What’s a Snik?

Help me! This week I purchased two Sniks but I have no idea what they are. The Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne got the better of me and I thought I was being brave buying a new type of figurine. However I am now having some serious doubt as I don’t know what they are other than Sniks. Are they related to the Smurfs? Can anyone help me?

The one with the silver and red rocket on it’s back has the markings – Germany Bully 1982 CE. Snik13 under it’s feet.

The second wearing a purple tracksuit and appears to be jogging – Germany Bully 1982 CE. Snik24 under it’s feet.

I am happy to provide you with any other details about the figurines if required. Any information would be really appreciated as it may inspire me to collect more Sniks or even other different types of figurines. Who knows this could be just the beginning…….

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

What type of Smurf Collector are you?

As smurf collectors, we will go through many different stages. First, by collecting any smurf we like; second by learning and identifying one’s own smurfs and then finally by mastering the art of collecting smurfs.

All smurf collectors are unique, each with their own little quirks and ways. You might see yourself as a combination of the types of collectors listed below. Or you might just see yourself as a single type. Like every Smurf in your collection, every collector is different.

Papa Smurf

There can only ever be one Papa Smurf collector out there. Not only is this type of collector very knowledgeable but they are happy to share their discoveries with other collectors. If a collector is needing assistance with identifying a particular smurf or has a question about a smurf, the Papa Smurf collector is only too happy to give them the answer. In most cases the answer is a complete history lesson in itself. Papa Smurf treats each collector with respect and kindness.

Smurfette

Likes to display their smurf collection beautifully within their house. Just like it is appearing in a home designer styled magazine. A Smurfette collector especially likes to collect coloured variations. Other collectors adore a Smurfette’s collection. Despite this a Smurfette collector cannot seem to understand what the fuss is all about. She just thinks every collection is just like her simply adorable.

Brainy Smurf

A Brainy Smurf collector owns just about every Smurf possible and knows everything about them. But they also love to tell anyone who is happy to listen about their latest purchase or collection including strangers. A Brainy Smurf collector carefully documents every Smurf in their collection, by taking pictures, in depth details and any information they can find on their smurf. As well as a Brainy Smurf collector would like to one day have the knowledge and collection of a Papa Smurf collector.

Grouchy Smurf

Some would call these collectors almost obsessive, because they take their collecting very seriously. These types of collectors will go to extreme lengths to get their hands on the rarest smurfs. If they happen to lose a bid on eBay, they become very grouchy with continual muttering about how the person who purchased them has no idea. This type of collector also does not believe Smurfs were made as toys and claims they should never be played with.

Clumsy Smurf

A Clumsy Smurf collector, is considered like a hoarder to others. Their collection grows vast and varied, disorganised and without any objectives, logic or sense. Nothing is ever sold, given away or thrown away. A Clumsy Smurf collector is just happy to buy anything Smurf related.

Jolly Smurf

A carefree, casual collector who likes to buy smurfs when they feel like it. Their happy disposition and attitude to collecting Smurfs, makes it a pleasure to talk with them about their hobby.

Vanity Smurf

Cannot help adoring their own collection, continually cleaning and dusting every smurf in their collection. Would only ever buy smurfs in mint condition. Likes to think their collection will end up in a museum one day.

Astro Smurf

Astro Smurf is the biggest dreamer when it comes to collecting. Spends most of their time with their head in the clouds. Some people refer to this type of collecting as nostalgic or as an adult who doesn’t want to grow up. But don’t tell them that as their dreams will be shattered.

Hunter Smurf

The Hunter collector loves the thrill of the hunt for new Smurfs to add to their collection. Driven by finding Smurfs and bringing them back to show others their latest find. Hunter Smurf has no focus to their collection and are happy to discard their latest acquisition, upon the purchasing of the next big thing on the horizon.

My opinion

In short with over 101 smurfs that live in the Smurf village it is impossible to compare each one with a collector. However if you ever want to have some fun, try comparing Smurfs with people you know. This can be a fun game as long as people don’t take it too seriously. Just like collecting Smurfs.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Favourite Smurfette?

Which is your favourite Smurfette? Mine would be Flirting Smurfette and Trendy Smurfette. In short a simple but good question to start the weekend.

The Smurfs would be very different without Smurfette. Just like any collection without Smurfette. Your choice may depend if you prefer classic or modern versions of Smurfette

Classic versions of Smurfette

First produced in 1971 by Schleich this petite version of Smurfette is as popular as ever. Not only with older but new collectors. On ther hand perhaps it has something to do with the many different variations of her high heeled shoes or the expression on her face, that people like to collect. 

Bully only produced two versions of Smurfette. Their first version of Smurfette in 1975 is known as Flirting Smurfette.  Smurfette is touching her long blonde with her right hand. Long eyelashes appear to be flirting.

Ballerina was the other Smurfette created by Bully in 1978.

Modern versions of Smurfette

Between 1980 to 2019 there was at least one Smurfette produced every year. Except for the years 1988 and 1991 when no new Smurfs were released. 

Close to 40 years, Smurfette portrayed many of her different attributes. These have often reflected popular hobbies of that time.  For example in 1980 Smurfette was roller skating. In 1990 Smurfette was hula dancing. And by 2012 out of the ten Olympic Smurfs, three of them were Smurfette. Relay Runner, Gymnast and Beach Volleyball.

One of my favourites is Trendy Smurfette sold between 2003 to 2006. For me, she displays self-confidence and looks more grown up.

Despite this in 2020 Schleich decided not to release a new Smurfette. However, they also didn’t release a new Papa Smurf either. Was this a missed opportunity by Schleich?

In other words it really doesn’t matter what I think is my favourite Smurfette. But what is your favourite Smurfette?

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Andrew the toy dreamer

What makes someone want to sell toy figurines for a living? Surely someone who is passionate and someone who likes to work with liked minded people. Allow me to introduce you to Andrew from Toy Dreamer an online toy store, based in Melbourne, Australia.

How long have you been collecting Smurfs?

I have been collecting Smurfs for about 20 years. Can’t remember the exact day, but do remember waiting for ages to get my first box of Smurfs off eBay.

I think I started around 1999. I do remember I bought my first Smurfs off eBay. I also remember not properly checking the photos, but was impressed with the cheap price. When the Smurfs came and most of them had paint rubs, were missing bits and couldn’t stand, I understood why the price was so cheap. One good Smurf in the lot, so I had the start of a collection, though.

What’s the appeal?

I like the fact that there is a Smurf for everyone or every occasion. Different sports, jobs, happy, sad etc

How many do you have now?

Eeek! Being that I also sell them an collect them, that figure is a complete unknown. I have about 50 or more of certain figures. Rather than a number, let’s say that if my house ever burnt down, a river of liquid blue rubber would run a long way down the street 🙂

What is your favourite item in your collection?

The favourite item in my collection is…. well 4 figures. These were the first three Smurfs. I like Normal Smurf, Gold Smurf and Prisoner. All the same figure, just with different paint jobs. Out of the 3 of them Gold Smurf would have to be my favourite. I like all the original Smurfs in the first 50 or so released. I find the figures much more pleasing. Unfortunately I’ve found that Smurfs have become less appealing over recent times.

Do you ever find yourself having to explain your collection to people?

Umm… the guys give me a bit of grief if ever having a beer and a joke. I’m a reasonably big guy and my mates think it’s a funny thing. I also sell Smurfs in collectables store and most other store people don’t call me by my name but rather ‘Smurf’ or ‘Smurfman’

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I am always on the look out for anything Smurf related. So if you have any suggestions on articles, let me know.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

History Smurfs markings

I know what you are thinking does anyone really care about a Smurfs markings. But if you are like me the answer is yes. The History Smurfs were a series of six smurfs all based on historical explorers/inventors of the United States of America. These included the following: 

#20501 Paul Revere

#20502 Benjamin Franklin

#20503 Christopher Columbus

#20504 Thomas Edison

#20505 George Washington

#20506 Abraham Lincoln

Hong Kong marking

The History Smurfs were first sold in the USA in 1985 and were one of the last Smurfs made out of Hong Kong. When they were sold they also included a small leaflet detailing each one. This leaflet was titled – The Untold Story of HISTORY according to the Smurfs – Volume 1. 

One of the odd things is that they never included a Wallace Berrie or Applause marking. By 1986 they stopped using the Hong Kong marked ones and started to mark them Macau. 

Macau marking blocked out Hong Kong

In 1986, the History Smurfs were also sold in Europe. These ones were made out of Macau. If you look close enough under the feet where the markings are located, you will possibly see where the Hong Kong marking has been blocked out. This was not the first time for markings to be blocked out and replaced with something else. 

When the History series were released Schleich also produced a postcard explaining a bit about each historical Smurf. This was written in German. I don’t think it was ever produced in English. 

New Macau markings

At some stage possibly at the end of 1986 they started to mark the History with new, cleaner Macau markings. Some say that the Hong Kong made ones are harder to find as they were only sold for one year whereas the Macau made ones were sold for two years.

In my opinion you should never feel ashamed to enquire about a Smurf’s markings. If it is something that you are passionate about it, just go for it!

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

7801 Smurf Playset

I find so much joy in collecting Smurfs. Whether it is discovery a new colour or marking variation or reading about other collectors adventures, the happiness it brings me is hard to explain to those who don’t collect. But this week, I was asked for an opinion on a particular Smurf item that before now I knew nothing about. 

It started like this

“I wanted to ask…. Do you know anything about the playset #7801? It’s basically the swinging Smurf with the pen set tree stump #53040, attached to the tree from the Trapeze Super Smurf #40237”.  

I confessed, I had never heard of this playset #7801 but I would be happy to look into it further and get back to them. I was able to find a picture of the playset in the Der Schlumpf Katalog IV, published in 2003. The picture was exactly as how the playset was described to me, but didn’t look quite right. However, I could not locate any picture of the playset in old catalogues by Schleich or Wallace Berrie. 

The Swinging Smurf used is wearing his customary white trousers and hat while sitting on a swing. 

The tree stump from the Trapeze Super Smurf is connected by two parts. The overhanging branch has two yellow rope like rings that are part of the mould that connect to the swing.

But this for me, this is where it looks not quite right as the swing looks like it is being stretched out so it can connect. Whereas the swing on the pen set tree stump is more straight. 

The other odd thing I found was in the 1983 Wallace Berrie catalogue showing Trapeze for the first time. The trapeze part is not  part of the mould but connected by yellow cotton. 

My conclusion

Potentially this could have been a Wallace Berrie Super Smurf that was never officially released, given its article number #7801 only has four digits. Schleich’s article numbers were generally five digits. However I feel it was a creative collector who decided two combine two incomplete playsets to make one complete playset. 

What are your thoughts?

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

 

 

Random Thoughts on Smurfs

Some collector’s sites mention different coloured material when speaking about variations, like white material or blue material. Have you ever wondered what this means? Or how you can tell the difference. 

This is referring to the different coloured pvc (Polyvinyl chloride) the smurfs are made from. Typically smurfs are blue or white but there are other base colours used. 

Blue PVC – W.Germany Schleich S © 1981 Peyo.
White PVC – Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie Co. Schleich S © 1981 Peyo

A really good example is Mermaid Smurfette (#20142), as she comes in both blue and white pvc and can easily be seen by looking underneath the rock. 

Some figures are easy to tell as there might be an unpainted area on the figure but others are more difficult to tell as they are completely painted. Typically you will find the W.Germany version with a blue pvc material and the Hong Kong version with a white pvc material which is then painted. 

In the early days when they were producing smurfs out of Hong Kong they would oftern use spray paint to paint the smurf. This may have been something to do with the huge demand for smurfs in the early 1980’s. A good example of this is Painter Smurf (#20045) and can be easily seen by looking around the smurf’s waist. 

A good tip it to look closely at the face especially the eyes and the hat to see if they have been painted and also at the bottom of the feet to see of there is paint missing. 

Here are just some that I have noticed:

#20142 Mermaid – blue or white

#20065 Rugby – blue or white

#20176 St Patrick – green or blue

#20001 Papa Smurf – red or blue

#20137 Surfer – blue or white

#20167 Indian Smurfette – mustard or white

#20180 Papa Smurf with Pizza – blue or white

#20122 Cowboy – blue or white

#20108 Sauna – blue or white

#20213 Devil – pink or white

No doubt there are others that I can be added to this list……

Depending what base material was used on the smurf can make a big difference when it comes to adding to one’s own collection. The best example of this is Rugby Smurf, especially with the ones in the South African team colours. 

More recently you are unlikely to find their variances with the base material like the ones produced in the 1980’s. This is because the smurfs are  now produced out of the one place and not multiply places. The other thing is that Schleich is producing smurfs for shorter periods. 

Happily collecting smurfs can never be called boring.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Renovation Tip with smurf collection

Your partner may always have your best interests at heart, when comes to renovating the house. However it is always best to go with your own instinct and remove your smurf collection before it is too late or it could end up in tears, like it almost did for me. Allow me to demonstrate this with a series of photographs.

1.Husband decides to paint window frame ensuring me that I won’t need to move any smurfs – Tennis Smurfette ends up in paint tin

Famous last words quoted by my husband — ‘no you won’t need to move your smurfs, they will be fine where they are!’

2.  A series of nasty looks and exchanges are made towards the husband, while Tennis Smurfette is being rescued from the paint tin. 

‘She will be fine’ my husband tells me as he retrieves Tennis Smurfette out of the paint tin

3. I continue to mutter under my breath, while Tennis Smurfette is given a bath in a jar of turps. At this point it should be stated I am not amused by all of this.

Slowly the white paint is disappearing and I start to see Tennis Smurfette as she should be

4. Tennis Smurfette has survived her ordeal! My husband has also survived from his ordeal!

You would hardly know Tennis Smurfette had fallen into a tin of white paint and my husband was almost divorced.

The moral of my story is when doing any paint or repair work around your house and it involves your precious smurf collection, don’t listen to your partner who thinks they know what is best, go with what your own heart is telling you.  

 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Prototype Smurfs

It’s always fascinating to see some smurfs that were painted one way in a catalogue and for any number of reasons was never actually sold like this. What I would like to know is do these smurfs actually exist? To give you some idea of what I am talking about, I have added pictures from particular Schleich catalogues. These catalogues can be found on the Blue Cavern Forum site and is well worth a visit if you love your smurf history. 

Fancy car with gold steering wheel

In the 1979 Schleich Dealer’s catalogue we see the Car Driver, #40210 with a gold coloured steering wheel. In Europe Car Driver was typically found with a yellow steering wheel and in Australia & USA it was commonly found with a brown steering wheel. The wheels also look a little different in the picture. In the same catalogue there is a picture of the Cyclist, #40501 where the spokes are painted white and the tyres are painted black. Once again this was later sold with grey tyres. More recently I have seen a picture of a Cyclist with black tyres but I could not tell from the picture if this was genuine or not. 

#20105 Scot – brown pipes on bagpipes

In 1979 Bully lost the rights to produce smurfs and by 1980 Schleich was starting to show both Bully and Schleich made smurfs in their catalogue.   Little changed with the Bully smurfs pictured in 1980 Schleich catalogue to what was actually released except for Scot, #20105 which was pictured with brown bagpipes and sold with yellow bagpipes instead. What is a mystery with this smurf, was it Bully or Schleich who changed the colour of the bagpipes. To complicate things, Schleich never changed the Bully markings on Scot between 1980 to 1984 due to some legal agreement made between Bully and Schleich.  

1988 Schleich Dealer’s Catalogue

In the 1988 Schleich Dealer’s catalogue, the Foreman #20229 had a white hard helmet which was later changed to orange. It is also interesting to see that Hula Smurfette and Fitness were only hand drawn sketches. By 1989 the actual figurines appeared in the Schleich catalogue. It should also be noted at this point that in 1988 and 1991 there were no new smurfs produced by Schleich. 

Even in 2017 Groom Smurf, #20796 was originally pictured wearing a black suit and top hat. So imagine my surprise when I received mine wearing a grey suit and top hat. My guess is that they decided to change the colour of the suit so Groom Smurf would not be confused with Bride & Groom, #20746 released in 2013. I think I prefer the Groom wearing a black suit.

Then there is always the infamous Christmas Bell Ringer shown in 1984 Schleich catalogue or the Fireman with the red hose in the 1992 Schleich catalogue……….

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

Deceptive Super Smurf Boxes

Back in the day when Schleich first started producing Super Smurfs something unthinkable was happening. Some called it deceptive others called it misleading. So how would you respond if you just brought yourself a Super Smurf only to find it isn’t the same as what was shown on the box.

Between 1978 to around 1983 Schleich produced a box with Super Schlumpf!! printed on the box in black bold letters. All Super Smurfs from 40201 Bobsled to 40232 Log Car can be found with this style of box. Upon looking at the picture of the Super Smurf on the box to the actual Super Smurf inside the box, it was quite surprising how many differences could be found. Allow me to give you some examples:

Skier – pictured with green skies on the box and actually came with silver skies.

Car Driver – pictured with a gold steering wheel on red car and actually came with a yellow steering wheel.

Fencer – pictured with yellow foil guards and actually  came with golden foil guards.

Lawnmower – pictured with a brown lawnmower and actually came with a yellow bladed lawnmower.

Fireman – pictured with a silver helmet and actually came with a light blue/grey helmet

Cyclist – pictured with black tyres with white spokes and actually came with grey tyres with white spokes. 

Both in the UK and the US the same pictures were being used on their prospective boxes between 1979 to 1983. I would have thought that Wallace Berrie would have used their own pictures considering their smurfs were being made in Hong Kong and quite often painted with different colours than their European counterparts.

Between 1983 to 1991 Schleich changed the details on the box to Super Schlumpf Smurf!! It was displaying details in German, English and French but in most cases the pictures were not changed.

To be honest I was quite amazed that there was not more fuss about this at the time. Maybe there was, I just could not find anything substanal. It definitely keeps us poor collectors on our toes.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B