Zooming off to the most untouched parts of the earth in a romantically zebra-striped, fixed-wing prop plane sounds like my wildest vacation dreams. Now, it is part of my children’s daily play with the brand new Schleich Airplane.
Schleich’s line of realistically designed toys have a treasured place in my children’s play. My eldest has been collecting their animal figurines for almost two years. We appreciate the naturalistic detail that allows us to turn her interest into an educational experience. And the affordable price point on most of the toys means that we can purchase these throughout the year as her interests shift to new species.
It was my two year old son, however, who immediately seized the plane like a tiny DEA agent, and declared, “My O-Plane.” Despite the fact that the toy is for children three and older, I’ve allowed him to fly around the plane from place to place, removing and replacing the pilot, and taking imaginary journeys to Grandma’s house (an hour away by car).
The plane is larger than I expected it to be from the photograph and fairly heavy. The children seem to like the heft, which adds to the realism.
Schleich celebrated their 75th anniversary of making quality toys in September. In honor of this diamond jubilee, participating retailers are featuring Schleich Airplanes in specially-marked boxes that include a voucher to redeem a collectible free and exclusive zebra-striped figure—a pig, giraffe, penguin or kangaroo. These 75th Anniversary figurines will not be available anywhere else.
The detail that makes the plane so realistic, and so fascinating to a preschooler, also makes it a little frustrating for the parent of a preschooler. There are cockpit doors, a freight bay, an engine compartment and wings that all pop off with a small amount of pressure. They also pop back on. And off. And on. And off. Until mommy puts the plane away for the day.
Nothing has broken in two weeks of thorough tough toddler testing and the plane appears to be very well made. However, it is designed more as a prop for an older child’s imaginative narratives than an active toy for a rambunctious preschooler–follow the age recommendations on this one and your child will be flying off on back country adventures.