Prototype Smurfs

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 wheels also 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 was actually 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……….

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

Deceptive Super Smurf Boxes

Back in the day when Schleich first started producing Super Smurfs something unthinkable was happening. Some called it deceptive others called it misleading. So how would you respond if you just brought yourself a Super Smurf only to find it isn’t the same as what was shown on the box.

Between 1978 to around 1983 Schleich produced a box with Super Schlumpf!! printed on the box in black bold letters. All Super Smurfs from 40201 Bobsled to 40232 Log Car can be found with this style of box. Upon looking at the picture of the Super Smurf on the box to the actual Super Smurf inside the box, it was quite surprising how many differences could be found. Allow me to give you some examples:

Skier – pictured with green skies on the box and actually came with silver skies.

Car Driver – pictured with a gold steering wheel on red car and actually came with a yellow steering wheel.

Fencer – pictured with yellow foil guards and actually  came with golden foil guards.

Lawnmower – pictured with a brown lawnmower and actually came with a yellow bladed lawnmower.

Fireman – pictured with a silver helmet and actually came with a light blue/grey helmet

Cyclist – pictured with black tyres with white spokes and actually came with grey tyres with white spokes. 

Both in the UK and the US the same pictures were being used on their prospective boxes between 1979 to 1983. I would have thought that Wallace Berrie would have used their own pictures considering their smurfs were being made in Hong Kong and quite often painted with different colours than their European counterparts.

Between 1983 to 1991 Schleich changed the details on the box to Super Schlumpf Smurf!! It was displaying details in German, English and French but in most cases the pictures were not changed.

To be honest I was quite amazed that there was not more fuss about this at the time. Maybe there was, I just could not find anything substanal. It definitely keeps us poor collectors on our toes.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B