Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between two of the most popular European wooden toy brands – Holztiger and Ostheimer. Comparing the two brands gives you an idea of what you feel is the right brand for you and your child.
|Material||Primarily made from maple and beech wood.||Made from native German hardwoods like ash, alder, beech, and maple.|
|Finish||Hand-painted with water-based, non-toxic paints.||Hand-painted with non-toxic, water-soluble stains and finished with organic oil.|
|Craftsmanship||Known for its large, chunky figures that are easy for young children to grasp.||Known for intricate, detailed, and slightly more delicate designs compared to Holztiger.|
|Variety||Offers a wide range of animals, trees, and fairy tale characters.||Has an extensive collection, including animals, fairy tale characters, buildings, and more.|
|Safety||Adheres to European and international safety standards.||Meets European safety standards and emphasizes child-safe designs and finishes.|
|Sustainability||Prioritizes sustainable wood sourcing and environmentally-friendly manufacturing practices.||Uses sustainable wood sources and maintains an environmentally-conscious production process.|
|Educational Value||Promotes imaginative play, motor skills, and understanding of the natural world.||Encourages storytelling, imaginative play, and a deeper appreciation of nature.|
|Price||Generally more affordable than Ostheimer, but prices can vary based on the figure’s size and complexity.||Typically priced higher, reflecting the detailed craftsmanship and organic finishing materials.|
|Target Age||Suitable for children aged 3 and up.||Generally recommended for children aged 3 and up, but some delicate pieces might be better suited for older kids.|
Both toy brands are known for their eco-friendly wooden toys made from natural wood that are perfect toys for little children especially those that are still in the early development stage. These toys encourage a child’s imagination. Children are not constrained by any rules which means they have the freedom to play with these toys however they want.
Both Ostheimer and Holztiger make toys out of responsibly sourced wooden materials. It is not known if both toymakers share the same suppliers but they both source their wood from German government-certified lumber suppliers. Additionally, both toy brands finish their toys with non-toxic water-based paints and dyes.
Now that their similarities are out of the way, let’s take a look at their differences.
Holztiger is part of German toy maker Gollnest & Kiesel. Gollnest & Kiesel owns factories in various worldwide locations including China, Poland, Vietnam, Italy, Romania, Bulgari and Germany. It is unclear if Holztiger toys are actually made in Germany but according to various sources these toys are definitely made in Europe.
Ostheimer toys are definitely made in Germany.
Both Ostheimer and Holztiger feature minimalist designs but have their own distinctive look.
Generally, Holztiger wooden animal toys have more details especially the facial features of the animals. They are also realistically cut and come in vibrant colours. Holztiger wooden animals also have happier facial expressions.
Furthermore, Holztiger wooden animals have more details. This is particularly good for the Montessori type of learning, though see our review on the pros and cons of Montessori. Montessori learning leans more towards realistic play.
Ostheimer wooden animals, on the other hand, are more minimalist than Holztiger. They are more abstract-looking and often feature expressionless faces.
Ostheimer comes in muted colours. These toys are perfect for imaginative play because children can come up with their own ideas on what the animal is doing. For example, children can imagine their Ostheimer bear as happy, sad or even angry.
Price & Selection
Holztiger toys are cheaper than Ostheimer but the price difference is really small.
In terms of selection, Ostheimer is the clear winner. They offer more variety and selection of wooden animal toys than Holztiger. And not just that.
They also have other wooden figures like knights, kings, queens, princesses, princes and they even have figures for nativity scenes. While Holztiger has a lesser selection of wooden toys, there are still many toys to choose from and collect.
Materials and Craftsmanship
Holztiger uses beech wood to create their toys, which is known for its durability and strength. The wood is sourced from sustainable domestic forestry, and each figure is carefully crafted by hand. The wood is then painted with non-toxic, water-based dyes and finished with a water-based finish to make them resistant to perspiration and saliva.
Ostheimer, on the other hand, uses maple and beech wood to create their figures. The wood is certified, ensuring that it comes from sustainable sources. The figures are also handcrafted in Germany, ensuring that each one is unique.
Both companies take great care in the craftsmanship of their toys, ensuring that each one is made with attention to detail and quality. Holztiger’s figures are chunky and simplistic, while Ostheimer’s figures are more abstract in design. Holztiger’s figures have more vivid colors, while Ostheimer’s figures have a more muted color scheme due to the use of stain instead of paint.
Safety and Non-Toxicity
Both companies use natural plant-based oils to treat the wood, which is a safer alternative to synthetic chemicals that can be harmful to children. Additionally, both Holztiger and Ostheimer use non-toxic water-based paint to add color to their toys. These paints are free from harmful chemicals such as lead, phthalates, and formaldehyde, making them safe for your child to play with.
To further ensure safety, both companies use a water-based sealant to protect the paint and prevent it from chipping or peeling. This sealant is also non-toxic and eco-friendly, making it a great choice for parents who are conscious about the environment.
Play and Learning
Both Holztiger and Ostheimer wooden toys are perfect for encouraging play and learning in children. These toys are ideal for Waldorf and Montessori educational settings, as they promote imaginative and realistic play, which helps to develop creativity, problem-solving skills, and socialization.
With these wooden toys, children can engage in imaginative play, creating their own stories and scenarios. They can also learn about the world around them, as the toys are often realistic representations of animals and objects. For example, children can learn about different animals and their habitats by playing with Holztiger and Ostheimer animal figures.
The simplicity of the toys also encourages creativity, as children are not limited by pre-set rules or instructions. They can use their imagination to create their own games and scenarios, which helps to develop their problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities.
In addition, the tactile nature of the wooden toys encourages sensory exploration, which is important for early childhood development. The natural texture of the wood and the weight of the toys provide a unique sensory experience that is different from plastic or electronic toys.
Size and Scale
When it comes to wooden animal toys, size and scale are important factors to consider. Both Holztiger and Ostheimer offer a wide range of animal figures in different sizes and scales.
Holztiger animals tend to be larger in size compared to Ostheimer animals. For example, Holztiger’s standing giraffe measures about 7 inches tall, while Ostheimer’s standing giraffe measures about 5 inches tall. If you’re looking for larger animal figures, Holztiger might be the better choice.
However, Ostheimer animals are more consistent in delivering the scale of the animals. Some of Holztiger’s animals can appear quite large compared to other animals in their collection. This may not be an issue if you’re purchasing individual animals, but if you’re building a collection or creating a scene, it’s something to consider.
Durability and Quality
Holztiger toys are made from solid hardwood, which makes them incredibly sturdy and durable. The wood used in Holztiger toys is sustainably sourced and is finished with water-based stains and varnishes, making them safe for children to play with. Additionally, Holztiger toys are handcrafted and hand-painted, giving each toy a unique look and feel.
Ostheimer toys are also made from solid hardwood and are finished with natural oils and stains. The wood used in Ostheimer toys is sourced from sustainably managed forests, making them an eco-friendly choice. Ostheimer toys are also handcrafted and hand-painted, which gives each toy a unique look and feel.
Both Holztiger and Ostheimer toys are built to withstand the wear and tear of everyday play. However, some parents have reported that Holztiger toys are slightly more durable than Ostheimer toys. This may be due to the fact that Holztiger toys are made from a slightly harder type of wood.
Pros and Cons
When deciding between Holztiger and Ostheimer wooden toys, there are pros and cons to consider for each brand. Here are some of the factors to keep in mind:
- Realistic design: Holztiger wooden animal toys are known for their realistic design, especially the facial features of the animals. They are also realistically cut and come in vibrant colors, making them visually appealing to children.
- Durable: Holztiger toys are made from solid wood and are built to last. They can withstand rough play and are less likely to break than plastic toys.
- Wide range of options: Holztiger offers a wide range of wooden animal toys, including farm animals, wild animals, and dinosaurs. This makes it easy to find toys that match your child’s interests.
- Expensive: Holztiger wooden toys are more expensive than some other brands of wooden toys. However, the quality of the toys justifies the higher price point.
- Limited details: While Holztiger toys are known for their realistic design, they do not have as many details as some other brands. For example, some of the animals may not have painted eyes or mouths.
- Handcrafted: Ostheimer wooden toys are handcrafted in Germany using sustainable wood. This means that each toy is unique and made with care.
- Muted color scheme: Ostheimer toys are stained rather than painted, giving them a more muted color scheme. This can be visually appealing to some parents and children.
- Smaller size: Ostheimer toys tend to be smaller and more compact than some other brands, making them easier for little hands to hold.
- Abstract design: Ostheimer wooden animal toys are known for their abstract design, which may not be as visually appealing to some children.
- Limited range of options: Ostheimer offers a smaller range of wooden animal toys than some other brands. This may make it harder to find toys that match your child’s interests.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Holztiger animals better quality than Ostheimer?
Both Holztiger and Ostheimer are renowned for their high-quality wooden animal figures. Each brand has its own unique style and features. Holztiger animals are more detailed and realistic, with vibrant colors and intricate designs. On the other hand, Ostheimer animals have a more muted color scheme and a more abstract look. Ultimately, the quality of the animal figures from both brands is exceptional.
Which brand, Holztiger or Ostheimer, has more realistic animal figures?
Holztiger is known for producing realistic animal figures with intricate details, such as eyes and mouths painted on. Ostheimer wooden figures and animals, on the other hand, have a more abstract look with fewer details. However, both brands produce high-quality animal figures that are beloved by children and collectors alike.
Which brand, Holztiger or Ostheimer, is more popular among parents?
Both Holztiger and Ostheimer are highly popular among parents who are looking for high-quality wooden animal figures for their children. However, Holztiger is slightly more well-known and popular in the United States, while Ostheimer is more popular in Europe.