Spring Gardening with The Smurfs

The outside of the carton box intrigued me:
Spring Gardening 23/08/2023.
Miniature Garden Figurine Collection
The Smurfs
Store in Cool, Dry Place

If the outside box was intriguing then the pink sticker attached amused me:
Place on show within 12 hours of receipt – Thank you

Then taking a closer look at the tag attached to the Smurf miniature figure was both intriguing and amusing for me:
Warning! Choking hazard – small parts. Adult Supervision required at all times. This is not a toy. For decoration use only.

Typically my weekly grocery shopping is never this fun. Today was a happy day collecting all nine of the Smurf figures, across three different Woolworths supermarket stores in my local area. I soon discovered there were two sets I needed to collect. I also quickly identified these have been officially certified – Peyo 2023 Licensed through I.M.P.S (Brussels) www.smurf.com

Set 1 included six miniature Smurf figures, each selling for AUD $8.00. Similar to the ones sold last year by Woolworths. But this year’s range included a Gargamel and Azrael.

Though in Set 2 each Smurf carries vegetables and wears a Woolworths apron. These are selling for AUD $12.00 each and only include three miniature Smurf figures.

Like any devoted Smurf collector, I have abided by the conditions stated:
Store in Cool, Dry Place
Place on show within 12 hours of receipt
For decoration use only.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

First Talk of 2023 Smurfs by Schleich

This week Joe Forkner on Facebook gave us details of the 2023 Schleich Smurfs. There’s not much known at this stage, other than there will be six new Smurfs.

#20839 Idiot Smurf
#20840 Cowardly Smurf
#20841 Wild Smurf
#20843 Smurfin Panel

It’s unclear if these are the official names or not. We also have no photos, just Smurfs hidden under a sheet or any other details of the other two. Most likely these won’t be released until July or August. But once more details are clearer, I will let know.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

OMO mini blue figurines

With Smurf collecting, there are many unanswered questions. Everything from article numbers that never saw the light of a day to promotional Smurfs. One that has always intrigued me is the sixteen OMO blue Smurfs. Eachone has the markings © Peyo 1983 and is approximately 3cm high.

For those who don’t know, OMO is a global company that produres washing powder.

There has always been a mystery on how OMO gave away these mini blue Smurfs. One theory is that in 1984 OMO produced these little blue Smurfs that came free inside a box of washing powder. Similar to how Kinder Surprise manage their promotional toys. Others doubted this due to safety concerns. But one must remember this promotion was back in the 1980s.

In the Smurf Collector’s Club newsletter, edition 1 published in 1986 in the For Sale section, someone has listed all sixteen mini blue Smurfs in an attractive container. Is it possible that potentially OMO sold the mini blue Smurfs as a complete set and not individually? If someone knows about how OMO sold the mini blue Smurfs, please let me know.

Within my Smurf collection, I have all sixteen of the mini blue Smurfs. The previous owner did not elaborate on how they had obtained them. Another mystery is unsolved.

List of mini blue Smurfs
  • Guitarist
  • Teacher
  • Footballer
  • Pointing
  • Mallet
  • Papa Captain
  • Oboist
  • Telephone
  • Hiker
  • Rollerskater Smurfette
  • Mermaid Smurfette
  • Tennis Player
  • Policeman
  • Postman
  • Courting
  • Secretary
Different take on the mini smurfs

During last year I was able to purchase some repainted OMO mini Smurfs. I adore these Smurfs as not only is the paintwork of a high standard but also because they mimic the Schleich variations. For example, Mermaid Smurfette with a green tail and the Policeman with a black jacket, white trousers and a brown baton.

Lastly did not know the markings can be found on different parts of the mini blue Smurf. For instance the Oboist can be found with the markings on his head or trousers. Which makes me think that they made more than one set of these Smurfs. What do you think?

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

The best way to clean Smurfs

What do you do when you find that rare Smurf but can see that it has seen better days? Pretend you never saw it and move on. Then dwell on it for the rest of the weekend. Not likely as you know it’s worth giving the Smurf a second lease of life. It also means another one you’ve been longing to add to your collection. 

Most older Smurfs not surprisingly will require a good bath before displaying.  No matter, where I acquire them I always give the toys a good soak in warm soapy water. If I purchase the figurines online, I give them a longer soak.  Warm soapy water and fresh air, you can’t beat it. 

Sometimes this is not enough. With a little bit of hard work, you might surprise yourself how lucky you are. 

What you’ll need

Try an old toothbrush to remove grime marks. Add a little bit of bicarb soda with water to create a paste. Apply this paste to the toothbrush then massage it into the Smurf. For built-up grime in the creases on their hat or tricky places, try a brow brush.

Another option is putting the figurines in the dishwasher. Does it work? I don’t know as I am too scared to try it. But if you have, I would love to hear about your experience.

Dealing with ink stains is almost impossible to remove. Why people want to write the price under their feet is beyond me. You could try using nail polish remover or glass cleaner. Again I haven’t tried them because I am scared I will remove the original paint. But others I know speak highly about both options as long as you are careful.

Trying to get rid of cigarette or plastic toy odour can also seem almost impossible. I’m a big believer in the fresh air and plenty of it. Another option is soaking in a water and vinegar mixture overnight. Vinegar has a low amount of acidity so it should not harm the paintwork.

These are just my suggestions that work for me.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Super Smurf Discovery

I have just discovered something new about Super Smurfs, which may have been obvious to most but not me. On some Smurfs made between 2000 to 2002, a blue paint dot can be found. I always thought it was just the Smurf that they added the blue paint dot too.

Only this week I found that with the Super Smurfs, Schleich also added a blue paint dot to the accessories. I am not sure if this was the case for all but it was for School Desk Smurfette.

School Desk Smurfette #40259 was sold by Schleich from 2000 to 2004. Sitting at a school desk, Smurfette is wearing a white dress with pink polka dots, matching pink underwear and small heeled shoes. Her right arm is pointing upwards, as if trying to get the teacher’s attention.

Not only was School Desk Smurfette sold as a Super Smurf but also part of the School Playset. The School Playset #40712 was also sold between 2000 to 2004 by Schleich.

Found by accident

I like to collect Smurfs with different markings and paint dots. I then like to record this into my own database. So when I began cleaning my Smurfs I rechecked the markings on School Desk Smurfette.

I found the following markings on Smurfette: 
Made in China (back of right arm)
Schleich S Germany (on Smurfette’s back)
CE Peyo 99 (on Smurfette’s bottom)

Bench chair markings:
81 Schleich S Germany
Made in China CE
Cavity number 3

Desk markings:
81 Schleich S Germany
Made in China CE
Cavity number 1 and a blue paint dot

Like the majority of my Super Smurfs, not all came with their original box. The ones that they did come with their box I kept. Fortunately for me School Desk Smurfette did come with it’s box, which also displays a blue paint dot.

I was stumped, why hadn’t I only noticed this now? I have plenty of Smurfs with a blue paint dot so it’s not as if I didn’t know what it was. Now I am wanting to know if any of you have any other Super Smurfs like this.

If you have any like this, just leave a comment. It would be great to create a list, so other hard core collectors like me have something to look out for!

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Smurf Drum Playset

In my opinion, this playset was created with adult collectors in mind. The Smurf Drum Playset #40623 was first released in 1998 by Schleich which also coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Smurfs. It was made right though to 2009, with little if any changes made to the playset.

However, it is often overshadowed by the 40th anniversary Smurf band, which is a shame as this is a great display piece in its own right. That’s once you have mastered and worked out how to put all the pieces of the drum kit come together.

The Drum playeset includes a 7 piece drum kit. Including a Drummer Smurf, a single cymbal, two cymbals, drum kit, microphone, snare drum, stool, foot pedal and a black circle base. 

The Drummer is wearing an apricot colour singlet, purple pants and white shoes. On his right wrist appears to be a brown studded wristband. The figurine is in a sitting position to allow it to sit on the stool. In each hand is a lemon coloured drumstick.

During the time it was produced by Schleich it was sold in two different boxes. The first box has a Smurf head in the top right hand corner with a dancing smurfs pattern. A picture of the playset is on the top and on the both sides. The second box has Peyo Creations in the the top right hand corner with a dancing smurfs pattern box. The second box was only available for less than a year.

It should be noted that though the boxes were changed, there was no changes made to the actual playset.

Final thoughts

For those new to collecting, I highly recommend adding this playset to your collection for it’s bright colours and disposition. It may not be suitable for little children due to the little pieces of drum kit but don’t let that stop you. Especially if you are an adult like me and love displaying your smurf collection.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Fact: Schleich never released a playset with the article number 40622.

Candy Store triangle pedestal

If you enjoy learning about new things then you may be interested in the story behind the Candy Store promotional triangle pedestal. I discovered this when reading the Smurf Collector’s Club International Newsletter, issue 57 published in 2000.

In 1981 the proprietors of a tiny Johnstown, Pa. A small store named ‘Candy Store’ ordered their very own Promotional Smurf from their Wallace Berrie salesman to promote their store! It was produced in an impossibly small Limited Edition of 1200 pieces! The text on the yellow stand printed in white, reads ‘Candy Store, Johnstown, Pa’. 

The promotion included Jester Smurf, holding a red and white sriped candy cane. It is unclear why this particular Smurf was used but this would one of the smallest production runs to be used for promotional purposes.

Wallace Berrie made a series of triangle pedestals during it’s time. Possibly the most sought after ones are the ones promoting various places around the USA. Some just mention the state; e.g Dallas and other mention a business such as The Candy Store!

Brief history of Jester Smurf

Jester #20090 was one of only three new Smurfs sold by Bully in 1977. Commonly it is found with a blue tail. However it can be found with a yellow tail, though this version is harder to find.

Jester was sold in Europe between 1977 to 1991, first made by Bully and then Schleich. Very little changes were made to mould. The colour of the stars on the back of the head can vary from bright gold to a tarnished green to a green colour.

In 1981 Wallace Berrie also started selling Jester all the way through to 1984. It must have been very popular as it was also used as part of 20th anniversary Jubilee series released in 1985 by Schleich.

I hope you enjoyed the story behind this special promotional triangle pedestals. It just shows you, that all sorts of businesses and organisations love the Smurfs!

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Smurfs according to Zack

Allow me to introduce you all to Zack, who lives in Canada and this is his amazing Smurf story.

How long have you been collecting Smurfs, and what’s the appeal?

In the 90’s, I got ‘retro fever’ and my friends and I were constantly reminiscing about the 80’s which we all grew up in as kids.  So I started going to toy collectable shows so I could look at all the cool things from that decade.  At one particular show in 1997, I came across a table that sold a bunch of the Schleich Smurfs, and totally got happy flashbacks.  I didn’t think of collecting them, but I did buy a keychain version of the clown #2.0033 because I thought it would be a fun ‘retro thing’ to have hang off my keychain.  I had it on for a few months, but eventually it broke off and I lost it somewhere.  Oh well.  It was good while it lasted.  

My interest in the pop culture items I grew up with continued strong, and a few more months past before I decided I wanted to dive into collecting something from the 80’s.  It could have been so many things, because my thoughts and joyful memories were all over the place, from toys, tv shows, movies, fashion, advertising, etc. 

But ‘toys’ won me over, and Smurfs was a natural choice because 1) of its over-whelming presence in the 80’s, 2) the Smurfs being something that is ‘happy’ and ‘fun’, matching up perfectly to what I felt about my childhood, and 3) the toyline and merchandise list had a huge history, and that meant the possibilities on what to collect would be vast…and continuously fresh since it was STILL being produced! 

So, 1998 was the year I started, and it was a good year because it happened to be the 40th Anniversary of the Smurfs AND the Irwin 1996 toys were still on toy shelves in my area (believe it or not), so I had a great time getting my first batch of Smurfs the traditional way, just like when I was a kid!

How many do you have now? 

Like most Smurfs collectors, I started with the Schleich PVC figures.  To me, these figurines were perfect representations of all the Smurf characters I’ve spent watching on Saturday mornings for a decade (and then more, through syndication on weekday mornings, and, of course, holiday evening specials!!). 

It’s as if each 2″ figure jumped out of the screen; they were so compelling in their likeness.  So it wasn’t long before I made it a goal to collect ALL the Smurfs in Schleich’s numbered checklist, along with the houses and playsets, for the purpose of creating my own Smurf Village, just like on TV. 

I had no desire in obtaining all the paint and mold variations, the promos, the specialty figures, and figure extensions (i.e. as keychains, smurf-a-grams, etc), so my criteria was simply to collect 1 version of each number.  

The ironic part of collecting the Schleich stuff was I didn’t have any of it growing up!  The closest I got was a pen set, where the Schleich cowboy smurf figure was glued to the base.  I had TONS of merchandise, though, which was overflowing in North American stores in the 80’s.

From lunch pails and doodle sets, to stickers and shrinky dinks.  Not having any figures to play with definitely didn’t stop me from loving the Smurfs.  The brand and cartoon episodes were always in front of our face – even when I visited overseas, naturally. 

Although the Schleich line is/was my main line, I inevitably got hooked on gathering 7 other categories too:  puzzles, plushes, comics, mega bloks, McDonald’s, and some live-action movie stuff.  All with cap-offs or criteria, because I didn’t want to collect everything and anything from those categories.  

My 7th category was ‘promotions’, and this happens to be my favourite section.  It’s a small grouping, but I picked out a bunch of worldwide promotions I found fascinating in concept/product, and I obtained a sample of it.  For example, the campaigns for the 2008 Unicef 50th Anniversary, the 2013 Cora and Match supermarkets, the 2004-2007 ‘Je Collectionne Les Schtroumpfs Et Je Construits Leur Village!’ magazine (which translates to ‘I Collect The Smurfs And Build Their Village!), the 1978-1982 National Benzole gas stations, etc., etc..  

So if I had to take a guess, I’d say I have about 600 Schleich-numbered products, and another 400 or so items from all the other merchandise stuff.  I had a rule of thumb, that ‘if I bought it, I had to display it’, so eventually I’ll set that all up, but for now they are in storage. 

I also felt it was important to create an ‘end’ date for collecting (which was 2015) because if I didn’t, I would no longer be able to follow my ‘rule of thumb’, due to space restrictions.  Plus, collecting for the sake of ‘just collecting’ would de-rail my enjoyment and I didn’t have that ‘completist’ mentality across the board for all Smurfs items. 

There would always be something from the past I didn’t have, and there would always be something new coming out…I’d rather just appreciate now, what took years to collect.  

When did you start?

I officially started in late 1998, and after picking the shelves off all the Walmarts, Toys R Us’, Zellers’ and hobby stores around my surrounding area, it was pretty much online shopping, toy/retro conventions, and antique store visits from there-on-out.  I had no choice because I had a lot of catching up to do with the figures. 

But for the ‘new items’ Schleich put out annually, I was lucky enough to deal with local collectors and store owners that had connections with the Schleich.  As we all know, there were only a handful of new figures every year, so collecting those were quick and easy.  The real fun for me was researching the endless amount of Smurf-related items that were distributed around the world in the years gone past, and seeing what I could add to my collection as ‘bonus‘. 

I still remember my first two websites I referenced when starting out:  AstrosTreasureChest.net, and MushroomVillage.com.  The both don’t exist anymore, but they helped me immensely.  And, I joined the official Smurf Collector’s Club International, naturally!

What’s my favourite item in my collection?

I never cared for getting autographs, so I never chased them, and definitely avoided buying autographed merchandise due to their high pricing and skepticism on authenticity.  But somewhere along the line while maintaining my twoother big collections, an autograph was added to each of them.  Wanting to make things even across all three of my collections, I decided to pursue an autograph for my Smurfs hobby, too.  

Getting a voice actor from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series made the most sense, and getting the actor (Danny Goldman) that voiced my favourite character (Brainy), also made sense.  Being quite informed of the pop culture convention scene, I was aware Mr. Goldman didn’t attend them…so approaching him at a booth for a signature was out of the question.  Therefore, I decided to go the traditional route, and write him a hand-written letter.  This was in 2015, by the way. 

All I needed was his address to mail it to him.  Finding his mailing address online was non-existent, but through some research, I found out that he recently retired from working, where he owned an acting agency.  Being retired, Mr. Goldman did not have a contact email anymore, but his younger associates that worked with him continued in the business, and I was able to find their new contact email on the web. 

I emailed three of them hoping the addresses were active, and politely asked if there was a way to connect with Mr. Goldman, or even if I could send them my letter to pass along to him (if home privacy was a concern, of course).  I never heard back from any of them.

But 5 days after sending those emails, I get an email in my inbox directly from Danny Goldman HIMSELF!!!  And it simply said “_______ said you are looking for me?  Danny Goldman.”.  UNBELIEVABLE!!! 

So communication went back and forth, and I scanned him my original letter too for him to read, and it was so great!!  In the end, naturally I asked if I mailed him something, could he possibly sign it for me; and he agreed!  He was ok with writing something specific on it, too, at my request. 

What I sent him was a hardcover notepad I had previously received as a gift, which had the Brainy Smurf character on the cover.  He was drawn holding a book, and holding up his pointer finger as if to speak his ‘knowledge’.  Typical Brainy depiction!  And I thought it was PERFECT for Mr. Goldman to sign a ‘book’ too, being that is what Brainy often carried around. 

I also asked him if he could inscribe it with “Papa Smurf always says…”, which was one of Brainy’s repeated sayings in the cartoon episodes.  And, of course, Mr. Goldman’s signature at the end. 

In a small package, I mailed him the notebook, a black marker, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to return the notebook to me.  It eventually arrived to my home in Canada and it is easily my most cherished Smurf possession AND experience.  I will be framing not only the book he signed, but portions of his emails and my letter to him, as well.  It had been a surreal moment!

Do you ever find yourself having to explain your collection to people?

Basically, ‘collectors’ understand other ‘collectors’, from what I’ve learned over the years.  There’s no need to give reason on why you have this hobby to the like-minded.  In fact, the late 90’s seemed to be the beginning trend for collecting things.  And today, it’s so mainstream, that’s it’s more abnormal if you don’t collect anything.  The companies – and society in general – make everything collectible and give strong pushes to people to do it and say it’s “ok”. 

Regarding Smurfs, whether I ever spoke to a ‘collector’ or a ‘non-collector’, I’ve yet to meet a person (young or old) that doesn’t know what/who the Smurfs are.  So, no explaining was ever needed.  And the other common trait was that it always brought a smile when they heard about my hobby.  Everyone loves the Smurfs!!!

Smurfs according to Kylie

I am an avid smurf fan and I have 129 smurf figurines. I started like most kids back in the 70s. Mum and dad only brought petrol at BP as they sold the Smurfs when you brought petrol. 

I am not sure why they appeal to me. I think it is an innocent thing about them. They don’t swear, they try and be kind to each other. They have different personalities and you can relate too or want to be like.

My favorite character is Brainy Smurf. I wish l was smart and I like smart people.  I can relate to him when he trys to help and the others keep kicking him aside. 

The favourite smurf figurine of mine is Smurfette on roller skates. I use to hold her and push her tiny legs together as if she was really skating.
People are surprised at first and then say they use to play with smurfs but they never kept them.

Randomly sometimes like to annoy people and say stupid stuff like “I have the smurf song on my mind lala la la la la oh what comes next I forget. Its just for fun and brings a smile to people as they tell me I’m weird.

Thanks, Kylie for sharing your Smurf story with us. I feel I can easily identify with parts of your story such as buying Smurfs from the BP Service Station. Kylie lives in Craigmore, South Australia.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Smurfs according to Jack

I am constantly learning new things when I collect Smurfs. Sometimes it can be discovering a new marking on a particular Smurf or hearing about someone’s childhood collection. My Smurf collection brings me a lot of happiness, especially in these uncertain times. This week I was able to interview Jack who resides in Memphis Tennessee, USA and this is his story.

How long have you been collecting Smurfs?

I have been collecting for about 40 years.

What’s the appeal?

I just love them. I show mine a lot of children and I am sometimes amazed at their reaction to them.

How many do you have now?

I have about 10000 of them. They cover all four walls in my Smurf room. When people see what I have they can’t believe it.

When did you start?

I am 85 years old and I started collecting after I retired from the United States Marine Corps.

What’s your favourite item in your collection?

I really don’t a favourite. I love them all. Well, maybe the Jack in the Gargamel and the History Smurfs.

Do you ever find yourself having to explain your collection to people?

Yes, I do find myself explaining why I collect them and how many do I have and where do you find them. I live outside of Memphis Tn. It is getting harder and harder to find them without getting on the internet. I have at least one of all the original Smurfs plus Jaaks, plush and some vending machines plus McDonalds, Hardees and Burger King.

There is a lot to like about Jack’s story. Not only has he been collecting for a long time but he is also happy to share his passion to a new generation. It’s amazing how a simple Smurf figurine can bring a smile onto someone’s face. For a collector, there are no words that can describe that feeling when their collection brings such joy to others.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B