in Smurf Figures

Swimmer Smurf

I have a confession to make and that is I can’t really swim. Even with this small flaw, it doesn’t put me off from liking Swimmer smurf first released in 1977 by Schleich. This is unique smurf as it can be found with mould and colour variations.

The first mould was made out of light blue pvc material and can be found with either orange bathers with a yellow ring or yellow bathers and an orange ring. Both also have a blue valve. The other distinctive thing is the small red mouth and the arms on the underside are completely shaped

Like a lot of smurfs produced around this time, there are many different shades of paints used on the bathers from orange to dark red. Also the eyebrows can vary, from unpainted to thick.

When the Swimmer was made out of Hong Kong they used a much larger mould and white pvc material.  Typically these are found with yellow bathers and a red ring with a black valve. Also with this larger mould you can no longer see the mouth as it is hidden by the smurf’s hands.

The Hong Kong version was  sold in the USA from 1981 to 1985 by Wallace Berrie. As you can find the Hong Kong version with and without W. Berrie markings, it makes me think it was also sold in Australia as well but I couldn’t find anything to back up this theory.

I also have one with Hong Kong markings where they blocked out the year 1977 and replaced this with 1980. It is thought this happened around smurfs sold in 1982. So basically any smurf made before 1980 they blocked out the year and replaced this with 1980. Oddly they later changed the year back to the original year marking on these smurfs. 

Around 1983 the German mould was changed to be more like the Hong Kong version. Though they used a blue mould. It was sold like this until 1986.

Between 1994 to 1996 Swimmer was re-released but this time with China markings. The China version can be found with yellow bathers and an orange ring with a black valve. 

In the Der Schlumpf Katalog IV they list a Swimmer with Macau markings, possibly made around 1985. Ever since this has created debate amongst collectors whether it exists or not. I doubt this actually exists but I am happy to be proved wrong, all in the name of collecting smurfs. 

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B



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