Giant Panda, male 2017 (Wild Life by Schleich)

Review and images by Suspsy; edited by bmathison1972

A conservation icon, a beloved zoo attraction, and a star of a hit animated franchise, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is quite possibly the most immediately recognizable animal on the planet. Naturally then, it has enjoyed countless toys over the decades, including this 2017 figure courtesy of Schleich.

Schleich released two panda figures that year, a female posed sitting up and this male posed in a walking stance with its head turned to look to the right and its right hind leg extended behind it. Looks like it’s slowly lumbering along in search of its next meal, which in the wild would be more than 99% bamboo. Giant pandas will also very occasionally consume other plants and even meat, and in captivity they may be fed items such as honey, eggs, fish, yams, and fruit. But because they have the digestive system of a carnivore, they derive very little energy and protein from the bamboo they consume. As a result, they must feed constantly and carefully restrict their physical activity.

The main colours on our panda are, of course, black and white. Glossy black is used for his nose and his small, short claws are white. The paint apps on the head look very nice and neat, but the claws have been done somewhat sloppily. Pretty common trend with Schleich products, I’ve noticed.

This panda possesses all the standard distinguishing physical features. The head is very large and wide with a relatively short and deep muzzle and big rounded ears. The neck is extremely short and thick, the body is chunky with a short, flattened tail, and the similarly chunk limbs end in wide paws. It’s an adorable-looking beastie to be sure, but it also has a strong and stout appearance. Despite their herbivorous diet, and lethargic lifestyle, giant pandas are still bears, and have been known to defend themselves and their cubs with ferocity against leopards. They have also occasionally attacked humans in captivity.

The panda’s fur is well-sculpted and there is visible padding on the soles of the paws. The modified “thumbs” on the forepaws are also visible, although you don’t get a real appreciation of them due to the soles being sculpted so flat.

In conclusion then, the Schleich male panda is one of the better renditions of this beloved bear currently available, and it can be purchased from many different toy sites.

Left to right: Safari Ltd. polar bear, Safari Ltd. grizzly bear, Safari Ltd Kermode black bear, and today’s Schleich giant panda

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