Watch out for Lantern Smurf

Was it a ghost or figure of his imagination that caused the look on this Smurf’s face? Carrying a lantern in his right hand, while taking a tentative step forward. Made between 1977 to 1992 and then again 1999/2000, this is a Smurf that may not have many markings but has been given some interesting names in its time. 

The top of the lantern can be found painted in three different colours; red, yellow or black. 

The most common one is the red lantern. The red paint on the roof on the lantern can vary depending where the Smurf was painted. For example the Hong Kong version can be found with glossy red paint whereas Portugal painted one (mustard paint dot) has more matte, dull red paint. 

It is thought the yellow lantern was produced for National Benzole in the UK. In most cases this Smurf have much duller colours than the normal Schleich Smurfs. Most of these can be found with a mustard paint dot, indicating it was painted in Portugal by Maia & Borges. 

Strangely in the UK, this Smurf was referred to as Caroling. This may have something to do it with being released before Christmas 1979. It was also before any of Christmas themed Smurfs were in production. 

The rarest one is the black lantern. I don’t have this one and I am a little cautious when looking at buying online just incase it is repainted. 

Made in Hong Kong

The Smurf with the red lantern was also produced out of Hong Kong between 1979 to 1981. Back then typically the Smurfs made out of Hong Kong were distributed to BP both in Australia and New Zealand and Wallace Berrie for the US market.  

Lantern Smurf was one of the first ten Smurfs released by BP in 1979 in Australia. It was referred to as Watchman. It was also sold by BP New Zealand also referring to it as Watchman. BP New Zealand started selling Smurfs in the beginning of 1981. 

Depending what catalogues you come across Wallace Berrie referred to this Smurf as both Lantern and Watchman. It was only sold by Wallace Berrie between 1979 to 1981. It was never sold with W. Berrie markings. 

One of my most recent finds, has been a ceramic money box disguised as a lighthouse with a Smurf holding a lantern next to it. These were sold around 1980 in Big W stores for $4.98. Was the concept that the Smurf was watching over your pocket money? Who knows …….

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

Valentine Smurfette

One of the many interesting things about collecting Smurfs is all the little variances that can be found. It’s a bit like comparing apples to apples. Two Smurfs can be alike but look a little closer and differences can be found. Today, I wanted to share with you the differences I have found with Valentine Smurfette (#2.0156) first released in 1983 by Schleich.

Valentine Smurfette can be found firing her cupid’s bow and arrow. Wearing a short white with wings on her back and little red hearts decorated around her white hat. 

In the beginning, Valentine Smurfette was referred to as Love Schlumpfine in the Schleich catalogues. Back then the Schleich catalogues were written only in German. It wasn’t until 1986 when Schleich started to use both German and English names that it was shown as Valentine Smurfette. 

Valentine Smurfette was sold by Schleich up until 1989 and has not been released ever since. Valentine Smurf was also sold as a pair with Amour Smurf (#2.0128) by both Schleich and Applause (formerly known as Wallace Berrie). I don’t think it was ever sold individually in the US.

Know what you’re buying

Valentine Smurfette can be found with a longer or shorter arrow. The difference might determine the price you end up paying. So if you are unsure of the length of the arrow, don’t be afraid to ask. 

Typically the longer arrow is 3.5cm long and is considered rare by some collectors.  The bow is also painted a darker brown colour compared to the shorter arrow version. 

The shorter arrow is around 2.7cm long and can be found with a slight curve. I have some that have curve of the arrow facing down, up or straight ahead. It’s hard to tell if this was intentional or not. 

Also due to design of the mould, the markings can be found on different parts of Smurfette. It was only ever made out of Portugal and W.Germany. So if you come across one with Hong Kong or China markings it is more than likely a fake. 

In conclusion, Valentine Smurfette is worthy addition for any smurf collection, as she reminds you of your first love.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gymnast Smurf

Life imitates the Smurfs. If you were to name a Smurf that best suits this saying, which Smurf first comes to mind? For me, it would have to be Gymnast Smurf (#20020), first released by Schleich in 1973. This Smurf can be found lifting a dumbbell with just one hand while attempting to flex his muscles. However, this Smurf has no muscles whatsoever which I have always found amusing. 

No singlet, no eyebrows, no muscles

In the beginning Gymnast wore his customary white trousers but no singlet. It was also like many early Smurfs, he had no painted eyebrows. I believe the early ones should also have the dumbbell connected onto the head. Not all Gymnasts were produced like this. 

When Schleich lost the licence to produce the Smurfs and Bully took over, they produced the Gymnast with different coloured singlets. Red, green, yellow and white singlets are confirmed to be genuine releases. If you find a Gymnast with a different coloured singlet more than likely it is hand-painted by a collector. Bully made the Gymnast between 1975 to 1977. 

Around 1977/78 Schleich started producing Smurfs again and continued to make Gymnast until 1984. It is hard to see if any major changes were made to the mould during the years it was produced. Oddly enough, the Gymnast made out of Portugal can be found with a red or black mouth. 

Australia’s Gymnast Smurf

Gymnast was first released in Australia by Bp Australia in 1979. This was made in Hong Kong and can be found with unusually large cavity number under its foot. This happened to a number of Smurfs that were released into Australia made out Hong Kong. 

It is also unclear why they only produced the red singlet version out of Hong Kong. Was this a request made by Schleich or Wallace Berrie? The Gymnast Smurf made out of Hong Kong was popular not only in Australia, but in New Zealand and America as it sold right through until 1984. It was also used on a variety of triangle pedestals and other Smurf items. 

Is Gymnast a classic?

In my opinion Gymnast Smurf is a classic on so many levels. It was one of the early Smurfs produced by Schleich before Bully had the rights. Any Smurfs produced with unpainted eyebrows is an instant classic for me. Gymnast was also one that was popular not just in Europe but across the globe. Simple design but highly effective like many classic Smurfs. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

National Smurf

One of the more interesting Smurf products released by Schleich was the National Smurf with the petrol pump. This was a special release produced for National Benzole back around 1979. National Benzole was a petrol company that launched the Smurfs in the UK between 1978 to 1982. 

National Benzole in conjunction with Schleich produced a petrol pump with National branding on the pump. This was released in its own unique box. I think this may have been the only box that included the word ‘National’ on the front of the box. It is also the only Playset that included a Smurf figurine.

As stated on the box the pack included – National Smurf, Pump & Hose with nozzle, plus pump base.  

The pump includes blue and white stickers on the front and back. It says ‘National’ on the top and ‘Premium’ on the bottom. Under the petrol gauge it displays the word ‘Gallons. They used the colours blue and yellow on the pump to match with the National Benzole colours. 

The hose is made so it attaches to the top of the pump and the hose’s trigger has been created to fit into the Cleaner’s hand. The pump base is made out of a light grey plastic material and is oval in shape. The markings can be found underneath – W.Germany Schleich S © 1979. The base has been given the look to appear like cobblestones.

National Cleaner Smurf

The Cleaner figurine (#20052) has a National emblem on the front of the white overalls. If you have the chance to look at any Schleich catalogues from 1980 to 1984, you will see they displayed the National Cleaner. 

The markings can be found under its feet – W.Germany Schleich S © Peyo with a mustard paint dot. 

There are also a small hole under each foot. This may have made like this with the intention for the Smurf to stand on some kind of platform or base. 

Consider this

So when considering adding this one to your collection, the temptation may be to buy just the petrol pump and the figurine without the box. Don’t! In my opinion the box is just as valuable as the petrol pump and the National Cleaner figurine. For this reason alone, this is one of the few Smurf items that I have decided to keep in its original box. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Smurfs from Argentina

Did you know that Smurfs were produced out of Argentina in the 1980s? For some of you, this piece of information is not new but for others this could be a revelation. 

For many years I have been collecting Smurfs, it has only been in the past couple of weeks that I was able to add my first Smurf from Argentina to my collection. Up until then I had seen pictures and read about these Smurfs made by Industria Argentina Minimodels but never actually seen one close up. 

I first read about these Smurfs in the Smurf Collectors Club International  Newsletter, edition 20 originally written in 1991. In the newsletter they stated that they had confirmed with Schleich that they had a contract with Minimodels to produce around 12 to 14 figurines. Shortly after this I started seeing other collectors show photographs of their Smurfs from Argentina on the Blue Cavern Forum. 

My Minimodels Coin Smurf is about the same size as the Schleich large mould of Coin Smurf. They both share some similarities of waving a large coin to the left hand side of his head. The coin shows ‘1’ decorated by a laurel on the front side and an image of Papa Smurf on the back. But my Minimodels Coin Smurf is holding a gold coin not an orange coin. I have also read there is rarer one with a silver coin. The other difference I can see is to do with their mouth; my Minimodels Coin Smurf has a red tongue not black. 

What to look for
    • Not all Smurfs made out of Argentina have markings. There is thought to be around 30 or so with markings found under the feet. 
  • The tail on the Smurf is the most obvious indication it was made in Argentina as they are short and stumpy.  Only the tip of the tail is painted blue. 

It is thought Industria Argentina Minimodels only produced Smurfs between 1983 to 1986.  It was at the beginning of 1987 when Schleich declared bankruptcy that may have also been the end of the Smurfs from Argentina. 

If you are looking at adding Minimodels Smurfs to your collection, keep in mind that they are quite rare to find in really good condition. I was lucky enough to find one, but I wouldn’t say it was in mint condition. After all people will tell you Smurfs are toys that were meant to be played with, not to be collected!

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Alchemist Smurf

Let me tell you about my experience I have had with collecting Alchemist Smurf (#20116).

As most of you may already know Alchemist Smurf can be found with either white or green smoke protruding from his test tube. Wearing a dark blue robe with a half moon on the front and his white Smurf hat is decorated with stars. In one hand he is holding a red genie like bottle and in the other a test tube with smoke coming out of it.

In the beginning I was only aware of the Alchemist with green smoke coming from his test tube.  This may have something to do with the Alchemist being made out of Hong Kong was sold like this. But then I started noticing the thickness of the smoke also varied. Like a lot of varainces with Smurfs, nothing big but still a point of difference.

As times went by ……

It took me a while to collect an Alchemist Smurf with white smoke. Actually come to think of it, the white smoke was partially damaged but I still didn’t care as by this stage I had ten green smoke ones to one white smoke variation.

A little while later, I was able to obtain another Alchemist Smurf with white smoke but this one was different to my existing one. Firstly, it wasn’t damaged but it had a gold half moon on his robe. Up until then I always thought the half moon was yellow. I was desperate to know if it was genuine or if the previous owner had added their own paint work to the half moon.

When I started to get more serious about collecting Smurfs with different markings, I quickly discovered that Smurfs made and painted in different countries could lead to different colour variations. This time it was discovering the Alchemist Smurf with green smoke when painted in Sri Lanka (red paint dot) has green stars not gold on his white hat. Also they tend to have the thicker smoke than others.

Key points:
  • Alchemist was first produced by Bully in 1979. Can be found with white or green smoke. Yellow or gold crest of the moon on the robe.
  • Was produced by Schleich in 1980 until 1989. Can only be found with green smoke and yellow crest of the moon on the robe.
  • Wallace Berrie sold Alchemist between 1982 to 1984. Can only be found with green smoke and yellow crest of the moon on the robe. Typically found with a darker blue robe.

In my opinion this is what makes Smurf collecting unique and worthwhile. It is finding these little differences whether it is done with the different paint colours used or markings that can be found, it is never boring. Please let me know if I have forgotten another variance, as always happy to discover something new.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Aerobic Smurfette which is which

Today I thought I would like to share and discuss some information on Aerobic Smurfette. But which one? As there are two Smurfettes that share the same name but not the same aerobic exercise. Which one do you prefer, the first one with her arms outstretched, wearing a pink leotard and leg warmers (#20183) or the second one where she is lying on her back, with her raised while wearing matching pink leotard and leg warmers (#20457)? 

Aerobic Smurfette – #20183

Aerobic Smurfette was first released in 1984 and was sold up until 1995 by Schleich. The interesting thing is that Aerobic Smurfette started with light coloured leg warmers and in the years 1987 to 1990 they were displaying her with darker coloured leg warmers. 

In 1985 Schleich included Aerobic Smurfette as part of the Jubilee Set that was released to celebrate their 20th anniversary producing Smurfs. The set consisted of 19 Smurfs, individually blister packed. Each Smurf chosen to represent its year of production, is stamped in gold on the back of its head with a design consisting of leaves, date of issue and Peyo’s signature. Each package also contains Smurfs Jubilee postage type stamps.

Aerobic Smurfette was also produced by Applause (formerly known as Wallace Berrie) in 1984 and 1985. In 1984, Smurfette was extremely popular in the US. One only has to flick through an old catalogue to get an idea on how popular Smurfette was. One such campaign was referred to as Smurfette Boutique. 

As you will find with this Aerobic Smurfette, there are nice coloured variations to be found. The most obvious colour variations is her leg warmers. From light lavender leg warmers to pink to dark purple. Collectors who like different markings will also not be disappointed. 

Aerobic Smurfette – #20457

In 1999 Schleich released a new Aerobic Smurfette. In the beginning it was only sold for two years.  The Smurfs produced in 1999 were at the time known as the New Generation Smurf Series. This was mostly because some of these new Smurfs had been produced earlier by Schleich and had received a completely new makeover.  

Aerobic Smurfette was later re-released in 2011 as part of the 1990 to 1989 Decade Box Set. At the time I took the Smurfs out of their display boxes as I wanted to see what markings were used, I now regret this. 

In 2013 Aerobic Smurfette along with the other Smurfs used as part of the decade box series were either sold individually on a blue blister card. 

What do you think?

What are your feelings about new Smurf figurines that are produced with the same names as figurines that were produced previously? In my opinion as both Aerobic Smurfette’s are quite different from each other I don’t have a problem with it. At least it keeps you on your toes when you are looking to add more Smurfs to your collection. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

The Smurf with the hard hat

This smurf can also be sometimes referred as Architect, Baumeister, Master Builder or Foreman (#2.0229) We commonly know this smurf, by his orange hard hat, yellow jacket and green boots. While carrying his plans in the right hand and a measuring stick in the left hand. It also looks like he is yelling out instructions.

Architect was one of four Smurfs released in 1989. This included Wild Smurf, Hula Smurfette and Fitness. However can be seen on the cover of the 1988 Schleich catalogue wearing a white hard hat. I don’t think it was ever released like this, as in the following year Architect can be found with an orange hard hat. There were no new smurfs released by Schleich in 1988. 

Irwin Toys

In 1995 Irwin Toys started selling Smurfs in the US and Canada. This venture did not last long as by October 1996 Irwin Toys stopped selling Smurfs due to poor sales. Architect was one of the smurfs that was sold by Irwin Toys either on a blister card, a loose smurf from counter top box or as a keychain.

Architect was also included an 8 pack of normal smurf display box. These were produced for the US and Canadian markets, so possible to find in English and French. For example the Canadian box referred to these as – SMURFS SCHTROUMPFS.

All the smurf figurines sold by Irwin Toys were all made in China and given the same article number #20825. There is also no reference to Irwin Toys on the markings found on the smurf. 

Schleich continued to sell Architect up until 1999. Over the ten years there appears to be no major changes made. If anything, if I were to compare my collection of Architect Smurfs, some have been painted with shiny paint colours and others with more matte colours. The size of their tongues also vary. Again nothing major but a difference when closely comparing one to another. 

Architect, is a beautifully designed and a well made smurf figurine. The detail work of the hard hat and the boots are both worthy of a mention. If you like smurfs with plenty of colour and character, Architect is a must for your smurf collection.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Smurf with Mirror

When we think about the 80’s, images of the Smurfs is never far from one’s imagination. Recently I went to 80’s theme party and out of the 12 or so people dressed up as Smurfs there were at least 3 people dressed up imitating Vanity also known Smurf with Mirror.  Vanity has always been one of the main characters of the Smurfs comics, cartoon series and movies. Which may help explain why people easily associate with this Smurf.  

With his red mirror in his right hand, Vanity Smurf admires his own reflection. In the beginning Schleich and Bully referred to this smurf as Eitler which translated from German to English means Vain. This may explain why BP Australia referred to it as Vanity Smurf when it was first released in 1979. However in the US, Wallace Berrie referred to as Mirror Smurf. All of these countries used the same Smurf but referred to as something different. 

Know what to look for

When looking to add Smurf with Mirror to your collection, you must take into consideration that this Smurf was first produced back in 1972 by Schleich. So it is possible to find it with a Schleich emblem under it’s feet.  

Around 1974 Bully had the rights to produce the Smurfs, and removed the Schleich emblem. The markings found on the Bully ones, has no reference to Bully it is just W.Germany © Peyo. 

As on many of these with this marking you can find the smurf made out of both the softer pvc material and harder pvc material. Typically the ones made with softer pvc material, has it’s pupils painted more centred. Whereas the ones made out of harder pvc material has it’s pupils painted closer to the nose. 

In Australia, the Smurf with Mirror was made out of Hong Kong using a harder pvc material. They are also typically painted with a darker extreme colours compared to the ones made out of Germany. Apart from that, it looks like they used the same mould.  

This is a Smurf worth adding to one’s collection. Not only is it still easy to find, but most people can easily identify who this Smurf is when it is displayed. Over the years Schleich has made newer versions of Vanity which are also worth collecting. However, I still prefer the early Smurfs produced by Schleich and Bully. I like that a simple design of a figurine can be altered ever so slightly by the way it’s pupils have been added by the painter. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

The Injured Smurf

This must be the most accident prone Smurf within my collection, the one most of us refer to as Injured Smurf (#20097). With his right arm in a yellow sling, left foot wrapped in plaster, using a wooden stick to get around and two brown cross adhesive stripes on hat. The concerned look in his eyes tells us he has been through quite an ordeal.

Injured Smurf was first  produced by Bully in 1978 until 1980. After 1980 Bully lost the rights to the Smurfs to Schleich, who continued to sell Injured Smurf with Bully markings until 1984. After this time, Schleich removed the Bully marking and added their own Schleich marking to the smurf. Schleich ended up selling InJured Smurf between 1980 to 1991, then 1999 and 2000. 

There are two shades of brown for the wooden stick that can be found. I tend to find the lighter brown stick has Bully markings and the darker brown stick has Schleich markings. 

Both in Australia and New Zealand, Injured Smurf was released by BP. This version was made out of Hong Kong. Oddly enough, in the US Wallace Berrie did not release Injured Smurf until around 1984/85. You can find this one with Bully Hong Kong markings. The one sold in Australia had Schleich markings. 

Injured with yellow bandaged foot

Made in Germany Schleich S Germany © 78 Peyo CE markings

Some collectors claim that there is a version with Injured with a yellow bandaged foot. It features in the Comicfiguren Preiskatalog and Gian & Davi Collezioni The Smurfs Official Collector’s Guide as a variation of the normal one. But does not feature in Frank Oswald’s Der Schlumpf Katalog IV. 

I have never seen one up close and personal, so I cannot confirm that it actually exists as a genuine release from Bully or Schleich. I have seen photographs online showing the Injured Smurf with a yellow bandage with both W.Germany Bully © Peyo markings and Hong Kong Bully © Peyo markings. Both were claimed to be genuine. 

My concern is that the yellow paint is added over the white raw pvc material. So this makes it hard to tell whether the paint was original or just a repaint of the common one. 

Strange but true

In New Zealand, Injured Smurf was referred to as Accident.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B