The figure is wonderfully detailed, accurate and realistic. As a lifelong lover of animals and someone who as a child collected and played, for hours, with animal figures, I'm thrilled that my three-year-old grandson is nuts about them too. He is specifically enthralled by "sea creatures," and I have almost run out of news ones to get for him, but since hippos spend most of their lives in water (albeit rivers and lakes and not seas) they manage to meet the criteria my grandson has created in his mind.
As a kid, I would have died for this and the other superb Schleich animal figures and my grandson loves them too. Schleich offers a very wide variety of figures including a lot of rare and obscure species and you and the child in your life can build a very impressive menagerie if you so desire. The only possible drawback to these figures is their cost. I believe their value easily matches or exceeds their prices, but reproducing a 40 piece set of figures of lesser size and quality; that you can purchase for around $15 - $20, will cost you at least 10 times that much if you buy only Schleich figures. Their larger size is, to me, a very big plus but it can make matching them with smaller, cheaper figures a problem for older children who will be more cognizant of the difference. However, they are not so expensive that someone can't afford to collect them over an extended period of time - assuming the child in your life maintains, as I did, his or her fascination with animals for a period of years.
As hippos go, this figure is one of the very best available. A word of mild caution: It is made of nearly indestructible plastic and is very rigid. It will not bend and can't be posed in different positions. My grandson doesn't seem to mind, but some kids like "squishier" animal figure...this one is not "squishy."
The Schleich figures are modelled with attention to detail, hand-painted with care, and provide educationally valuable playtime. Although hippopotamuses cannot swim particularly well, they spend nearly all day in the water. They cannot simply drift along, because they're just too heavy. If they wish to cross a river, they allow themselves to sink to the bottom and walk along the river bed to the other shore.