Reindeer (Wild Life by Schleich)

Review and images by suspsy; edited by bmathison1972

The holiday season is upon us once again after what has been a truly difficult and tragic year for everyone on planet Earth. And there are still more hardships lying ahead of us in 2021. We must all stay safe, strong, calm, well-informed, and above all, hopeful. And we must also try to focus on whatever keeps us happy, such as collecting animal toys. So it is in that spirit of hope and happiness that I present to you all this review of the 2020 Schleich reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).

This is a fairly large cervid figure, measuring around 11 cm tall and standing nearly 12 cm tall at the tips of its antlers. Its colours are precisely what you would expect on any reindeer: dark brown and creamy white with black for the eyes and hooves.

There are a dozen known extant subspecies of reindeer scattered across North America, Europe, and Asia. The biggest is the 210 kg/462 lb boreal woodland caribou while the smallest is the 90 kg/200 lb Svalbard reindeer. I can’t be certain if the is individual is meant to specifically represent one of the subspecies, but based on the size and shape of the antlers, I suspect that it hails from somewhere in Europe as opposed to North America.

Our reindeer is sculpted in a decidedly regal pose with its long, muscular limbs planted firmly and its head turned to look to the left. Its fur is well-sculpted, particularly the thick mane hanging down from its neck. Each of its feet correctly consists of two small dew claws and two large, crescent-shaped hooves that enable the reindeer to effectively traverse through mud as well as snow. The antlers have a nice pitted texture to them, and unlike those on most other deer figures, have rounded tips as opposed to pointed ones. As a parent of two small boys, this was one of the major selling points for me. Don’t want anybody accidentally getting poked in the eye!

Schleich has received a good bit of criticism in recent years for what many people perceive as a downgrade in the overall quality of their products, but I think this reindeer is one of their very best. It checks off all the key boxes; it’s accurate, well-crafted, and definitely fun to play with, especially at the holiday season. It is available in most stores that sell Schleich products, although it’s probably even easier (and safer in this day and age) to find online.

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Comments 3

  • Wonderful! I have the CollectA woodland caribou. I have thought about getting a reindeer to represent a European subspecies or a domestic variety. I wish it was easier to morphologically define reindeer subspecies, both in nature and in figures. I have to admit, if I get another reindeer figure, this Schleich model is currently at the top of my list.

  • Like most Schleich figures, the feet are too big, the head is too big and the stance is too wide. I have yet to find a Reindeer figure that I like. This figure is perhaps the best of a bad lot (Collecta Woodland Caribou figure excepted…see below).

    I too have the Collecta Woodlands Caribou and it’s nice, even if the antlers are a bit over the top in size. But it only represents that one species and many of the Reindeer/Caribou species look very different.

    As noted above, Reindeer/Caribou are tricky figures to collect because of the vast variety of species/subspecies. They range from smallish animals with grey coats to large species with dark brown and everything in between. Very tricky subjects to collect figures of.

    • btw…..Reindeer really do have red noses, it’s not just Rudolph. When it gets cold, the Reindeer’s body pumps extra blood into the nose to warm it up…..it also helps warm the blood from the exhaling of warm breath.

      The increase blood flow gives the tip of the nose a reddish colour.

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