If someone had asked me what I would do at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding to make it different to previous royal weddings, I would advise them to add a Bride & Groom Smurfs on the top of their wedding cake so the whole world could see.
In 1992 Schleich released, eight new smurfs which included Bride and Groom. All these smurfs were made in Germany. The Bride Smurfette, #40412 can be found holding her bouquet of pink flowers, wearing a white wedding dress with pink flowers around her hat. The Groom, #40213 can be foundwearing a blue bow tie, red flower on his chest and a white top hat.
Both were sold by Schleich from 1992 right through to 2014 and didn’t change much during this time. Some collectors questioned why the Groom was not wearing a pink flower and bow tie to match with Smurfette’s flowers. But overall both Bride and Groom are still very popular with collectors, especially those about to be married.
In 2013, Schleich released Bride & Groom, #20746 which was one of the first times Schleich combined two figurines. The Groom is wearing a black top hat and tails and is carrying his bashful Bride who is wearing a long white wedding gown. This was part of the 2013 Celebration theme series and was sold up until 2016.
The last Bride and Groom smurfs released by Schleich was in 2017 as part of the Occasion theme series. In my opinion these are the most disappointing ones, as they are seriously lacking any cuteness or personality. The Groom, #20796 looks like he is sleep walking which is a never good sign especially when your wedding day is meant to be one of the biggest days of your life. It was displayed in the catalogues wearing a black top hat tails but was actually sold wearing a grey top hat and tails and the Bride, #20799 just looks bored.
So if you are looking to get some smurfs to be displayed on your wedding cake, stick to the Bride and Groom produced back in 1992, I highly recommend them as people just adore them. Well, at least from my experience they did.
It’s always fascinating to see some smurfs that were painted one way in a catalogue and for any number of reasons was never actually sold like this. What I would like to know is do these smurfs actually exist? To give you some idea of what I am talking about, I have added pictures from particular Schleich catalogues. These catalogues can be found on the Blue Cavern Forum site and is well worth a visit if you love your smurf history.
Fancy car with gold steering wheel
In the 1979 Schleich Dealer’s catalogue we see the Car Driver, #40210 with a gold coloured steering wheel. In Europe Car Driver was typically found with a yellow steering wheel and in Australia & USA it was commonly found with a brown steering wheel. The wheelsalso look a little different in the picture. In the same catalogue there is a picture of the Cyclist, #40501 where the spokes are painted white and the tyres are painted black. Once again this was later sold with grey tyres. More recently I have seen a picture of a Cyclist with black tyres but I could not tell from the picture if this was genuine or not.
#20105 Scot – brown pipes on bagpipes
In 1979 Bully lost the rights to produce smurfs and by 1980 Schleich was starting to show both Bully and Schleich made smurfs in their catalogue. Little changed with the Bully smurfs pictured in 1980 Schleich catalogue to what wasactually released except for Scot, #20105 which was pictured with brown bagpipes and sold with yellow bagpipes instead. What is a mystery with this smurf, was it Bully or Schleich who changed the colour of the bagpipes. To complicate things, Schleich never changed the Bully markings on Scot between 1980 to 1984 due to some legal agreement made between Bully and Schleich.
1988 Schleich Dealer’s Catalogue
In the 1988 Schleich Dealer’s catalogue, the Foreman #20229 had a white hard helmet which was later changed to orange. It is also interesting to see that Hula Smurfette and Fitness were only hand drawn sketches. By 1989 the actual figurines appeared in the Schleich catalogue. It should also be noted at this point that in 1988 and 1991 there were no new smurfs produced by Schleich.
Even in 2017 Groom Smurf, #20796 was originally pictured wearing a black suit and top hat. So imagine my surprise when I received mine wearing a grey suit and top hat. My guess is that they decided to change the colour of the suit so Groom Smurf would not be confused with Bride & Groom, #20746 released in 2013. I think I prefer the Groom wearing a black suit.
Then there is always the infamous Christmas Bell Ringer shown in 1984 Schleich catalogue or the Fireman with the red hose in the 1992 Schleich catalogue……….
This week I had a pleasant surprise when I received the 2017 smurfs in the post. I was not expecting them until February so to receive them in January was absolute bonus. I am always a tad cautious about making my mind up solely on a picture I had seen on the web and the 2017 smurfs were no exception. So as always I opened up the box and slowly started examining each one.
These smurfs are definitely different to others Schleich has released before. The pvc material used to make the smurfs feels very different. Yes they are still made of a hard material but in the past you could squeeze a smurf and it would give a little but not the new ones.
The look of the 2017 smurfs have also changed quite a bit from previous years. It is almost like the smurfs have been on a diet and lost some weight. Things like their tails and hands appear to be half the size of what they used to be. But the most obvious change is with their eyes and eyebrows. The 2017 smurfs all appear to have the same pair of eyes and thin eyebrows. Previously the pupils and eyebrows used to be hand painted onto the smurf and by doing this it allowed each figurine to display their own personality. Sadly this is no longer the case.
But for me the biggest disappointment is with Valentine Smurfette and Bride. In my opinion they look very bland and it feels that Smurfette has lost some of her feminine touch. Yes she still has her long golden blonde hair but she no longer looks flirtatious. This I found very surprising considering the release of the new smurf movie – The Lost Village where it appears Smurfette appears to play a pivotal role in the film.
I have also found the Smurf with Flowers is top heavy and is constantly falling over unless supported. I refuse to prop my smurfs with things like blue tack or adhesive tape. Otherwise I really like this smurf.
The Groom was originally shown in early pictures with a black suit but my version has the Groom in a grey suit.
The Smurf with key and 4 Leaf Clover are very simple but still very cute. Wearing their famous white trousers and holding out their chosen prop. This should be pleasing for some collectors who felt the Jungle themed smurfs from 2016 were not very smurf like.
Lastly these smurfs were all made in China and include the standard address markings along with a time stamp. Time will tell if they decide to make these in Germany or Tunisia in the future.
Now I just need to be patient and wait for the Movie Set Smurfs!
The hunt for the new release Smurfs 2017 is now on now that we have hit January. When it comes to the smurfs, Schleich has decided to wait until after Christmas to release their new smurfs. This works for me most of the time but this time it’s driving me a little crazy. Let me explain why.
I have also seen a picture of the Groom Smurf wearing a light grey suit, so time will tell whether or not we have a Groom Smurf wearing a black or light grey suit. For someone who loves collecting variations let’s hope we get both!
Also announced are three three movie smurf sets being released to coincide of the release of the new smurf movie – Smurfs The Lost Village. The funny the thing with this, is that we have very little information on these sets.
Smurfs 2017 Movie Set 1 – Schleich Ref# 20800
Includes 3 smurfs
Smurfs 2017 Movie Set 2 – Schleich Ref# 20801
Includes 3 smurfs. Good chance one is Smurfette
Smurfs 2017 Movie Set 3 – Schleich Ref# 20802
Includes six smurfs
These are taken from 2017 Schleich catalogue. It’s almost comical how they have displayed these or perhaps the smurfs are still in the early planning stages.
There is also going to be a Smurf House with two smurfs going to be released at some stage. Once again the details are a little sketchy.
Smurf House with 2 figurines – Schleich Ref 20803.
So you can now understand why I am little bit excited about the smurf prospects for 2017. 2016 was a year full of surprises by Schleich. At the beginning of the year we thought we were going to get eight soccer smurfs but only got four. Then out of no where the Halloween Smurfs were reproduced.
Happy smurf hunting to you all in 2017 and thank you once again for taking the time to read this. Smurf collecting is my passion and hopefully yours as well.