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About Smurfs
Far, very far from here, in a little village full of mushroom-shaped houses live the Smurfs. The little characters are three apples high, have blue skin and are dressed in white trousers and a cap. Yet they are a happy, easy-going bunch - give or take one or two. The Smurfs are a fictional group of small blue creatures who live in a forest somewhere in Europe. The Belgian cartoonist Peyo introduced smurfs to the world in 1958 and the following year the first smurf figurines were released. In 1965 PVC figurines were first produced on mass by Schleich and the smurf sensation had begun. Smurf collecting is an international phenomenon. Fans are appearing from all over the world and the market for smurfs has never been healthier. With so many collectors world wide and the smurfs being nearly 50 years old, their value increases yearly. Not only are they fun to collect, but also an investment.

Many people do not realise that the smurf figurines, once given away as petrol promotions are actually still 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 well over 500 different figures produced so far. New smurf figures continue to appear: in fact, in only two years since 1969 (1991 & 1998) have no new smurfs entered the market place. Schleich's release of 2005 smurfs sees a return to the "classic" smurf characters, with new figurines of Papa, Smurfette, Grouchy, Brainy, Vanity, Jokey, Harmony, and Baby Smurf. In 2006 it was Halloween Smurfs, in 2007 Indian Smurfs, 2008 the Party Smurfs, 2009 Movie Smurfs and in 2010 was the release of the Zodiac Smurfs.

The smurfs first appeared in October 23, 1958, in a story by the Belgium creator, Peyo, called "Johan and Pirlouit". This detailed the adventures of Johann and Pewit (English Names) and their attempts to recover the magic flute. On their journeys, they discover strange new creatures: The Smurfs!

The Figures
In 1965, Schleich, began to mass produce the PVC smurf collectible figures (the first 3 being Normal Smurf, Gold Smurf and Convict Smurf) and after that began to release new figures every year. New smurfs figures have been produced every year after that and there are now over 400 different figures to collect. However, there are 1000's of different figures, playsets, super smurfs, variations, promotional figures, etc... to collect in total.

Smurf figures can range in age from 1 year to 50 years old. The lower the number on the smurf (e.g. 20001, 20002) the older it generally is. So Papa Smurf, Normal Smurf, Astro smurf can be over 40 years old, which begins to make them more rare and therefore valuable. The higher number smurfs (e.g. 20701, 20702, etc) generally represent the younger (latest) smurfs. For example, 20701 Anniversary Smurf, is new to 2008.

Once smurfs have been retired they are generally never produced again. This helps increase the value of smurfs over time. Astro smurf has become a much harder smurf to get and his value has gone up due to being quite an old smurf and therefore fewer around to be found. Also, because Astro has a helmet and accidents happen, the amount available has gone down even more.

The Animated Series
In the 1980's, Hanna Barbera, produced the animated series of "The Smurfs" and the popularity of these cute little guys just soared. The animated series ran from 1981 through to 1990, on NBC in America, and won many awards and was watched and loved by millions. The series continues to run on television stations around the world and is now avaible on DVD. There were 9 seasons of The Smurfs animated series and many Smurf Chritmas Specials and other special episodes made.

International Smurfs
Smurfs are international figures and found in every country around the planet. When you're looking for smurfs overseas you'll find that they go by different names! The real name of the Smurfs is actually (in French) Les Schtroumpfs! Some of the names for smurfs around the world are:
  • De Smurfen - Netherlands
  • Les Schtroumpfs - France and Belgium
  • Die Schlümpfe - Germany
  • Los Pitufos - Spain
  • I Puffi - Italy
  • Estrumpfe - Portugal
  • Smurferna - Sweden
  • Sumafu - Japan
  • Lan jing ling - China
  • Poland - Smerf

The Smurfs and the Magic Flute Movie
In 1976 the very first feature length Smurf film, "The Smurfs and the Magic Flute", made it's appearance. It was directed by the Smurfs inventor, Peyo, and premiered in Belgium. The English version of the film first appeared in 1983. The film was a great success and grossed over US$11 million and was the highest ever grossing non-Disney animated film till that point in time.

The movie revolves around the smurf friend characters: Johann and Peewit and their adventures as they deal with a magical flute, that when played, makes everyone dance. Some of the smurfs that appear in the film are: Papa Smurf, Brainy Smurf, Grouchy Smurf, Hefty Smurf, Handy Smurf, Clumsy Smurf, Greedy Smurf, Poet Smurf and Farmer Smurf. There was also a new Smurf, called Festive Smurf, who liked to sing, dance and party.

2011 The Smurf Movie
2011 promises to be a big year for Smurfs with The Smurf Movie being released mid year. The Smurf Movie is set in the Middle Ages where Gargamel (The wicked wizard and enemy of the Smurfs) and his cat, Azrael, discover the village of the Smurfs. Gargamel and Azrael chase the Smurfs into the woods and they get lost, whereupon Clumsy Smurf wanders into the forbidden grotto where a magical portal opens up and transports the Smurfs to the present day in Central Park, New York. The Smurf adventures begin as they try to find their way back home.
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