On Saturday mornings in the early 1980s, it wasn’t hard to find my sister and me: like millions of other kids, we were sunk deep into the living room sofa (a plushy red relic that sits in my current living room today), drinking chocolate milk and watching the Smurfs.
The Hanna Barbera show was based on the comics by Belgian artist Peyo, and ran from 1981 to 1989. Set in medieval times, the Smurf stories mostly involved magical adventures and gentle pro-social messages, with an occasional side-trip into social commentary, as in the story “Smurf Versus Smurf,” in which problems arise over differences in Smurf syntax – is it called a bottle smurfer, or a smurf opener?
Naturally, because the show was so popular, there was an explosion of Smurf-related toys and media. I had a stuffed Papa Smurf and my sister had Smurfette, and our little blue buddies went everywhere with us. We liked Smurfette and Hefty Smurf best. And of course, there were Smurf figurines! We had this Smurf figurine, riding on a sled.
Schleich, the German figurine company known for their beautifully detailed animal figurines, has been making Smurf figurines since 1965, starting with Normal Smurf, Gold Smurf, and Prisoner Smurf. Naturally, any item with this much variety is going to attract collectors, so there’s a worldwide network of Smurf figurine collectors. Sites like Mushroom Village and Blue Buddies specialize in all things Smurf.
Schleich is also releasing Smurfy new figurines in honor of the new Smurfs Movie, which puts CGI Smurfs in modern New York City. Close observers will notice slight differences between the Schleich movie Smurfs and previous Smurf collections – their eyes have irises, for instance – but they still have all of the personality and charm of the Schleich Smurfs of yore.
We’re giving away ten movie Smurfs for Facebook Friday, but you can get Smurfs anytime right here! And in the meantime, here’s one of my favorite episodes from those Saturday mornings long ago: The Purple Smurfs.
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