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. 

 

Today I am a Bookworm Smurf

Today I experienced my first book fair book. With no expectations in mind, I offered to chauffeur drive my mother down to Yarragon with her quest to attend their annual book fair. It was a dreary cold Melbourne’s day so it was perfect for this kind of excursion. Until now I had no idea there were so many bookworms out there.

The Bookworm Smurf (#20094) was first produced by Bully in 1978. Wearing his customary white trousers and hat while holding onto a red book with yellow pages. The smurf is also wearing glasses, so more than likely it is loosely based on Brainy Smurf. Sometimes the eyes are painted white all the way to the glasses.

When Schleich changed the marking around 1984 they blocked the Bully mark and added Schleich and the year 1977 onto the back.  I don’t think Schleich made any other changes to the figurine. Schleich continued to sell Bookworm until 1986. 

Schleich reproduced Bookworm between the years 1992 to 2000. During this time they blocked out the West in front of the Germany marking and added in a small CE to the back. Again it appears no changes were made to the figurine.

After this removed the markings from the back of the smurf to under the feet. They also produced two versions out of China. 

It wasn’t until 1983 when a Bookworm was produced out of Hong Kong for Wallace Berrie. So it was highly likely Bookworm was never sold by BP Australia. However it is interesting to note that the version made out of Hong Kong  must have produced its own mould as the year marking on this is 1983 not 1977 like the Schleich made one. 

So what is a Bookworm?

Depending who you ask, the term Bookworm can have different meanings. I always thought it meant someone who enjoys reading. But I have also discovered it is the general name for any insect that is said to bore through books. If that is the case then the township of Yarragon has a plague of bookworms to deal with this weekend during their book fair.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Boxer Smurfs – Normal or Super Smurf?

When I started collecting smurfs, I first came across the Super Smurf Boxer without his punching bag. I had no idea that it was in fact a Super Smurf. Looking back this wasn’t surprising considering how many times you see this Boxer without his punching bag being sold by sellers who either don’t know this was a Super Smurf or who knew it and thought that they could get away with it.  Same mould but different paint colours!

Super Smurf Boxer, #40508

Hong Kong Super Smurf Boxer

The Super Smurf Boxer was first released in 1980 by Schleich. It can be found wearing a red singlet, white socks, green shorts and brown & white boxing gloves with black shoes. The accessory is a spring mounted punching bag on a brown wood like rectangle plastic base. Schleich continued to sell Boxer through to 1986, with very little changes made. Sometimes you find variances with the punching bag but very little differences with the figurine.

There was also a version made out of Hong Kong. This Boxer was sold by BP Australia (also possibly by BP New Zealand) and Wallace Berrie. When Boxer was first sold by BP Australia in 1980 it was available for just $1.65!

It also appears that the Super Smurf Boxer was also used for Schleich’s triangle pedestals, which could be another reason these smurfs can be found without their punching bags.

Normal Boxer, #20419

Regular Boxer

The regular Boxer was first released in 1993. It can be found wearing a yellow singlet and socks, green shorts and red & white boxing gloves with light brown shoes. Schleich sold the regular smurf from 1993 to 2000. So at no time were both smurfs sold by Schleich.

The regular Boxer was only ever made out of Germany. But as the regular Boxer was produced around the same time as German’s reunification it can be found with W.Germany and Germany markings. A small thing for some, but for others a variation worth looking out for.

Display Tip:

If you are lucky enough to have more than one Boxer smurf in your collection, you may want to consider displaying them so they face each other. This will give the impression they are boxing each other.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Log Car Super Smurf

Collecting Super Smurfs can be tricky at the best of times. Just because it was sold with a box doesn’t always mean you get the complete or the corresponding Super Smurf. Then, there is always the little differences to be found. Log Car, first released in 1983 is one of the best examples of this.

In basic terms a Super Smurf is a smurf with detachable accessories and its own cardboard box. Over the years, depending on the manufacturer or distributor, a number of boxes were also produced. In most cases, there were also minor changes made to the accessory. 

Log Car (#40232) was first made in 1983 and sold until 1999 by Schleich. It was also made by Wallace Berrie in Hong Kong and was sold in 1983 and 1984. Later in 1996 Irwin Toys released a version made out of China. This was sold for the first time on a blister card not with a cardboard box! The last version of Log Car was given away with the French magazine Je Collectionne les Schtroumpfs in 2005. 

As you see Log Car has been a long journey having been made by different manufacturers and sold by different distributors. Very little changes were made to the smurf used for Log Car over the years. This same smurf was also used by Tricycle (#40203) and Yellow Car (#20910).  The Smurf is wearing his customary white trousers and hat. On his white hat sits his racing goggles. 

Schleich version

Both the smurf and car can be found with markings – W.Germany Schleich S © 1982 Peyo. The Log Car has different wheels than the other versions.

It also has a dark brown crank with ring connection, completely dark yellow Candles (unpainted), dark brown wheels with small hole connection (without Axles) and unpainted seat.

W. Berrie version

Both the smurf and car can be found with markings – Hong Kong W. Berrie Co Schleich S © 1982 Peyo. 

The Log Car has a white crank inserted directly into the car, white candles, the wheels are attached by an axel that runs underneath the car, yellow car seat. Typically found with a darker brown log car. 

China version

Both the smurf and car can be found with markings – Made in China Schleich S Germany Schleich S © 1982 Peyo CE. The official documentation lists the markings are the same but a closer inspection of the smurfs shows they are different. 

There are at least two different versions to be found with China markings. The Irwin version can be found with a mushroom with white spots whereas the Je Collectionne les Schtroumpfs version has a red mushroom with no spots. There is also difference with how the wheels connect to the log car. 

My thoughts on Log Car

I have always like this smurf, as it is a good illustration of smurfs having fun. This smurf can be popular for kids wishing to play with their smurf toys and just as popular for those who like to collect smurfs because of the many variations to be found. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Smurf Skatebaorder

Does this smurf look familiar to you? If you were like me, I first came across this smurf without his skateboard leaf and was intrigued by why the smurf had a hole under each foot. It wasn’t until much later that I saw a picture of this smurf with his leaf skateboard that things started to make more sense.

The Smurf Skateboarder was one of the first five Super Smurfs released by Bp Australia in 1980. The Smurf Skateboarder (#40204) can be found wearing a red shirt, white trousers while riding his leaf skateboard. Like a lot of toys, it is easy for things to go missing. So more than likely the Smurf Skateboarder would lose his skateboard and its owner would be none the wiser.

The Smurf Skateboarder was a popular Super Smurf throughout the world. It was initially made out of Schleich’s headquarters in West Germany in 1978 until 1986. During this time it was also sold by National Petroleum in the UK.

The Smurf Skateboarder was also produced out of Hong Kong and was sold by BP Australia, Wallace Berrie for the US market and more than likely by BP New Zealand.

Points of difference

The W.Germany made one has the markings under its feet – W.Germany Schleich S © Peyo. There are no markings to be found on the actual leaf. However on the leaf there are two holes, though I am unsure why.

Due to the quality measures introduced to smurfs being sold in the UK, it is possible to find with a mustard paint dot under the smurfs’s foot.

The Hong Kong version was sold in Australia and can be found with Hong Kong markings under its feet and skateboard. There are no holes found on the leaf. Generally the smurf is found with extreme dark blue skin either in a shiny paint colours.

Around 1982, Wallace Berrie started adding their own markings to the skateboard. So it’s possible to find two different Wallace Berrie markings – Made in Hong Kong W.B.Co Schleich S © 1978 Peyo and Made in Hong Kong W.Berrie Co Schleich S © 1978 Peyo.

The Smurf Skateboarder is a Super Smurf that should be part of every smurf collection. Not only is it a fun looking smurf to display but it’s part of smurf history.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Smurf with Knapsack

When was the last time you went on a wander?  (not to be confused with wonder) Regardless what you call this smurf, Traveller, Wanderer, Tracker, Smurf with Knapsack (#20088) etc, this smurf is one for the ages. A simple design that has stood the test of time. We find this smurf, wearing his customary white trousers and hat while carrying a stick with a knapsack over his shoulder. 

The Smurf with Knapsack was first produced by Bully in 1975. Back then Bully would produce posters with hand drawn sketches of their smurfs they were selling at the time. The Smurf with Knapsack was first shown in 1976 with a brown stick with white knapsack with red spots and was referred to as Wanderer. I don’t think they never produced a figurine like this, which is a shame.

The figurine was only ever produced with an orange stick and knapsack. In the beginning the length stick was about 7cm and this was later reduced to 5.5cm. The other small difference that can be found is with the knapsack. Some of the earlier knapsacks appeared to be flatter on the bottom and the later ones were more rounded. Both small but notable differences!

You may also come across with Wanderer with a yellow, white or green stick and knapsack. This is accessory is from the Jerry figurine (Tom & Jerry).

After Bully lost the licence to manufacture smurfs at the beginning of 1980, Schleich continued to make and sell Wanderer right up until 1986. A version was also made out of Hong Kong but oddly it was never sold by Wallace Berrie or BP Australia. Perhaps it was sold in New Zealand?

Markings

For those who like to collect smurfs with different markings, there are not many to be found with this one. It can also be found with a mustard or red paint dot.

  1. Bully © Peyo (hand etched markings)
  2. W.Germany Bully © Peyo
  3. West Germany Bully © Peyo
  4. West Germany Schleich S © Peyo
  5. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S © 1975 Peyo
Collector’s Tip

When looking to add Wanderer to your smurf collection, ensure that his mouth is closed and that he is holding the stick with his right hand. Butterfly Catcher (#40209) holds his net over his left shoulder and has his mouth open.

Perhaps we all should take a leaf out of this smurf’s book and go for a wander (or should that be wonder?)

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

#1 Teacher Smurf

Have you ever wondered why this smurf is sometimes referred to as a ‘promo?’ – I know have. As far as  I am aware it is not really promoting a company or organisation like other promotional smurfs produced by Schleich. Or was it just a variation produced by Wallace Berrie for only the American market and was never intended to be sold in Europe by Schleich. 

Perhaps the confusion began when Schleich would refer to the Red Apple with #1 Teacher as a promotional smurf made for the U.S market in some of their catalogues. This was then followed by various collector books and websites doing the same thing.  

I don’t consider #1 Teacher a promotional smurf but a variation. This is similar as the #1 Grad – a variation on the Graduation smurf. But the difference with these two, is that Schleich never gave #1 Teacher its own article number. Whereas #1 Grad was a completely different mould compared to Graduation Smurf and was produced a couple of years later by Wallace Berrie.  

When looking for the #1 Teacher red apple smurf there are a couple of things you should look out for.
  1. This smurf was only produced by Wallace Berrie. It should only be found with Hong Kong markings. #1 Teacher was never produced or painted out of Europe, so it should not be found with any paint dots under its feet.
  2. As the smurf mould was also used by Pumpkin Smurf (#20136) which was first produced in 1981, it is possible to find the Apple Smurf with either the year marking to be 1981 or 1983. 
  3. #1 Teacher Red Apple had two marking variations:
    Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie Co. Schleich © Peyo 1981  
    Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie Co. Schleich © Peyo 1983  

There is also another red apple smurf that causes debate amongst collectors as to whether it is real or fake. This is the one with the words I (heart) NY written in white on the red apple. Some feel, that it was produced as only a test version and others feel it is a fake. Regardless what your opinion is of this smurf, one would have to be a very passionate collector to buy one, due to the high price tag it demands. 

No matter if you call this a promotional or variation, #1 Teacher smurf is an interesting smurf to add to one’s collection. The red apple complements the green apple variations. Perhaps one day someone will explain why they added #1 Teacher to the apple.  

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Greedy Smurf

Did you know that Greedy is one of the few smurfs that was regularly shown in the comics and also throughout the entire run of the cartoon series? This is most likely due to his good nature and love of food. 

Schleich first released Greedy in 1984, wearing a chef’s hat and white apron while sitting on a red stool eating a dessert with a spoon. In the beginning Schleich only released Greedy until 1986, then 1990 to 1994. It was given article number #20165. However, in the 2000’s Greedy had a revival being sold with various magazines and DVD’s in different countries.

Greedy was also produced out of Hong Kong for Wallace Berrie in late 1983 and 1984. It appears that the same mould was used as the Schleich one but it was painted with slightly different paint colours. The most obvious difference between the two, is the brown paint used for the spoon & plate and the pink paint used for the dessert. 

Bonus figurine – Greedy Smurf

At various times Greedy has been sold as a bonus figurine with either magazines or DVD’s. Each time, the same figurine was used and can be found with matte paint colours and is made out of a harder pvc material compared to the ones released in the 1980s. The markings can be located underneath: Made in China Schleich S Germany © 1983 Peyo CE. 

Here is a list I have compiled, that was sold using Greedy Smurf as a bonus figurine. Please let me know if there is something not quite right or if there any others I have missed. 

In France between 2004 to 2006, the magazine Je Collectionne les Schtroumpfs was sold with a bonus smurf figurine. Greedy was sold with their second edition of the magazine.  

In Germany in 2008, the magazine 3-D Schlumpf Mag was sold with a Greedy figurine. This issue was released around June. 

In the Netherlands in 2010, the magazine De Smurfen was sold with Greedy in their first edition. 

In Australia also in 2010, the cartoon series was repackaged and resold as Just Smurfy 2 DVD Box set with bonus figurine. This was first released around November. 

Overall, Greedy Smurf is a great one to add to your collection as most people recognise this smurf whether it be from the comics, cartoon series or even from the Smurfs Village mini game. What’s not to like about someone who makes a cake and then eats all for themselves?

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Mermaid Smurfette

When is a smurf not a smurf? For example let’s have a look at Mermaid Smurfette first released back in 1982. 

Mermaid SmurfetteWe first see Mermaid Smurfette is sitting on a light grey rock, with blue and silver scales, red starfish on hat and wearing a pearl necklace in the 1982 Schleich catalogue. This version was typically made out of blue pvc material. 

A version of Mermaid Smurfette was also made out of Hong Kong, which has a dark green scales, orange starfish on hat and is wearing a pearl necklace. It was also made out of white pvc material. This was sold by BP in Australia and New Zealand possibly in 1982 and then in 1983 was sold by Wallace Berrie for two years. 

Mermaid SmurfetteThe markings for Mermaid Smurfette can be found underneath the rock. It can also be found with different paint dots; mustard, green or red which was used as a method of quality control.  It tells us which country the smurf was painted in by Schleich. Mustard indicates it was painted in Portugal. Green indicates it was painted in Tunisia. Red indicates it was painted in Sri Lanka. 

Though it is a strange choice of a smurf figurine, it must have been fairly popular it was sold by Schleich between 1982 to 1988 and then again 1993 to 1996. During this time, it was also used on several triangle pedestals.

OMO back in around 1983 also created a miniature version of Mermaid Smurfette made out of blue material. These miniature smurfs came free inside a box of OMO washing powder.  A total of 16 were produced as part of this promotion.

Plastoy

In 2009 Plastoy produced smurf bath toys which included Mermaid Smurfette with a silver tail. The smurf bath toys were produced as two sets of four different smurf characters. Mermaid Smurfette was part of set 1 which also included a smurf riding an orange fish, Diving Smurf and a smurf sitting in a rubber duck tube. These pieces make a beautiful to your smurf collection especially if you like to display the pieces. 

So what inspired the creation Mermaid Smurfette? Who knows and who cares. Whoever it was, created a beautiful figurine to be admired when displayed with other smurfs. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B