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.
Keep on Smurfin