One of my favourite Smurfs is Hiker, first produced in 1978. There are two Schleich versions of Hiker though I am really familour with only one. Wearing a yellow jackey with a green backpack but most notably has a red flower attached to his hat.
I have fond memories from childhood of Hiker. Playing in a sandpit and going on pretend adventures with Hiker. Back then I didn’t care too much for colour or marking variations. This fascination came later when I rediscovered the Smurfs as an adult.
In the late 1970s through to the early 1980s, the demand for Smurfs globally was massive. For example, Hiker was made in four different countries by Schleich; West Germany/Germany, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Portugal. I can’t think of any toys in 2021 that are made in four different countries.
In addition, due to the high demand for Smurfs counterfeit versions were also made. Some of these Hiker Smurfs are worth more than the Schleich ones. Such as the Comic no Toxico (CNT) with the soft matte paint colours or the Polish ones with a red stick.
I am a big fan or recycling and use this as an excuse when buying vintage Smurfs. Nieces and nephews are bemused by my collection of 60+ Hikers. I recall trying to explain that each Hiker was different. If I was child, I would have been excited just to see so many Hikers. Or that someone else appeciated going on the adventures with Hiker Smurf.
Possibly the other reason I adored Hiker was a mini story book called The Wandering Smurf. It’s about a Smurf who decided to go on adventure outside the Smurf Village. Papa Smurf also gave him a magic whistle to bring home again. Nostalgia is a powerful feeling that is never far away with Hiker Smurf.
Keep on Smurfin