Christmas Smurfs

As we gradually head towards Christmas I wanted to share with you the different Christmas themed smurfs Schleich released. These were originally sold as a counter display carton, with the article number 20833. What is interesting is to see the number of smurfs increase each year, which goes to show how popular they were.

In the first year – 1983 only two smurfs were released, Santa #20124 and Santa Smurfette #20153. Santa is wearing a red jacket with a yellow belt, white pants, a red hat with a white pom pom while carrying  a sack of toys including a doll. Depending where Santa was painted will determine the colour of the pom pom on the hat and also the colour of the doll’s face. Santa Smurfette is wearing a long hooded red coat with a white trim, while holding a large rectangle shaped present with a red ribbon around it.

In the second year – 1984 two more smurfs added. This included Christmas Smurf #20207 and Christmas Smurfette #20208. Christmas Smurf is also referred to as Christmas Candy & Gift which really isn’t surprising as the smurf is carrying a big candy cane and a green present wrapped in a red ribbon. Christmas Smurfette is wearing a short red coat with a white trim while holding a square shaped present with a red ribbon around it. In my opinion out of all the Christmas themed smurfs these two are the hardest to find.

 

By the third and the fourth year – 1985/1986 Schleich introduced two other Christmas themed smurfs, Christmas Smurfette #20200 and Christmas with Lantern #20201. This Christmas Smurfette is wearing a long green coat while holding out in front of her a white rectangle shaped present with a thin red ribbon. Christmas with Lantern can be found wearing a light brown jacket with a white trim and matching brown hat with Christmas Holly attached to the side. In his right hand he is holding a green square shaped present with a red ribbon and a red & yellow lantern in his left hand. 

The next time we see the six Christmas themed smurfs is in the 1990 Schleich catalogue. This may have something to do with Schleich declaring bankruptcy in the beginning of 1987. 

When thinking of Christmas smurfs most people think only of the ones with a gold cord. Most collector’s sites will display these Christmas smurfs in their own section, where as the Schleich Christmas smurfs are just listed with their other smurfs. This may explain why some of these Christmas themed smurfs are considered rarer and are harder to find. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Diver Smurf also known as Frogman

This smurf is sometimes referred to as Frogman. This was the name National gave the smurf when it was first released in the UK back in 1981 and for some collectors the name has stuck. Wearing his orange wetsuit, black flippers & goggles, red snorkel and a silver spear gun.

There are not many variations of Diver, the main difference appears to be with the tip of the spear gun with some curving forward or back. However this is most likely how the smurf has been stored as the tip is quite flexible.

Diver was one of the last smurfs made by Bully back in 1979. In 1980 Schleich had the rights to produce all the smurf figurines, so they continued to sell Diver with Bully markings right up until 1984. After 1984 Schleich removed the Bully marking and added their own marking under the flippers. Schleich continue to sell Diver up until 1990.

Diver was also made out of Hong Kong and was sold in Australia, possibly New Zealand and in America. In America Wallace Berrie only sold Diver for two years, 1982 to 1984. So it is possible to find with Hong Kong markings and also Hong Kong W. Berrie markings. 

There are appears to be very little differences between the W.German and Hong Kong versions as it appears they both used the same mould but like a lot of smurfs produced in the early 1980’s the difference lies in the type of paint used. 

For example the Diver sold in the UK was typically painted in Portugal (mustard paint dot) and has matte paint colours. The Hong Kong ones were painted with darker shiny paint colours. Diver was also painted in Tunisia, so possible to find with a green paint dot.

Like many smurf collectors, I have a ‘Most Wanted’ List  of smurfs that instead of decreasing in size appears to get bigger everyday. There are two Diver smurfs that are on this list and they include a Spanish (CNT) Diver in an all red diving suit, flippers and goggles. The other is often referred to as ‘Prototype’ and displays Diver with flat feet compared to the ‘regular’ Diver which has it’s back foot raised. I am pretty confident that I am not the only one out there that would love to have this ‘Prototype’ Diver.

In 2000 Schleich released a new generation of smurfs including Scuba Diver (#20466). Though they may share a similar name both Divers are very different from each other, making both worth collecting. I am a big fan of both, though if I had to chose I would probably say Diver is my favourite just because of his expression on his face, especially his eyes. The smurfs made back then seem to have more of a comic disposition to them compared to the smurfs made in the last twenty years.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Christmas Smurfs

I have often wondered are Christmas Smurfs more expensive in December than any other time of the year? Though I have many smurfs within my collection, I still don’t have all the Christmas themed smurfs as I always get distracted buying other smurfs throughout the year. By the time it reaches December I always feel that I have left it to late. Where does one start, when looking for Christmas themed smurfs?

There are twelve different themed Christmas Smurfs. Released by Schleich from 1983 to 1985 and then again in 1992 to 2001. The Christmas smurfs were also released by Wallace Berrie in the USA but as they don’t appear in their catalogues I am not really when – possibly around 1982 to 1985!

Now depending on how you collect your smurfs will determine which path you go down when looking out for Christmas Smurfs. If you collect smurfs based on their markings all twelve Christmas Smurfs can be found with Portugal markings. Some can be found with Hong Kong markings, some with Portugal CE markings and some with China markings.

The Christmas Smurfs are sometimes referred to as the Christmas ornaments with cords. Typically the older ones can be found with their original golden cord or at least with an eyelet for the cord. The eyelet can be positioned on different positions on the smurf. A good example is Christmas Tree Smurf where the older version has the eyelet between the head and the tree. 

For those who like to collect smurfs with different colour variations, the Christmas Smurfs are good value because they were painted in different countries. I like the matte colour paint colours compared to the dark shiny paint colours. Santa Claus is a good one to keep a look out for, as the China version has a white pom pom on his hat compared to a yellow pom pom. Santa Claus was also made out of white or red pvc material.

It is also interesting to note that some of the Christmas Smurfs have been produced as fakes. This includes Wreath (5.1906) Candy Cane (5.1907) Praying Smurf (5.1910) and Praying Smurfette (5.1911). It can be hard to tell a real from a fake and I still don’t remember all the differences. It can also be hard to tell by just looking at a picture, so buying from experienced seller such as Toydreamer can put your mind at rest. At least they can tell you when buying whether it is real or fake, so it takes the guesswork out of the equation.  

There have been other Christmas themed smurfs produced over the years by Schleich. These are just as cute and sometimes more collectible as they don’t have a whole in their head where the eyelet once sat.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

Baby Smurf with Blocks

People say that childhood experiences can have an impact on the choices you make as an adult, so what better smurf to discuss today than Baby Smurf with Blocks first released in 1985. We first see Baby Smurf with Blocks in the 1985 Schleich catalogue. Wearing white pyjamas, sitting playing with three colourful blocks. A yellow block is raised in the right hand, a green block is in front of him and a red block is on his left hand side.

We continue to see this version of Baby with Blocks up until 1989 in the Schleich catalogues.  In 1990 Schleich decided to show us a different colour version with a blue block in front of him instead of green. However back in 1991 Schleich decided to go back to the green coloured in front and continued to use this version until 1998. 

Baby with Blocks is considered one of the last smurfs released into the USA by Applause (formerly known as Wallace Berrie) in 1985. Baby with Blocks was released as a pair with Baby with a Car. The Applause version is painted in lovely pastel colours and like all the other baby smurfs released by Applause in 1985 painted in a sky blue colour. Some of the letters and numbers on the sides of the blocks have also been painted. 

If you like to collect smurfs based on their markings the Baby with Blocks with pastel coloured blocks will have the markings – Made in Hong Kong Schleich S © 1985 Peyo under the blocks. This version is also considered the hardest to find as it was produced for such a short period. 

Baby Smurf with Blocks was also part of the Jubilee series released in 1985 by Schleich. This was to celebrate 20 years Schleich had been producing smurfs. The series consisted of 19 pieces, individually blister packed. Each Smurf chosen to represent its year of production, is stamped in gold on the back of it’s head with a design consisting of leaves, date of issue and Peyo’s signature. Also each blister pack also contained Smurfs Jubilee postage type stamps. The Jubilee Baby with Blocks can be found with both green and blue blocks. 

Don’t be alarmed if you come across a Baby with Blocks that appears to be made out of an odd white/yellow pvc material. When I first received this one, I thought it’s previous owner used to be a smoker due to the colour of the smurf. Later I found out this was actually how it was made. I have one that has a blue block in front with the markings W.Germany Schleich S © 1984 Peyo.

The other cute thing about Baby with Blocks is the colour of the buttons on it’s pyjamas back flap. Typically if it has a green block in front, the buttons on the back will be yellow and if you have a blue block in front, the buttons on the back will be red. Little things amuse small minds!

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Magician – Conjuror – Zauberer Smurf

The hat trick is a classic magic trick where a performer will produce an object (traditionally a rabbit or bouquet of flowers) out of an apparently empty top hat.  The Magician smurf was first produced by Bully in 1979 performing a magic trick with his grey top hat and scarf. Wearing a red cape with a yellow scarf in his left hand and a light green scarf protruding from his grey top hat. 

This variation of the Magician is seen in the Schleich catalogues from 1980 to 1985 and then magically in 1986 it has a black top hat with a a dark green scarf protruding from it. It then reappears with a black top hat in the Schleich catalogues in 1991 to 1994 and again in 1998 & 1999. So only the Bully marked Magician can be found with a grey top hat. 

In the USA, Wallace Berrie sold the Magician with the black top hat only for two years, 1982 to 1984. When it was first sold it had the markings Made in Hong Kong Schleich S © 1979 Peyo under the feet. Later they added W. Berrie Co to the markings. 

I have always thought that they must have produced huge number of these Magician smurfs with W. Berrie Co markings as later on they added a CE hand etched marking to them and sold them throughout Europe. 

However my favourite Magician is a fake not based on the regular smurf. It is fake Magician smurf wearing a red suit with a black bow tie. Under his red jacket his well padded stomach can be seen, hidden by his white shirt. In his right hand he holds out a grey rabbit by it’s ears and in his left hand he holds out his black top hat. I have no idea of the origin of this fake smurf but he is definitely one of my favourite ‘fake’ smurfs. What’s not to like about a slightly overweight smurf performing a magic hat trick. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

 

Hairdresser Smurf

I only have 20 minutes until I have to meet up wth a friend for breakfast who is currently at their hairdresser getting some amazing outlandish new look. So what better smurf to discuss today than Hairdresser Smurf first released by Bully in 1979.

What makes Hairdresser stand out in the crowd, is it’s large red comb in his right hand (which is more than half the size of the smurf) and his silver scissors held high in his left hand, while wearing his customary white trousers and hat.

When Schleich started producing Hairdresser in 1980 it started to include a black dot on the join of the scissors. Because Schleich could not remove the Bully markings until 1984 it is possible to find Bully marked smurfs with this black paint dot.

When Hairdresser was first produced out of Hong Kong, they encounted a greater challenge with the mould and hence the comb’s teeth are in a zigzag pattern. It is possible that they connected the comb in two pieces. This was later changed to appear more like the German mould where the comb has a slight curve to it and the mould is less thick.

The Hong Kong made Hairdresser was sold by BP New Zealand and also the USA by Wallace Berrie between 1981 to 1984. I am not sure if it was ever sold by BP Australia as I have never seen in any old brochures or posters. But there is a good chance it was!

Schleich sold Hairdresser right up until 1991, though I don’t was ever sold with a CE marking. More likely a CE sticker was used or a hand etched marking was added to the mould. It is also appears there were very little changes were made over the 12 years Schleich sold this smurf.

Due to the popularity and the demand for smurfs in the early 1980’s many fakes were also produced. I have a fake from Spain that has a ‘Made in Spain’ added to the bottom of the feet. There is also a Spanish fake that has black scissors!

At breakfast after my friend showed off his new hairstyle and tried to tell me how gorgeous he now looks, I decided to show him Hairdresser smurf. My friend doesn’t collect anything and is always amazed how I can bring smurfs into any conversation. At least talking about smurfs is far more cheerful than what is currently showing on the daily news.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Rocking Horse Super Smurf

Like a lot of Super Smurfs produced by Schleich, the picture of the Rocking Horse, #40221 on the older boxes is a little different to the actual one released. Don’t let this discourage you from collecting this one, as this is a beautiful display piece where you can rock it gently back and forth.

This box was used by Wallace Berrie

The Rocking Horse Super Smurf was sold by Schleich between 1982 through to 1997. Between 1982 to 1995 Schleich used the same picture on their boxes showing us a picture of the Rocking Horse with a rubber-band bridle and brown rockers. It wasn’t until 1995 when Schleich updated their Super Smurf boxes that they updated their pictures.

During the years Schleich sold Rocking Horse, very little changes were made. The changes to be found are more to do with the paint colours used on the horse. The markings can be found under the horse’s belly. So it can be found with W.Germany or Germany as the country marking.

There are at least two different ones from Hong Kong. The markings can be found under the horse’s belly. In the beginning they used a rubber-band as the bridle and glued this to the horse. Later they removed the rubber-band bridle and replaced this with a yellow plastic bridle that is inserted into the horse’s mouth. Possibly copying the one produced by Schleich. Wallace Berrie only sold Rocking Horse between 1982 to 1984.

Made in Hong Kong Schleich S © 1981 Peyo markings

The biggest differences that can be found with Rocking Horse the colour of the horse and it’s tail. The same paint colour was also used for the horse’s hooves and mane. Typically the Hong Kong made one is painted with brown shiny colours and the tail is a darker brown colour. Smaller variances can also be found with the yellow plastic bridle.

However, the major difference can be found with how the smurf sits on the rocking horse. The German made ones have a stuck plug on the horse and the smurf has a hole underneath it’s bottom. The Hong Kong made ones never came with stuck plug. So if you have German made horse and Hong Kong made smurf and you are trying to ensemble together you might encounter some problems!

There are a number of Super Smurfs that the picture displayed on their box doesn’t resemble the actual one released, so if you are ever in doubt just ask the question and I will be happy to help.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Hobby Horse Super Smurf

Wearing a red riding jacket and black horse riding helmet, this smurf shows us how to ride a hobby horse. What stands out for me, with this super smurf is the clever design that in corporates the smurf figurine and the stick together. 

First released by Schleich in 1980 to 1986 and then again in 1994 to 1996, with 40214 as the article number. Very little changed in the design over the years Hobby Horse was produced, though little differences can be found depending where it was painted. When Hobby Horse was first sold in the UK by National Petrol these ones were painted out of Portugal and can be found with matte colours. 

It was also produced out of Hong Kong for Wallace Berrie and possibly sold in other countries. It was sold by Wallace Berrie in the USA between 1981 to 1983. The same design was used, but shinier paint colours were used on the horse and the smurf figurine. 

The design of Hobby Horse is simple and effective. The smurf has been designed in almost a sitting like position and between it’s legs a slot has been created for the stick of the hobby horse to sit in. The arms on the smurfs are stretched out in front of him with the hands coming together to create a slot. This is for the stick to be slotted into. The end of the hobby horse stick has a removable horse tail that  is inserted into the end of the stick. This allows you to swivel the horse tail to help you to display the Hobby Horse without it falling over.

Smurfs are foremost created as toys for children to play with. The design of Hobby Horse allows this happen still today even though it has been over twenty years since it was last released.  It is also not overly complicated to construct which is also a bonus. 

For those of you, who like to display their smurfs is a great one if you have limited space as it is not much bigger than your average smurf. It can be found with up to five different super smurf boxes and is still easy to pick up today. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

 

School Patrol Smurf

We first see the School Patrol Smurf in the 1983 Schleich catalogue. Wearing his customary white trousers & hat, with a white plastic stop sign inserted into the hands. Schleich gave School Patrol, 20154 article number and this smurf is also sometimes referred to as Patrol Crossing. It is quite likely that they released Traffic Crossing (#20155) around the same time. Traffic crossing can be found holding a plastic triangle crosswalk sign with both hands.

The School Patrol smurf was first released by Schleich from 1983 to 1986 the 1992 to 1993 and 1999 to 2000. I do not believe this smurf was ever released by Wallace Berrie into the USA. Perhaps they thought that the stop sign was a child hazard. 

The first version produced can be found with the markings West Germany Schleich S © Peyo under its feet. West Germany in circle. Schleich S © Peyo printed markings. The old Bully marking has been blocked out with a white stripe. 

The figurine used for School Patrol was also the same one used on Fisherman (#20101) . So sometimes School Patrol can be found with West Germany Bully © Peyo markings. Though this is mentioned as a variation in the Der Schlumpf Katalog IV, I do not believe this is technically correct. 

Later the markings, possibly after 1984 were changed to just W.Germany Schleich S © Peyo. This version was only sold until 1986.

In the early 1990s new child safety laws forced the discontinuation of many smurf figurines which included a seperate or removable parts. So this meant when School Patrol was re-released in 1992 by Schleich the stop sign had to be redesigned to make sure it meant new child safety laws.  This was achieved by adding in a thicker handle with a stopper at the end.

There are two different marking versions that can be found with this new stop sign. The first one is Made in Germany Schleich S Germany © 79 Peyo CE and the last one produced Made in China Schleich S Germany © 79 Peyo CE. 

For some of you, School Patrol smurf is a little plain and lacks imagination. For others, it can really complement their display by showing it with their car driving super smurfs. Both versions can be still be found today, though can be a little harder in places like the USA where it was never originally sold.  

I have a soft spot for both School Patrol and Traffic Crossing smurfs as I believe they could be a great tool to teach children about road safety. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Guitarist Smurf

We often talk about the different colour and marking variations that can be found on a particular smurf. But rarely do we talk about the different names a smurf has been given in its life time….. Until now! Let’s have a look at Guitarist Smurf, article number 20023. 

Guitarist could be found playing an electric guitar, with his mouth wide open and his eyes shut while wearing his customary white trousers and hat. In the beginning it was produced with a small leg stance though overtime the leg stance became wider. It can also be found with many different colour variations, from peach coloured guitar to a dark red guitar. The chords on the guitar can also vary from yellow to brown.

Markings: W.Germany Schleich emblem © Peyo and a mustard paint dot.

When Guitarist smurf was first released by Schleich it was referred to as Beat Schlumpf. It was referred to as Beat Schlumpf from 1977 to 1994 in the Schleich catalogues. Even in Der Schlumpf Katalog IV which was published in 20013 they still referred to it as Beat Schlumpf.

In 1978 when National Benzole started selling smurfs in the UK, they gave it the name Rocker.  They sold a couple different colour versions, light pinkish orange guitar with yellow chords and a red electric guitar with brown chords.

When Wallace Berrie started selling Guitarist in 1979 they referred to it as Bass Guitar. This may have something to do with Lute smurf being referred to as Guitar. By 1982 Lute was no longer being sold in the USA and Guitarist is now referred to as Guitar in the collector’s booklets but in the Dealer catalogues they still referred to it as Bass Guitar. This appears to be the case right through to 1985 when they stopped selling smurfs in the USA.

Markings: Made in Hong Kong Schleich S © 1977 Peyo

BP Australia also sold Guitarist and used the name Bass Guitar on their posters. Like the ones sold in the USA these were made out of Hong Kong with a red electric guitar with yellow chords.

In France, MAFI who was the main distributor smurfs in 1984 used the name Rock n Roll for Guitarist.

In Brazil when Hering were making smurfs sometime between 1984 to 1986 they referred to as Guitarrista. These look very similar to the ones produced for Wallace Berrie in the USA. 

In Spain during the 1980s they referred to as Guitarra. It is unclear whether these were licensed or not.

In 1996 McDonalds was celebrating it’s 25th anniversary in Germany and The Netherlands. Guitarist was included in Series 1. These smurfs had the ‘M’ and the golden arches embossed onto back of their head. 

In 2013 when Gian & Davi Collezioni published The Smurfs Official Collector’s Guide they referred to as Guitarist. On the Toydreamer website it has been given the name of Rock n Roll. 

So I guess it really doesn’t matter what you call your smurfs, as long as you know that’s all that matters. Rock on!!!

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B