Is it just me who gets excited when they find a Smurf with an unpainted tail? This weekend, I was lucky enough to find a Lover Smurf #20044 with unpainted tail. But this is just one of the many things that makes Lover Smurf worth collecting.
Lover was sold by Schleich between 1979 to 1992. Holding out a bunch of red flowers out to the side while looking bashful. A punched out heart can be seen on his chest. Some of the early releases were evan produced without eyebrows.
Between 1980 to 1984 Lover was also made out of Hong Kong. I have not been able to confirm if Lover Smurf was sold as a regular Smurf by BP or not. We do know that it was used on an orange triangle pedestal with the words – I Love You. However it was sold by Wallace Berrie to the USA as in the brochures it was referred to as Holding Flowers.
For whatever reason, Lover Smurf was never sold by National Benzole in the early 1980’s. Not sure why this was.
Due to the popularity of Lover Smurf it was used on many different triangle pedestals, music boxes and podium & cards made by Schleich right through its production.
It is also possible to find Lover Smurf with a painted red heart. In my opinion I don’t think it was ever produced like this by Schleich. But in saying this, there are some very nice fake ones to be found. The most sought after ones are from Spain because of the beautiful paint work. On some of these they have painted the flowers yellow instead of red.
Looking for a Christmas present for someone who adores their Smurfs, Lover Smurf could be just the thing. Hey, who knows you might be lucky like me and find one with unpainted tail.
Most Smurf collectors adore the colour variations that can be found with Smurfs. Swimmer Smurf is possibly the most popular one, due to the different coloured bathers and swimming rings that can be found.
Swimmer was first made out of blue pvc material, with its red mouth visible. Different coloured bathers or swimming rings can be found. Typically using the colours of yellow, orange or red. With the early ones, the swimming ring’s valve was blue which was later changed to black. It is also possible to find the early version of Swimmer without eyebrows.
Around 1981 Swimmer was made out of Hong Kong for both BP and Wallace Berrie. The Hong Kong mould was quite different to the Schleich made one. It was a much bigger mould made out of white pvc material, its mouth was not visible and it was painted in darker colours.
All of mine Hong Kong verions have dark yellow bathers and a red swimmng ring with a black valve. Not sure if they ever made one with an orange swimming ring.
It wasn’t until 1983 when Schleich changed the mould on Swimmer to be more like the Hong Kong one. But the Schleich continued to be made out of blue pvc material.
When Swimmer was re-released by Schleich in 1994, this time it was made out of China. By now colour variations were considered a thing of the past by Schleich. The Chinese made Swimmer can only be found with yellow bathers and an orange swimming ring.
Everyone likes a good mystery. In the book, Der Schlumpf Katalog IV published in 2003 they list a Swimmer with Macau markings. In my 20 or so years in collecting Smurfs I have never seen this. If does exist I would have thought we would have heard about by now. What do you think?
Or perhaps the Macau Swimmer drowned and is lying at the bottom of the ocean waiting to be discovered.
I wish I could lip read what this Smurf is saying. Head Chef #20099 is holding a raised large yellow rolling pin in his left hand. The Smurf is also wearing a white chef’s hat, apron and a light yellow bow tie. We can tell by his open mouth that he is yelling.
Head Chef was first made by Bully in 1978. It’s a wonderful piece of work by artist Irmingard Hieber – Neufischer. Her ability to bring Peyo’s characters to life, in the form of a toy figurine should never be taken for granted. Bully continued to make Head Chef until the start of 1980.
Schleich sold it first until 1986 and then later between 1991 and 1993. It was never sold by Wallace Berrie or BP. Strangely enough though it was made out of Sri Lanka.
Another odd thing, in the Der Schlumpf Katalog IV published in 2003, a version of Head Chef is listed with Hong Kong markings. To be honest I don’t think this actually exists. But as they say the proof is in the pudding!
There are countless fakes and repaints that have been made of Head Chef. Anything from Comic No Toxico (CNT), to Polish, to transparent Mexican ones and everything in between.
Should you be looking at adding Head Chef to your collection, there are a couple of things to look out for. Firstly the rolling pin is typically a darker yellow colour compared to his bow tie. If you like to collect Smurfs with different paint dots keep an eye out for green and red paint dots.
Lastly can someone tell me what he is yelling about?
The Cook Smurf #20073 was one of the first Smurfs made by Bully in 1974. It can typically be found with a large yellow spoon in the left hand and a white pot in the right hand. The Cook Smurf is wearing a white chef’s hat, apron and a bow tie. The other notable feature is that the Cook’s red tongue is on display. This must be in appreciation of his cooking!
I adore the Smurfs made around this time. As they are made out of a soft pvc material and feel more organic. The ones made now days feel like they are made out of concrete.
Another interesting thing is that in the begining Bully would produce Smurfs with no markings. So its possible to find Cook with no markings at all. The chances are that Bully used these as promotional give aways in the beginning.
Cook was made by Bully until the end of 1979 when they lost the licence. Schleich sold Cook from 1980 to 1991 then again 1995 to 1999. Oddly enough it was never sold by Wallace Berrie.
Like many Smurfs made over a long period, paint variances can be found. Whether they are genuine or not is simply another matter. But the Cook Smurf can be found with a red bow tie instead of a white one. Or with a white spoon and a yellow pot. Genuine or fake, I have no idea. Then there are the many other fakes out there.
If you are thinking of giving Smurfs as presents to friends, I highly recommend Cook Smurf. Anyone who loves cooking will appreciate this Smurf without any doubt.