On 18th March 2017, United Nations, UNICEF and the cast from the “Smurfs: The Lost Village” teamed up to celebrate International Day of Happiness and also promote a new program “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign. Along with the event at the United Nations, other celebrations took place in 18 countries around the world including Australia, Belgium, Russia, Argentina and the UK, to name a few, to help raise awareness for the “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign and the Goals.
Part of the campaign also included the launch by the United Nations Postal Administration of a special edition of stamps featuring the Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign.
This is not the first time the Smurfs have appeared on postage stamps. In 1996 France released their Smurf Message Stamps with each stamp displaying a message and a Smurf.
In 2008 Belgium as part The Smurfs 50th Anniversary released 10 different postage stamps. Each stamp included a picture of a well known smurf and on one of the stamps it also included Gargamel.
So imagine my surprise this morning when I found out that Australia Post had produced a Smurfs stamp pack consisting of 10 postage stamps to coincide with the release of the Smurfs: Lost Village.
All of a sudden I had a brainwave, instead of buying family and friends Easter eggs this year I could send them a card instead telling them about the “Small Smurfs Big Goals” initiative. It’s a win, win for everyone and of course The Smurfs.
But then what happened about the idea of giving them Kinder Surprise Smurf Easter Eggs……….
Keep on Smurfin
I have been inspired this week to get to know a little bit more about the Easter smurfs that have been produced over the years. I felt a little ashamed of myself that I knew so little about them and with Easter only a few weeks ago I thought what better time to explore.
The first Easter smurf I collected was Smurf in Bunny Suit. This Smurf is dressed up in a white bunny outfit and presents you with a big green egg wrapped with a yellow ribbon.
Smurf in Bunny Suit was made in three different countries, Hong Kong, Portugal and lastly China. It appears that the same mould may have been used and the only difference is with the paint colours. When you get the chance have a look at the pink paint used on the inside of bunny ears.
It was some time after this I was able to find Smurfette in Bunny Suit. The Easter Bunny Smurfette wears a pink bunny suit and carries a basket of eggs.
Like Smurf in Bunny Suit, Smurfette in Bunny Suit was made in Hong Kong, Portugal and China. The major difference is the pink pvc used, from pale pink to a lighter pink.
Smurf in Bunny Suit and Smurfette in Bunny Suit were first sold as Seasonal pair by Wallace Berrie with the article number 6520. These were both made in Hong Kong.
First sold as Seasonal pair, Smurf in Bunny Suit and Smurfette in Bunny Suit in 1983 by Schleich with article number 20832. These were both made in Portugal.
Schleich produced both bunnies from 1983 to 1986 and then again from 1989 to 1995. In 1996 Schleich made new Easter smurfs with new article numbers. Sadly the two Easter bunnies were not part of the new Easter themed smurfs. It is unclear why this was.
So if you know someone who adores their smurfs instead of buying them chocolate easter eggs this year how about getting them an Smurf bunny.
Keep on Smurfin
Many factors determine the value of a smurf, so when one looks back twenty years ago to have a look at the smurfs that were produced in 1997 I found I was in for unexpected surprise.
In 1997 Schleich released seven new smurfs and two new Easter themed smurfs. The first surprise I encountered was that back in 1997 Schleich did not have a theme for a year release like they do now. Upon looking into this it appears that the Marching Band Smurfs released back in 2002 were the first ones produced with a theme. Back in 1997 it was more like they had themed pairs.
Inline Skater Smurf and Inline Skater Smurfette
Disco Smurf and Disco Smurfette
Smurf Child with Doll and Smurf Child on Toy Truck
The last one released for 1997 was Smurf Bathing which was first produced in 1996 for the Quick Fast Food promotion. As part of the promotion Smurf Bathing was included with a bath tub.
As for the two Easter themed smurfs these included
Smurf with Easter egg on back and Smurf eating chocolate Easter egg.
When the Decade Display Box Sets were released in 2011, it is surprising that none of the smurfs from 1997 were used for the 1990 to 1999 decade box. Again I wonder if this had something to do with the smurfs being produced as a themed pair.
Like a lot of smurfs produced in the late 1990’s these can still be easily found in really good condition and at a reasonable price. Generally speaking it is easier to find these smurfs compared to the ones sold in 1996.
For those of you who like to collect smurfs with different colour variations, Disco Smurfette is the one to look out for. In 2010 The Smurfs – Just Smurfy 3 (DVD box set) was sold with a bonus figurine in Australia. The bonus figurine was Disco Smurfette this time instead of white underwear as originally released she was wearing lime green underwear. This version is now highly sought after by most collectors.
Looking back at past years and what smurfs were sold, it is always a nice way to appreciate ones own collection. It also helps you understand what determines the value of particular smurfs. Whether that value be a nostalgic one or one driven more be price.
Keep on Smurfin
Some may say I continue to be a silly woman for breaking a collector’s principle this week, for not buying a Smurf’s Cottage in its original box. Over my time collecting smurfs, I have acquired six cottages but none in their original boxes. Don’t get me wrong I like the look of the cottages especially displayed in different parts of the house but if there was a choice between smurfs and a cottage I would most likely go for the smurfs!
To be honest the box had seen better days, as you could see where someone had ripped off the original price sticker on it. The pop up card that would have been used to hang up the item on display was now looking rather poorly as it flopped across the top of the box. Once again I probably did a big no-no by opening up the box to inspect the condition of the green roofed cottage and also to ensure it included its butterfly.
With the Green Cottage that I was considering, this had a light brown door with an oval shaped window with curtains covering the sides of the oval surrounded by a light grey door frame. The window frames were also painted light brown. The Cottage also included it’s yellow butterfly with painted blue wings.
The Cottages were first made by Schleich in 1978 in three different colours, red, green and blue. The green roofed cottage was given article number 4.0012. It appears that they used the same box for all three cottages and would just place a tick in a tick-box to indicate which coloured roof belonged in the box. Back in 1981 Bp Australia was selling the cottages for just $3.99.
The whole ‘mint condition in box’ thing just doesn’t matter to me. It is true that I like to keep the Super Smurfs and Playsets boxes as I find them fascinating to read. But in the end I also feel a cottage looks better out of its box.
Keep on Smurfin
Anything blue catches my eye, particularly smurf memorabilia that carries the BP Australia symbol. To find a Super Smurf that was produced back in the 1980’s with its original box and all it’s accessories is even better.
By June 1980, BP Australia had already released at least five different Super Smurfs. These included Tricycle (ref# 4.0203), Skateboarder (ref# 40204) Skier (ref# 4.0205), Signbearer with the sign Let’s go Smurfing (ref#4.0208) and Car Driver (ref# 4.0210).
So if you ever wondered why you can easily pick up a smurf wearing a red shirt with his tongue hanging out of his mouth and holes on the bottom of his feet, it is very good chance it is Skateboarder Smurf without his leaf skateboard. Or that you find a smurf with racing googles on his white hat in a sitting like position, once again it’s a good chance this Tricycle Smurf without his tricycle.
By December 1980 and just in time for Christmas BP Australia announced the arrival of four more Super Smurfs and also for the first time three Playsets. This included Boxer (ref# 4.0508), Bars Gymnast (# 4.0509) Hurdler (ref# 4.0511) and Basketball (ref# 4.0512). The Playsets included Well (ref# 4.0090), Snail Cart (ref# 4.0100) and Boat (#4.0070).
Like everything, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. In Australia the majority of the smurfs sold were made out of Hong Kong. Hong Kong smurfs were first made with a Schleich emblem and a © Peyo curved signature marking. There is no actual mention of Hong Kong or cavity numbers to be found on these smurfs. This would be around 1978 or early 1979. Later on the Hong Kong moulds started to include Hong Kong or Made in Hong Kong to the markings.
The most important thing to remember is that not every smurf should be considered rare or vintage in these times for collecting smurfs.
Keep on Smurfin
Launched by the United Nations, UNICEF and the United Nations Foundation the “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign is designed to encourage to learn about and support the 17 Sustainable Development Team.
Team Smurf will offer their assistance in celebrating International Happiness Day on 20 March 2017.
So what type of smurf are you?
Summer is here, and for most of us that means being confronted with hot, humid nights with little sleep or looking for ways to try to keep out of the heat and stay cool. Allow me to introduce to you Thirsty Smurf, a smurf that is a little different to most.
When Thirsty Smurf was first made it only had a © Peyo marking on the arm and W.Germany on the inside of the foot. There are different versions of the bottles, painted yellow straws or unpainted straws to be found. What is strange is that it was never sold by National Petrol in the UK back in early 1980’s. Not really sure why this was. Unless UK authorities thought that it did not meet their toy safety standards.
Thirsty Smurf was also one of the few smurfs that was made in Hong Kong but never sold by Wallace Berrie in the USA. Thirsty Smurf was sold in Australia, typically with an orange bottle and yellow painted straw. I also tend to find this version has a lighter orange bottle compared to the German made version.
I have a feeling that BP Australia started selling this around 1982 as it was shown in the BP Getaway Guide Summer 82, selling for just 99 cents! Imagine if you could buy smurfs in 2017 for just 99 cents, how cool and refreshing that would that be.
Thirsty has also be made as a Promo Smurf for various companies. This may explain why it was never made with a Schleich marking in Europe. Some of these include a Thirsty Smurf holding a Coca Cola shaped bottle, Fanta Smurf with a light brown bottle and WIWA FIT. These are considered extremely rare. I should emphasis the words extremely rare.
One of the more accessible Promo Smurfs using Thirsty was produced by Staatl Fachingen in around 1990. This version holds a green narrow bottle with the words Staatl Fachingen printed in blue on the bottle. This company is based in Germany and sells mineral water.
I also came across a version of Thirsty holding a bottle without a straw. It is like the mould never had a straw as it is completely smooth across the top of the bottle. This version is very special to me, as I feel it is one that has somehow got through the quality control checks.
Keep On Smurfin
Who would have thought that it would take as long as it has for Nasa to take inspiration from the smurfs in producing their new spacesuit. Up until now the Nasa astronauts have looked more like a Swoof like character in their orange bulky spacesuits. So in a desperate need to get with the times, the Nasa astronauts will now be wearing a more sleek spacesuit in a smurf blue colour. The cooler, more flexible blue outfits, with boots produced Reebok were designed for the Boeing Starliner space taxi.
The Swoofs were an alien race that was created by Papa Smurf using a magic potion he used to make Dreamy Smurf believe he travelled to another planet. The Swoofs are from the comic and the cartoon ‘The Astrosmurf’. In around 1973 Bully produced their own version of a swoof calling this Jungle Smurf, Ref# 20069. More recently the new Jungle Native Smurf Ref# 20783 released in 2015 has looked more like a Swoof!
Popularity of Astro Smurf was immense as both Schleich and Bully produced their own versions. First Schleich produced their version in 1969 wearing a clear plastic helmet with a white spacesuit. There is also a version of this where the white outfit has a red zip. Both of these also has his left index pointing upward. This was given the reference number 20003.
Later when Bully had the license to produce the smurfs, they made their own version of Astro Smurf in 1975/76 wearing a plastic clear helmet and a white outfit with a red square on the front. The Bully Astro Smurf has both arms outstretched.
Astro Smurfs were first sold in Australia around 1979 by BP Australia. Like the majority of smurfs first sold in Australia this smurf was made in Hong Kong by Schleich. I probably have at least twenty of these Astro Smurfs but sadly most of these have lost their helmets. If you are lucky enough to find one with it’s original helmet, ensure you display it carefully as they are very easy to break.
Astro Smurfs were last made in 1986 by Schleich. The good thing is that both the Bully and Schleich versions can still be easily found at a good price.
The thing I like the most about all of this, is that whenever a company or organisation decide to change their branding to the colour blue, people tend to make a reference to the smurfs. How cool is that!
Keep on Smurfin
Collecting variations is a lot of fun and can also be quite addictive. Always on the never ending quest to look for those slight differences. Whether the differences be in colour, size or production markings, collecting smurfs can be a lot of fun. Its kind of hard to describe the feeling one gets when one discovers a variation. So if you are new to collecting smurfs, you may want to begin by looking at Tennis Smurfette as an example. (Schleich Ref# 20135)
One of the particular attractions of Tennis Smurfette to me is I remember owning one as a child, which I still have. It was released by BP Australia in 1981 in time for Christmas along with Santa Smurf (Schleich Ref# 20124) for just 99 cents. The good thing is that Tennis Smurfette is still easy to find today.
Now back to the tennis with Smurfette playing the back-shot. Standing on an oval white base, wearing white shoes, dress and underwear. The dress will normally have dots on it. Her red tennis racquet is removable and is made out of plastic. It was sold between 1981 right through to 1996.
There are a few things to keep an eye open for when looking for variations with Tennis Smurfette.
The dots on her skirt are either pink or red. Generally pink dots can be found on the ones from W.Germany, Portugal and China. The red dots can be found on the ones from Hong Kong.
The shoelaces will be painted if it was from W.Germany, Portugal and China. Generally if from Hong Kong the laces will be unpainted.
If Tennis Smurfette is from either Portugal or China the base will generally have a slight pink colour to it. It looks a little strange as it looks like a little kid has drawn on the base with a crayon. I am not really sure why they did this.
Like on many of the Smurfette’s that can be found, the colour of her golden blonde hair and blue skin can also vary depending which country it was painted in. Darker colours tend to indicate it was painted in Hong Kong and softer colours indicate it was painted in Portugal.
So as you can see there are many different variations to be found with Tennis Smurfette.
Keep on Smurfin