Welcome to Smurfland. This site is dedicated to all Smurf lovers everywhere, whether old or young. Who cannot adore these colourful little characters in all their various actions and antics. I remember these little figures from when I was a child being brought home with my dad after he filled up with fuel but have only recently started collecting them. I am listing my entire collection for your reference so come say hello and chat about these blue creatures.
Dupuis, editor of the Smurf comics, first produced smurf figurines in 1959. The first one was a series of three figurines, 5 centimeters tall (Papa, Normal and Angry), followed in the next decade by some larger figurines. Those were only for sale in French- and Dutch-speaking countries. In 1965, Schleich, a German company, made the first truly mass-produced PVC Smurf collectible figurines (the first three being Normal Smurf, Gold Smurf and Convict Smurf (complete with black-and-white striped prisoner's outfit). In 1966, Spy Smurf, Angry Smurf, and Drummer Smurf appeared. In 1969, five more smurfs followed: Moon Smurf, Winter Smurf, Brainy Smurf, Guitar Smurf, and Papa Smurf. In the 1970s, smurfs were also produced by rival German company Bully. The first of these figurines were made as a promotion for Kellogg's, but were afterwards sold separately.
For a while advertisers used Smurfs to promote Renault, National Benzol, and BP garages and—in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand at least—the figurines were given away when petrol (gasoline) was purchased.
A scare story that claimed Smurf figurines used leaded paint circulated in Britain in the 1970s, leading Jonathan King to release a single, "Lick a Smurp for Christmas (All Fall Down)" under the name of Father Abraphart and the Smurps. This was a parody of "The Smurf Song" by Father Abraham and the Smurfs, a worldwide hit single. The lead paint scare was brought about by a group of people in the marketing department of National Benzole who decided to outsource some smurf figurines to be made in Hong Kong instead of Europe, just four or five different lines. It was later discovered that these had been produced without adhering to the necessary quality standards so they were deemed possibly unsafe. Paint dots were then introduced on the feet of PVC figurines so that they could identify the ones with paint dots as having passed quality control tests and they were also given different colors according to the different countries they were produced in. An article in The Times dated 4 October 1978 said that tests by the Department of Health showed there was no significant risk, so National Benzole then resumed sales of smurf figures from garage forecourts within the UK.
Many people do not realise that the Smurf figurines given away with the petrol promotions actually still continue in production today. The popularity of the smurfs in countries such as Belgium and Germany has never waned, and Smurf collecting has become a growing hobby worldwide, with 400 different figures produced so far. New Smurf figures continue to appear: in fact, only in two years since 1969 (1991 and 1998) have no new smurfs entered the market. Schleich currently produces 8 new figurines a year. Over 300 million of them have been sold so far.