When the Smurfs were introduced to the UK back in 1978 they teamed up with Pierre the Clown to teach children about road safety. This campaign was known as ‘For a safety with a Smurf’. Pierre the Clown also known as Mr Chitty Chitty Bang Bang allowed National Petroleum to campaign not only to children but politicians. Via his school visits and popularity National Petroleum was able to promote children welfare issues of the day.
Because of this, I have often wondered if this was the idea behind creating the Clown figurine (#20033) first produced back in 1978. Wearing big yellow pants with red stripes and suspenders, a big red bow tie, large big clown shoes and make up around his face. The Clown Smurf figurine was one that was not just popular in the UK but throughout much of the world.
Schleich – 1978 to 1986.
Due to the high demand for Smurfs especially in the early 1980s the Clown Smurf was produced in West Germany, Portugal and Sri Lanka. For example I have a Clown that was made in Portugal and painted in Sri Lanka (red paint dot)
It was also used on a number of triangle pedestals both in Europe and the United States of America.
Hong Kong – 1979 to 1984
In Hong Kong the Clown was made for both BP and Wallace Berrie. It was first released into the USA by Wallace Berrie in 1979 until 1984. BP Australia started selling the Clown possibly in early 1980. Not sure if it was ever sold in New Zealand.
It was in Hong Kong that they started to experiment with spray painting the Smurfs. I have a few Clown Smurfs that you can see they used spray paint on the eyes and sometimes the white paint around its mouth.
Brazil and Argentina
Both Hering in Brazil and Minimodels in Argentina produced a Clown Smurf. These are extremely rare, especially in a good condition.
Schleich – 1991 to 2000
This is one of my favourite Smurfs and it was one I remember fondly from my childhood. If you looking for something to cheer up your day add a Clown Smurf to your collection.
Keep on Smurfin