Did you know that Smurfs were produced out of Argentina in the 1980s? For some of you, this piece of information is not new but for others this could be a revelation.
For many years I have been collecting Smurfs, it has only been in the past couple of weeks that I was able to add my first Smurf from Argentina to my collection. Up until then I had seen pictures and read about these Smurfs made by Industria Argentina Minimodels but never actually seen one close up.
I first read about these Smurfs in the Smurf Collectors Club International Newsletter, edition 20 originally written in 1991. In the newsletter they stated that they had confirmed with Schleich that they had a contract with Minimodels to produce around 12 to 14 figurines. Shortly after this I started seeing other collectors show photographs of their Smurfs from Argentina on the Blue Cavern Forum.
My Minimodels Coin Smurf is about the same size as the Schleich large mould of Coin Smurf. They both share some similarities of waving a large coin to the left hand side of his head. The coin shows ‘1’ decorated by a laurel on the front side and an image of Papa Smurf on the back. But my Minimodels Coin Smurf is holding a gold coin not an orange coin. I have also read there is rarer one with a silver coin. The other difference I can see is to do with their mouth; my Minimodels Coin Smurf has a red tongue not black.
What to look for
- Not all Smurfs made out of Argentina have markings. There is thought to be around 30 or so with markings found under the feet.
- The tail on the Smurf is the most obvious indication it was made in Argentina as they are short and stumpy. Only the tip of the tail is painted blue.
It is thought Industria Argentina Minimodels only produced Smurfs between 1983 to 1986. It was at the beginning of 1987 when Schleich declared bankruptcy that may have also been the end of the Smurfs from Argentina.
If you are looking at adding Minimodels Smurfs to your collection, keep in mind that they are quite rare to find in really good condition. I was lucky enough to find one, but I wouldn’t say it was in mint condition. After all people will tell you Smurfs are toys that were meant to be played with, not to be collected!
Keep on Smurfin