Nostalgia Alert! Hiker Smurf

One of my favourite Smurfs is Hiker, first produced in 1978. There are two Schleich versions of Hiker though I am really familour with only one. Wearing a yellow jackey with a green backpack but most notably has a red flower attached to his hat.

I have fond memories from childhood of Hiker. Playing in a sandpit and going on pretend adventures with Hiker. Back then I didn’t care too much for colour or marking variations. This fascination came later when I rediscovered the Smurfs as an adult.

In the late 1970s through to the early 1980s, the demand for Smurfs globally was massive. For example, Hiker was made in four different countries by Schleich; West Germany/Germany, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Portugal. I can’t think of any toys in 2021 that are made in four different countries.

In addition, due to the high demand for Smurfs counterfeit versions were also made. Some of these Hiker Smurfs are worth more than the Schleich ones. Such as the Comic no Toxico (CNT) with the soft matte paint colours or the Polish ones with a red stick.

I am a big fan or recycling and use this as an excuse when buying vintage Smurfs. Nieces and nephews are bemused by my collection of 60+ Hikers. I recall trying to explain that each Hiker was different. If I was child, I would have been excited just to see so many Hikers. Or that someone else appeciated going on the adventures with Hiker Smurf.

Possibly the other reason I adored Hiker was a mini story book called The Wandering Smurf. It’s about a Smurf who decided to go on adventure outside the Smurf Village. Papa Smurf also gave him a magic whistle to bring home again. Nostalgia is a powerful feeling that is never far away with Hiker Smurf.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

OMO smurfs

I have to admit, I have never actually brought OMO washing powder/laundry detergent. However if they were sell them again with the offer of a free smurf I surely would be tempted.

In one promotion by OMO 16 mini light blue smurfs were produced with the markings OMO © Peyo 1983. It is thought that these were given away with a box of washing powder. Each mini blue smurf measuring about 2.5 cm to 3 cm represents an actual smurf figurine. These included #20023 Guitarist, 20031 Postman, 20039 Mallet, 20041 Hiker, 20044 Lover, 20049 Tennis, 20050 Pointing, 20059 Teacher, 20062 Telephone, 20068 Football Player, 20095 Oboist, 20123 Policeman, 20126 Rollerskater, 20140 Secretary, 20141 Papa Captain and 20142 Mermaid.

OMO also sold smurfs that displayed the word OMO in black text on the smurf’s shirt. These were typically sold in a plastic sealed bag. These included #20065 Rugby, #20068 Football Player, #20093 Tennis Player. There was also one released holding a box  of OMO washing powder and one holding an OMO box with the words ‘Have a Heart’ on it. It appears that the figurine used for these two are the same one as #20160 Apple smurf. The ‘Have a Heart’ one is also an interesting one as it appears to be the same heart used for #20125 Heart. 

It is a little unclear exactly when this promotion occurred and in which countries. As the mini smurfs have the year 1983 on them it is thought that the promotion was around 1984 and possibly only in France. Though as yet I have not been able to confirm this for sure. 

It has not only been OMO that has sold mini smurfs. Others include may Kinder Surprise, JouJoux, Chupa Chumps to just name a few. 

In 1998 the JouJoux/Zwiefel promotion sold 10 mini Christmas smurfs representing Christmas smurf figurines. These were originally sold in Switzerland, upon where a mini smurf was included with a packet of potato chips. This sounds like my kind of promotion, that would have costed me dearly.

In 2008 the Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn sold 15 minismurfs to coincide with the smurfs 50th anniversary. There was also a nice simple display cardboard box that cames with these smurfs. 

Like any promotional smurfs, it always help to have some idea  of what to look out for. Whether this be any markings, colour variations or just the actual company using a smurf as a promotion. For example OMO smurfs should be found with their whites keeping white and colours vibrant. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath

P.S I would love to your thoughts on today's post by leaving us with a comment. 

Blue Smurfs

We smurf fans have a lot to thank Nine Culliford for. Nine Culliford died on 5th July 2016 and was the wife of Pierre Culliford, more famously known as Peyo. It is thought to believe that it was her suggestion to make the smurfs blue.

UnknownNine Culliford was a colourist and worked closely with Peyo in creating the initial design elements of the smurfs. Different colours were initially discussed at the beginning, but Peyo believed a pink colour would make them look too human like. The colour green was dismissed as the smurfs would live in a forest surrounded by green foliage, the colour red would make them stand out way too much and yellow is considered unlucky by some so that was quickly dismissed. Supposedly in Nine Culliford’s eyes this only left one possible colour – blue.

Nine was the colourist for the Smurfs from their first appearance in “Johan et Pirlouit” (Johan and Peewit) in 1958 until her husband’s death in 1992, and she continued to be active on Smurf projects after her son Thierry and her daughter Véronique took over.

It was in 1959 that the smurfs starred in their own mini stories and was also the same year that we saw the introduction of smurf merchandise. The concept was conceived by Dupuis when they started to produce 5cm latex figurines of their characters that included the Smurfs.

It is hard to think of any other comic character that is not as well known as the Smurfs. Their distinctive blue colour ensures that Smurfs will always be unique and unlike anything else.

If some call Peyo the spiritual father of the Smurfs then Nine must surely be called their spiritual mother. Nine Culliford was 86 years of age when she passed away.

Thank you Nine for your contribution, R.I.P

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B