in Smurf Figures

Rocker & Banjo Smurfs

HANDS UP, WHO knows what smurf was once referred to as Banjo or also referred to as Rocker? Any ideas…… if you had answered Lute smurf you are correct. Lute smurf would have to be one of few smurfs that has been given so many different names in its lifetime. So how did this all happen.

Lute smurf was first produced by Schleich in 1969 with the German name Gitarren Schlumpf, which translated into English means Guitar smurf. This would explain why when Wallace Berrie started selling Lute in 1979 it was called Guitar smurf. However it doesn’t explain why when the American Pewter company started producing smurfs in 1980 they called it Mandolin. Especially since the American Pewter company had authorisation to make smurfs in the USA. 

In the UK National also first sold Lute in 1979. For some strange reason they referred to it as Banjo smurf. If someone out there knows why they did this, please let me know. Very strange!

Now in Australia, BP Australia referred to Lute smurf as Rocker in 1979. It was one of the first nine smurfs released by BP Australia. What is interesting to note at the same time back in the UK, the name Rocker was linked to Guitarist smurf, #20023. In 1980 when Guitarist was released in Australia we called it Bass Guitar.

The first reference I found to Lute smurf being called to what we now know as Lute was in an advertisement by BP New Zealand from 1981. Which makes me think it was the New Zealanders who gave its name of Lute. I should point out this is only my opinion but to me it makes sense. By 1986 Schleich started displaying both German and English names in their catalogues and it’s in here we also see the name of Lute being used.  

Obviously there is more than just a name given to a smurf that makes it interesting to collect. With Lute it is all the different shades of yellow and red that can be found. From a very light red to a burgundy red or light yellow to a dark orange yellow kind of colour. In Australia you typically find the red Lute variation as this was the one that was released here but if you are lucky enough you can find a yellow lute. Then there is also the fake coloured variations to be found.

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

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