New York Toy Fair is this coming week and there’s a lot of companies we’re excited to see. German toy manufacturer Schleich enjoyed a record breaking year in 2015 and 2016 looks to be just as promising.
Schleich is most known for their endearing line of Smurfs collectible mini-figures and “themed play worlds”, but more recently they’ve entered the super hero arena with individual figurines based off of DC Comics characters. One of their first waves featured the likes of Batman, Superman, and Darkseid, all based off of their New 52 appearances. It’s been reported that Schleich will unveil Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice themed collectibles in the press release regarding Batman v Superman merchandising.
With not much longer to wait, it’ll be fun seeing what Schleich has to unveil.
Stay tuned for more news on Schleich and New York Toy Fair this week!
Toy manufacturer Schleich is continuing its success. One reason for the strong results was that in addition to the individual figurines designed with attention to detail, Schleich’ s new strategy has focused more on exciting new themed play worlds with an extensive range of playsets.
Charlotte, NC, January, 26th 2016. German toy manufacturer, Schleich can look back on an exceptionally successful business year in 2015. The company significantly increased gross sales +17 percent this year, with annual sales totaling €132.5 million worldwide, the highest in the company’s history. In the US, gross sales totaled $34.5 million, +11 percent over 2014. In addition to positive gross sales performance, consumer sales were +5 percent versus last year. “Our long-term goal is clear,” says Dirk Engehausen, who has been CEO of the Schleich Group since January 2015. “We would like to continue on our successful course and consistently achieve double-digit annual growth.”
Bestsellers in 2015: trend towards classic themed play worlds
A significant factor for the company’s growth in 2015 was the expansion of its range of themed play worlds. With a strong performance in 4th quarter, “Farm Life” playsets such as the “Big Red Barn” and “Portable Barn with Accessories” resonated well with consumers for holiday gifts. In addition to “Farm Life”, products with horse themes had a high double digit sales increase for 2015. Popular items, such as the “Big Horse Show”, “Horse Wash”, and “Horse Stable with Horses” made significant contributions to this success.
Mighty beasts, mighty sales: Schleich revived extinct prehistoric creatures in its “Dinosaurs” play world, hugely popular with children, and achieved increased sales of 6 percent in 2015. The Tyrannosaurus Rex, Therizinosaurus, and Giganotosaurus are among the bestselling products in this range.
New play world, outlook and strategy for 2016
Schleich will continue to focus on expanding its diverse themed play worlds in 2016, which, with a great number of figurines and accessories, offer countless different play options and endless hours of fun. This year the introduction of a new horses range will be the first play world dedicated to horse riding, adventure and friendship. “Schleich horses such as the Pinto stallion and the Tinker mare are true classics and have been two of our bestselling figurines for years – and we want to build on this success,” says Engehausen. Alongside the well-established elf world “bayala”, a new, realistic horse-themed world with its own logo and a new design will be launched in 2016. In addition to the new horse range, Schleich will be expanding brand licensing, especially for pre-schoolers and collectors.
Children from pre-school age and up will still be able to find products to act out imaginative stories in the top-selling “Farm Life” and “Wild Life” ranges. A new extensive playset will be added to the “Farm Life” range this year, featuring a new farm with numerous accessories and modification options. From 2016 onwards, Schleich is dividing the “Wild Life” play world into four different habitats: Safari, Ice & Ocean, Jungle, and Forest. Further realistic figurines and flexible playsets will also be added to the range. The highlight of this play world is the new “Big Adventure at the Waterhole” playset which features animals and individual elements, such as lifelike and movable plants and rocks as well as a stream and waterfall that can be individually and creatively arranged. With these products, Schleich hopes to arouse enthusiasm for wild animals, and it will actively support the protection of endangered species in the future.
In the area of brand licensing, collectors can look forward to some exciting new arrivals. While established licenses such as DC ComicsTM, PEANUTSTM and the SmurfsTM are to be expanded, Schleich will also be making an exciting announcement about a new assortment of licensed products in early 2016.
In addition to the continued expansion of the product portfolio, Schleich is planning to enter new domestic and foreign markets in 2016, and to expand its digital channels. The company is also looking to a new packaging design and a revamped POS concept for more visibility in stores. Moreover, Schleich’s website will also be given a makeover this year.
*Source: NPD 2015, Schleich Consumer reported sales
Founded 80 years ago by Friedrich Schleich in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Schleich is one of Germany’s largest toy manufacturers and a leading international provider of original game concepts. The famous Schleich figurines are sold in over 50 countries and are loved by children around the world. A global player with South German roots, the company is currently majority-owned by the European investment company Ardian. Further shareholders are the management team around the managers Dirk Engehausen and Erich Schefold. The design of the Schleich play worlds, the manufacturing of the production tools and all quality and safety checks are carried out in Germany. Production itself takes place at the company’s site in Schwäbisch Gmünd and in other production plants abroad.