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 

Sauna Smurf

For some time now, Smurf collectors have been left scratching their heads and bemused by the fact that on some of the Sauna Smurf’s you can see its blue tail. One would have thought that it should be under the towel and should not be seen.

Sauna Smurf (#20108) can be found washing his back with a scrubbing brush with his left hand and holding a cake of frothy soap in his right hand, while wearing a red towel around his waist. It was first made by Bully in 1979 and later sold by Schleich from 1980 to 1993, 1997, 1998 and 2000. It was also made out of Hong Kong between 1981 to 1984.

German made

All German made Sauna Smurfs have unpainted tails and can be found with Bully and Schleich markings. However, the Bully made ones are made out of a white pvc material and the Schleich ones are made out of blue pvc material. The colour and the thickness of the brush can also be found. I have always found it difficult to distinguish the colour differences on the brush, especially when looking at photographs online. For me, there are too many other factors in play, such as the lighting, the quality of the photo etc.

All the newer German made ones there are no differences found with the brushes. 

Hong Kong made

Like the Bully made ones, the Sauna Smurf produced out of Hong Kong was made out of white pvc material. With the Hong Kong made ones, you can always see its blue tail. Not really sure why they did this…. But they did.

Sauna Smurf was first made in Hong Kong around 1981 and was sold by both BP New Zealand and Wallace Berrie for the US market. I don’t think it was released by BP Australia but I could be wrong. 

Like a lot of Smurfs made out of Hong Kong, you can find ones with the year marking changed. From  1979 changed to 1980 and then back again to 1979. It is thought this happened around 1982 when Smurfs were only being made for Wallace Berrie. This was also around the same time that the colour of brush changed from light tan colour to an ocher brown colour. 

Fakes

Due to the popularity of Sauna Smurf, there are many different fakes to be found. Some are beautifully crafted and painted like the PVC No Toxico ones and then there are the fakes from Mexico made out of different coloured rubber like material. 

When looking to add Sauna Smurf to your collection don’t forget to check if you can see his tail. You can tell a lot about someone from looking at them from their behind.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Gardener Smurf with rake

I call this one Gardener with Rake (#20138) to avoid confusion with the that actually has hay. But for some reason there are collectors out there who refer to this Smurf as Haymaker or Farmer. Not sure why but they do.

The Gardener with Rake can be found wearing a straw hat, dark green apron, white trousers, dark brown shoes, while holding a rake. The rake is a loose removable accessory. As the rake is a removable accessory it is possible to find it with different coloured rakes. I don’t think however they were actually sold like this by Schleich or Wallace Berrie. Nice to add to your collection but not quite correct!

Schleich version

Schleich sold Gardener with Rake between 1983 to 2000 then again in 2011 and 2013. The Schleich mould is made out of blue pvc material and is painted with lighter colours. In the beginning the straw hat was more of a beige colour and this was later changed to a yellow, possibly around 1991. This would have been around the time that they removed the W in front of Germany (due to the reunification of Germany) and added the CE to the markings. 

However when Gardener with Rake was given away with the French magazine Je Collectionne les Schtroumpfs in 2004 it had a darker beige straw hat and was made out of China. 

Hong Kong version 

The Gardener with the Rake is considered one of a few made in Hong Kong from 1982. It was also around 1982 that BP Australia stopped selling Smurfs.  So the smurfs being produced out of Hong Kong were mainly for the US market. This explains why you can find the Gardener with Rake with three different Hong Kong markings.   

  1. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S © 1982 Peyo
  2. Made in Hong Kong W.B.CO. Schleich S © 1982 Peyo
  3. Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie &Co. Schleich S © 1982 Peyo

Like a lot to Smurfs made and painted out of Hong Kong, the figurine is made out of white pvc material and is painted with darker colours. 

1980 to 1989 Schleich Decade Display Boxes

In 2011, Schleich released the Decade Display Boxes. Gardener with Rake was included in the 1980 to 1989 Decade Display Box. I recall at the time, that I took all of smurfs out of the display box as I was excited to find that they had new markings. Now looking back I wish I left them in their display boxes. How was I to know that two years later they would re-release the Smurfs individually?  

But that’s how it goes when you collect something……

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Card Player Smurf

Card Player Smurf – is it a promotional or normal regular Smurf? Some say it is, some say it’s not and others like me say it is both. The Card Player Smurf was first shown in 1980 Schleich catalogue but was actually available before this. The card playing Smurf holds his cards in his left hand, while he covers his right hand over his mouth. We can also see that he has card tucked into the top of his white trousers and has one eye open peeping at his cards. 

The Card Player Smurf was first produced by Schleich in 1978, possibly as a promotional Smurf for ASS. Card Player holding card with ASS symbol on card. It was also produced without the ASS emblem and has the markings W.Germany Schleich S © 78 Peyo under its feet.  On some of these early ones, the colour of the heart printed on the card can vary from light pink to red. Also possible to find with overpainted hearts on card or a completely blank card. 

Later the markings on the Card Player was changed. This may have something to do with the Smurf being sold by National Petroleum in 1980 in the UK. At this time it was also being made out of West Germany and Portugal. Due to its popularity it was also being painted out of Sri Lanka. So it is possible to find the Card Player with a mustard or red paint dot.

The Card Player was also produced out of Hong Kong. It was sold by BP Australia, BP New Zealand and Wallace Berrie for the US market. The Hong Kong version shows us the ASS emblem on the card but does not include the word ASS on the card. Not sure why they did this but the year marking on the Hong Kong version is 1978 and not 1980. 

The Card Player was also used extensively on triangle pedestals, music boxes and podiums with cards. Both the European and Hong Kong figurines were used. 

Schleich sold Card Player (#20056) between 1980 to 1991 and then again in 1996 and 1997. The Card Player was made out of Hong Kong between 1981 to 1984. Countless fakes have also been made. 

The ASS Card Player was one of the first promotional Smurfs I collected. This was probably due to its price being so reasonable compared to many of the other promo’s out there. They sure must have made a lot of these, as they are still pretty easy to find today. It also has a cheeky disposition that is hard not to like. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Who is ASS?

Ass Alterburger (ASS stands for Alterburger und Stralsunder Spielkartenfabrik) is a German card playing company. They also make jigsaw puzzles and other board games. In the late 1970s the company were making a lot of items featuring the Smurfs. Some of these items included photographs of Smurfs that at the time were being made by both Bully and Schleich. Sometimes the Card Player Smurf was also sold with a deck of cards. 

 

Today I am a Bookworm Smurf

Today I experienced my first book fair book. With no expectations in mind, I offered to chauffeur drive my mother down to Yarragon with her quest to attend their annual book fair. It was a dreary cold Melbourne’s day so it was perfect for this kind of excursion. Until now I had no idea there were so many bookworms out there.

The Bookworm Smurf (#20094) was first produced by Bully in 1978. Wearing his customary white trousers and hat while holding onto a red book with yellow pages. The smurf is also wearing glasses, so more than likely it is loosely based on Brainy Smurf. Sometimes the eyes are painted white all the way to the glasses.

When Schleich changed the marking around 1984 they blocked the Bully mark and added Schleich and the year 1977 onto the back.  I don’t think Schleich made any other changes to the figurine. Schleich continued to sell Bookworm until 1986. 

Schleich reproduced Bookworm between the years 1992 to 2000. During this time they blocked out the West in front of the Germany marking and added in a small CE to the back. Again it appears no changes were made to the figurine.

After this removed the markings from the back of the smurf to under the feet. They also produced two versions out of China. 

It wasn’t until 1983 when a Bookworm was produced out of Hong Kong for Wallace Berrie. So it was highly likely Bookworm was never sold by BP Australia. However it is interesting to note that the version made out of Hong Kong  must have produced its own mould as the year marking on this is 1983 not 1977 like the Schleich made one. 

So what is a Bookworm?

Depending who you ask, the term Bookworm can have different meanings. I always thought it meant someone who enjoys reading. But I have also discovered it is the general name for any insect that is said to bore through books. If that is the case then the township of Yarragon has a plague of bookworms to deal with this weekend during their book fair.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Boxer Smurfs – Normal or Super Smurf?

When I started collecting smurfs, I first came across the Super Smurf Boxer without his punching bag. I had no idea that it was in fact a Super Smurf. Looking back this wasn’t surprising considering how many times you see this Boxer without his punching bag being sold by sellers who either don’t know this was a Super Smurf or who knew it and thought that they could get away with it.  Same mould but different paint colours!

Super Smurf Boxer, #40508

Hong Kong Super Smurf Boxer

The Super Smurf Boxer was first released in 1980 by Schleich. It can be found wearing a red singlet, white socks, green shorts and brown & white boxing gloves with black shoes. The accessory is a spring mounted punching bag on a brown wood like rectangle plastic base. Schleich continued to sell Boxer through to 1986, with very little changes made. Sometimes you find variances with the punching bag but very little differences with the figurine.

There was also a version made out of Hong Kong. This Boxer was sold by BP Australia (also possibly by BP New Zealand) and Wallace Berrie. When Boxer was first sold by BP Australia in 1980 it was available for just $1.65!

It also appears that the Super Smurf Boxer was also used for Schleich’s triangle pedestals, which could be another reason these smurfs can be found without their punching bags.

Normal Boxer, #20419

Regular Boxer

The regular Boxer was first released in 1993. It can be found wearing a yellow singlet and socks, green shorts and red & white boxing gloves with light brown shoes. Schleich sold the regular smurf from 1993 to 2000. So at no time were both smurfs sold by Schleich.

The regular Boxer was only ever made out of Germany. But as the regular Boxer was produced around the same time as German’s reunification it can be found with W.Germany and Germany markings. A small thing for some, but for others a variation worth looking out for.

Display Tip:

If you are lucky enough to have more than one Boxer smurf in your collection, you may want to consider displaying them so they face each other. This will give the impression they are boxing each other.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Is Sledgehammer Smurf too violent?

I was surprised this week to learn that Sledgehammer was never released in the US. It is thought that Peyo felt that Sledgehammer was too violent for American children. Sledgehammer can be found in a walking stance with a large sledgehammer behind his back. In the early comics it was not unusual to see Brainy being clobbered over the head with a mallet or sledgehammer to shut him up. 

I have a question for anyone who grew up reading the comics, did they ever consider hitting someone over the head with a sledgehammer to shut them up? I would like to think that people saw this as a humorous thing not a something to be taken to serious.  

Things to look out for in Sledgehammer

The Sledgehammer figurine (#20096) was first made by Bully around 1977/78. In the beginning the sledgehammer was painted a light brown colour. This version is considered very common and is easy to find. 

Around 1984 Schleich was able to start adding their own markings to the smurf and started painting the sledgehammer a darker brown. If you look close enough on some of these you will see that the Bully marking has been blocked out and the Schleich marking has been added. 

There is also a version of Sledgehammer that was made in Sri Lanka. As there were only 24 smurfs made out of Sri Lanka, these ones are always worth collecting. Not like the other Sledgehammers the markings are not found under the feet but on different parts of the figurine. 

In 1995/96 Irwin Toys released Sledgehammer with China markings. So this was possibly the first time Sledgehammer was released in the US. It is found with lovely matte paint colours. 

Fake or Genuine

Every now and then you may come across a yellow Sledgehammer. More than likely this will be a repainted fake and is not genuine. Schleich has confirmed that a small number of test versions were made. The yellow hammer part on the authentic variation is yellow PVC and therefore was never painted. How can anyone actually see this would be extremely difficult, in my opinion.  So if you see a yellow Sledgehammer, don’t pay a lot of money for these as they are repaints!

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Log Car Super Smurf

Collecting Super Smurfs can be tricky at the best of times. Just because it was sold with a box doesn’t always mean you get the complete or the corresponding Super Smurf. Then, there is always the little differences to be found. Log Car, first released in 1983 is one of the best examples of this.

In basic terms a Super Smurf is a smurf with detachable accessories and its own cardboard box. Over the years, depending on the manufacturer or distributor, a number of boxes were also produced. In most cases, there were also minor changes made to the accessory. 

Log Car (#40232) was first made in 1983 and sold until 1999 by Schleich. It was also made by Wallace Berrie in Hong Kong and was sold in 1983 and 1984. Later in 1996 Irwin Toys released a version made out of China. This was sold for the first time on a blister card not with a cardboard box! The last version of Log Car was given away with the French magazine Je Collectionne les Schtroumpfs in 2005. 

As you see Log Car has been a long journey having been made by different manufacturers and sold by different distributors. Very little changes were made to the smurf used for Log Car over the years. This same smurf was also used by Tricycle (#40203) and Yellow Car (#20910).  The Smurf is wearing his customary white trousers and hat. On his white hat sits his racing goggles. 

Schleich version

Both the smurf and car can be found with markings – W.Germany Schleich S © 1982 Peyo. The Log Car has different wheels than the other versions.

It also has a dark brown crank with ring connection, completely dark yellow Candles (unpainted), dark brown wheels with small hole connection (without Axles) and unpainted seat.

W. Berrie version

Both the smurf and car can be found with markings – Hong Kong W. Berrie Co Schleich S © 1982 Peyo. 

The Log Car has a white crank inserted directly into the car, white candles, the wheels are attached by an axel that runs underneath the car, yellow car seat. Typically found with a darker brown log car. 

China version

Both the smurf and car can be found with markings – Made in China Schleich S Germany Schleich S © 1982 Peyo CE. The official documentation lists the markings are the same but a closer inspection of the smurfs shows they are different. 

There are at least two different versions to be found with China markings. The Irwin version can be found with a mushroom with white spots whereas the Je Collectionne les Schtroumpfs version has a red mushroom with no spots. There is also difference with how the wheels connect to the log car. 

My thoughts on Log Car

I have always like this smurf, as it is a good illustration of smurfs having fun. This smurf can be popular for kids wishing to play with their smurf toys and just as popular for those who like to collect smurfs because of the many variations to be found. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B