Head Chef Smurf

I wish I could lip read what this Smurf is saying. Head Chef #20099 is holding a raised large yellow rolling pin in his left hand. The Smurf is also wearing a white chef’s hat, apron and a light yellow bow tie. We can tell by his open mouth that he is yelling.

Head Chef was first made by Bully in 1978. It’s a wonderful piece of work by artist Irmingard Hieber – Neufischer. Her ability to bring Peyo’s characters to life, in the form of a toy figurine should never be taken for granted. Bully continued to make Head Chef until the start of 1980.

Schleich sold it first until 1986 and then later between 1991 and 1993. It was never sold by Wallace Berrie or BP. Strangely enough though it was made out of Sri Lanka.

Another odd thing, in the Der Schlumpf Katalog IV published in 2003, a version of Head Chef is listed with Hong Kong markings. To be honest I don’t think this actually exists. But as they say the proof is in the pudding!

There are countless fakes and repaints that have been made of Head Chef. Anything from Comic No Toxico (CNT), to Polish, to transparent Mexican ones and everything in between.

Should you be looking at adding Head Chef to your collection, there are a couple of things to look out for. Firstly the rolling pin is typically a darker yellow colour compared to his bow tie. If you like to collect Smurfs with different paint dots keep an eye out for green and red paint dots.

Lastly can someone tell me what he is yelling about?

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Hunting for another Hunter Smurf

The Hunter Smurf aims to shoot his silver gun when a yellow bird lands on the end of the gun. This is possibly the most comical figurine ever released.

This Smurf constantly brings a smile on my face. The confusion in his eyes says so much, without saying anything. I also like how the position of the head can vary depending on the mould. This is a very clever trick used by the makers that should have been used more.

Hunter Smurf #20106 was made between 1979 to 1989. It was first made by Bully, right at the end of their tenure. By 1980 Bully had lost the licence to make and sell Smurfs to Schleich.

As part of the agreement, Schleich was not able to remove the Bully markings from the figurines until around 1984. Hunter Smurf can be found with both Bully and Schleich markings.

In 1982 Hunter Smurf was also being produced out of Hong Kong. It was then sold by BP New Zealand and Wallace Berrie for the USA. It looks like the same mould was used in Hong Kong and Europe. But true to this period, the Hunter Smurf painted in Hong Kong is found with darker colours.

Sadly the Smurfs being produced in 2020, appear to lack imagination. Some of 2020 Smurfs have recycled ideas from past Smurfs. A Smurf hugging a bottle or a Smurf with a medal. However this is what makes Hunter Smurf so distinctive, possibly even quirky. There is no other Smurf like this or ever will be.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Piano Super Smurf

Considered rare, this Smurf can be found playing the piano with his eyes closed. Like many of the Smurfs produced in the 1980’s this one is based on a popular activity rather than a personality trait. First produced in 1983 by both Schleich and Wallace Berrie, the Piano Super Smurf (#4.0229) is still popular as ever. It was also produced as one of the most wanted promotional Smurfs.

There are two possibly three variations of the Piano Super Smurf that can be found. The Schleich version is a dark brown piano, a dull dark piano stool, with a sheet music stand. The Wallace Berrie version made out of Hong Kong has a lighter brown piano, a light brown piano stool, without a sheet music stand. 

If you are keen to find the markings for the piano, you may require a good pocket torch to see them. Basically you need to turn the piano upside down and look inside the empty part of the piano. 

The Piano Super Smurf was also used by Schimmel Pianos. The piano sheet music displayed and features a red and white ‘Schimmel Pianos’ sign. The box also has a ‘Schimmel Pianos sticker on it. This considered extremely rare and the price can vary greatly depending if it comes with its box. 

Piano Variations

Without sheet music stand, the sheet music slots into the piano from the base of the sheet music. 

With sheet music stand, is triangular in shape and sits on top of the piano where the sheet music locks into the stand. 

Boxes

I only have two versions of the Piano Super Smurf and both of mine came with our their prospective box. I also think that one of mine, has been mixed up as a Smurf figurine with W.Germany markings and a piano with Hong Kong markings. Not quite right, but still nice to have on display. 

Schleich version – On the front of the box it is in German and English and on the back it is in French. 

Front: Super Schlumpf Smurf. 

Back: Schtroumpfs A Schtroumpfs

Wallace Berrie – On the front and back had the words Super Smurf!! It also displayed the Wallace Berrie article number on the bottom of the box 6737.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts on the Piano Super Smurf. If you have anything that you would add and share please feel free to add a comment. I am also always constantly looking for new ideas!

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

National Smurf

One of the more interesting Smurf products released by Schleich was the National Smurf with the petrol pump. This was a special release produced for National Benzole back around 1979. National Benzole was a petrol company that launched the Smurfs in the UK between 1978 to 1982. 

National Benzole in conjunction with Schleich produced a petrol pump with National branding on the pump. This was released in its own unique box. I think this may have been the only box that included the word ‘National’ on the front of the box. It is also the only Playset that included a Smurf figurine.

As stated on the box the pack included – National Smurf, Pump & Hose with nozzle, plus pump base.  

The pump includes blue and white stickers on the front and back. It says ‘National’ on the top and ‘Premium’ on the bottom. Under the petrol gauge it displays the word ‘Gallons. They used the colours blue and yellow on the pump to match with the National Benzole colours. 

The hose is made so it attaches to the top of the pump and the hose’s trigger has been created to fit into the Cleaner’s hand. The pump base is made out of a light grey plastic material and is oval in shape. The markings can be found underneath – W.Germany Schleich S © 1979. The base has been given the look to appear like cobblestones.

National Cleaner Smurf

The Cleaner figurine (#20052) has a National emblem on the front of the white overalls. If you have the chance to look at any Schleich catalogues from 1980 to 1984, you will see they displayed the National Cleaner. 

The markings can be found under its feet – W.Germany Schleich S © Peyo with a mustard paint dot. 

There are also a small hole under each foot. This may have made like this with the intention for the Smurf to stand on some kind of platform or base. 

Consider this

So when considering adding this one to your collection, the temptation may be to buy just the petrol pump and the figurine without the box. Don’t! In my opinion the box is just as valuable as the petrol pump and the National Cleaner figurine. For this reason alone, this is one of the few Smurf items that I have decided to keep in its original box. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Aerobic Smurfette which is which

Today I thought I would like to share and discuss some information on Aerobic Smurfette. But which one? As there are two Smurfettes that share the same name but not the same aerobic exercise. Which one do you prefer, the first one with her arms outstretched, wearing a pink leotard and leg warmers (#20183) or the second one where she is lying on her back, with her raised while wearing matching pink leotard and leg warmers (#20457)? 

Aerobic Smurfette – #20183

Aerobic Smurfette was first released in 1984 and was sold up until 1995 by Schleich. The interesting thing is that Aerobic Smurfette started with light coloured leg warmers and in the years 1987 to 1990 they were displaying her with darker coloured leg warmers. 

In 1985 Schleich included Aerobic Smurfette as part of the Jubilee Set that was released to celebrate their 20th anniversary producing Smurfs. The set consisted of 19 Smurfs, individually blister packed. Each Smurf chosen to represent its year of production, is stamped in gold on the back of its head with a design consisting of leaves, date of issue and Peyo’s signature. Each package also contains Smurfs Jubilee postage type stamps.

Aerobic Smurfette was also produced by Applause (formerly known as Wallace Berrie) in 1984 and 1985. In 1984, Smurfette was extremely popular in the US. One only has to flick through an old catalogue to get an idea on how popular Smurfette was. One such campaign was referred to as Smurfette Boutique. 

As you will find with this Aerobic Smurfette, there are nice coloured variations to be found. The most obvious colour variations is her leg warmers. From light lavender leg warmers to pink to dark purple. Collectors who like different markings will also not be disappointed. 

Aerobic Smurfette – #20457

In 1999 Schleich released a new Aerobic Smurfette. In the beginning it was only sold for two years.  The Smurfs produced in 1999 were at the time known as the New Generation Smurf Series. This was mostly because some of these new Smurfs had been produced earlier by Schleich and had received a completely new makeover.  

Aerobic Smurfette was later re-released in 2011 as part of the 1990 to 1989 Decade Box Set. At the time I took the Smurfs out of their display boxes as I wanted to see what markings were used, I now regret this. 

In 2013 Aerobic Smurfette along with the other Smurfs used as part of the decade box series were either sold individually on a blue blister card. 

What do you think?

What are your feelings about new Smurf figurines that are produced with the same names as figurines that were produced previously? In my opinion as both Aerobic Smurfette’s are quite different from each other I don’t have a problem with it. At least it keeps you on your toes when you are looking to add more Smurfs to your collection. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

The Smurf with the hard hat

This smurf can also be sometimes referred as Architect, Baumeister, Master Builder or Foreman (#2.0229) We commonly know this smurf, by his orange hard hat, yellow jacket and green boots. While carrying his plans in the right hand and a measuring stick in the left hand. It also looks like he is yelling out instructions.

Architect was one of four Smurfs released in 1989. This included Wild Smurf, Hula Smurfette and Fitness. However can be seen on the cover of the 1988 Schleich catalogue wearing a white hard hat. I don’t think it was ever released like this, as in the following year Architect can be found with an orange hard hat. There were no new smurfs released by Schleich in 1988. 

Irwin Toys

In 1995 Irwin Toys started selling Smurfs in the US and Canada. This venture did not last long as by October 1996 Irwin Toys stopped selling Smurfs due to poor sales. Architect was one of the smurfs that was sold by Irwin Toys either on a blister card, a loose smurf from counter top box or as a keychain.

Architect was also included an 8 pack of normal smurf display box. These were produced for the US and Canadian markets, so possible to find in English and French. For example the Canadian box referred to these as – SMURFS SCHTROUMPFS.

All the smurf figurines sold by Irwin Toys were all made in China and given the same article number #20825. There is also no reference to Irwin Toys on the markings found on the smurf. 

Schleich continued to sell Architect up until 1999. Over the ten years there appears to be no major changes made. If anything, if I were to compare my collection of Architect Smurfs, some have been painted with shiny paint colours and others with more matte colours. The size of their tongues also vary. Again nothing major but a difference when closely comparing one to another. 

Architect, is a beautifully designed and a well made smurf figurine. The detail work of the hard hat and the boots are both worthy of a mention. If you like smurfs with plenty of colour and character, Architect is a must for your smurf collection.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Smurf with Mirror

When we think about the 80’s, images of the Smurfs is never far from one’s imagination. Recently I went to 80’s theme party and out of the 12 or so people dressed up as Smurfs there were at least 3 people dressed up imitating Vanity also known Smurf with Mirror.  Vanity has always been one of the main characters of the Smurfs comics, cartoon series and movies. Which may help explain why people easily associate with this Smurf.  

With his red mirror in his right hand, Vanity Smurf admires his own reflection. In the beginning Schleich and Bully referred to this smurf as Eitler which translated from German to English means Vain. This may explain why BP Australia referred to it as Vanity Smurf when it was first released in 1979. However in the US, Wallace Berrie referred to as Mirror Smurf. All of these countries used the same Smurf but referred to as something different. 

Know what to look for

When looking to add Smurf with Mirror to your collection, you must take into consideration that this Smurf was first produced back in 1972 by Schleich. So it is possible to find it with a Schleich emblem under it’s feet.  

Around 1974 Bully had the rights to produce the Smurfs, and removed the Schleich emblem. The markings found on the Bully ones, has no reference to Bully it is just W.Germany © Peyo. 

As on many of these with this marking you can find the smurf made out of both the softer pvc material and harder pvc material. Typically the ones made with softer pvc material, has it’s pupils painted more centred. Whereas the ones made out of harder pvc material has it’s pupils painted closer to the nose. 

In Australia, the Smurf with Mirror was made out of Hong Kong using a harder pvc material. They are also typically painted with a darker extreme colours compared to the ones made out of Germany. Apart from that, it looks like they used the same mould.  

This is a Smurf worth adding to one’s collection. Not only is it still easy to find, but most people can easily identify who this Smurf is when it is displayed. Over the years Schleich has made newer versions of Vanity which are also worth collecting. However, I still prefer the early Smurfs produced by Schleich and Bully. I like that a simple design of a figurine can be altered ever so slightly by the way it’s pupils have been added by the painter. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Sauna Smurf

For some time now, Smurf collectors have been left scratching their heads and bemused by the fact that on some of the Sauna Smurf’s you can see its blue tail. One would have thought that it should be under the towel and should not be seen.

Sauna Smurf (#20108) can be found washing his back with a scrubbing brush with his left hand and holding a cake of frothy soap in his right hand, while wearing a red towel around his waist. It was first made by Bully in 1979 and later sold by Schleich from 1980 to 1993, 1997, 1998 and 2000. It was also made out of Hong Kong between 1981 to 1984.

German made

All German made Sauna Smurfs have unpainted tails and can be found with Bully and Schleich markings. However, the Bully made ones are made out of a white pvc material and the Schleich ones are made out of blue pvc material. The colour and the thickness of the brush can also be found. I have always found it difficult to distinguish the colour differences on the brush, especially when looking at photographs online. For me, there are too many other factors in play, such as the lighting, the quality of the photo etc.

All the newer German made ones there are no differences found with the brushes. 

Hong Kong made

Like the Bully made ones, the Sauna Smurf produced out of Hong Kong was made out of white pvc material. With the Hong Kong made ones, you can always see its blue tail. Not really sure why they did this…. But they did.

Sauna Smurf was first made in Hong Kong around 1981 and was sold by both BP New Zealand and Wallace Berrie for the US market. I don’t think it was released by BP Australia but I could be wrong. 

Like a lot of Smurfs made out of Hong Kong, you can find ones with the year marking changed. From  1979 changed to 1980 and then back again to 1979. It is thought this happened around 1982 when Smurfs were only being made for Wallace Berrie. This was also around the same time that the colour of brush changed from light tan colour to an ocher brown colour. 

Fakes

Due to the popularity of Sauna Smurf, there are many different fakes to be found. Some are beautifully crafted and painted like the PVC No Toxico ones and then there are the fakes from Mexico made out of different coloured rubber like material. 

When looking to add Sauna Smurf to your collection don’t forget to check if you can see his tail. You can tell a lot about someone from looking at them from their behind.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Gardener Smurf with rake

I call this one Gardener with Rake (#20138) to avoid confusion with the that actually has hay. But for some reason there are collectors out there who refer to this Smurf as Haymaker or Farmer. Not sure why but they do.

The Gardener with Rake can be found wearing a straw hat, dark green apron, white trousers, dark brown shoes, while holding a rake. The rake is a loose removable accessory. As the rake is a removable accessory it is possible to find it with different coloured rakes. I don’t think however they were actually sold like this by Schleich or Wallace Berrie. Nice to add to your collection but not quite correct!

Schleich version

Schleich sold Gardener with Rake between 1983 to 2000 then again in 2011 and 2013. The Schleich mould is made out of blue pvc material and is painted with lighter colours. In the beginning the straw hat was more of a beige colour and this was later changed to a yellow, possibly around 1991. This would have been around the time that they removed the W in front of Germany (due to the reunification of Germany) and added the CE to the markings. 

However when Gardener with Rake was given away with the French magazine Je Collectionne les Schtroumpfs in 2004 it had a darker beige straw hat and was made out of China. 

Hong Kong version 

The Gardener with the Rake is considered one of a few made in Hong Kong from 1982. It was also around 1982 that BP Australia stopped selling Smurfs.  So the smurfs being produced out of Hong Kong were mainly for the US market. This explains why you can find the Gardener with Rake with three different Hong Kong markings.   

  1. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S © 1982 Peyo
  2. Made in Hong Kong W.B.CO. Schleich S © 1982 Peyo
  3. Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie &Co. Schleich S © 1982 Peyo

Like a lot to Smurfs made and painted out of Hong Kong, the figurine is made out of white pvc material and is painted with darker colours. 

1980 to 1989 Schleich Decade Display Boxes

In 2011, Schleich released the Decade Display Boxes. Gardener with Rake was included in the 1980 to 1989 Decade Display Box. I recall at the time, that I took all of smurfs out of the display box as I was excited to find that they had new markings. Now looking back I wish I left them in their display boxes. How was I to know that two years later they would re-release the Smurfs individually?  

But that’s how it goes when you collect something……

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Card Player Smurf

Card Player Smurf – is it a promotional or normal regular Smurf? Some say it is, some say it’s not and others like me say it is both. The Card Player Smurf was first shown in 1980 Schleich catalogue but was actually available before this. The card playing Smurf holds his cards in his left hand, while he covers his right hand over his mouth. We can also see that he has card tucked into the top of his white trousers and has one eye open peeping at his cards. 

The Card Player Smurf was first produced by Schleich in 1978, possibly as a promotional Smurf for ASS. Card Player holding card with ASS symbol on card. It was also produced without the ASS emblem and has the markings W.Germany Schleich S © 78 Peyo under its feet.  On some of these early ones, the colour of the heart printed on the card can vary from light pink to red. Also possible to find with overpainted hearts on card or a completely blank card. 

Later the markings on the Card Player was changed. This may have something to do with the Smurf being sold by National Petroleum in 1980 in the UK. At this time it was also being made out of West Germany and Portugal. Due to its popularity it was also being painted out of Sri Lanka. So it is possible to find the Card Player with a mustard or red paint dot.

The Card Player was also produced out of Hong Kong. It was sold by BP Australia, BP New Zealand and Wallace Berrie for the US market. The Hong Kong version shows us the ASS emblem on the card but does not include the word ASS on the card. Not sure why they did this but the year marking on the Hong Kong version is 1978 and not 1980. 

The Card Player was also used extensively on triangle pedestals, music boxes and podiums with cards. Both the European and Hong Kong figurines were used. 

Schleich sold Card Player (#20056) between 1980 to 1991 and then again in 1996 and 1997. The Card Player was made out of Hong Kong between 1981 to 1984. Countless fakes have also been made. 

The ASS Card Player was one of the first promotional Smurfs I collected. This was probably due to its price being so reasonable compared to many of the other promo’s out there. They sure must have made a lot of these, as they are still pretty easy to find today. It also has a cheeky disposition that is hard not to like. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Who is ASS?

Ass Alterburger (ASS stands for Alterburger und Stralsunder Spielkartenfabrik) is a German card playing company. They also make jigsaw puzzles and other board games. In the late 1970s the company were making a lot of items featuring the Smurfs. Some of these items included photographs of Smurfs that at the time were being made by both Bully and Schleich. Sometimes the Card Player Smurf was also sold with a deck of cards.