When I was little I used to love playing with my toy animals and so it was only natural when having a child of my own, that I tried to encourage her into playing with them. I remember when I was little I used to have a nice realistic looking crocodile, it came with a hinged mouth, so you could snap the jaws open and closed. I was in Toys R Us claiming a refund for a television which broke and I had an extra £5 something to make up to the full value of the refund, when I saw this crocodile, although it didn't have a hinged mouth, it was as real looking a model as I had ever seen.
== Schleich ==
Schleich are a German based company who specialize in plastic molded figures, they were a family owned business until 2006 when British firm HgCapital took them over. Schleich is a relatively small company with only 250 employees and an 80 million Euro yearly sales figure. They were established in 1935 and released their first playsets onto the market in 1950. It wasn't until the 1980's that they added animal playsets to their collection and they are one of the leading brands when it comes to moulded plastic scale models. All the figures are placed in molds and then shipped off to China, where they are hand painted.
== What is it? ==
The crocodile is 16.3 cm long and is made from molded plastic. The figures mouth is displayed open and cannot be closed, it is displaying its nice array of teeth, which are pretty jagged, but not sharp enough to cut. I like the idea of the jagged teeth, as I when teaching Lily-May about crocodiles and what they eat, I have put her finger in its mouth to let her feel the teeth. The crocodile is hand painted in dark green on the main part of the body and it has a lighter under belly, similar in colour to a real crocodile. The attention to detail is amazing, with all its scales, and even the wrinkles on its face from the positioning of the jaw, there is nothing that the model makers of Schleich have missed out. On the base of the crocodile is the makers stamp, which is raised, so you know you are buying a genuine Schleich product, and it is hidden away, so you don't face any awkward "Why is this writing on here?" questions. The toy is very chunky compared to a lot of cheaper models on the market, so you know you are paying for something which is durable and built to last.
== Price ==
You can purchase this from www.amazon.co.uk for £4.75 including delivery. I paid slightly more than this for mine in Toys R Us, and I am sure amazon is the cheapest price at the time of writing this review.
== Verdict ==
I bought this for Lily-May when she was 2 and a half and she absolutely loves this toy. Even though she has had this for over a year, it is only recently that she has started playing with her animals properly. The thing that I was disappointed with when I purchased this was that there was no baby or even another adult, like most of the other Schleich animals I had purchased for Lily. While doing some research on the pricing for this model, I came across a baby crocodile for £2.99, which has only recently came onto the market, so that is another thing to add to her stocking list for this year. After doing a lot of research on realistic animal sets, I have came across two different makers that offer similar scale and realism and often different animals between the makers too; Papo, and Schleich. I wouldn't buy anything other than Papo or Schleich for my daughter, I like toy animals to look like the animal they are supposed to be representing, I find it makes teaching your child about the animal a lot easier when using it as an educational tool alongside books and videos. I would definitely give this model 5/5 stars, just for the sheer attention to detail, I would recommend it as part of your growing Schleich/toy animal collection.
It is curious why one would want a toy crocodile, but I had a few in my younger years and would often take them into the bath to create exciting scenarios. The scenarios would often involve a Star Wars man being eaten and being carried down towards the plug hole. Schleich have produced a very authentic looking beast with a tremendous level of articulation on him.
From a distance, you will be drawn to him, thanks to the gaping mouth, which sits open, baring gnashing teeth. The mouth is crafted with a keen eye and he has a lovely pink tongue which offsets the white of the teeth really well. If you poke your finger inside, you can feel the teeth prick slightly..so be careful! Mr Crocodile has a wonderful body, with splendid coloring. Rather than go for the obvious bright green, subtler colours have been used, so he looks closer to grey than green. This gives him a realistic look and also adds to the scary factor. The dark skin suggests this is an adult crocodile, who has been living in the swamps for many years. Judging by his length, he looks fully fledged and ready to kill.
His spiny bits have been crafted well, with careful texturing on his upper body and a softer look to his underbelly. His tail has a graceful swish about it, suggesting he is on the hunt and his legs and toes are in a standoff position. You can get a little movement out of him round the feet area, though not loads.
On the downside, he might be too frightening for much younger kids. His eighteen centimetre length is enough to make him visually striking and also enough to have a good game with him. I would buy a rhino and have a big fight between the toy! His price is great, at around the four pound mark, he will delight reptile fans and children alike.
After coming across the Schleich range of animals on Amazon I was primarily looking for farm animals, but when I spotted this great big crocodile I didn't hesitate in adding him to my basket. I have always admired reptiles and I find crocodile fascinating creatures. My baby boy loves any games or songs that involve crocodiles especially when they ''Snap'' as he finds this hilarious. I have been teaching him animal noises and actions for some time now, so he recognises a good variety of different animals.
I was quite looking forward to receiving this crocodile and I couldn't wait to open him when he arrived, I'm not sure who had the biggest smile when I took him from out of the box. I have gone on to buy more Schleich animals but I think this one is by far my favourite - okay I know they are for my son he-he, but they are beautifully crafted and they have a very realistic look to them. The quality of this and all of the others we have are outstanding, they are well made from a durable synthetic material and each one is hand painted.
The crocodile fits nicely on the palm of my hand and he is a very good size (180mm (L) x 80mm (W) x 60mm (H)) he is not quite as heavy as some of the other models and only weighs 100g. As with all official Schleich animals they come with a tag around their foot to show they are genuine these will have a red S on the label which can be easily removed.
He is incredibly well made and is very durable, the body is impossible to bend and there are no parts that will break off. He looks very content with his stomach bulging at the sides and his jaw open to show his tiny pointy teeth! This is an amazing hand crafted model that has so much detail go into producing him, the head is all bumpy and textured and its armoured body has all the markings raised along the back, flipping him over the underside has not been forgotten about as it is just as it should be with all the details nicely done. The colouring on this little beauty is fantastic with all different shades of dark green and the underside is a much lighter green and his piercing yellow eyes add to the brilliant detail of this creature. He really is a work of art!
My son seems to quite like this one, as the shape and size of it fit into his hand comfortably and the poor crocodiles head and tail do get a good chewing on! A lot of imaginative play can be had with this aquatic reptile on and off land he loves to take a splash in the bath or bowl of water and just like in the wild he loves to thrash about. My son is a little bit young to appreciate this marvelous creature just yet but I'm sure he will be with him for a long time as crocodiles do have a long life span and this one is no different with his tough exterior he enjoys rough play and he doesn't seem to mind being wrestled and chewed on, with hardly and wear to him with just a couple of marks on his snout which I think add to his character. It is a shame to put him away at the end of the day and he will look nice being displayed on a shelf in a child's bedroom or sitting on the side of the bathtub.
I think this toy is excellent value for money as it will last and a child won't outgrow it for a long time. The recommended age is 3 years old but I can't see why a younger child can't enjoy playing with him as long as they are supervised as although it is solid and no parts will break off due to is body shape a child may push it into their mouth a bit too far. As with all Schleich animals they are ''CE tested and approved.'' I paid £3.50 for this particular model which I think is good value for money as it will last far better than cheaper versions. The price may vary depending on where you buy it from.
This crocodile can be bought from Amazon and other good toy shops such as Toys R us and The Entertainer.
Schleich Website: www.schleich-s.com
The Schleich ranges of hand painted animals are perfect for enjoyable role play - build up a collection for hours of fun.