This page describes some basic characteristics of Forest Families figurines and should be helpful with identifying them! There are several series of toys that are very similar with Forest Families. Some of them are better known, but most are not. On this page you can find general information of Forest Families body types that will help you identify this series from the others. For a more detailed descriptions see every animal family's page.
Here you'll also find comparation pictures that will help you make a distinction between Forest Families and e.g. Sylvanian Families, Maple Town and Simba's Bear Family.
It's a good idea to learn to identify the few basic body types and get familiar with the different animal families. Identifying Forest Families is not difficult, once you know the basics!
Basic Body Types
Almost all FF animals are made with the same basic body type, they just have different heads and different colour plastic and flocking. There are some exceptions to the rule, but they are mentioned on every animal family's page.
All Forest Families creatures are covered in soft flocking and they have round, black eyes, turning head and posable legs and arms. Some FF's have arms that move one at a time, but there are also those whose both arms move when you move one. FF animals have open hands so that you can make them hold things. Some characters have a small "tail hole" on their butt, but only a few species actually have a tail (e.g. mice). Forest Families also have a tiny hole under each foot. They are about 9 cm tall, depending on the species (actually depending on the size of the head since the body moulds are the same).
There are two basic adult body types, but also a few oddities - they all are very similar though. The two basic FF body types differ from each other in many ways, but mostly the position of the arms: one with arms closer to the torso, one with arms slightly spread out. Almost all Forest Families adults are in this pose and their basic appearance is the same. Most animals can be found in both these pose variations (arms close or spread out).
Tootie tails has classified these two types as German and UK body moulds. Check her website for informative pictures!
Children and Babies
Forest Families children don't have posable legs and arms, but some of them have a turnable head. They have open hands just like the adults, but there are exceptions to this rule too. Also almost all FF children have tail holes and small holes under their feet, just like the adults. They are about 6 cm tall, depending on the species.
Baby Forest Families are almost identical with the children, but only 5 cm tall and with flat hands. The babies are quite rare and only appear in Bear, Elephant and Gorilla family. Pictured on some packaging are also Pig babies (prototypes).
Big Body Type
Only the bears come in this body type. It is very similar to the ordinary adult body type, except bigger. Where the normal adult bears are about 9 cm high, the big bears are around 11 cm. They are about the same size as Simba Bear Family bears, but have the distinctive Forest Families bear colour and appearance. See below for the sturdy type.
Sturdy Body Type
Some species have adults also in this pose variation. At least the following animals have been found in this body type: bears, cats, dogs, pandas and pigs. Also pictured on FF packaging I have seen: elephants, panthers, squirrels and tigers. The pictures may present real, published figurines or prototypes. I suppose many species have been made in both the basic body mold and this one. The sturdy body type is less common.
This type has sturdier/thicker body and head on the animals, but other than that they are pretty similar with their counterparts in the basic adult body type. They have flat hands and a wider pose. I think that the sturdier animals were possibly earlier releases, and tootie tails has arrived in a similar conclusion. Other early release body types include the flat-handed mice and rabbits.
Also the big 11 cm bears have two different body moulds, but their only difference is the hands. The "sturdy" big bears have similar flat hands as these sturdy smaller animals.
Bird Body Types
There are two different winged bird body types in the FF series. One is for the domestic birds (chicken and ducks) and one is for the wild birds (owls and parrots). The birds are about 7 or 8 cm tall. The domestic birds also come with arms instead of wings and in that case they have the basic body type.
The birds' legs aren't poseable like on the basic type Forest Families, but their wings can be moved. The domestic and wild bird bodies differ in many ways, e.g. their tails are very different. (See the picture.) Also the legs and feet are bigger on the wild birds and they have claws unlike the domestic birds.
The differences in the two child bird body types are mostly the same as between the two adult types. The biggest difference is that the wild bird body type has movable wings and the domestic doesn't. The tails are similar to the adult birds'.
They are about 5 cm tall, which is slightly smaller than the basic children in FF series.
Other Body Types
Crocodiles and Dinosaurs
The crocodiles and dinosaurs are otherwise exactly like all other animals in the basic body type, but they have a tail. The tail is one of a kind in the Forest Families series since it isn't separate from the body, but straight attached to it. The tails on the adults and children are alike.
Turtles and Beetles
The bodies of both turtles and beetles are one of a kind, though these two resemble each other very much. Only the shape of the shell and the patterns on their back and tummy are different from each other, the basic body type is the same. Their arms and legs and open hands are similar with those of the basic FF animals.
They are slightly taller than most Forest Families creatures, reaching the height of about 9 cm on adults and 6,5 cm on children. This is partially because of their head size.
The squirrels have the basic body type just like most of the other Forest Families, but again their tail makes them an exception. The squirrel tail is a fluffy piece of fur.
Squirrels have an extra piece of plastic on their butt, where the tail is attached. The same goes for both adults and children. Usually this extra part is covered by the furry tail, but sometimes the tail is worn out or even missing completely, and this plastic stub becomes visible.
Solid body type
There is an oddity that has been available in France. These are adult FF animals with immovable arms and legs. I suspect they may be early releases, but little is known about them. There are at least rabbits, cats, mice, elephants, bears and gorillas in this body type.
Open hands: the typical hands on Forest Families with the thumb separate from the other fingers; a hand able to grip things.
Flat hands: the closed fist-like hands of the FF babies, some adults and some children; the sturdy body type hands.
Paw hands: round, paw-like hands, found on e.g. ZOO Familie children and some other animal series; does not appear in the FF line.