Classic Smurf Question: Spy Smurf #20008

Spy Smurf wears a red cape and a black mask to hide his identity. He has his finger over his mouth, in a shushing motion. Like a lot of early figurines made by Schleich, the origins of Spy was from the comic The Smurf King.

Today instead of reviewing a Smurf, I would like to ask collectors a question about Spy Smurf. I am no expert when it comes to collecting but I do have over 50 Spy Smurfs. That kind of makes me some what knowledgeable or a freak!

Do you consider the Spy Smurf with the pink inside the cape a variation?

I have some Spy Smurfs with a pink shade inside of the cape. Is this a variation or discolouration?

Some say it’s the red paint that discoloured the pvc material. Similar to the Postman’s mail bag or underneath the Drummer. But some think it’s impossible for paint to go through think plastic and discolour it. So is it more like an undercoat of paint?

Highly sought after by collectors is the Spy with red inside of the cape. It is thought Bully started this between 1973 to 1977 to some Spy Smurfs but not all. Typically Spy has white inside of the cape but some have a pink tinge inside.

One theory is that the pink colour is from undercoat of the red paint. Later removed by Schleich painters around 1977/78 who were removing the red paint inside of the cape. In my opinion, I call this a variation even if it wasn’t intentional.

What are your thoughts on Spy Smurf?

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

If you like to collect Spy Smurfs, please find some other pieces I have written about Spy.

http://www.smurfs.com.au/random-smurf-thoughts/smurfs-discover-australia-1979/

http://www.smurfs.com.au/smurf-figures/masked-smurf/

Review: Flower Smurf

I was so excited when I first collected Flower Smurf. Up until then, I had only found a Flower Smurf without its flower. Like many Smurfs from the early 1970s, Flower Smurf is simple in design with a touch of colour. The colour is the Smurf’s flower that sits in the corner of its mouth.

The other standout feature of the early Smurfs us they were hand-painted, compared to Smurfs made today. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t collect Smurfs that adding eyebrows to a figurine can make a big difference. For example, early Flower Smurfs had no eyebrows like many Smurfs produced in the early 1970’s. It is hard to know if Bully or Schleich painters added the eyebrows.

Another point of difference was the flower. In Germany (then known as West Germany) the flower was attached to pin that was inserted into the side of the Smurf’s mouth. Whereas in Hong Kong, a nylon flower was glued to the side of the mouth.

Different coloured flowers

Do you think the different flowers found with Flower Smurf are genuine? To be honest I am not sure because the catalogues only showed a red flower. However some of the collector’s guide books show different coloured flowers. And what about red plastic flower often referred to as a ‘test version?’

Markings

I like to list the markings on my Smurfs because I find it easier to compare them with each other.

  1. W.Germany Schleich emblem Peyo
  2. W.Germany Peyo (emblem removed by Bully)
  3. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S Peyo 1972
  4. Made in Portugal Peyo (emblem removed)
  5. Made in Portugal Peyo 1972 (no reference to Schleich in the markings)

Finally did you know that Flower Smurf was one of nine Smurfs first sold by BP Australia in 1979? No wonder why there are so many Flower Smurfs in Australia missing their flowers. If their original owners were like me, the flower probably ended up at the bottom of the sand pit.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy Flower Smurf as much as I do. What do you of Flower Smurf? Do you think it has the same appeal today as it did back in the 1970’s?

Smurf Review: Bricklayer Smurf

Both Schleich and Wallace Berrie created their version of Bricklayer Smurf using the same mould. Schleich made their Smurfs in Germany (formerly known as West Germany in the 1980s’), typically to be sold in Europe. Schleich also made their Smurfs in Hong Kong, typically to be sold in Australia and USA.

But things changed in 1982 in Hong Kong when Wallace Berrie started to add their marking to Smurfs. This is most likely because BP Australia stopped selling Smurfs.

Here’s a quick review of the Bricklayer Smurfs made by Schleich and Wallace Berrie. Starting with the Wallace Berrie version as I first collected this one.

Wallace Berrie version of Bricklayer

I first saw Bricklayer in the 1982 Wallace Berrie Fall Smurf Collectables Booklet. The Bricklayer is wearing white trousers and is holding a brown brick in one hand and a trowel in the other. While resting his leg on a pile of bricks.

Markings
  1. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S 1981 Peyo
  2. Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie Co. Schleich S 1981 Peyo

Depending how closely you examine the markings their own two different style of Hong Kong markings.

There is also one with a CE hand etched marking. Most likely as it was sold in Europe between 1985 to 1990.

Schleich version of Bricklayer

I prefer the Schleich version, since their are colour variations. Bricklayer Smurf is wearing blue overalls with a white shirt, holding a brick in one hand and trowel in the other hand. Also he is resting his leg on a pile of bricks.

There are two colour variations of the bricks, red or brown. The cement colour can also vary from light to a darker grey. Not so obvious in photographs, the blue overalls can vary from a pale to brighter blue.

Markings and paint dots
  1. W.Germany Schleich S 1982 Peyo
  2. W.Germany Schleich S 1982 Peyo, mustard paint dot
  3. W.Germany Schleich S 1982 Peyo, green paint dot
  4. W.Germany Schleich S 1982 Peyo, red paint dot

Summing up Bricklayer

More than 40 years on, both Bricklayers are still easy to find. However, the prices can vary depending on what version you want. For example, the Schleich version is more expensive in Australia than the Wallace Berrie one but don’t let that put you off.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

P.S Check out the painted tail on the Bricklayer with a mustard paint dot!

Flautist Smurf

Can anyone tell me why we call this Flautist Smurf? This Smurf wears a red shirt and white ttrousers and plays the flute larger than itself. But the flute looks more like a recorder.

In the 1979 Schleich catalogue, it refers to #20048 as Flöten Schlumpf. Using Google translate in German to English Flöte becomes flute. Even in the Wallace Berrie catalogues they called the figurine Flute Smurf. This oversized instrument looks nothing like a flute!

When I first started collecting, I had never heard of the movie The Smurfs and the Magic Flute. An animated film that was first released in Belgium in 1976, the United Kingdom in 1979 and the USA in 1983. In my opinion, this figurine was the connection between the film and Schleich.

Production Years

Schleich: 1979 to 1992
Wallace Berrie: 1981 to 1983

I am not sure if Flautist Smurf was ever sold by BP in Australia or New Zealand. There is a good chance it was because it was made in Hong Kong. If you happen to know, please leave a comment for us.

Markings

  1. W.Germany Schleich S Peyo
  2. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S Peyo 1978
  3. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S Peyo 1980 (Blocked out 1979 on the foot and added 1980 to the hand – very strange!)
  4. W.Germany Schleich S Peyo 1978 CE
  5. M.China Schleich S Peyo 1978 CE

In my opinion, Flautist is a simple designed figurine, nothing flashy or ordinary. The oversized instrument is the standout because it’s ridiculous but adorable.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

What do you like about Flautist Smurf? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

How many variants of Harp Smurf exist?

The Smurf Collector’s Club International (SCCI) tells me there are only three variations of Harp Smurf #20070. However, a friend of mine tells me there are six different variations. What do you think?

The first question one must ask oneself is how you determine your different variations. Some of us will look at colour difference, whereas others look at markings. But others will look at both.

Sometimes understanding who produced a particular Smurf can help you. Harp Smurf was first made by Bully between 1976 to 1979 then Schleich from 1980 to 1986. Along with Wallace Berrie/Applause in 1983 and 1984.

The Smurfs must be one of the few figurines that have the markings of one company but are made by another. For example, a Smurf with Bully markings was also sold by Schleich between 1980 to 1984. Fortunately, there were other details that Schleich adopted for Harp Smurf to differentiate it from earlier ones made by Bully. Such as a wider face and darker blue skin. Also, the early ones had no eyebrows.

One could say that Wallace Berrie used the same technique because they painted Harp Smurf with shiny dark colours.

SCCI Harp Variations

Here are the three different versions listed by SCCI in newsletter 10 published in Fall 1986.

  1. Yellow harp
  2. Yellow/gold harp
  3. Red harp

Note the SCCI rarely talks about marking variations only colour differences. In some cases, I find this is odd because I would have thought this to be an easy way to explain variations pre-internet.

My friend’s Harp Variations

  1. Peyo on the back of the harp
  2. Bully under the foot (hand etched) and Peyo on the arm (hand etched)
  3. Peyo on the arm (hand etched). W.Germany Bully under the foot (printed).
    without/with eyebrows
  4. W.Germany Bully Peyo under the feet (printed). Peyo on arm (hand etched) is blocked out.
    with eyebrows
  5. W.Germany Schleich S Peyo. (Schleich S covers Bully marking).
    The other markings are the same as version 4
  6. Hong Kong W. Berrie &Co. Schleich S 1974 (totally new markings)
    Peyo on the arm (hand etched)

In my opinion, there are five variations of Harp Smurf based on the five different markings. I like to collect Smurfs with different markings and will look at this first when considering adding a Smurf to my collection.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

What do you think of Harp Smurf? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments!

Gargamel with Net

How does a villain catch a Smurf? With a net of course. I’m not sure where the idea came from, whether in the comics or cartoon series. But it’s a great way to portray Gargamel the figurine. Without delving too much into details, in my opinion there are three versions of Gargamel with a net #20181.

Variations of Gargemel with net

  1. W.Germany Schleich S 1983 Peyo
    Black PVC, yellow handle and net, smooth oval green base
  2. Portugal Schleich S 1980 Peyo
    Skin colour PVC. brown handle and a yellow net, smooth oval green base
  3. Hong Kong W.Berrie Co. Schleich S Peyo

Each one three different things to be aware of when considering adding to one’s collection. For example, the one with a brown handle and a yellow net can be in a curved shape. It was manufactured like this and was no accident. Sadly, though I have found this causes Gargamel to become unsteady and can fall over if not supported.

I also found that the base can vary; smooth to grass pattern base.

So what makes Gargamel with net worth collecting? In my opinion, it captures the image of a baddie really well. Like a lot of villains portrayed in comics and cartoons, Gargamel is not the most intelligent. To be able this into portray this into a figurine is no easy feat. – Well done & thank you Schleich!

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B

Do you collect Smurf Keychains?

Smurf keychains also known as keyrings have and remain as popular as amongst collectors.

In 1966 Dupuis released five Smurf keychains made by the Exin Co. These included Papa Smurf, Normal Smurf, Gold Smurf, Angry and Prisoner. All with the same stance with their arms and legs outstretched like a snowflake. Dupuis is better known as the founder of the Spirou magazines in Belgium.

I don’t believe Bully produced any Smurf keychains. I have never seen any on their promotional posters. However I do have a Smurferman keychain but this was likely made after Bully’s time in the 1970’s.

Gymnast #20020 from the UK and Rollerskater #20126 from the USA

In the 1979 Wallace Berrie catalogue a big pitch is made for their keychains. “Another Smurf exclusive from Wallace Berrie & Co.! A happy new look in keychains containing 24 of our most lovable Smurf characters including Papa Smurf and Smurfette. Smurf keychains can be your key to your sales”. The suggested retail was $1.50 per keychain.

Many of the promotional Smurfs made by Schleich were also made as keychains. An example of this was the Dutch footballer #82650 released in 2000 to coincide with the European Football Cup hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands. It was sold as a regular Smurf and a keychain.

However not everyone likes a Smurf as a keychain and would prefer a regular looking Smurf. Evidence of this can be found on a Smurf’s head where they eyelet had been screwed into Smurf’s head.

Fake Promotional Smurf Keychains

Recently a series of Pirate themed Smurf keychains have been found promoting the charity Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB). Most collectors believe these to be counterfeit. The Smurfs are genuine but the keychain promoting ASB is questionable. Typically ASB used the First Aid Smurf #20054 to promote their good work.

Lastly I have several Smurf keychains that I am certain we’re never officially released this way. I am not bothered by this because I display all my keychains in a large, glass fishbowl near my front door. In my opinion, displaying my Smurfs in all different ways is what I enjoy doing.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

First Aid Smurf

I like to collect different colour variations of Smurfs. In the beginning, this was more accidental than intentional. I was just fascinated and still am in collecting Smurfs painted or made in different countries. One of the best examples is First Aid Smurf #20054.

In the beginning, I only knew of the First Aid Smurf carrying a white case with a medical cross. This variant was made in Hong Kong and sold by BP Australia in the early 1980s.

Colour variations of First Aid

It wasn’t until I started to collect Smurfs as an adult that I discovered Schleich their version of First Aid Smurf. Their first version of First Aid Smurf was with a brown case without a medical cross. Then a brown case with a medical cross. Around 1984 probably around 1984 possibly earlier, Schleich started to paint the case yellow.

Schleich was very proud to show us that each Smurf was individually hand painted. One only has to look at their 1984 catalogue and the lovely photos to get a glimpse of the process. http://forum.bluecavern.com/viewtopic.php?t=12765

I always thought that Schleich was more adventurous when painting their Smurfs. There appears to be more colour variations by Schleich compared to Wallace Berrie. Was this intentional or accidental?

Some of the many variations of First Aid Smurf

Not surprisingly First Aid Smurf has also been used for different promotions. The colour of the case on these ones also vary in colour and can be fun to collect. Then there is also the hand painted fakes…. endless fun depending on what you like to collect.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Smurf Crossword 1st edition answers

In my previous post I created a crossword, to test your knowledge on your Smurfs. I hope you enjoyed this as much I did creating this. But to be honest, at times I found it hard to know which Smurfs to use and which ones to leave out.

Across Clues

Row 2, Column 13: Likes to smoke a pipe
Row 4, column 17: Was also known as Rock n Roll
Row 7, Column 2: First Super Smurf
Row 6, Column 16: Likes to cheer for the Smurfs
Row 9, Column 10: Plays the drums
Row 8, Column 20: Sold in Australia by the name of Convict
Row 10, Column 2: Holds a handkerchief in hand
Row 11, Column 13: Bully super hero
Row 12, Column 6: Never happy
Row 13, Column 15: Won a gold medal at the London Olympics
Row 15, Column 2: Papa Smurf’s apprentice
Row 16, Column 17: Carries a thermometer
Row 17, Column 5: Gargamel’s cat
Row 18, Column 19: Creator of the Smurfs

Down Clues

Column 19, Row 2: Likes to wear a red or yellow scarf
Column 21, Row 3: Has been found with green lipstick
Column 3, Row 6: A Smurf never released in the UK
Column 13, Row 8: Wears a kilt
Column 16, Row 8: Was sold by the name of Soda Pop in the UK
Column 7, Row 10: Wears a green apron
Column 20, Row 10, Only female in Smurfland
Column 10, Row 12: Also known as money

1234567891011131415161718192021222324252627
2TYROLESE
3HXB
4GUITARIST
5V X L
6LCHEERLEADER
7BOBSLEDR X A
8VGBPRISONER
9EDRUMMER X I
10CRYINGTESN
11ASMURFERMAN
12GROUCHYU
13DOWINNER
14IIF
15BRAINYNE
16EDOCTOR
17AZRAELT
18PEYO

Please let me know you thoughts on the crossword.


Keep on Smurfin
Kath B

Carpenter Smurf

Carpenter was one of the last Smurfs produced by Bully in 1979. The Smurf is holding a large piece of yellow timber with a silver saw with a red handle in the other hand. Out of the different markings found with Carpenter, I would say this is the most common. Schleich made this with Bully markings from 1980 to 1984. It is thought this was part of an agreement made when Schleich won the licence to produce Smurfs globally.

It is also possible to find different paint dots with Bully markings. For example, a mustard paint dot indicates it was painted in Portugal or a green paint indicates it was painted in Tunisia.

Between 1981 to 1984, Carpenter was also made in Hong Kong. The paint colours on this version of Carpenter are darker compared to the Bully ones. But apart from this, there are very few differences. Typically the Hong Kong made ones were sold by BP in Australia and New Zealand. These are still fairly easy to find amongst stashed away childhood collections.

If you enjoy flicking through old Schleich catalogues as I do, you should check out the one from 1991. Several Smurfs have the tag Neu Heit 91 above their picture. These were not new Smurfs made by Schleich but re-released ones from the past. Perhaps it had something to do with the reunification of Germany in 1991.

In the Der Schlumpf Katalog IV published in 2003, there is a listing of Carpenter with a brown piece of timber. Up until recently I always this was fake from Poland. However recently I found a photograph of a Carpenter with a brown piece of timber with a yellow saw handle. It was unclear if this was prototype or if it was someone who painted Smurfs for Schleich created their own version.

Years

1979 – 1986/1991 – 1992/1998 – 1999

List of markings

  1. W.Germany Bully Peyo
  2. Made in Hong Kong Schleich S Peyo 1979
  3. Made in Hong Kong W. Berrie &Co. Schleich S Peyo 1979
  4. W.Germany Schleich S Peyo
  5. Made in China Schleich S Germany Peyo CE 79

If you something is not correct, please let me know. I always love to hear the thoughts and opinions from other collectors.

In summing up, Carpenter may not have the razzle dazzle of other Smurfs such as Carnival or Alchemist but with it’s broad smile it’s hard to resist its charm.

Keep on Smurfin
Kath B