Before I start this review, I would like to extend my thanks to the folks at Happy Hen Toys, who graciously donated this review sample for the Blog! When Schleich first announced their 2023 line-up, I didn’t initially have any desire to get this figure. However, after a walkaround of it was posted on the STS Forum, I decided I might add it to my collection after all. I have come close to buying it a couple times, but never did. I am glad I waited!
The Bichon Frisé is a Franco-Belgian breed of toy dog that originated on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. It is believed to be descended from the Barbet Water Spaniel and Poodle that were brought to the island by Spanish sailors in the 13th century. In the 1500s, the breed gained popularity with European nobility as a court companion and lap dog. During a dip in the breed’s popularity in the 19th century, the Bichon Frisé was seen mostly in European circuses and used by organ grinders. The breed’s popularity increased again in the early 1930s, thanks to conservation efforts by Belgian and French enthusiasts, and in 1933 the breed was officially standardized by the Société Centrale Canine, France’s national kennel club. The Bichon Frisé was not introduced to the United States until the 1950s and in 1972, the breed was admitted to registration in the American Kennel Club Stud Book. Today the dog remains a popular companion and show dog in Europe and North America. It is known as one of the world’s great ‘personality breeds’. It also has a hypoallergenic coat, making it a good option for people who may be otherwise allergic to most dogs.
This is a very small toy, measuring almost 4.5 cm long and standing about 2.0 cm at the shoulder. This puts it at a scale of approximately 1:12-1:14.6, based on measurement standards of the American Kennel Club.
And for such a small toy, it packs in a lot of detail. The fur has a very detailed texture. Because of the small size, the logo and Conformité Européene mark take up a good breadth of the left side of the animal (but based on the way it is positioned, most collectors would probably display it with its right side facing forward). While Schleich is often criticized for making their wildlife figures ‘too cute’, the cuteness displayed in this figure is appropriate for the breed! The facial expression shows the liveliness, alertness, and curiousness of the breed.
The paint job has a slightly glossy finish. The base color is pure white, as it should be for the breed. The eyes, nose, and foot pads are painted black, and the mouth is pink outlined with black. The black outline around the mouth is just enough to separate the mouth from the rest of the head, but not so thick as to be distracting.
I am still very much a novice when it comes to collecting dog breeds, but if you are a dog collector, this Bichon Frisé comes highly recommended. Based on Toy Animal Wiki, there are not many options for this breed, and this one appears to be one of the best. I am honored to have had the opportunity to receive and review this figure. At the time of this writing it is available at Happy Hen Toys here.