Sail the seven seas with Sailor Smurf, first sold in 1984 by Applause. Wearing a white Sailor’s outfit with blue trim with a Sailor’s duffle bag swung over its shoulder.
In 1985 Schleich celebrated their 20th anniversary by releasing the Jubilee set. The set included 19 Smurfs individually packaged on a blister card. The figurines were stamped on the back of their head with the year of issue and a gold leaf design. A real collector’s item.
I learnt about the Jubilee set after collecting my first Sailor. I recall I noticed something stamped on the back of the Sailor’s head but because it had faded it was hard to read. Being new to collecting Smurfs, I had no idea what it was but I quickly learnt after reading something on the Blue Cavern Forum.
Little by little I learnt more about Sailor Smurf, the paint colours and markings. However, back then I didn’t understand the importance of different shades of paint. For example, did you know that the duffle bag came in three different shades of brown? Light brown, shiny dark red brown and dull brown. Or if the markings were only one foot or both feet.
Despite my humble beginnings on collecting Smurfs, I now have about ten Sailor Smurfs. As I write this there still some that I don’t have, that’s because I look out for Smurfs with different markings. Some people disagree with this kind of collecting, however it’s what I enjoy most about collecting Smurfs.
Release Dates for Sailor Smurf #20185
1984 and 1985 by Applause 1985 to 1986/1991 to 1993/1997 to 1998 by Schleich
Markings for Sailor Smurf
Hong Kong W. Berrie Co. Schleich S 1984 Peyo – on both feet
Hong Kong W. Berrie Co. Schleich S 1984 Peyo – on one foot
W.Germany Schleich S 84 Peyo
Germany Schleich S 84 Peyo CE (small CE)
Germany Schleich S 84 Peyo CE (medium sized CE)
Keep on Smurfin Kath B
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Smurf keychains also known as keyrings have and remain as popular as amongst collectors.
In 1966 Dupuis released five Smurf keychains made by the Exin Co. These included Papa Smurf, Normal Smurf, Gold Smurf, Angry and Prisoner. All with the same stance with their arms and legs outstretched like a snowflake. Dupuis is better known as the founder of the Spirou magazines in Belgium.
I don’t believe Bully produced any Smurf keychains. I have never seen any on their promotional posters. However I do have a Smurferman keychain but this was likely made after Bully’s time in the 1970’s.
In the 1979 Wallace Berrie catalogue a big pitch is made for their keychains. “Another Smurf exclusive from Wallace Berrie & Co.! A happy new look in keychains containing 24 of our most lovable Smurf characters including Papa Smurf and Smurfette. Smurf keychains can be your key to your sales”. The suggested retail was $1.50 per keychain.
Many of the promotional Smurfs made by Schleich were also made as keychains. An example of this was the Dutch footballer #82650 released in 2000 to coincide with the European Football Cup hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands. It was sold as a regular Smurf and a keychain.
However not everyone likes a Smurf as a keychain and would prefer a regular looking Smurf. Evidence of this can be found on a Smurf’s head where they eyelet had been screwed into Smurf’s head.
Fake Promotional Smurf Keychains
Recently a series of Pirate themed Smurf keychains have been found promoting the charity Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB). Most collectors believe these to be counterfeit. The Smurfs are genuine but the keychain promoting ASB is questionable. Typically ASB used the First Aid Smurf #20054 to promote their good work.
Lastly I have several Smurf keychains that I am certain we’re never officially released this way. I am not bothered by this because I display all my keychains in a large, glass fishbowl near my front door. In my opinion, displaying my Smurfs in all different ways is what I enjoy doing.
I like to collect different colour variations of Smurfs. In the beginning, this was more accidental than intentional. I was just fascinated and still am in collecting Smurfs painted or made in different countries. One of the best examples is First Aid Smurf #20054.
In the beginning, I only knew of the First Aid Smurf carrying a white case with a medical cross. This variant was made in Hong Kong and sold by BP Australia in the early 1980s.
Colour variations of First Aid
It wasn’t until I started to collect Smurfs as an adult that I discovered Schleich their version of First Aid Smurf. Their first version of First Aid Smurf was with a brown case without a medical cross. Then a brown case with a medical cross. Around 1984 probably around 1984 possibly earlier, Schleich started to paint the case yellow.
I always thought that Schleich was more adventurous when painting their Smurfs. There appears to be more colour variations by Schleich compared to Wallace Berrie. Was this intentional or accidental?
Not surprisingly First Aid Smurf has also been used for different promotions. The colour of the case on these ones also vary in colour and can be fun to collect. Then there is also the hand painted fakes…. endless fun depending on what you like to collect.