Do you collect fake smurfs? In the beginning I didn’t collect fake smurfs but I do now. It’s all part of increasing my knowledge and understanding of smurfs.
I started collecting fake smurfs so I could study them and become more knowledgeable about how to detect others. It also enhanced my knowledge on markings on smurfs.
Now some of you maybe thinking – how could you? These are smurfs that are not genuine, an imitation, produced without a licence or even worse a smurf that has been altered to make it look like a rare smurf.
Like a lot of things once something becomes highly collectible and sought after the more likely there will be those who want to try to replicate it. The smurfs are no exception to this rule.
There are large variety of fake smurfs out there in big bad world. Some quite lovely and some are quite grotesque. Some look extremely like the original version making it hard to tell the difference and others look like nothing like a smurf.
I first came across fake smurfs in around 2007 or 2008 where there was a large volume of fake smurfs for sale. These smurfs were coming out of China and were sold really cheap online.
An example of these were the fake McDonalds smurfs that were sold with a Schleich tag attached. These smurfs were made out of a very hard material, had strange looking eyes and the paint work was sloppy.
It was also around this time that the Indian and Halloween sets released by Schleich were replicated and sold as fakes. Some of these fakes that came out of China had even misspelt the word China on their markings, to the amusement of many.
Around this same time I started reading about fake smurfs from Spain often referred to Comic No Toxico (CNT) smurfs. These were not ugly smurfs like the fake Chinese smurfs it was quite the opposite these smurfs were quite beautiful.
CNT smurfs are generally smaller than your average Schleich smurf and are really well painted. These smurfs can be quite rare in some parts of the world, which makes them more valuable than your average smurf.
Then there are the smurfs that have been repainted or altered to make it look more like a rare smurf. Papa Captain (Schleich ref# 20141) is a really good example of this.
Papa Captain can generally be found with red trousers, white jacket with gold buttons, a white cap with a red trim and a black brim. He is holding up a gold telescope to his eye.
This one is the most commonly found one, though Schleich also released two different versions of one with a navy blue jacket. Navy blue jacket with yellow buttons and white trousers and navy blue jacket with gold buttons and red trousers.
As the versions with the navy blue jacket are considered rare, I have heard of collectors who have been burnt. The seller sold them a version that had the white jacket repainted navy blue. It was only when they received the actual smurf that they noticed the paint work under the jacket flap was not fully painted.
There will never be a shortage of fake smurfs, as there are a growing number of people who are happy to collect them. There are some collectors who actually enjoy collecting fakes more than the genuine licensed ones.
We can learn a lot about smurfs from studying fake smurfs. They can also be something that makes you laugh because of how ridiculous they look and that can’t be a bad thing.
Keep on Smurfin