Have you ever wondered why this smurf is sometimes referred to as a ‘promo?’ – I know have. As far as I am aware it is not really promoting a company or organisation like other promotional smurfs produced by Schleich. Or was it just a variation produced by Wallace Berrie for only the American market and was never intended to be sold in Europe by Schleich.
Perhaps the confusion began when Schleich would refer to the Red Apple with #1 Teacher as a promotional smurf made for the U.S market in some of their catalogues. This was then followed by various collector books and websites doing the same thing.
I don’t consider #1 Teacher a promotional smurf but a variation. This is similar as the #1 Grad – a variation on the Graduation smurf. But the difference with these two, is that Schleich never gave #1 Teacher its own article number. Whereas #1 Grad was a completely different mould compared to Graduation Smurf and was produced a couple of years later by Wallace Berrie.
When looking for the #1 Teacher red apple smurf there are a couple of things you should look out for.
- This smurf was only produced by Wallace Berrie. It should only be found with Hong Kong markings. #1 Teacher was never produced or painted out of Europe, so it should not be found with any paint dots under its feet.
- As the smurf mould was also used by Pumpkin Smurf (#20136) which was first produced in 1981, it is possible to find the Apple Smurf with either the year marking to be 1981 or 1983.
- #1 Teacher Red Apple had two marking variations:
Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie Co. Schleich © Peyo 1981
Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie Co. Schleich © Peyo 1983
There is also another red apple smurf that causes debate amongst collectors as to whether it is real or fake. This is the one with the words I (heart) NY written in white on the red apple. Some feel, that it was produced as only a test version and others feel it is a fake. Regardless what your opinion is of this smurf, one would have to be a very passionate collector to buy one, due to the high price tag it demands.
No matter if you call this a promotional or variation, #1 Teacher smurf is an interesting smurf to add to one’s collection. The red apple complements the green apple variations. Perhaps one day someone will explain why they added #1 Teacher to the apple.
Keep on Smurfin