Do you collect Smurf Keychains?

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.

Gymnast #20020 from the UK and Rollerskater #20126 from the USA

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
Kath B

First Aid Smurf

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.

Schleich was very proud to show us that each Smurf was individually hand painted. One only has to look at their 1984 catalogue and the lovely photos to get a glimpse of the process. http://forum.bluecavern.com/viewtopic.php?t=12765

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?

Some of the many variations of First Aid Smurf

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.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Diver Smurf

If you like to collect colour variations Scuba Diver is a great one to have in one’s collection. For this article I will be calling this one Scuba Diver #20466 not to be confused with Diver #20120. Wearing a fluorescent diving suit with a matching flippers and a grey snorkel. The Smurf is also wearing white googles with fluorescent pink edging. Very cool! The different fluorescent colours from green to yellow are endless.

In 2000, the Smurf Collectors Club International report that there will eight New Generation Series Smurfs. Within the same newsletter, they confirm that three of new Smurfs produced for 2000, are similar in theme to previously issued figurines. “Don’t be alarmed by this, you will find that they are real up-to-date ‘with it’ Smurfs and have a distinctively ‘New Generation’ appearance”. Of course one of these was in reference to Diver Smurf.

Later in the same year, SCCI readers voted Diver as their ‘Favourite Smurf for 2000’.

Back in 2000, the Smurfs were made out of China. Some were also painted with a shiny blue paint. I was never big fan of the shiny blue paint, I prefer the matte paint colours. Fortunately, Schleich only sold Scuba Diver like this for a couple of years.

It was also a time, when a blue paint dot was added to the markings to indicate a new pvc formula was used. For some collectors, having a paint dot can add to the value of their Smurfs but for others it’s not such a big deal. Schleich stopped using the blue paint dot around 2003.

I have always thought the green fluorescent colour is harder to find compared to the yellow ones. Especially with the Scuba Diver made before 2009.

In 2009, Schleich changed their markings

Between 2000 and some time in 2008 Scuba Diver had the markings under it’s flippers: Made in China Schleich S Germany 99 Peyo CE. However sometime in 2009 Schleich changed their markings. Like anything new, this created some excitement amongst collectors.

My theory is if Schleich changed the markings on a Smurf then what else may have they changed. In this case I believe it was the fluorescent paint on the wetsuit & flippers and also the white paint used for the smurf hat was changed. The white hat has a waxy white colour and feel.

The markings were added to under it’s flippers: Made in China Am Limes 69 D-73527 Schw. Gmund Schleich S 99 Peyo CE with a time stamp. These markings were used right through to Scuba Diver’s retirement in 2015.

What do you like about Scuba Diver?

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B


Carpenter Smurf

Carpenter was one of the last Smurfs produced by Bully in 1979. The Smurf is holding a large piece of yellow timber with a silver saw with a red handle in the other hand. Out of the different markings found with Carpenter, I would say this is the most common. Schleich made this with Bully markings from 1980 to 1984. It is thought this was part of an agreement made when Schleich won the licence to produce Smurfs globally.

It is also possible to find different paint dots with Bully markings. For example, a mustard paint dot indicates it was painted in Portugal or a green paint indicates it was painted in Tunisia.

Between 1981 to 1984, Carpenter was also made in Hong Kong. The paint colours on this version of Carpenter are darker compared to the Bully ones. But apart from this, there are very few differences. Typically the Hong Kong made ones were sold by BP in Australia and New Zealand. These are still fairly easy to find amongst stashed away childhood collections.

If you enjoy flicking through old Schleich catalogues as I do, you should check out the one from 1991. Several Smurfs have the tag Neu Heit 91 above their picture. These were not new Smurfs made by Schleich but re-released ones from the past. Perhaps it had something to do with the reunification of Germany in 1991.

In the Der Schlumpf Katalog IV published in 2003, there is a listing of Carpenter with a brown piece of timber. Up until recently I always this was fake from Poland. However recently I found a photograph of a Carpenter with a brown piece of timber with a yellow saw handle. It was unclear if this was prototype or if it was someone who painted Smurfs for Schleich created their own version.

Years

1979 – 1986/1991 – 1992/1998 – 1999

List of markings

  1. W.Germany Bully Peyo
  2. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S Peyo 1979
  3. Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie &Co. Schleich S Peyo 1979
  4. W.Germany Schleich S Peyo
  5. Made in China Schleich S Germany Peyo CE 79

If you something is not correct, please let me know. I always love to hear the thoughts and opinions from other collectors.

In summing up, Carpenter may not have the razzle dazzle of other Smurfs such as Carnival or Alchemist but with it’s broad smile it’s hard to resist its charm.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Little known variation of Winner Smurf

In 2012 Schleich released ten new Sporty Smurfs to coincide with the London Summer Olympic Games. But you will probably know them more by the name of the Olympic Smurfs. Each Smurf portrays a sport played at the Olympic Games, except for one Smurf admiring his gold medal.

Winner Smurf #20745 is wearing navy blue shorts and a singlet with white and red shoes. On his white hat is a laurel wreath. A gold medal on a red ribbon is worn around the Smurf’s neck. The gold medal also has the number 1 engraved into it.

Typically the Smurf has his eyes looking down, admiring the gold medal that he has won. However, recently another version has been found by collectors. A friend of mine summed it up perfectly – ‘Amazing how much a different eye position can change everything about how it looks’.

In my opinion, having two different versions of the Winner Smurf is gold. Displaying both next to each other creates a talking point because we have all seen images when someone receives a gold medal. First, I can’t believe this I have won a gold medal. Second, I am so proud of myself because I have won a gold medal.

In 2020 Schleich released a new Smurf with a Medal figurine #20822 to coincide with the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. Like the Winner Smurf, it is wearing a medal with a red ribbon around its neck. But if someone can tell me why he has his left arm outstretched I would love to know.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

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Surprise Cone Smurfs

Today I feel like a Smurf with a Surprise Cone. It almost feels like my first day of the school and I feel a mixture of excitement and nervousness. For the past few last months, Melbourne has been in lockdown and it’s now finally over. We can now go visit family and family more than 15 kilometres. Or visit our favourite cafe or bar and have a drink. There is no wonder I feel like a Smurf with a Surprise Cone.

Each Smurf is carrying a surprise cone fill with lollies and sweets. This is to replicate a German tradition upon where a child receives a surprise cone (Zuckertute) on their first day of school. There are three different Smurfs with Surprise Cones; green, pink and orange. Some say these are most sought after regular Smurfs because of nostalgia and the fact that Schleich only sold them for a short period.

In 1987 Schleich declared bankruptcy and new enforced child safety laws introduced in the early 1990’s impacted on the sale of the Surprise Cone Smurfs. Basically any Smurf with a removable or separate part could no longer be sold by Schleich. Luckily years on, you can still get your hands on a Surprise Cone Smurf. However, like me you may need to patient.

Green Surprise Cone

In my opinion, this is the hardest one to find. The surprise cone is painted in green and yellow angled stripes. It can also have the cone attached to the left or right foot and also not glued at all. Though I have also seen a photo of this one on a tree stump sharpener but I am not if it was ever sold like this by Schleich.

Pink Surprise Cone

I like this one the best because it was my first one. The cone is made out of pink pvc and also painted in a lighter pink colour. Like the others, the cone can be glued to the left or right foot or not at all.

Orange Surprise Cone

Painted in an orange an gold colours, this one reminds me of Christmas. In my view this is more red then orange but it really doesn’t matter.

Each of the Smurfs are wearing their customary white trousers and hat, and have the same markings under it’s feet – W.Germany Schleich S Peyo 1982. Some also have a black paint dot. The figurine was also used for Apple and Pumpkin Smurfs.

This week I hope you all enjoy and appreciate the small things in life. Most of all, I hope you all feel excited and happy just like the Surprise Cone Smurfs.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Gift & Flowers Smurf

It is easy to feel intimidated or that collecting Smurfs will be expensive at the beginning. But’s that’s a complete myth and couldn’t be further from the truth. I recall I wanted to learn about the different markings on Smurfs. Gift & Flowers Smurf was perfect for this because it was available for a long time and inexspensive.

A Smurf is carrying a yellow gift wrapped up in a red ribbon in one hand and a bunch of flowers in the other. The Smurfs have always been known for the kindness and thoughtfulness. What better way to show this by creating a figurine that demonstrates these qualities.

Schleich sold Gift & Flowers Smurf between 1978 to 1991 and 1993 to 2006. Also Wallace Berrie in the USA sold Gift & Flowers Smurf between 1979 to 1984. Both companies not only sold the figurine but other products that included the Gift & Flowers Smurf. For example, triangle pedestals, on suction caps just to name a few. When you add all this up, though you won’t find any rare colour variations, you will find many different markings.

Growing up in Australia, the majority of the Gift & Flowers Smurfs were spray painted and made out of Hong Kong. I recall collecting my first Gift & Flowers Smurf made out of West Germany and comparing it to my Hong Kong one. Same Smurf but so different and not expensive.

Now twenty years plus of collecting my philosophy hasn’t changed. In my opinion, if you enjoy collecting Smurfs that you like that’s all that matters. I like collecting different Smurfs with different markings and that is enough to keep me happy.

My list of markings for Gift & Flowers Smurf

  • W.Germany Schleich emblem Peyo
  • W.Germany Schleich S Peyo
  • Made in Hong Kong Schleich emblem 1978 Peyo
  • Made in Hong Kong Schleich S 1978 Peyo
  • Made in Hong Kong Schleich S 1980 Peyo
  • Made in Hong Kong W.B.CO. Schleich S 1978 Peyo
  • Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie Co. Schleich S 1978 Peyo
  • Made in Sri Lanka Schleich S 1978 Peyo
  • W.Germany Schleich S Peyo CE
  • Germany Schleich S 78 Peyo CE
  • Made in China Schleich S Germany 78 Peyo CE
  • Made in Germany Schleich S Germany 78 Peyo CE

Please let me know if there are more marking variants that needed to be added to the list

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Unknown facts of Angry Smurf

When I started collecting, I had no idea of the controversy of Angry Smurf. For me, Angry Smurf was just another Smurf to add to my collection with all the different variants. It wasn’t until much later that I learnt about the Purple or also referred to as the Gnap Smurf.

Angry Smurf is considered one of the first figurines by Schleich, made around 1966. Some of these were made with no markings or only had a Peyo marking. This variant also used a smaller mould and has both feet flat on the ground with more curved arms.

The other most distinguishing feature, in the beginning was the Smurf’s red eyes and black teeth. Some say it was Bully who started painting the Smurf’s teeth red. In my opinion, the ones with red eyes and teeth are more common.

Around 1979 Schleich created a new mould for Angry Smurf. This variant is a larger mould and has a more aggressive walking stance and both arms outstretched. It also has red eyes.

There are at least three variants of the larger Angry Smurf.

The Hong Kong variant is the only one painted with shiny black paint. The feet are also a little compared to the German ones. I believe this variant is considered rare.

Schleich also made a version in West Germany back in 1982/3. But for some reason it was only marked with a Schleich marking. The black teeth on these can also vary, some are painted and some are included in the mould. Similar to how the teeth are made for Toothbrush Smurf.

Strangely the last version of Angry Smurf made was for the 1960 to 1969 decade display box from 2011. I always thought this was a strange choice considering Angry Smurf was never sold in the USA.

Three facts on Angry Smurf

  • Angry Smurf was made between 1966 to 1986
  • The small mould was only made in West Germany and Portugal by Schleich
  • A rare black pvc mould was made, with red eyes and black teeth. Most likely used by Waldbaur chocolates.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Thank You Smurf

The Smurf might look it, but this Smurf is quite different to others that adore giving flowers. That’s because Thank you Smurf is a two piece mould compared to flowers that were part of the one mould.

First produced in 2013, Thank You Smurf #20748 was one of eight Smurfs that made up the Gift series. Holding out two large yellow flowers to portray he is giving these flowers in appreciation to you.

Upon the release of the Gift Series in January 2013, Schleich listed each Smurf with a description. Thank You Smurf’s blurb was: With beautiful flowers, our Smurf would like to say thank you.

Smurfs giving flowers as a gift has been a popular theme with Schleich. Almost as popular as football themed Smurfs. Examples of these include: Gift & Flowers #20040, Lover #20044 and Bouquet #20469. No doubt there are others.

In 2016 Schleich released a ‘Smurfs for You’ display box only containing two Smurfs, Thank You Smurf and Valentine Smurf #20747. Both were part of the Gift series. But what you may not know is that these two have different markings to those released in 2013.

The markings on a Smurf can you tell you a lot about it. For some like me, I like to collect Smurf made out of different countries. So when Schleich started to make Smurfs in Tunisia, I just knew I wanted to collect these. One such as one was Thank You Smurf. Not only is it beautiful Smurf to admire when working from home, it makes me feel special. Smurfs and flowers what a beautiful way to appreciate someone close to you.

Markings to be found on Thank You Smurf

Variant #1
Made in Germany Am Limes 69 D-73527 Schw. Gmund Schleich S 2012 Peyo CE
with a clock stamp under the Smurf’s foot and on the back of the flowers

Variant #2
Made in Tunisia Am Limes D-73527 Schw. Gmund Schleich S 2012 Peyo CE
with a clock stamp under the Smurf’s foot and on the back of the flowers

In summing up it is easy to compare Smurfs that we used to collect when we were children. Though not all Smurfs were created with children in mind even though they are toys. The Gift series from 2013 is the best example of this, for that I am forever grateful for. Thank You Smurf!

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Vanity Smurfette, simply gorgeous

Like many Smurfs, you may call this something different such as Smurfette with Mirror or Comb and Mirror Smurfette. For this piece I am going to call her Vanity Smurfette #20182 because it was used in the The Smurfs Official Collector’s Guide, published in 2013.

We first see Vanity Smurfette in the 1985 Schleich catalogue wearing a pink nightgown while brushing her golden blonde hair and admiring herself in a purple mirror. Schleich continued to sell it for another fifteen years.

In many ways, this is a classic Smurfette worth collecting. Not only is it Smurfette’s portrayal of her admiring herself, which is the kind of thing we expect from her. But it’s the slight colour differences of the nightgown and mirror. I also like that Smurfette’s eyelashes have been hand-painted onto the figurine. I am unsure if they still do this for newer versions of Smurfette.

The Smurfette’s Bedroom playset #40602 was available for a brief period in the USA from Applause in 1985. The Applause version was also quite different from the Schleich one.

Firstly, the Applause Smurfette’s Bedroom playset had hand-painted details on the furniture that the Schleich playset does not. Applause also used Vanity Smurfette. Some would say her nightgown and mirror match with the furniture. Schleich used the Smurfette from the Super Smurf Vanity Table #40234.

Vanity Smurfette’s markings

W.Germany Schleich S © 1983 Peyo

Made in Portugal Schleich S © 1983 Peyo, mustard paint dot

Hong Kong W. Berrie Co. Schleich S © 1983 Peyo

W.Germany Schleich S © 1983 Peyo CE

Please let me know if I have missed any markings for Vanity Smurfette.

Lastly I wanted to share with you one of the most strangest looking Smurfette’s I owe. You will see in one of the photographs that Vanity Smurfette’s pink nightgown has faded but nothing else. How bizarre!

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B