The warthog, Phacochoerus africanus, or the common warthog to use its full vernacular name, is a wild member of the Suidae or pig family. There are four subspecies in the genus, each occupying a slightly different range within in central Africa. Schleich have made several figures of this animal, two boars (an early release and a later version), one sow, and a piglet, but I’m not looking at the whole family today – just the warthog piglet. I’m not sure which subspecies it is supposed to represent. Any ideas?
The Schleich warthog piglet had a relatively short release, it was launched in 2010 and retired in 2013. That said, it is still widely available, so they must have created a lot of stock prior to retiring the model. I picked mine up as a souvenir from the Koenig Museum, Bonn, during a visit to Germany in 2014.
This tiny figure is only about 5cm long, but it is excellently sculpted with fine details. In warthogs a mane runs along the head and along the back. The mane flops down the right flank in the Schleich warthog piglet. Such a fashionable comb-over, don’t you think?
The skin is beautifully textured with wrinkles and indications of short hair. The hooves, or trotters, are neatly done, and they are even sculpted on the underside, so this piggy can make accurate warthog footprints.
The distinctive tusks present in adult warthogs are absent in juveniles, and so the Schleich warthog piglet lacks this feature. Also absent in juveniles are protuberances on the face. These projections are sometimes described as wart-like and are the reason the animal is called a ‘warthog’. However, they are made of bone and cartilage – not warts at all. In adults, the male (boar) has two pairs of ‘warts’, while the female (sow) only has one pair. However, this Schleich figure certainly has none at all. Nevertheless, it has a recognisably long head and snout.
The figure is mostly brown, with a slightly ginger tone to the mane and tail tuft. The hooves are picked out in grey. The black eyes appear almost glassy and are very lifelike. There is also a small application of grey paint on the ears and side of the face, which adds depth and believability to the toy.
The tip of the tail is intentionally attached to the left hind leg. Presumably it was sculpted this way to avoid the delicate tail being bent or snapped off. A tuft of ginger hair is indicated on the tip of the tail.
Overall, this is an excellent model, and I can’t think of a single criticism to throw at it. Highly recommended!