Do you collect Smurf Keychains?

Smurf keychains also known as keyrings have and remain as popular as amongst collectors.

In 1966 Dupuis released five Smurf keychains made by the Exin Co. These included Papa Smurf, Normal Smurf, Gold Smurf, Angry and Prisoner. All with the same stance with their arms and legs outstretched like a snowflake. Dupuis is better known as the founder of the Spirou magazines in Belgium.

I don’t believe Bully produced any Smurf keychains. I have never seen any on their promotional posters. However I do have a Smurferman keychain but this was likely made after Bully’s time in the 1970’s.

Gymnast #20020 from the UK and Rollerskater #20126 from the USA

In the 1979 Wallace Berrie catalogue a big pitch is made for their keychains. “Another Smurf exclusive from Wallace Berrie & Co.! A happy new look in keychains containing 24 of our most lovable Smurf characters including Papa Smurf and Smurfette. Smurf keychains can be your key to your sales”. The suggested retail was $1.50 per keychain.

Many of the promotional Smurfs made by Schleich were also made as keychains. An example of this was the Dutch footballer #82650 released in 2000 to coincide with the European Football Cup hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands. It was sold as a regular Smurf and a keychain.

However not everyone likes a Smurf as a keychain and would prefer a regular looking Smurf. Evidence of this can be found on a Smurf’s head where they eyelet had been screwed into Smurf’s head.

Fake Promotional Smurf Keychains

Recently a series of Pirate themed Smurf keychains have been found promoting the charity Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB). Most collectors believe these to be counterfeit. The Smurfs are genuine but the keychain promoting ASB is questionable. Typically ASB used the First Aid Smurf #20054 to promote their good work.

Lastly I have several Smurf keychains that I am certain we’re never officially released this way. I am not bothered by this because I display all my keychains in a large, glass fishbowl near my front door. In my opinion, displaying my Smurfs in all different ways is what I enjoy doing.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

The return of Hefty Smurf

Was it just me or were we all excited to see Hefty Smurf given a major role in the latest Smurf movie – The Lost Village? There is so much to like about Hefty Smurf, that I was little surprised that it has taken to the third Smurf movie for this character to be given more focus.

In The Smurfs movie released in 2011, Hefty Smurf was only given a small role and in this film we were introduced to a brand new character called Gutsy. In The Smurfs 2 movie Hefty appears in the film but once again appears to play second fiddle to Gutsy. It is unclear in both films why they decided to create and use Gutsy, where they already had the character Hefty at their disposal. Perhaps they felt Hefty was a little boring.

Hefty Smurf is one of the few smurfs that appeared both in the comics and the cartoon series. I always thought that a character that displays strength and bravery and a willingness to help other smurfs were all good traits to promote to young children. 

The other thing that defines Hefty from the other smurfs is his red heart shaped tattoo on his right arm. Hefty is the only smurf that sports a tattoo. Typically smurfs are characterised by their personality and clothing or piece of equipment. 

I also recall when I was growing up that Gymnast, Schleich ref# 20020 was often referred to as Hefty. However BP Australia used to call this as Keep Fit on their promotional material. It wasn’t until 1994 that Schleich produced a Hefty figurine. Hefty was made right up until 2000 by Schleich. Again a little strange considering Hefty was a well known smurf by fans. 

The Lost Village movie may not be to everyone’s liking but it was nice to see the return of some of the original smurf characters such as Vanity and of course Hefty. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B