Who makes it? German company Schleich, part of their European Wildlife series. Item number 14241
When did it come out? The raven first came out in 2001.
Still available? Quoth the Raven…nevermore. Since 2004. I am not sorry for that.
Where can it be found in my displays? In the same place as the recent Bullyland Gastornis, alongside other birds, modern reptiles, pterosaurs, ungulates…the hodgepodge shelf.
How does it fit in the collection? I am honestly not much of a bird collector, for some reason. But I do like corvids. And Schleich used to be a big part of my collection.
Any story behind it? As I just mentioned, Schleich used to be a big part of my collection. And in 2001 when the Raven came out I was at my peak–I knew what was coming and when, and would pick them up right away. I collected all of the wildlife, sea life, and woodland figures (as they were called then–now Schleich differentiates by region), so the Raven was a given. Plus, a local zoo had neat ravens, so why not have a small reminder of them on the shelf?!
Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): I am not the person to speak about accuracy on bird figures. But I can speak to the figure itself. As with the best of Schleich figures from the early 2000s (and this is one) it is well sculpted and detailed. It does, however, seem too smooth (ravens I’ve seen often look a little more ruffled), and let’s be honest, it kind of looks like a crow. The tail is squared, so it’s hard to tell from that. At least the bill is big and grey, so it’s more raven-like there. But my biggest complaint, as it is, is that base. It is not uncommon for many bird figures to have bases due to the inherent difficulties in producing their tiny, thin toes (this is also an issue for small theropod dinosaur figures…which are of course related). So it’s easier to sculpt them into a base–the figure stands up, the feet are proportional. But why does the base need to be a lump that extends up to the body? Now it looks like the raven has some major issue with fluid spilling out (the colour doesn’t help). I understand that the problems inherent in the casting of a gap between the legs are awkward, but it detracts from an otherwise excellent figure.
Would I recommend it? I know I complained about the base, but it really is the best Raven figure I know of. Not that there are many–but more than there are crows (why?). Unfortunately, this one didn’t last long, and many collectors of Schleich really like these early 00s figures. Me included. They are’t necessarily expensive to pick up now, but it will have to be through auctions or collectors, and they don’t appear often–trying in Germany will give better luck! For those who need a raven figure, Safari does currently have one. It’s almost as good–it captures the tail shape and ruffled feathers better, and the base is nicer, but the bill is painted black like the body. But at least it’s easily available!