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!
Climber like all the other eight smurfs released in 2000, had shiny blue skin and the markings Made in China Schleich S Germany © 99 Peyo CE.
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.
It wasn’t until 2011 when we saw Climber again, this time as part of the 1990 – 1999 Decade Box set (#41258). This version of the Climber can be found with matte blue skin. The markings on this version for Climber was different to the earlier release, as this time Climber was made in Germany and not China – Made in Germany Schleich S Germany Am limes 69 D-73527 Schw. Gmund © 99 Peyo CE + time stamp.
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!’
Keep on Smurfin