-painted in China. In 2006, Schleich had about 250 employees and a yearly sales figure of around 80 million Euro.
The current line of figurines now encompasses animals, knights, dinosaurs, The Smurfs, pets, elves and the American frontier along with many accessories for each.
In May 2007, the new Elfen line was introduced. It features Southern and Northern Elfen in a battle of light and dark. In 2009 a story book about the elves was also published by Schleich. It had originally been released chapter by chapter on the company website.