How did the Smurf fascination begin? I remember being a little kid in the late 70s and everyone in my class loving the “The Smurf Song” by Father Abraham and the Smurfs. We were little and I guess we thought they were cute.
Then a couple of years later, on a family holiday in West Wales, I got one of the promotional Smurf figures from a petrol station. It was the artist smurf. I chose him because, even though he was a painter, I liked art.
Papa and friends
Gargamel and Azrael
I may have never bought another Smurf at all, after that first one, except that he got chewed up by our dog. So I went to buy a replacement but couldn’t find the same one, and bought another. So the collection began…
Smurfs became another one of the toys that would get played with, amongst me and my friends. Some of the other kids had smurfs too, so we could put them all together and create little stories. I have loads of fond memories of playing with them, outdoors on warm summer days.
Of course, there was the Hanna-Barbera cartoon too, which kept interest rolling along.
Over time, I picked up more smurfs to add to the collection. On holidays, sometimes a souvenir would be a Star Wars figure; other times a smurf or a comic book. I remember my Gran always used to buy my sister and I a smurf when we went shopping with her.
Occasionally, I’ll find a character that I don’t already have at a toy collector fair or Comic Con. Maybe even a carboot sale. It’s still fun to find a new one to add to the collection.
I think the attraction of smurfs was the variety; like may other things I’ve collected, it’s fun to have a diverse collection of different characters. I used to draw designs for my own Smurfs when I was a kid, too – just the same way as I designed my own superheroes.
Anyway, you can see here most of my collection (and some of my sister’s that I have for “safe keeping”). Some of the classic characters, like Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy – even Gargamel and his cat, Azrael.
Some of my favourites are the Clown, which is really detailed. Plus of course the Skateboarder, which I’m really proud of. I bought him before I’d ever stepped on a skateboard, so I have a real fondness for that one.
There’s loads of others out there, and I’d really love a smurf house for them. Or several houses, to make a smurf village! Unlikely that’ll ever happen.
That “Smurf Song” found it’s way into my burgeoning vinyl collection a while ago. I did eventually replace the artist smurf, too. Still got my first one, though, mangled and chewed up though he may be.
Dedicated to my great childhood friend Brendan O’Neil, who inspired my imagination all those years ago. RIP.