Sunday, December 19, 2021

[YouTube] The Smurfs Toys (1970s/80s)

Belgian Pierre "Peyo" Culliford created The Smurfs (Les Schtroumpfs) in 1958 for his Johann and Peewit comic strip. In 1959 The Smurfs received their own series and would later become quite popular in North America thanks to the cartoon that debuted on NBC in 1981 and aired more than 250 episodes over the course of eight seasons. The toy figurines from Schleich began production in 1969 and from what I can gather, new figures were only created through 1981 but must have been manufactured for longer to be sold in the U.S. Smurf toys returned in 1992 and have been produced every year since as The Smurfs franchise continues to thrive with new cartoons, movies, video games, etc.

I've got a variety of the standard figurines from the 1970s/80s that are typically about two inches tall. Many of the characters are performing some type of action or dressed in a unique way to indicate their role, such as a cowboy, superhero, or cook. A few are also riders/drivers of some sort and are supposed to be attached to a horse, car, or bicycle, though I've only been able to find horses in my collection. In the photos I included duplicates to show different angles of a few figures.

Not all of the characters are Smurfs either as there are a few humans and a cat but they are only slightly taller than the Smurfs when they should tower over them. Gargamel and his cat Azrael are the antagonists that are always causing trouble for Smurfs. Sadly, my Azrael hasn't made it through the decades unscathed as a family dog chewed on it, damaging the legs and tail. The Smurfs' friends Johann and Peewit also received the toy treatment.

There were a few accessories available at the time as well, of which I own the main house and a pack of items that included a bench, table, stools, and cart. There was also a small house with a green roof and a windmill, plus some smaller items like a wishing well, boat, and gate. Unfortunately, the house I have is a bit warped so I cannot get the door on and I broke the base when trying to bend it back into shape. I'm also missing the window item and a few small accessories from the aforementioned pack.

Of course, any popular cartoon in the early '80s received a multitude of branded products beyond plastic toys, such as books, stickers, school supplies, plush, board games, jigsaw puzzlesShrinky Dinks, Colorforms, and plenty of other items.

In the video I mentioned visiting the Facebook page's activity album for pages from the coloring book. You can still do that, however, I decided to post all of the same pages here too.

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