Today, I want to share with you a very special Prisoner Smurf, #20010.
In 1965 Schleich received an unexpected order from BP for small, blue plastic figurines that BP was planning to give away for free. The Smurfs were characters from the Johan and Peewit stories created by Peyo. Back then the Smurfs played only a minor role in the stories. As a result, the promotion surprised both Schleich and BP.
In the beginning Schleich only used the one mould when they started to produce the Smurfs. The same mould was painted in three ways – Normal, Gold and Prisoner.
My own experience
I am lucky enough to have in my collection, the Prisoner Smurf. If you look closely enough at the picture, you can see the outline of a smile. The black stripes are also noticeably different compared to other Prisoners. For example this one only has three stripes on his hat, whereas typically you will find four. It also has less stripes on his trousers compared to the other Prisoners I have.
These early Smurfs typically come with no markings at all or just with a © Peyo marking on the back of the arm. This may have something to do with the Smurfs being given away as promotional give aways.
When I purchased this Prisoner Smurf, I had no idea of its history but I knew it was special. It didn’t bother me, that it wasn’t in mint condition as I don’t think any of my Smurfs are considered in mint condition. Smurfs were made to be toys and to be played with.
I love the background history of my Prisoner Smurf. For me, this is enough to make him extra special for me. A Smurf does not need to be exspensive to be loved by its owner.
Keep on Smurfin