Schleich USA is kicking off a yearlong celebration of the company’s 85th year of empowering kids’ creativity through imaginative play.

Based in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, Schleich is the world’s leading maker of high-quality, realistic animal figurines and playsets, and the U.S. arm of the company has experienced double-digit growth during each of the past six years.  Ahead of Toy Fair New York, Schleich is launching the “Power of Imagination” campaign in an effort “to remind grownups just how sensational and fantastic a child’s imagination can be.”

“While adults might only see kids moving figurines around a play space, we know that the unparalleled detail and realism of our products inspire kids to imagine a world where dinosaurs help with homework and bears do backflips into outer space,” says Annie Laurie Zomeraand, co-managing director of Schleich USA. “This campaign is all about breaking down the barrier between what parents see and what their kids experience. We hope to inspire grown-ups to do even more to help empower kids’ imaginations by reminding them just how magical those imaginations can be.”

Founded in 1935 by Friedrich Schleich, the company found early success with licenses including the Walt Disney Co. and Smurfs, in addition to its own creation: the bendable Jopo figures.

In recent years, the company has continued to inspire kids with figures and playsets from six unique worlds: Farm World, Wild Life, Dinosaurs, Horse Club, bayala, and Eldrador Creatures.

“For many children, our products are their best friends and daily companions,” says Victoria Sutch, Schleich’s head of marketing. “In a child’s hands, they are the starting point for extremely creative stories and exciting adventures. It’s all about having fun, and as a side benefit the children also learn a lot about animals and their habitat.”

Toy Fair New York: Schleich x Mitchel Wu

Renowned toy photographer, Mitchel Wu — a frequent Toy Book cover artist —has developed a series of photographs that “depict the rich, immersive detail narrated by kids during open-ended play” featuring Schleich products. The first set of photos will be shown in the lobby of the Jacob K. Javits Center from Feb. 22 to 25. A campaign kickoff breakfast and anniversary celebration will be held at the exhibit on Sunday, Feb. 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Child development and open-ended play expert, Dr. Sandra J. Stone, will offer commentary and discussion while Wu will present a live toy photography demonstration.

Schleich will show its latest product offerings in booth No. 665.

The Golden Anniversary Lion

Kids and collectors can be on the lookout for a limited-edition golden lion figurine. Crafted with golden coloring and a glittery mane, six colorful brush strokes on the lion are a nod to the handpainted nature of Schleich figurines and represent the six thematic worlds of the brand. The golden lion will be available in select retailers from August to September, while supplies last.

Click here to view the Toy Book‘s full coverage of Toy Fair New York.