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.