Nostalgic Smurf Review #20031 Mailman Smurf

What Smurf best reminds you of your childhood? For many, Mailman Smurf is one that often comes to mind. Mailman toots his yellow horn and holds a letter up high. While carrying a satchel full of envelopes over one shoulder. In my opinion, this is what nostalgia looks like.

Most envelopes have a love heart on the envelope, others have Christmas holly and others are blank. Though even with the Christmas holly and blank envelopes, you can still see the outline of a heart. 

Sold between 1978 to 2000 then again in 2011 by Schleich. Wallace Berrie also sold Mailman Smurf throughout it’s entirety, 1979 to 1984. Nobody knows how many were produced but it must have been a lot. 

I had no idea Mailman Smurf with Christmas holly on the envelope, was first sold in the UK. In December 1978 by National Benzol. It wasn’t until February 1979, that Mailman Smurf with the heart on the envelope came available in the UK. I would love to know which one sold the most. (No pun intended)

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Rarity Guide

In my opinion, I am going to give Mailman Smurf with a heart on the envelope a score of 21 Papa Smurf. Not really rare but still still worth collecting.

But Mailman Smurf with Christmas holly on the envelope a score of 3 Papa Smurfs.
Extremely Rare – you’re lucky if you have this one

1 Papa SmurfNot really rare but still worth collecting
2 Papa SmurfsRare – but not too difficult to find
3 Papa SmurfsExtremely Rare – you’re lucky if you have this one
4 Papa SmurfsUltra Rare – requires skill to collect
5 Papa SmurfsVery Rare – a legendary Smurf

For all the things I enjoy about Smurf collecting……..

For all the things I enjoy about Smurf collecting…….. Is that every Smurf is different because of their hand painted touches, that makes each one unique. Especially with the older Smurfs and their eyes. A simple and small touch of difference.

Now it’s your turn, to share what you enjoy about Smurf collecting 

Classic Review: #20014 Sunbather Smurf

Back in 1979 Schleich started making Smurfs in Hong Kong. To cut costs, Schleich would use spray paint on these Smurfs. This included Sunbather Smurf with yellow & black striped bathers and green & black striped bathers. Both sold by BP in Australia and New Zealand.

But did you know there are at least three different marking versions of the Sunbather Smurf made in Hong Kong?

  1. Schleich emblem © Peyo
  2. Hong Kong Schleich emblem © Peyo
  3. Hong Kong Schleich S © 1970 Peyo (emblem removed)

Schleich did also produce a painted version of Sunbather with green and black striped bathers. When looking for differences between the two, look at the back of the head where the Smurf has his hands. Also check the paint finish of the black stripes on the bathers. Lastly the painted version has a cavity number on his back.

In my opinion the Sunbather Smurf sold in Australia was only ever the spray painted variant.

Finally did you know Wallace Berrie referred this Smurf as Sleeping Smurf. Sold between 1979 to 1981.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

I am going to give Sunbather Smurf a score of 2 Papa Smurfs

Rare – but not too difficult to find

1 Papa SmurfNot really rare but still worth collecting
2 Papa SmurfsRare – but not too difficult to find
3 Papa SmurfsExtremely Rare – you’re lucky if you have this one
4 Papa SmurfsUltra Rare – requires skill to collect
5 Papa SmurfsVery Rare – a legendary Smurf

Review: #20122 Cowboy Smurf

A long weekend is the best way to indulge yourself with your Smurf collection. Whether it’s buying new Smurfs or rediscovering old ones, spending time with your collection can be rewarding. For me I have rediscovered there are at least four different variants of Cowboy Smurf.

Here is my list of variations of cowboy Smurf, listed in no particular order. 

  1. Blue PVC, khaki rope, silver gun in holster, red bandana painted at back
  2. White PVC, white rope, brown gun in holster, red bandana not painted at back
  3. Blue PVC, light tan rope, silver gun in holster, red bandana painted at back
  4. White PVC, beige rope, silver gun in holster, red bandana painted at back

Lastly I want to share an ad from the BP Summer Getaway Guide from 1982. It shows Cowboy Smurf was available for just 99 cents. How many of you recall as a kid getting Smurfs from BP Service stations? Happy days. 

Keep on Smurfin
Kath

I am going to give this a score of 2 Papa Smurfs. Rare – but not too difficult to find.

Rarity Guide
1 Papa SmurfNot really rare but still worth collecting
2 Papa SmurfsRare – but not too difficult to find
3 Papa SmurfsExtremely Rare – you’re lucky if you have this one
4 Papa SmurfsUltra Rare – requires skill to collect
5 Papa SmurfsVery Rare – a legendary Smurf

Vintage Smurf Review: Judge Smurf #20016

At first, Smurf collecting can seem overwhelming. Collectors are constantly sharing their collection’s online, or the latest Smurf merchandise release is creating a frenzy. Smurf collecting doesn’t have to be a hobby that breaks the bank. Vintage figurines from the 1970’s is a great place to start building your dream collection. For example let’s look at Judge Smurf, first sold in 1972 by Schleich.

I have chosen to review Judge Smurf because it was mass produced. In Australia you will typically find Judge Smurf wearing a red robe with Hong Kong markings. From my experience, these old BP Smurfs are making a comeback. Typically from a generation who are going through their grown up adult child toys.

Whereas in Europe you are more likely to find a Judge Smurf with a black or red robe. In the beginning Judge was first sold with a black robe by Schleich. However,  between 1974 to 1977 when Bully had the rights to produce the Smurfs they changed the robe to red. Ever since the robe has stayed red.

Smurf Tip!

Though buying online has its advantages to getting rare Smurfs, it also has its disadvantages. From my own experience, I was able to buy a Judge Smurf with a red robe, with Portugal markings. The Smurf itself was not expensive but the postage was. Also when it arrived it smelt like disinfectant and had to be aired outside for 2 days. My advice is to get to know the Seller before buying. 

Whether you are just wanting one or starting a collection, there are plenty of vintage Smurfs out there. Most vintage Smurfs are worth collecting and displaying around your house or work desk. Most people are fascinated with vintage Smurfs and will be happy to share their stories with you.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B


Fast Facts on Judge Smurf:

Schleich: 1971 – 1973/1976 – 1985/1991 – 1992, made in W/Germany and Portugal

Bully: 1975 – 1977, made in West Germany

Wallace Berrie: 1979 – 1980, made in Hong Kong

BP Australia: 1979 – 1982, made in Hong Kong

How to judge a Smurf?

Are you a good judge of recognising a fake Smurf? Recently I received a Judge Smurf #20016 that looked genuine at first glance but wasn’t.

Judge Smurf was first sold wearing a black robe with black glasses and points with one hand. His mouth is also wide open showing his red mouth. Later the robe was painted red, which is more common variant.

So far everything seemed to be what I expected. Though it wasn’t until I inspected more closely that certain aspects of the Judge Smurf made me feel it was a fake.

Firstly, the ears were lacking their inner curved shape and looked flat. The other thing the hands also looked flat, especially the index finger that was pointing out. There was also no flexibility in the pvc material. One could call it a rock.

Like other Smurfs sold before 1974, when Bully won the production rights from Schleich they removed the Schleich emblem from the Smurf.

However if you look closely at these markings, you can often see the outline of the round emblem. Oddly enough I could not see this, though instead it had the markings W.Germany Peyo. Just because a Smurf has markings doesn’t mean it’s not a fake.

In summary, enjoy the experience of getting to know your Smurfs. Genuine or fake. No one is going to judge you for your purchases except you. 

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

P.S Here, is another article I wrote that features Judge Smurf

http://www.smurfs.com.au/random-smurf-thoughts/smurfs-discover-australia-1979/

Classic Smurf Question: Spy Smurf #20008

Spy Smurf wears a red cape and a black mask to hide his identity. He has his finger over his mouth, in a shushing motion. Like a lot of early figurines made by Schleich, the origins of Spy was from the comic The Smurf King.

Today instead of reviewing a Smurf, I would like to ask collectors a question about Spy Smurf. I am no expert when it comes to collecting but I do have over 50 Spy Smurfs. That kind of makes me some what knowledgeable or a freak!

Do you consider the Spy Smurf with the pink inside the cape a variation?

I have some Spy Smurfs with a pink shade inside of the cape. Is this a variation or discolouration?

Some say it’s the red paint that discoloured the pvc material. Similar to the Postman’s mail bag or underneath the Drummer. But some think it’s impossible for paint to go through think plastic and discolour it. So is it more like an undercoat of paint?

Highly sought after by collectors is the Spy with red inside of the cape. It is thought Bully started this between 1973 to 1977 to some Spy Smurfs but not all. Typically Spy has white inside of the cape but some have a pink tinge inside.

One theory is that the pink colour is from undercoat of the red paint. Later removed by Schleich painters around 1977/78 who were removing the red paint inside of the cape. In my opinion, I call this a variation even if it wasn’t intentional.

What are your thoughts on Spy Smurf?

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

If you like to collect Spy Smurfs, please find some other pieces I have written about Spy.

http://www.smurfs.com.au/random-smurf-thoughts/smurfs-discover-australia-1979/

http://www.smurfs.com.au/smurf-figures/masked-smurf/

Review: Flower Smurf

I was so excited when I first collected Flower Smurf. Up until then, I had only found a Flower Smurf without its flower. Like many Smurfs from the early 1970s, Flower Smurf is simple in design with a touch of colour. The colour is the Smurf’s flower that sits in the corner of its mouth.

The other standout feature of the early Smurfs us they were hand-painted, compared to Smurfs made today. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t collect Smurfs that adding eyebrows to a figurine can make a big difference. For example, early Flower Smurfs had no eyebrows like many Smurfs produced in the early 1970’s. It is hard to know if Bully or Schleich painters added the eyebrows.

Another point of difference was the flower. In Germany (then known as West Germany) the flower was attached to pin that was inserted into the side of the Smurf’s mouth. Whereas in Hong Kong, a nylon flower was glued to the side of the mouth.

Different coloured flowers

Do you think the different flowers found with Flower Smurf are genuine? To be honest I am not sure because the catalogues only showed a red flower. However some of the collector’s guide books show different coloured flowers. And what about red plastic flower often referred to as a ‘test version?’

Markings

I like to list the markings on my Smurfs because I find it easier to compare them with each other.

  1. W.Germany Schleich emblem Peyo
  2. W.Germany Peyo (emblem removed by Bully)
  3. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S Peyo 1972
  4. Made in Portugal Peyo (emblem removed)
  5. Made in Portugal Peyo 1972 (no reference to Schleich in the markings)

Finally did you know that Flower Smurf was one of nine Smurfs first sold by BP Australia in 1979? No wonder why there are so many Flower Smurfs in Australia missing their flowers. If their original owners were like me, the flower probably ended up at the bottom of the sand pit.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy Flower Smurf as much as I do. What do you of Flower Smurf? Do you think it has the same appeal today as it did back in the 1970’s?

Flautist Smurf

Can anyone tell me why we call this Flautist Smurf? This Smurf wears a red shirt and white ttrousers and plays the flute larger than itself. But the flute looks more like a recorder.

In the 1979 Schleich catalogue, it refers to #20048 as Flöten Schlumpf. Using Google translate in German to English Flöte becomes flute. Even in the Wallace Berrie catalogues they called the figurine Flute Smurf. This oversized instrument looks nothing like a flute!

When I first started collecting, I had never heard of the movie The Smurfs and the Magic Flute. An animated film that was first released in Belgium in 1976, the United Kingdom in 1979 and the USA in 1983. In my opinion, this figurine was the connection between the film and Schleich.

Production Years

Schleich: 1979 to 1992
Wallace Berrie: 1981 to 1983

I am not sure if Flautist Smurf was ever sold by BP in Australia or New Zealand. There is a good chance it was because it was made in Hong Kong. If you happen to know, please leave a comment for us.

Markings

  1. W.Germany Schleich S Peyo
  2. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S Peyo 1978
  3. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S Peyo 1980 (Blocked out 1979 on the foot and added 1980 to the hand – very strange!)
  4. W.Germany Schleich S Peyo 1978 CE
  5. M.China Schleich S Peyo 1978 CE

In my opinion, Flautist is a simple designed figurine, nothing flashy or ordinary. The oversized instrument is the standout because it’s ridiculous but adorable.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

What do you like about Flautist Smurf? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

First Aid Smurf

I like to collect different colour variations of Smurfs. In the beginning, this was more accidental than intentional. I was just fascinated and still am in collecting Smurfs painted or made in different countries. One of the best examples is First Aid Smurf #20054.

In the beginning, I only knew of the First Aid Smurf carrying a white case with a medical cross. This variant was made in Hong Kong and sold by BP Australia in the early 1980s.

Colour variations of First Aid

It wasn’t until I started to collect Smurfs as an adult that I discovered Schleich their version of First Aid Smurf. Their first version of First Aid Smurf was with a brown case without a medical cross. Then a brown case with a medical cross. Around 1984 probably around 1984 possibly earlier, Schleich started to paint the case yellow.

Schleich was very proud to show us that each Smurf was individually hand painted. One only has to look at their 1984 catalogue and the lovely photos to get a glimpse of the process. http://forum.bluecavern.com/viewtopic.php?t=12765

I always thought that Schleich was more adventurous when painting their Smurfs. There appears to be more colour variations by Schleich compared to Wallace Berrie. Was this intentional or accidental?

Some of the many variations of First Aid Smurf

Not surprisingly First Aid Smurf has also been used for different promotions. The colour of the case on these ones also vary in colour and can be fun to collect. Then there is also the hand painted fakes…. endless fun depending on what you like to collect.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B