September 9 is Smurf Day in Australia

On September 9 September 1979, the smurfs were introduced to Australia in a campaign that the country had never seen before or since.

Due to the huge success of smurfs selling in the UK in service stations, it would only be a matter of time that the promotion would start in Australia.

sm20019Not only were selected BP service stations selling smurf figurines, they were also going to be selling children t-shirts, window wavers (whatever they are!) hanging mobiles, visor caps, posters, stickers and soft toys.

Along with this, there were promotions happening across radio and television. With the radio campaign there was a jingle that was released a week before launch to introduce the Australia mainstream audience to the smurfs.

Magazines such as the Women’s Weekly and the Reader’s Digest had full page advertisements. One of the marketing theory’s behind this is that people would display these as posters in their homes.

In all major newspapers across Australia full page advertisements telling them “BP the one place on earth you’ll get service with a smurf!”

The major attraction of the promotion was the smurf figurines. At this point of time, the smurf figurines were only exclusive to BP Australia. In it’s first release ten smurfs were available. Selling for 85 cents each!

What’s interesting about the first ten released is in some of the names they gave them. These included Normal, Drummer, Spy, Judge, Flower, Handy, Rocker, I Hear Nothing, Vanity and Watchman.

sm20012Handy is now known as Mechanic, Rocker known as Lute, I Hear Nothing is known as Earache, Vanity known as Mirror and Watchman known as Lantern. This may have had something to do with the translation from Dutch or German to English.

By the end of 1979, six more figurines were added to the mix. These included Papa Smurf, Sunbather, Astro, Smurfette, Coin and Keep Fit (now known as Gymnast)

These early figurines were different to the ones available in Europe as these were made in Hong Kong.  For example some of their smurfs had spray painted blue skin and the PVC used was generally harder than the ones made in Europe.

sm20053blueAround November, Peters Ice-cream released a blue/white ice lolly called Smurfee. These were selling around 19cents. This may have something to do with the afilation of Peters Ice-cream and Nestle at the time, though this is only my theory.

What’s most interesting about the release of Smurfee is that this was before the release of the Ice Lolly smurf figurine.

This was only the beginning, over the next couple smurf merchandise was going to explode in Australia. Everything from aprons to bed linen. There was no escaping from the smurfs!

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B









Endless search for soccer smurfs

Soccer Smurfs are probably the most wanted smurfs of them all. From the very common Soccer Smurf (20035) to the more harder to find Bundesliga Soccer Smurfs. No doubt you will find soccer smurfs on a collector’s most wanted list.

sm20035Soccer Smurf (20035) was first released around 1978 and was given the name Striker. This smurf can be found wearing a red shirt & socks and yellow shorts while kicking white soccer ball. Alternatively you can also find this smurf wearing yellow shirt & socks and red shorts.

In Germany, a series of smurfs were released in each of the teams colours that made up the Bundesliga league. Along with the smurf, came its own display case and team logo.


sm20035reddsm20035braunIn the UK when smurfs were first introduced, they to had a series of smurfs released in team colours. This was sometime around the late 1970’s to early 1980’s.

There have also been countless soccer smurfs found wearing international team colours.

The Bundesliga, UK and ones wearing international team colours can be quite hard to find in mint condition.

sm20416In 1992, Schleich released New Soccer (20416), using the same mould before but this time kicking a white and black checkered ball. This soccer smurf was wearing a yellow top & socks and red/orange shorts.

Nobody will never really know how many soccer smurfs have been made over the years. I guess while smurfs are continually made and soccer is being played there will be always soccer smurfs to collect.


Keep on Smurfin

Kath B