Like a lot of the early smurfs produced by Schleich and Bully, most come from characters out of the original comic books written by Peyo. The origins of Hang Glider figurine possibly come from Flying Smurf who is a character that only appears in the smurf comic books. Flying Smurf only ever wanted to fly.
Hang Glider was only ever made by Schleich, from 1978 to 1992 and then again from 1996 to 2001. It was sold by Wallace Berrie in the USA from 1980 to 1984.
One of the early releases of Hang Glider (which I don’t have yet) included three painted patches on the back of the wings. These patches were painted yellow, brown and white. As this version of the Hang Glider is considered extremely rare, ensure you inspect the paint colours carefully before buying it. If you find that the paint colours used on the wings and patches don’t match or look different – beware! This is because they were painted at the same time so they match accordingly. After this all Hang Glider figurines were sold without the painted patches on their wings.
It is considered Hang Glider is one of a few smurfs made in multiple countries during it’s 29 years. These countries include W.Germany/Germany, Portugal, Hong Kong, Brazil and China. There are very little differences with the moulds and paint colours used. Where the differences lie are more to do with the type of paint used. For example the Portugal made ones tend to have matte paint colours, the Hong Kong ones are painted with darker shiny paint colours. If you like your paint colours, keep an eye open for two different ones made out of China.
Hang Glider was also used for triangle pedestals during the early 1980’s. Even in Australia we had own pink triangle pedestal sold by BP Australia with the words Get Well Soon on it.
The appeal of a flying smurf is still happening today. In the film The Lost Village released in 2017, a flying smurf is seen in the opening scene and during the credits he is shown in a picture of him getting stuck in a chimney. I guess no one is perfect.
Keep on Smurfin