Today I would like to share with you some details regarding Papa Thinking #20424. It was produced by Schleich from 1994 to until 2004. Papa Thinking is a red injected mould, that has his mouth open and is holding his right hand inside his left hand with the knuckles on the outside. The eyebrows can be found either white or black. I have also seen others refer to this Smurf as Papa 2.
Then in 2005 Schleich released the Classic Smurfs Series. In this set they included a Papa Smurf #20533 that looked very similar to Papa Thinking but it wasn’t! Classic Papa has a closed smile and is holding his left hand inside in the right hand with the palm of the hand showing on the outside.
At no stage were both Papa’s available through Schleich. If in doubt ask the seller for the markings. The markings never lie!
What sport do you first think of when you think of America? For me its baseball. So it’s not surprising at all that Baseball was one of the first American themed Smurfs to be released back in 1981.
Variations of Baseball
Baseball #20129 is considered highly collectible because of the different colour variations that can be found. In the Smurf Collector’s Club International Newsletter, edition 22, released in 1991 they list six. How many do you think exist?
Variations: #20129 Baseball Batter
Black shoes, red socks and belt, white uniform, 3 painted on back of shirt in red, dull brown bat.
Black shoes, orangey/red socks and belt, white uniform, 3 is not painted in on back of shirt, dull brown bat.
Black shoes, red socks and belt, white uniform, 3 painted on back of shirt in red, shiny brown bat.
Black shoes, red socks and belt, white uniform, 3 painted on back of shirt in red, tan bat.
Same as #4, ivory bat
Same as #5, new blue
Baseball was very popular in America and also in Europe. It was sold by Wallace Berrie/Applause from 1981 to 1984. During this time it was also sold as a keyring and a triangle pedestal. Schleich sold Baseball from 1981 to 1986/1992/1996 and 1997. It’s also interesting to see that the different coloured bats were shown in both Wallace Berrie and Schleich catalogues.
Baseball Promo Smurf
If you have a keen interest in promotional smurfs. Then the Silan marked Baseball is worth collecting. A promotional Baseball Smurf was produced for the Belgian Fabric Softener company Silan. It can be found with light cream bat or dark brown bat.
I am at a loss to explain what happened. For some reason Lover Smurf was never sold by National Benzole in the UK back in the late 1970 early 1980’s. In South Africa, BP released Lover on Valentine’s Day in 1980. So how did the Brits celebrate Valentine’s Day?
It is easy to assume that all the Smurfs that were made by Schleich in the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s were also sold in the UK. This I have found is not true. One such Smurf was Lover first produced by Schleich in 1979 right through to 1992.
This shy Lover Smurf holds out a bouquet of red flowers, with his eyes closed while wearing his customary white trousers and hat. Early versions of Lover also can be found with no eyebrows which was quite common at that time. Also different shades of red and green were used on the flowers. But perhaps what sets this Smurf apart from all other Smurfs is the outline of his heart on his chest.
Lover – Made in Hong Kong
Lover was also made out of Hong Kong and was sold by BP both in Australia and New Zealand and also by Wallace Berrie for the USA. It was produced out of Hong Kong between 1981 to 1984, so there are at least four different markings that can be found.
For some reason, Smurfs made out of Hong Kong with a mould year earlier than 1980 they changed the year marking to reflect 1980 and then shortly afterwards changed back to the original year. So it’s possible to find a Lover Smurf with the year 1979 or 1980.
Lover – CE marking
Around 1991 they started to add a CE marking to Smurfs. But before this Schleich added a hand etched CE marking to their Smurfs. This was due to regulations that were about to introduce to anything produced with Europe and also due to the high number of existing Smurfs they had on the shelves.
Lover has also been a popular Smurf to copy and repaint. There are versions with a red or yellow painted heart or with yellow flowers. Some of these are beautifully painted and can fetch high prices such as the CNTs from Spain.
So back to my original question – How did the Brits celebrate Valentine’s Day? The answer to this is that National Benzole used to refer Postman #20031 to as Valentine’s. Perhaps the Smurf’s shyness would lead to too many questions being asked.
It’s no secret that the Bundesliga Football Smurfs are one of the most sought after by Smurf collectors. With all different coloured variations to be found, you don’t even have to be a football fan to appreciate these Smurfs.
After close to 20 years of collecting Smurfs, I finally added my first Bundesliga Smurf to my collection. This was Karlsruher SC Smurf (#43128) wearing a white shirt, blue shorts and white socks. In the past I have always been a tad wary of fakes, repaints or the prices have been too high. For these reasons I have tended to stay away from them.
The Bundesliga Smurfs were first released by Schleich in 1980. Each one would come in its own special box that displayed the club’s coat of arms. Along with the box was a plastic green box that included clips to allow you to construct the Bundesliga ladder. In 1982 they added three additional teams. So all up there are 22 Bundesliga Smurfs to collect.
What to look for
Though mine did not come with its own special box, I still very chuffed to have one. Due to the interest for the Bundesliga Smurfs and other football Smurfs it is important to know what markings one should look for. The last thing you would want to do is to buy a fake!
The UK/International Teams are also West Germany marked but should have a mustard paint dot. These were produced for the 1978/79. These also have a coloured dot on their shirt. These have been wrongly identified in the past in the Der Schlumpf Katalog as USA teams.