Fact: Snowboarder Smurf and Smurfette were released back in 1998 in honour of the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan and the introduction of snowboarding into the games. Twenty years later in 2018 both of these smurfs, are still as popular as ever.
Snowboarder Smurf can be found riding a red snowboard with a blue star on the front, while wearing an orange ski jacket, black gloves, brown pants and wearing silver goggles. Schleich produced Snowbaorder Smurf from 1998 to 2006.
Snowboarder Smurfette can be found wearing a green ski jumper, mustard coloured pants, while riding a purple snowboard with a pink diamond on the front. Smurfette is also wearing wrap around sunglasses and matching navy blue gloves and boots. Schleich only produced Snowboarder Smurfette between 1998 to 2002. Which makes her a little more harder to find.
#20453 Snowboarder Smurfette
For the hard core collectors out there who like to collect smurfs with different markings, there are two interesting things to note with the snowboarding pair.
Snowboarder Smurf was the last smurf made in Portugal.
The Peyo marking on the Snowboarder Smurfette was more of signature marking than a standard text like others released around this time.
The smurfs have had a long association with the Olympic Games. Back in 1980 the smurfs were the official mascot for the Belgian Olympic Team for the Moscow Summer Olympics. In parts of Europe at the same time, Coca Cola ran a promotion that included the smurfs.
In 1979 Schleich released the Olympia Super Smurfs that displayed the Olympic rings on the box. These boxes only were produced with German writing on them – Olympia Schlumpf. You can also find these boxes with the Olympic rings blacked out.
By 1980 these Super Smurfs were given the name ‘Die Schlumpfiade Superschlumpfe’ The following text is taken and translated from the 1980 Schleich catalogue
The Smurfs are getting more and more sporty. They have mastered a total of 12 disciplines, and in the olympic year they have their own smurfs
It is unclear why the sport themed smurfs were given their own special article numbers: 4.501 to 4.0512.
If you like to have something to do while watching the 2018 Winter Olympic Games – try this
I have a confession to make and that is I can’t really swim. Even with this small flaw, it doesn’t put me off from liking Swimmer smurf first released in 1977 by Schleich. This is unique smurf as it can be found with mould and colour variations.
The first mould was made out of light blue pvc material and can be found with either orange bathers with a yellow ring or yellow bathers and an orange ring. Both also have a blue valve. The other distinctive thing is the small red mouth and the arms on the underside are completely shaped
Like a lot of smurfs produced around this time, there are many different shades of paints used on the bathers from orange to dark red. Also the eyebrows can vary, from unpainted to thick.
When the Swimmer was made out of Hong Kong they used a much larger mould and white pvc material. Typically these are found with yellow bathers and a red ring with a black valve. Also with this larger mould you can no longer see the mouth as it is hidden by the smurf’s hands.
The Hong Kong version was sold in the USA from 1981 to 1985 by Wallace Berrie. As you can find the Hong Kong version with and without W. Berrie markings, it makes me think it was also sold in Australia as well but I couldn’t find anything to back up this theory.
I also have one with Hong Kong markings where they blocked out the year 1977 and replaced this with 1980. It is thought this happened around smurfs sold in 1982. So basically any smurf made before 1980 they blocked out the year and replaced this with 1980. Oddly they later changed the year back to the original year marking on these smurfs.
Around 1983 the German mould was changed to be more like the Hong Kong version. Though they used a blue mould. It was sold like this until 1986.
Between 1994 to 1996 Swimmer was re-released but this time with China markings. The China version can be found with yellow bathers and an orange ring with a black valve.
In the Der Schlumpf Katalog IV they list a Swimmer with Macau markings, possibly made around 1985. Ever since this has created debate amongst collectors whether it exists or not. I doubt this actually exists but I am happy to be proved wrong, all in the name of collecting smurfs.
HANDS UP, WHO knows what smurf was once referred to as Banjo or also referred to as Rocker? Any ideas…… if you had answered Lute smurf you are correct. Lute smurf would have to be one of few smurfs that has been given so many different names in its lifetime. So how did this all happen.
Lute smurf was first produced by Schleich in 1969 with the German name Gitarren Schlumpf, which translated into English means Guitar smurf. This would explain why when Wallace Berrie started selling Lute in 1979 it was called Guitar smurf. However it doesn’t explain why when the American Pewter company started producing smurfs in 1980 they called it Mandolin. Especially since the American Pewter company had authorisation to make smurfs in the USA.
In the UK National also first sold Lute in 1979. For some strange reason they referred to it as Banjo smurf. If someone out there knows why they did this, please let me know. Very strange!
Now in Australia, BP Australia referred to Lute smurf as Rocker in 1979. It was one of the first nine smurfs released by BP Australia. What is interesting to note at the same time back in the UK, the name Rocker was linked to Guitarist smurf, #20023. In 1980 when Guitarist was released in Australia we called it Bass Guitar.
The first reference I found to Lute smurf being called to what we now know as Lute was in an advertisement by BP New Zealand from 1981. Which makes me think it was the New Zealanders who gave its name of Lute. I should point out this is only my opinion but to me it makes sense. By 1986 Schleich started displaying both German and English names in their catalogues and it’s in here we also see the name of Lute being used.
Obviously there is more than just a name given to a smurf that makes it interesting to collect. With Lute it is all the different shades of yellow and red that can be found. From a very light red to a burgundy red or light yellow to a dark orange yellow kind of colour. In Australia you typically find the red Lute variation as this was the one that was released here but if you are lucky enough you can find a yellow lute. Then there is also the fake coloured variations to be found.
Climber was first released by Schleich in 2000 and then again in 2001. Wearing a fluorescent pink singlet and grey shorts along with all the rope climbing gear one needs when about to go rock climbing. For example a green chalk bag on his back right hand side with the number 1 displayed on the outside, a selection carabiners around his waist, yellow rope around his shorts and also swung over his left shoulder. You will also see on his right arm a red heart tattoo, so most likely this smurf is actually Hefty – the Climber!
Like other smurfs such as Caretaker, Nameplate, Tourist, Sportsman and others released at the end of 1990’s and early 2000’s, Climber was only sold for originally two years. This may have something to do with Schleich discontinuing with their ‘Golden 100’ at the end of 2000. Schleich decided not to issue any old figurines as was their practice in the 1990’s. In the year 2001 only fifty figurines would be produced as part of their smurf production line and not one hundred. Climber was sold in 2001 and then just disappeared.
In 2013 Schleich teamed up with Toys r Us and released Climber. These smurfs were sold as individual figurines on a card and were originally exclusively sold only in Toys r Us stores. This Climber is the same one that was sold as part of the Decade Box set. A little after this these smurfs could be found loose and without the card.
These were sold around the same time as the The Smurfs 2 movie was released. I recall visiting my local Toys r Us store a week before I heard about this new release and there were hardly any smurfs on the shelves. The following weekend with the release of the movie they had their shelves full of their smurfs. I guess it just goes to show a week is a long time when comes to collecting smurfs.
If you are like me, you may be curious as to where a Climber stores their car keys when they go rock climbing. I recently asked this question to a rock climber whose whole waist was surrounded by carabiners and ropes. He simply just patted his shirt’s top pocket and gave me a smile. His rock climbing mate shrugged his shoulders and remarked ‘good question!’
Looking for things to do over the holiday break, how about going ice skating! If you live in the Southern hemisphere like in Australia, ice skating during the Christmas/holiday period can be some kind of novelty especially if the beach doesn’t really take to your fancy.
Ice Skater Smurf was one of the last smurfs produced by Bully in 1979. Ice Skater smurf can be found on its back with it’s legs and arms up in the air. While wearing a red scarf, yellow gloves, his customary white trousers and ice-skates.
Ice Skater was also used as a promotional smurf. This promotional mmurf has the words “Holiday on Ice” written in black letters on the top of his hat. Holiday on Ice is a global ice-skating entertainment company. This was produced as a regular smurf and a keyring.
The other strange thing I have come across was Ice Skater inside a smurf globe. From my understanding this was sold around in 1991 . As strange as it sounds there are about half a dozen smurfs that were sold like this. Though the smurfs inside are genuine and I am not completely sure if the snow globes were authorised smurf merchandise.
Depending on how pedantic you are about finding variations within your smurf collection, some of you may be interested in knowing that the W.Germany made ones generally have thinner skates (2mm thick) and the Hong Kong made ones have thicker skates (3mm thick). I was just curious as I noticed the thickness of the ice skates are regularly mentioned on collector’s websites. No doubt there are other variations to be found such as the colour red used forthe scarf and the yellow used for the gloves.
Schleich sold Ice Skater between 1979 to 1989 and then again 1991 to 1993. Surprisingly it was only sold by Wallace Berrie in the USA between 1982 to 1984. I also don’t believe it was ever sold by BP in Australia. Perhaps they thought no one in Australia would know what ice skating was.
Smurfette with Ice Cream was only sold by Schleich for three years 1984 to 1986. Wearing her white heeled shoes, a white dress with pink polka dots while holding an ice cream cone with both hands.
In the Der Schlumpf Katalog IV there are lots of different coloured versions. It is unclear whether these are all genuine or not. For some collectors this may not be a big deal as different coloured versions can add brightness to a display.
I think there are only two genuine variations of the Smurfette with ice cream cones, the same colours just a different order – yellow, pink and violet. As the ice cream cone is a removable piece, it is possible to find the scoops of ice cream with two scoops on top followed by one in front or one scoop on top followedby two scoops in front.
In the early 1990’s new child safety laws for toys were introduced which forced the discontinuation of many smurfs made with removable parts. Sadly this included Smurfette with Ice cream. This is possibly why Smurfette with Ice cream is so collectible today as it is no longer being made by Schleich and quite possibly never will be.
This is rather a shame as just imagine the marketing opportunities that were missed. One only needs to look at the success of Ice Lolly to see how successful it was for Scholler. This promotional smurf is still highly sought after by most smurf fans even if they had never heard of Scholler previously like me.
P.S After reading this post it would be easy just to move onto the next thing, but if you found the post to your liking how about join our Mailing List or by sharing your thoughts in the Comments field. 2018 is going to be a huge year for smurf fans with the 60th anniversary of the smurfs, so as the saying goes you have to be in it to win it! Here’s a glimpse of things to come https://vimeo.com/200339868?ref=fb-share
What’s not to like about Golfer Smurf, as you don’t even need to like playing golf to appreciate all the quirky little things you can find with Golfer Smurf first produced by Schleich in 1979 and sold in 1980.
The first version of Golfer Smurf produced was with yellow pants, red socks, black and white shoes. Golf club is brown & silver with a white ball. There was also a version with red pants & yellow socks produced shortly afterwards.
Sorry folks this is not a rare Muster marking but an injection mark
In 1980 Golfer Smurf was also released in Australia, wearing yellow pants, red socks and black shoes. He’s holding a silver golf club with the ball unpainted. The weird thing about these early ones is the large injection mark on their back. Typically you find this kind of injection mark under a smurf’s feet. Also the early ones produced out of Hong Kong had lighter yellow pants and matte black shoes.
In the beginning the holes in the hands for the golf club was smaller. After a while they changed to longer golf clubs with a thicker square shaped handle. Not entirely sure when they made this change but my guess is around 1982. This is around the time BP stopped selling smurfs in Australia and Hong Kong was only making smurfs to Wallace Berrie in the USA.
The other odd thing you can find with some of the Hong Kong ones is the year 1979 blocked out and replaced with the year 1980. Typically these are painted with darker colours.
There are at least two German versions with the longer golf clubs. One with a grey golf club and a white paint dot under the right foot and the second one with a silver grey golf club.
The last version produced was made out of China wearing yellow pants, red socks, black and white shoes. He’s holding a long silver golf club with the ball unpainted. Golfer was last produced by Schleich in 1993.
Two other golfing themed smurfs have been produced by Schleich. In 1986 Golf Smurfette was released, wearing a white dress and is about to tee off as she swings her dark grey plastic golf club back over the ball. This is my most favourite one out of the three.
In 1999 Schleich released a new golf smurf. This Golf Smurf can be seen with his golf bag over his left shoulder while carrying a white golf ball in his right hand. Wearing a yellow shirt, orange checkered pants and brown shoes. Some of thought this should have been called Golf Caddy Smurf!
Fun Fact: If you collect figurines marked with different country markings you will find more than 60% of the time that there will be a paint variation. There are plenty of smurfs that fall into this category, but today I would like to discuss the Indian Smurf wearing a traditional feather head-dress and moccasins. Indian Smurf was sold by Schleich between 1982 to 1989 and then again from 1991 to 2000. Wallace Berrie only sold Indian in 1983 and 1984.
Left: W.Germany with green paint dot Centre: W.Germany with black paint dot Right: Sri Lanka with black paint dot
We first see the Indian Smurf in the 1982 Schleich catalogue, wearing red, yellow and green feathers head-dress, light red shoes and dark brown pants. On his face there is a single red line of paint on each cheek. On the back of his head it is painted white.
This was also sold by National in the UK and can be found with a mustard paint dot. This tells us it was painted in Portugal around 1982.
This can be found also with a green paint dot. This tells us it was painted in Tunisia around 1982.
There is also one that can be found with a black paint dot. This tells it was painted in Sri Lanka in around 1984/85. It can be found with dark brown or mustard coloured pants.
The Indian Smurf was also made in Hong Kong, with black feathers head-piece, brown shoes and mustard pants. On his face there is two red lines on each cheek. On the back of his head it is painted blue.
The last version of Indian was made in China, with red, yellow and green feathers head-dress, light red shoes and dark brown pants. On his face there is a single red line of paint on each cheek. On the back of his head it is painted white.
Left: Hong Kong. Centre: Germany Ce. Right: China Ce
If you like to know when a particular version of an Indian Smurf was produced, one just needs to look through old Schleich catalogues to give you some idea.
Indian with with red, yellow & green on feathers, light red shoes and dark brown pants was pictured in the 1982 to 1985 Schleich catalogues.
In the 1986 Schleich catalogue we see the Indian Smurf with black on the feathers, dark brown shoes and mustard pants. On his face there is two red lines of paint on each cheek.
Though back in the 1987 Schleich catalogue it is changed back to the Indian with the coloured head-dress. This is continued in the 1988 through to 1995.
In the 1996 Schleich catalogue we see the Indian Smurf with red, yellow & green on feathers, red shoes and mustard pants. On his face there is a single red line of paint on each cheek. This is continued through from 1996 to 2000.
More than likely I have missed some other variations but that is the thing about collecting smurfs you never know what you will find under their feet.
However the differences are to be found with the book, both on the inside and outside. Like any variations that can be found, this will also vary depending on what you classify as a variation. These are the ones that I consider to be variations:
Tan book with black ‘Magic’ lettering on the spine. Red book-mark. Inside of book has black lines.
Tan book with a thicker black ‘Magic’ lettering on the spine. Red book-mark. Inside of book has black lines.
Tan book without ‘Magic’ lettering on the spine. Unpainted book-mark
Orangey yellow book with red ‘Magic’ lettering on the spine. Unpainted book-mark. Inside of book has math equations.
Orangey yellow book without red ‘Magic’ lettering on the spine. Unpainted book-mark. Inside of book has math equations.
If you like to browse over old Schleich catalogues it is interesting to see that in the years 1984, 1987 & 1991 we see a Papa with Book with “magic” on the spine in black text. In the years 1985, 1988, 1989 & 1990 we see a Papa with Book with a cream coloured book with red symbols. Check it out at http://www.thecursedcountry.com/schleichbullycatalogues.html
Silan, also used Papa Smurf with Book for a promotion, with their name printed in white under the feet. Silan is a Belgian company that makes fabric softeners. There are five different Silan Promotional Smurf figures available. They are same Smurfs as the number, but with Silan printed underneath their feet.
Alternatively if you find that reading a book is too much hard work how about joining our mailing list for your smurf fix. By signing up, you must agree that the only colour in the world is blue and that smurfs rule ok.
Every now and then you may come across a snail. I am not talking about the snails you find at the bottom of your garden, I am referring to the ones you find when you are on a smurf hunt. There is a good chance, that at one stage these once may have belonged to a playset.
The snail and cart playset was first sold in Australia around 1980 in BP service stations for $3.95. It was one of three new playsets BP introduced around Christmas time. The other two playsets were the Sail Boat and Well. All three playsets were made in Hong Kong and would be later sold in the USA by Wallace Berrie in 1981. For some reason in the 1981 Fall Wallace Berrie catalogue they used a hand drawn picture for the Snail & Cart playset and not actual photograph!
The Snail & Cart playset was produced by Schleich from 1980 to 1987 then 1989 to 1991 and in 1993 to 1997. No major changes were made during this time, though small variances can be found with the snail’s feelers and the shades of yellow used for the bucket.
In 1984 Schleich created the Super Western playset where a Cowboy smurf rides his snail drawn covered wagon. Along with the playset was a campfire, cooking pot, a wine barrel and a cactus. This was first sold between 1984 to 1987 and then again 1997 to 2003 by Schleich. From my understanding though it was never released in the USA. It was around 1984/85 that the decline of the smurfs really hit hard in the USA.
In 1998 Schleich decided to introduce a new line of playsets by adding two old playsets and a regular smurf together. The Snail Playset was given article number #4.0622 and included the Snail & Cart and Mushroom playsets and the regular Yoga Smurf. This playset was only sold by Schleich for two years and in my opinion is one of the hardest playsets to be found complete and in it’s original box. This is on my ‘most wanted list’, like many other smurfs!
Out of the non smurf figurines that have been produced over the years, Snail, Smoogle, Chitter, Puppy etc I think I like the Snail the best. This may have something to do with not growing up on the smurf cartoons or just the fact that I like the Snail’s disposition.