Wow, I can’t imagine any smurf collector who has not been able to resist buying smurf themed sets since they were introduced in 2002.
In the late 1990’s Schleich started introducing a pair of smurfs based on a theme such as Inline Skater Smurf and Inline Smurfette released 1997 or Caveman and Cavewoman released in 1994. But it wasn’t until 2002 that Schleich released their 12 new smurfs as part of the Marching Band set that it really made an impact. So what makes some themed sets more collectible and valuable than others? I have to say I am no expert on this, but what is interesting to reflect back on these sets.
In 2002 a 12 member Marching Band set was released and was also again in 2003. Each member was wearing a navy blue & red uniform with gold frogging while playing their preferred instrument.
In 2003, the New Generation set was released. This consisted of eight different smurfs. Some of the smurfs such as Cyber were only available two years where as others like New Basketball was available until the end of 2009.
In 2004, eight smurfs were released as part of a soccer set. The soccer consisted of players, coaches and fans. In 2011 when Schleich their special decade box sets, five of these smurfs were also included in the decade box set for 2000 to 2009.
In 2005, a set of eight Classic themed smurfs were produced. At the time this created some discussion amongst collectors as what is the definition of ‘classic’ smurfs. In particular Grumpy Smurf and Baby White.
In 2006, a set of eight Halloween themed smurfs were produced. Once again there was much discussion about the new smurfs produced as some felt these were not really keeping with the smurf theme. The entire eight Halloween smurfs were only sold by Schleich until the end of 2008.
In 2007 a Native American Indian set was produced by Schleich. All eight were only available until 2009. Once again some collectors felt these were not really keeping with a smurf theme but instead trying to appeal to an American market.
2008 was a big year for Schleich as they were celebrating 50 years of the smurfs. The Jubilee celebration included eight new smurfs that are still extremely popular today.
With talk of a new smurf movie about to be released, Schleich produced eight new smurfs as part of the Movie set in 2009. Unfortunately the first Smurf movie was not released until 2011.
In 2010 Schleich produced 12 Zodiac set with each smurf representing a star sign. It is fair to say that some felt that this was a strange theme but others found the smurfs to be a great birthday present to give family and friends. I know I did!
In 2011, The Smurfs 3D smurfs were released to coincide with the release of the new movie. The six smurfs produced were also sold in a special box set by Schleich.
With London hosting the Olympics in 2012, Schleich produced ten new smurfs representing different sporting disciplines. The Sprinter Smurf produced was definitely a highlight as was painted in the Jamaican colours of green and yellow to celebrate the achievements of Ulsan Bolt.
In 2013, ten new smurfs were produced as part of the Celebration set. Some are saying that there is a possibility that after 2016 Schleich will no longer make this set. But this is yet to be confirmed.
From celebrating smurfs in 2013, Schleich went with eight pirate themed smurfs in 2014. The good thing is that none of these look like the original Pirate Smurf that was produced by Bully then Schleich back in the 1970’s.
In 2015 Schleich decided to produced eight Job Smurfs. An usual choice considered by some collectors but not possibly an odd choice for children who play with smurfs.
In 2016 a Jungle theme was released. Eight different themed Jungle smurfs with some well known smurf characters such as Papa Smurf, Smurfette and Brainy.
It is always interesting to see how things go and I hope you enjoyed looking back on the themed smurf sets.
Keep on Smurfin