Message from RC2 concerning Product Safety
"Nothing is more important to us than ensuring that children's products are safe. We take our product safety responsibilities very seriously, and the measure of our success is the trust parents are able to place in our products, knowing that we're taking the right steps to protect children.
To help make sure that the new products you buy are as safe as we can make them, we have established significant additional safeguards. Since July 2007, we have established our Multi-Check Safety System to help assure you that our new products are safe.
The Multi-Check Safety System includes:
Increased scope and frequency of testing of both incoming materials and finished products, including testing of finished products from every production run
Tougher certification program for contract manufacturers and paint suppliers, including evidence that toy safety standards and quality control procedures are in place and operating effectively
Mandatory paint control procedures for contract manufacturers, including certified independent lab test results of every batch of wet paint before the paint is released for production
Increased random inspections and audits of both manufacturers and their suppliers, including semi-annual audits and quarterly random inspections for key suppliers
Zero tolerance for compromise on RC2 specifications reinforced by mandatory vendor compliance seminars and signed agreements
We know that every day we must earn the faith you and other parents place in us and in the quality and safety of our products. That's why we will continue to look for and explore new ways to further improve the safety of our products. Our commitment to you is to make our products as safe as we possibly can, and, if there are problems in the future, to notify you as quickly as we can. Many of us at RC2 are parents, so knowing that we're taking the right steps to protect children is very important to us personally as well as professionally.
Going forward, the truest measure of our success is and always will be the trust parents place in our products. We are working very hard to preserve and strengthen that trust. And, we hope that you and other parents recognize that our products have been subjected to intense internal scrutiny and testing and are the safer for it."
Schleich vs. Papo Castles
One of the most frequent questions we receive is the question of Schleich vs. Papo castles.
Both companies make high quality knights and castles.
Papo offers a wide range of castles ranging from the beginner (My First Castles) to the deluxe (the Hill Top Fortress). There are several sizes of Papo castles in between, offering a wide range of play value and prices. The Hill Top Fortresses is new in 2007 – previously, the Lion Heart Castle was the largest Papo Castle available – the Hill Top is now the “King of the Hill”.
Some Papo castles are available in either Red or Blue. For example, the Camelot Castle (Red) is the same castle as the Excalibur Castle (Blue). The My First Castle (Red) is the same castle as the My First Castle (Blue). The Lion Heart Castle, Georgie’s Castle, and the Hill Top Fortress are only available in Red. In order of smallest to largest, the Papo castle progression is:
My First Castle (Red and Blue)
Excalibur (Blue) and Camelot (Red)
Georgie’s Castle (Red)
Lion Heart Castle (Red)
Hill Top Fortresses
Papo also makes several other “Fantasy” fortresses: the Skull Fortress, mini-Skull Fortress, Haunted House, the Dungeon of Darkness and the Mystic Fortress (new in 2007). Each of these Fantasy fortresses have their own unique characteristics and features.
Schleich (rhymes with “Bike”) only offers one castle – the “Schleich Knight’s castle.” Additional components can be added to the castle to enlarge the play area.
Papo Castles vs. Schleich Castle
Besides the fact that Papo has multiple offerings to meet multiple budgets, the following differences exist:
* Papo castles are primarily made of wood. We get asked, “Is it real wood or pressed particle board.” We are not experts, but believe the answer is some of both. Regardless, it is high quality, well painted and accented pieces. To date, we have NEVER had any complaints that the “wood wasn’t good enough.”
* The Schliech castle is made of a high density plastic. NO wood on the entire castle.
Assembly / Structure
* The Papo castles are “fixed structure.” What this means is that after assembly, the castle remains in its form as assembled. Once assembled, you cannot reconfigure the layout. The castle is assembled into its defined structure and that’s its structure.
* The Schleich castle is comprised of movable pieces that sit next to each other to form the shape of a castle. While some of the pieces require some assembly (e.g. you need to put the drawbridge section together), once these sections are assembled, the sections can be moved around again and again to form a different structure every time. You can put the towers next to each other, you can put them far apart, you can put the drawbridge on the side, etc. THE SCHLEICH CASTLE PIECES DO NOT LOCK TOGETHER. They simply sit next to each other to form a castle structure.
* As fixed structure castles, while you can add play accessories (e.g. catapults, siege towers, etc.) you cannot add to the castle structure (i.e. you cannot add another tower to the castle).
* In addition to play accessories, Schelich sells many of their castle components separately so that you can easily expand the basic castle with more walls, additional towers, etc.
* As fixed structures, with the Papo castles, you loose some flexibility as the core castle configuration is always the same. * With the Schelich castle, you can easily change the layout every time you play, build mini forts for battles, etc. In addition, you can “storm the fort with the battering ram to knock over the walls, etc.
* Some customers prefer the Papo fixed structure, however, as “my child always knocks everything over”
Both are labeled for children over 3 years old.
Both are very durable – with very few complaints over the years. Maybe a slight edge to Schliech as the molded plastic they use is strong.
With both, castles are sold separately from the knights.
Schleich vs. Papo KnightsBoth companies make high quality knights.
Both company’s knights, horses and figures are made of molded resin / plastic. Both describe the figures as hand painted.
* Papo makes a wider variety of knights and figures vs. Schleich (approximately 200 vs. 50 different styles).
In addition to the Red and Blue teams of knights, Papo makes a wide variety of Fantasy figures (e.g. Orcs, Demon of Darkness, etc.), cowboys, pirates, Romans, etc.
* Schleich is strictly more knight focused. The Lion (blue) team and the Fleur de Lis (red) team are the main sets, however Schleich also does have Mythical figures, Courtiers, Arabian Knights and Crusaders.
Size - Knights
* Gernerally, the Schleich knights are slightly larger than the Papo figures. While Papo does make some oversized figures (e.g. Orc) GENERALLY the Papo knights /figures measures 3.25 – 3.5”.
* Schliech knights GENERALLY measure 3.5” – 4”. Thus the Schliech knights are slightly larger.
Size - Horses
Depending on the pose measurements differ, but GENERALLY the Papo horses measure 5” long by 4” high.
Depending on the pose measurements differ, but GENERALLY the Schleich horses measure 6” long by 4.25” high
Standing vs. Riding
Schleich figures are meant to either stand or ride. If the figure is a Schleich foot knight, likely its legs are in such a position that it will NOT fit on a horse. If the figure is a Schleich riding knight, chances are it may not stand on its own (some will and some won’t).
* Most of the Papo figures are able to either stand OR fit on a horse. The fit may not be perfect, but most of the Papo figures do have split legs for pretend horse riding. Typically, this is noted on the individual information pages.
Are they interchangeable? You can definitely play with them side by side and pitch them in battle against each other. They are close in size. Based on the few figures we tried, it appears as if many of the Papo figures will fit on a Schleich horse and many of the Schleich riding figures (which already come with a Schleich horse) would fit on a Papo horse. As each figure / horse is different, there are no guarantees.
Clearly as the Papo figures are slightly smaller than the Schleich figures, they will fit within the Schleich castle.
In terms of will the Schleich figures work with the Papo castles, since we only sell unopened items, we do not have access to all the Papo castles. As such, we cannot say for certain, but given the slight differences, it appears as if the Schleich figures will generally work as well as the Papo figures. But as an example, the door on the Papo My First castle is only 4” tall, which means that no riding figures (Schleich or Papo) will fit through while riding their horse, but you generally should be able to fit most figures (of either party) thru the door. Again, no guarantees. We welcome feedback on this issue from those of you using Schleich figures with Papo Castles.