in Smurf Figures

Watch out for Lantern Smurf

Was it a ghost or figure of his imagination that caused the look on this Smurf’s face? Carrying a lantern in his right hand, while taking a tentative step forward. Made between 1977 to 1992 and then again 1999/2000, this is a Smurf that may not have many markings but has been given some interesting names in its time. 

The top of the lantern can be found painted in three different colours; red, yellow or black. 

The most common one is the red lantern. The red paint on the roof on the lantern can vary depending where the Smurf was painted. For example the Hong Kong version can be found with glossy red paint whereas Portugal painted one (mustard paint dot) has more matte, dull red paint. 

It is thought the yellow lantern was produced for National Benzole in the UK. In most cases this Smurf have much duller colours than the normal Schleich Smurfs. Most of these can be found with a mustard paint dot, indicating it was painted in Portugal by Maia & Borges. 

Strangely in the UK, this Smurf was referred to as Caroling. This may have something to do it with being released before Christmas 1979. It was also before any of Christmas themed Smurfs were in production. 

The rarest one is the black lantern. I don’t have this one and I am a little cautious when looking at buying online just incase it is repainted. 

Made in Hong Kong

The Smurf with the red lantern was also produced out of Hong Kong between 1979 to 1981. Back then typically the Smurfs made out of Hong Kong were distributed to BP both in Australia and New Zealand and Wallace Berrie for the US market.  

Lantern Smurf was one of the first ten Smurfs released by BP in 1979 in Australia. It was referred to as Watchman. It was also sold by BP New Zealand also referring to it as Watchman. BP New Zealand started selling Smurfs in the beginning of 1981. 

Depending what catalogues you come across Wallace Berrie referred to this Smurf as both Lantern and Watchman. It was only sold by Wallace Berrie between 1979 to 1981. It was never sold with W. Berrie markings. 

One of my most recent finds, has been a ceramic money box disguised as a lighthouse with a Smurf holding a lantern next to it. These were sold around 1980 in Big W stores for $4.98. Was the concept that the Smurf was watching over your pocket money? Who knows …….

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

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