At what point does a Smurf become vintage? Some say that an item should be at least 100 years old to be defined as an antique. If an item is no older than 100 years old but not less than 20 years it falls into the category of vintage. Others say anything 50 years or older is vintage. So does that make 2000 Millennium Smurf vintage?
Back in late 1999 Schleich released a special Smurf to coincide with the new millenium. A Smurf happily riding on a red and yellow ‘rocking’ 2000. There were two different versions released, one measuring about 7cm in height and one 4cm in height. The smaller version was also a keyring.
At the time there was a lot of interest in both, especially since they were promoted as a limited edition of just 10,000 for worldwide distribution. There was also the thought that anything released especially for the year 2000 would become highly collectible.
In my opinion, though both versions of the Millenium Smurf are not common like a Postman Smurf they are also not all that rare. This may also have something to do with the fact that collectors do not think the year 2000 as vintage. Or perhaps the new generation of smurf collectors don’t give a hoot of something displaying the year 2000.
My definition of a vintage Smurf, is one made before 1970 so to call the Millenium Smurf vintage is just wrong !!! Anybody who does this, really doesn’t appreciate Smurfs and their origin.
If there’s one thing I have learnt from collecting Smurfs is don’t believe everything you are told. Just becuase someone tells you a Smurf is rare, doesn’t always mean it is. The Smurf they were referring to was Hammer #20083 first released by Bully in 1974.
In 1975 Bully used hand etched markings under the feet. I have one with this marking which has no eyebrows but though the pvc material is soft it’s different to the first version.
In 1976 Bully changed the mould for Hammer, added eyebrows and changed the markings again. It also appears they changed the blue paint to a slightly darker blue.
Hammer was also produced by Schleich between 1980 to 1986. There was even a version of Hammer made out of Sri Lanka. As there were only 23 Smurfs made out of Sri Lanka, this Hammer version is highly sought after by collectors.
Promo Hammer Smurfs
For Hammer it was used as a promotional smurf by at least three different companies. Though be wary of buying promotional smurfs that only bare the printed mark. Sadly there are sellers out there who attempt to replicate the company’s name or logo.
Waldbaur Hammer Smurf
The Waldbaur Smurfs always create much discussion amongst collectors. Waldbaur is a chocolate company from Germany. The promotion inluded some of their chcolate with a solid coloured Smurf in a special box. There were only six Smurfs included in this promotion. Hammer was made out of orange pvc material with black pupils and a white bead of sweat.
With so many repainted Smurfs around at the moment, when looking for the Waldbaur Hammer keep in mind it is made out of soft orange pvc material and has no markings.
Hammer might not have the glitz and glamour of other Smurfs but makes up for it with the expression on his face and the portal of wiping away the sweat from his brough. Cute and adorable is how I would explain Hammer not rare!
Today I would like to share with you some details regarding Papa Thinking #20424. It was produced by Schleich from 1994 to until 2004. Papa Thinking is a red injected mould, that has his mouth open and is holding his right hand inside his left hand with the knuckles on the outside. The eyebrows can be found either white or black. I have also seen others refer to this Smurf as Papa 2.
Then in 2005 Schleich released the Classic Smurfs Series. In this set they included a Papa Smurf #20533 that looked very similar to Papa Thinking but it wasn’t! Classic Papa has a closed smile and is holding his left hand inside in the right hand with the palm of the hand showing on the outside.
At no stage were both Papa’s available through Schleich. If in doubt ask the seller for the markings. The markings never lie!
What sport do you first think of when you think of America? For me its baseball. So it’s not surprising at all that Baseball was one of the first American themed Smurfs to be released back in 1981.
Variations of Baseball
Baseball #20129 is considered highly collectible because of the different colour variations that can be found. In the Smurf Collector’s Club International Newsletter, edition 22, released in 1991 they list six. How many do you think exist?
Variations: #20129 Baseball Batter
Black shoes, red socks and belt, white uniform, 3 painted on back of shirt in red, dull brown bat.
Black shoes, orangey/red socks and belt, white uniform, 3 is not painted in on back of shirt, dull brown bat.
Black shoes, red socks and belt, white uniform, 3 painted on back of shirt in red, shiny brown bat.
Black shoes, red socks and belt, white uniform, 3 painted on back of shirt in red, tan bat.
Same as #4, ivory bat
Same as #5, new blue
Baseball was very popular in America and also in Europe. It was sold by Wallace Berrie/Applause from 1981 to 1984. During this time it was also sold as a keyring and a triangle pedestal. Schleich sold Baseball from 1981 to 1986/1992/1996 and 1997. It’s also interesting to see that the different coloured bats were shown in both Wallace Berrie and Schleich catalogues.
Baseball Promo Smurf
If you have a keen interest in promotional smurfs. Then the Silan marked Baseball is worth collecting. A promotional Baseball Smurf was produced for the Belgian Fabric Softener company Silan. It can be found with light cream bat or dark brown bat.
I am at a loss to explain what happened. For some reason Lover Smurf was never sold by National Benzole in the UK back in the late 1970 early 1980’s. In South Africa, BP released Lover on Valentine’s Day in 1980. So how did the Brits celebrate Valentine’s Day?
It is easy to assume that all the Smurfs that were made by Schleich in the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s were also sold in the UK. This I have found is not true. One such Smurf was Lover first produced by Schleich in 1979 right through to 1992.
This shy Lover Smurf holds out a bouquet of red flowers, with his eyes closed while wearing his customary white trousers and hat. Early versions of Lover also can be found with no eyebrows which was quite common at that time. Also different shades of red and green were used on the flowers. But perhaps what sets this Smurf apart from all other Smurfs is the outline of his heart on his chest.
Lover – Made in Hong Kong
Lover was also made out of Hong Kong and was sold by BP both in Australia and New Zealand and also by Wallace Berrie for the USA. It was produced out of Hong Kong between 1981 to 1984, so there are at least four different markings that can be found.
For some reason, Smurfs made out of Hong Kong with a mould year earlier than 1980 they changed the year marking to reflect 1980 and then shortly afterwards changed back to the original year. So it’s possible to find a Lover Smurf with the year 1979 or 1980.
Lover – CE marking
Around 1991 they started to add a CE marking to Smurfs. But before this Schleich added a hand etched CE marking to their Smurfs. This was due to regulations that were about to introduce to anything produced with Europe and also due to the high number of existing Smurfs they had on the shelves.
Lover has also been a popular Smurf to copy and repaint. There are versions with a red or yellow painted heart or with yellow flowers. Some of these are beautifully painted and can fetch high prices such as the CNTs from Spain.
So back to my original question – How did the Brits celebrate Valentine’s Day? The answer to this is that National Benzole used to refer Postman #20031 to as Valentine’s. Perhaps the Smurf’s shyness would lead to too many questions being asked.
It’s no secret that the Bundesliga Football Smurfs are one of the most sought after by Smurf collectors. With all different coloured variations to be found, you don’t even have to be a football fan to appreciate these Smurfs.
After close to 20 years of collecting Smurfs, I finally added my first Bundesliga Smurf to my collection. This was Karlsruher SC Smurf (#43128) wearing a white shirt, blue shorts and white socks. In the past I have always been a tad wary of fakes, repaints or the prices have been too high. For these reasons I have tended to stay away from them.
The Bundesliga Smurfs were first released by Schleich in 1980. Each one would come in its own special box that displayed the club’s coat of arms. Along with the box was a plastic green box that included clips to allow you to construct the Bundesliga ladder. In 1982 they added three additional teams. So all up there are 22 Bundesliga Smurfs to collect.
What to look for
Though mine did not come with its own special box, I still very chuffed to have one. Due to the interest for the Bundesliga Smurfs and other football Smurfs it is important to know what markings one should look for. The last thing you would want to do is to buy a fake!
The UK/International Teams are also West Germany marked but should have a mustard paint dot. These were produced for the 1978/79. These also have a coloured dot on their shirt. These have been wrongly identified in the past in the Der Schlumpf Katalog as USA teams.
Ballerina Smurfette #20098 was the second Smurfette figurine that was first produced by Bully in 1978. After Bully lost the licence to produce Smurfs at the end of 1979, Schleich continued to produce Ballerina Smurfette from 1980 right through to 1992. It was then rereleased in 2011 as part of the 1970 to 1979 Decade Box Display set.
Ballerina Smurfette was also produced out of Hong Kong from 1981 to 1984. It was sold by both BP Australia and BP New Zealand and also Wallace Berrie for the USA. From my opinion it looks like the same mould was used by Schleich and Wallace Berrie.
Sold by Schleich
In 1980 Schleich won the rights for producing Smurfs back from its rival company Bully. It appears part of this agreement included not changing the markings on the Smurfs until around 1983/84. So it is highly likely if you have a Ballerina Smurfette with Bully markings it was actually sold by Schleich.
After 1984 Schleich started to produce Ballerina Smurfette with their own markings. After 1991 Schleich started to produce Smurfs that included a CE marking. This version of Ballerina Smurfette is considered extremely rare.
In 2011 when Ballerina Smurfette was included in the 1970 to 1979 Decade Display Box it appears they made the base thicker. This was probably stop it falling over like some of the early ones tended to do.
Made in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong marked Ballerina Smurfette can be found with very strong paint colours. You will also sometimes find that the markings can be very faint or bold under the base.
Shade variations of Smurfette’s hair will be found from dark yellow to pale yellow. Shade variations of the green base will also be found.
More recently coloured variations have been found with Smurfette’s ballerina outfit and base. These are not genuine variations and some say they are a copy of the Spanish fakes that were made in 1980s.
Ballerina Smurfette was also used on triangle pedestals and podium with cards. So it’s hard to imagine how many Ballerina Smurfettes have been actually produced over the years. I guess if you are onto a good thing why stop.
Does anybody know how to get the Windsurfer Super Smurf to stand up? I can’t get them to do it unless I have them leaning against something. Even though I constantly have this battle with the Windsurfer, I just adore this one.
There are many different styles of stitches on the sail, a different size of the printed number or without printed number, harder and softer boards. There is so much to look for when looking to add the Windsurfer to your collection. Or then you have the different markings and paint dots to look out for!
The Windsurfer Super Smurf (#40215) was first produced by Schleich in 1980 and sold between 1980 until 1993. Both the figurine and board can be found with markings. The Schleich version was only produced out of Germany and was typically made out of blue pvc material. However, it is possible to find one with a mustard paint dot which indicates that it was painted in Portugal. These were typically sold to the UK.
As the Windsurfer was produced after 1991 it is possible to find with a small CE marking on the figurine and board.
Hong Kong version
The Windsurfer was also produced out of Hong Kong from 1981 to 1984. In the beginning it was sold by BP Australia, BP New Zealand and also Wallace Berrie for the US market. So the Windsurfer can be found with Hong Kong markings and also Hong Kong W. Berrie Co markings. The Hong Kong Windsurfer was only ever produced with a white pvc material.
One thing that intrigues me about this Super Smurf what does the S71 on the sail represent? If someone out there know, please let me know as I am sure I am not the only one who has often asked this question.
The Windsurfer Super Smurf is still considered very popular by most collectors. This is good news if you are looking to add this one to your collection as it means that it is not hard to find one complete and with its box. Amazing – as there aren’t many Super Smurfs that have this claim to flame.
It’s 2020! Let’s get excited! Smurf in a Cage, #40212 is one of my favourite Super Smurfs but to be honest I know very little about it. I also find it one of the most frustrating ones to put together. Getting the top on before one of the bars pops out – very annoying. It also one of the few Super Smurfs that I have been able to collect without its corresponding box.
The Smurf in Cage can be found wearing his customary white trousers and hat while the Smurf stands behind a square shaped cage with bars. The Smurf also has an anxious look on his face. This Super Smurf has also been referred to as Prisoner Smurf in Cage in some catalogues and posters.
Smurf in Cage was sold by Schleich from 1980 to 1986. I have two different Schleich versions, with only markings found on the Smurf figurine.
Smurf in Cage was also produced out of Hong Kong and sold in Australia by BP Australia and in America by Wallace Berrie. It was produced between 1981 to 1984. There are two Hong Kong versions that can be found.
There are only four boxes that can be found with the Smurf in Cage. Like any Super Smurf that can be found with its original box it can be considered quite rare. The picture on the box with the Smurf in Cage with the ring attached to the cage, is considered extremely rare. I have seen this one in anyone’s collection. To be honest, it may not even exist!
Front: Super Schlumpf. Back: Schtroumpfs a Schtroumpfs
Front: Super Smurf Schlumpf. Back: Schtroumpfs a Schtroumpfs
Super Smurf (UK box)
Je Collectionne Les Schtroumpfs magazine
In 2006 the French magazine Je Collectionne Les Schtroumpfs also included a Smurf in Cage. This version was made in China and is painted in lovely matte paint colours.
For 2020 one of my Smurf resolutions is to find a Smurf in Cage with its box and if I am lucky in mint condition. Actually any Super Smurf with its corresponding box in mint condition.
When it comes to giving Smurfs names that celebrate Christmas you kind of limited to what you call them. Perhaps this may explain why there are two Christmas Smurfette’s. A good thing for us collectors is that they don’t look like anything alike.
Christmas Smurfette – #2.0200
Wearing a long green gown with white shoes, while holding out a white parcel with a red bow around it. This Christmas Smurfette was first released in 1985 in both Europe and the USA.
When Applause (formerly known as Wallace Berrie) sold Christmas Smurfette they paired this with Christmas Smurf with lantern #2.0201. This appears to be a common trend with how Wallace Berrie sold their seasonal special release Smurfs.
When Applause (formerly known as Wallace Berrie) sold Christmas Smurfette they paired this with Christmas Smurf #2.0207. This appears to be a common trend with how Wallace Berrie sold their seasonal special release Smurfs.
A version of Christmas Smurfette was also sold by Joux Joux in Switzerland. Joux Joux makes potato chips and gives away a free miniature toy, a bit like what Kinder Surprise does. There are a total of ten Christmas themed Smurfs, Joux Joux released.
In France in 1985, both Christmas Smurfettes were sold as a Christmas decoration with eyelet and gold cord. So there is no need for alarm if you end up finding one with a small slit in its head.
Whether you love Christmas or it’s not really your thing, both of these Smurfette’s are a nice addition to any collection because of the beautiful colours they both offer.