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Marking history 1965-2012

I will now try to tell you the history about markings Schleich used on the PVC-smurfs all the
way from when they started in 1965 until the marking they use today. Also tell when
changes were made, why they were made and show pictures of the markings. There are
off course a lot of things we don´t know, but this will probably help you to approximatly
date your figurines. I will also include all the markings used by Bully on the smurfs, since
Schleich got all these molds in 1980 and also sold them with Bully-markings.

Most of this information is based on the research I have done with the help of other
collectors, but also many interesting facts is confirmed by Schleich in their book from 2011.
I will refer to that book many times, when telling this marking-history.

If something seems wrong or if you think something should be added please let me know!!

 

1965

BP promotion

Schleich tells us in their book that the first smurfs were made for BP to use as promotional
gifts. BP also writes on their website they used them as promotional gifts in Holland in
1965. So with both these companies confirming that I would say that is a fact.

 

schleichunmarkedschleichpeyomarking

In the beginning it seems all these were made without markings or only with peyo markings.
All smurfs Schleich made before 1969 can be found without any Schleich-marking.
The reason for this could be that Schleich did not find it necessary since they only
were used in promotional purposes??

 

1969

First Schleich emblem

Maybe the reason for adding their marking on the smurfs were that they started selling
the smurfs themselves and not only made them for other companies promotions.

 

schleichfirstemblem

This is the first Schleich marking used on the smurfs. They added this marking
around 1969. This marking was added under the feets of the smurfs but still they
kept the old peyo-marking already existing on the molds made before 1969.

All smurfs made until around 1972 got this marking.

 

1972

Schleich changes the emblem

 

schleichsecondemblem

Around 1972 Schleich changed the looks on the emblem and also moved all the markings
to under the feets on the figurines. Therefore many of the older molds with Peyo- and
W Germany-markings on the arms, were changed and also got this new marking.

 

1973

Volkmar Klaus starts Bullyland

In 1973 Volkmar Klaus left Schleich and started his own firm Bullyland. He also got the
rights to produce smurfs and Schleich were no longer allowed to manufacture smurfs.

 

bullynomarkingbullypeyo

Just like Schleich did, also Bully initially made smurfs without markings or only with Peyo
markings. Bully also used some of these smurfs in promotions, just like Schleich did. The
smurfs made until 1975 by Bully can be found without markings or with only Peyo-markings.

 

1975

Bully gets all the old Schleichmolds

In 1975 Bully gets all the smurfmolds Schleich had made before 1974 and starts
manufacture and sell all these smurfs together with the ones they made.

 

schleichremovedemblem

Bully remove the Schleichmarking on all of them. So all 23 molds Schleich made before
1974 can be found with removed emblem.

 

bullyhandetched

Bully also starts adding their companyname on the smurfs. Then using this "handetched"
marking. All smurfs Bully made 1975 gets this marking, and they also added it to some
of the ones they already had and also their smurfhouse.

 

1976

Bully starts with printed marking

This is the year for the new smurfmovie " The smurfs and the magic flute" in Belgium. And
BP again wants smurfs to use for promotion( maybe 1977??). Stuart Ross is on holiday
in Belgium and see the smurfs and contacts Peyo because he wants the rights to sell
smurfs in the US.

 

bullyprinted

In 1976 Bully starts using printed markings on their smurfs.

 

bpshelves1976bpad1977

I think BP sold these shelves in 1976, eventhough the ad is from 1977, because of the names
used. All these smurfs were made by Bully then and all were made without Bully or
Schleichmarkings for this promotion. On my picture on the shelves I have added all smurfs
that were made before 1976( only 40), but not all on the last shelf were used in this promotion.

This is also the approximate year when Dupuis tells Peyo he is not interested in taking
part in manufacturing toys, so Peyo gets the sole rights for the PVC-smurfs.

 

1977

Schleich manufacture smurfs again

Probably because of Schleich previous connections with BP, peyo asks Schleich if they
also can make smurfs for the BP promotions, since they had plans expanding the
promotion to other countries.

 

schleich1977

In 1977 Bully also sells the newly made Schleichsmurfs, together with all the old
Schleichmolds they removed the emblem from. But this was the last year they
had these molds.

 

schleichnewmarking1977schleichsitting

A funny thing with the markings Schleich used in the beginning when manufacture smurfs
again is that they many times did not mark them with Schleich. For example Schleich
made a few new molds of the figurines Bully got from Schleich, but they only marked
these W. Germany. Also some of the other Schleich made in 1977 only had Peyo and
W germany-markings. One reason for this could be that Schleich, just as they did in 1965,
and also Bully did with the smurfs made for Waldbaur, did not find that necessary when
these were made for another companys promotion??

 

bullymarking1977

In 1977 Bully started their new factory in Ronsberg and also changed the looks on
their marking to this one.

 

1978

Schleich gets the old molds back and also starts making smurfs
in Hongkong. National promotion in the UK starts.

After the success with the promotion in Holland, BP wanted smurfs used for a promotion also
in UK for their National-stations. That together with the fact that Ross wanted smurfs for US,
could have been the reason that Peyo now wanted Schleich to make all smurfs. Mr Bullys
small firm could probably not make enough smurfs when the demand increased, and maybe
did not fit the companyprofile, Peyo wanted for the future goals he had for the figurines??

 

schleichemblem1978

This was the last year Schleich used the emblem in the molds.

 

schleichnewpeyoschleichnoemblem1978

During this year Hermann Schneider desided to give the company a new look. Not only
did he start with new articlenumbers, he also started adding printed Schleich in the molds.
And changed the looks on the peyo-marking.

 

schleichhkemblem

In 1978 Schleich also starts making smurfs in Hongkong. During 1978 these were also
sold in Europe. Initially these did not have any Hongkong-markings or cavitynumbers.

 

schleichwgermanyhk

On some of the molds made in 1977, W Germany was blocked and instead used in
Hongkong with the emblem. I think the smurf to the left, made in Hongkong, was sold
in UK and was among the smurfs accused in 1978 for being painted with paint
containing to high levels of lead.

 

schleichhkemblemspecial

These 2 fantastic emblems were also made. I have no idea why Schleich made these 2 so
different. The prisoner mold is actually also one of the W Germany marked molds
Schleich used 1977 and that is why it has a cavitynumber. Both these exists without
any hongkongmarking and the ones without were the ones used in 1978. The pictured
ones are actually from 1979. :)

 

schleichhkcavityemblem

One different thing with the Hongkongmolds is that they during 1978/79 got these very
large cavitynumbers. They are many times "mirror-reversed". Also many times
spraypainted during the years around 1979.

 

bullymarking1978

Bully also changed the marking in 1978. The interesting thing with the Bullymarkings are
that many times these type of markings were sold by Schleich. For example this Archer
was sold with similair Bullymarkings but with loose accessories by Schleich. And this
was after Bully lost the license to manufacture smurf-figurines.:)

 

1979

Schleich starts selling smurfs in US and also BP brings the smurfs
to Australia. Maia Borges in Portugal paint smurfs for the UK.

Because of the accusations of using lead paint in 1978 Schleich started marking the smurfs
with dots, representing the countries where it was painted. Victor Maias new factory built
1979 outside Porto City was used when painting smurfs for the UK, then with a yellow dot.
Wallace Berrie also starts selling PVC smurfs this year. Since Schleich had the rights for
the PVC-smurfs they made an agreement with Schleich to get the rights to sell the
Schleichsmurfs in the US. This year BP also got the trademark-rights for the smurfs
in Australia. Schleich used their Hongkongmade smurfs for both these countries.

 

schleichhkyearschleichgermanyyear

Schleich starts marking their Hongkongmolds with Hongkong or made in Hongkong.
I believe they started with the moldyear on their Hongkongmolds approximatly the
same time as they did this on the Germanmolds, so mid or late 1979?? Schleich also
used both designs on the peyo-marking from now on. I don´t know why they had
different looks on that marking eventhogh the molds were made the same years??
Could be who designed the mold or where the mold was made??

 

schleichwgermanyhkdoctor

Again they sent some of the W germany-molds to Hongkong and remarked them.

 

bully1979markings

1979 was the last year Bully were manufacturing PVC smurfs, but all the way to december
1979 they released new smurfs. This smaller Bully-marking was the last one they used.
As you see Schleich also used this mold between 1980-1984 without changing it. The
one to the right is painted in Maia Borges factory in Portugal for Schleich.

Bully never marked the molds with yearmarkings. The yearmarkings on the Bullymolds
were added by Schleich when they made new molds for these Bullyvariations or when
they started adding and changing markings in the old Bullymolds in around 1984.

 

1980

Schleich becomes the worldwide manufacturer, distributor and seller
of PVC-smurfs. And gets all the smurfmolds made by Bully.

From the 1st of january 1980 Schleich is the worldwide manufacturer of the PVC-smurf.
This year they also got all the smurfmolds Bully had made. In the new Schleichbook they
write that it was expensive to get this international license. Maybe Schleich also had to pay
Bully to be able to use their molds??? The interesting thing here is that Schleich sold all the
molds Bully had made with the same Bully-marking for about 5 years. Same thing with the
old Schleichmolds Mr Bully had removed the Schleichmarkings from. These were also sold
all the way to 1984 by Schleich without ANY CHANGE in markings. So all molds of
20001-20022 and 20034(smurfette) with removed Schleichmarkings and all Bullymolds
20068-20121( and 20498-20499) with Bully-markings, Schleich sold for about 5 years
without any marking-changes in the molds. The only reason for this must have been that
they were not allowed for some reason. Nevertheless they made a lot of money selling
these even without their companyname on these figurines during these years!! :) Off course
Schleich made a lot of new molds of these figurines with Schleich-markings used in for
example US, so it could have had something to do with the ones sold in countries like
Germany where Bully had the rights before 1980???? Strange, but still a fact!!! :)))

 

schleichbullygreendotschleichbullyyellowdot

So many of these Bullymarked smurfs are very common with the colour-dots Schleich
used when painting smurfs. As you see they sometimes actually made smaller changes
on the molds like removing West Germany or adding Portugal, BUT they never added
their companyname Schleich or removed the Bullymarking before 1984 in these molds.

 

1982

Approximatly in 1982 BP stops with their smurfpromotion and I
don´t think BP or National had the rights for the smurfs in Australia
and UK anymore. But the smurfs still were sold in toystores in
those countries. W Berrie markings starts to appear on smurfs.
Sri Lanka factory opens.

 

hkwbco

Around 1982 Schleich starts adding Wallace Berrie markings on the molds. The reason
for that they starts with this around 1982 could be that this year BP stops its promotion
and the Hongkong factory basicly only makes smurfs for W berrie in the US. Initially
the marking W.B.Co. was used and later the complete name.

 

hk1980change

A funny and strange thing with the markings on the hongkongmolds is that around 1982
all yearmarkings with a year before 1980, was changed to 1980, like you see on the
picture. This was later changed back to the original year again like you see on the
smurf on top with the W Berrie marking.

 

In around 1982 a factory is built on Sri Lanka. According to websites like Kittycavern
a company called Qualitycrafts Ltd owned that factory. On that site you can also see
pictures from the opening of that factory with many important persons pictured, like
Hermann Schneider, Pierre Culliford, Ulli Köester etc..

Watch Sri Lanka historypictures on Kitty cavern!

 

stickersrilanka

Initially this factory seems to only have been helping the Hongkongfactory to paint
smurfs distributed to USA. Then marked with a sticker like this.

 

portugalsrilankasticker

Also Portugalmolds were painted in Sri Lanka and were common in the US.

 

reddot

Later also smurfs were painted for the European market starting around 1984,
probably because the drop of smurfsales in the US, starting about that year. These
were then marked with a red dot, representing the Sri Lanka factory.

Also Paul Kraut Senior opens a factory in Tunesia this year. Green dots are
used representing smurfs painted in Tunesia.

 

greenstpatrickportugalportugalkicker

It also seems that around this year the Victor Maias factory started marking the smurfs
with Portugal-markings. I think the green St Patrick-smurf could have been the first
mold made with made in Portugal-markings. But also Thanksgiving-smurf,
Halloweensmurfette etc. are possible first ones. Some older molds were also
remarked Portugal.

 

1983

Schleichsmurfs were made in South America.

 

heringbrazil

Sometime in the early 80s Schleich had smurfs made in Southamerica. This is also written
in the new book by Schleich and Schleich also confirms this to SCCI in the 90s. The
toymanufacturer Hering made these for Schleich in Brazil. Not that many smurfs were made
in Brazil, but one interesting thing regarding the markings is that they were also made with
partly blocked markings. Why do someone only blocks Hering made in Brazil and not the
other marking. I am pretty sure the one to the left on the picture with blocked markings
were made in Argentina, but that could have been after Minimodels lost the license. We
are also pretty sure the ones with the blocked markings were sold in Brazil, so it seems
the marking was blocked already when they used them in Brazil??? Strange. :)))

 

minimodels

In Argentina the toymanufacturer Minimodels had a license to manufacturer smurfs for
Schleich in the 80s also. Only the marked ones were sold during the time they had a
license. many unmarked smurfs were also sold with similair material and paint, which
could tell us they could have been made by the same company unlicensed. Especially
since then the colours are very different from the ones approved by Peyo.

 

Most likely none of the factories were used after 1987 when Schleich went bancrupt.

 

1984

W Berrie starts using the name Applause. Schleich starts to add
their marking on the molds Bully had in the 70s.

 

schleihmarking

In around 1984 Schleich starts to add their marking on their old molds Bully removed
the Schleichemblem from. They sold this all the time from 1978 to 1984 unchanged,
meaning without Schleichmarking.

 

blockedbullyschleichyear

In 1984 they also starts blocking the Bully-marking on all molds and puts their own
marking in the molds instead, many times now with yearmarkings.

 

aplauseapplause

In 1984 Schleich starts adding Applause to the molds. In the beginning together with W
Berrie. One funny thing here is that the first time they added the name they spelled it
wrong. Aplause instead of Applause. That wrongly spelled name you can find many
times on the 2 easterfigurines made in 1984.

 

mafimarking

In around 1984 or maybe 1985 Schleich starts to sell these W Berrie marked smurfs also
in Europe. For example Mafi in France sold a lot of these around 1985.

 

srilanka

Also around 1984 the smurfs with Sri Lanka-markings appears.

 

1985

W Berrie markings stops and last new molds with
Hongkong-markings are made.

 

hk1985

In 1985 Applause sells a limited collectors serie in the US. But it is stopped in July 1985,
before all figurines were sold. The smurfs with the marking Hongkong 1985 were the
last new molds marked Hongkong.

 

1986

Schleichs economical problems starts and Macau-marked smurfs
are sold in Europe.

blockedhongkongmacauadded

During 1986 some of the molds used in Hongkong were used, but then with blocked
Hongkongmarking. Instead made in Macau was added. As written in the SCCI-letters
from the late 80s, these many times appeared in Europe and was not known to the US
collectors. For example the Historicalsmurfs got Macau markings and were sold
in Europe. Same with moon playset.

The Schleichbook also tells us that in 1986 "over 25 million unwanted smurfs sat on the
shelves in Herlikofen". That is also why many of the markingvariations made around 1985
was sold for many years after this. But these were old ones they had in stock. For example
in the displaysets sold in 1989, you many times find W Berrie-marked smurfs.

 

1987-88

Bodybuilder is made but not sold. Black dots starts to appear
on smurfs.

 

bodywithoutCE

These 2 very odd markings were made approximatly the same time in the late 1987.
We know the bodybuilder was made as a promotionsmurf for bodybuildingclubs in
Europe, maybe also that was the case for the tabletennis-smurf. Both these were
also initially painted in other colours, or as with the bodybuilder in 2 colours.

Notice also that the bodybuilder mold was given number 20228, the number right after
the tabletennis, but it was withdrawn and replaced by Fitness-smurf instead. Later when
the bodybuilder were sold in 1993 they added the CE, BUT strangley never added any
year-marking. :)

 

bodyce

During these years they also slowly introduced the CE markings in the molds. But
printed markings like the 2 ones to the right were never used before 1990.

The SCCI tells us in 1991 that after 1990 3 new CE-markings appears. CE in the mold,
CE "branded" after the figurine is made and the last one not on the picture is the CE-sticker.

As you see the black dots were used before the CE marking started. It seems
Schleich started using the black dots aroung 1987/88 and they were used on both
Portugal- and Tunisia-painted smurfs.

 

srilankablackdot

When Schleich declared themselves bancrupt in january 1987, they had to cut the costs
with 50% according to the Schleichbook. So many of the factories Schleich used for
manufacturing smurfs was not needed anymore. Schleich stopped using the factory
in Hongkong and I also believe they did not use the factory in Sri Lanka either. But
there are actually smurfs marked Sri Lanka, with black dots. So either they used the
molds made or they used the Sri Lanka factory in the late 80s also?? The molds are
marked W Berrie so they were not new molds made.

 

1989-90

First printed CE-marking. First China-marked smurfs.

 

firstce

The first smurf getting the printed CE-marking is the Patriotsmurf with moldyear 1989.
All molds made after this have the CE-marking.

 

applause1990

Eleven smurfs are also made for Applause in 1990. These smurfs do not have
any yearmarking or Schleichmarking.

 

1991-1994

Odd China-markings on some smurfs.

 

chinapresent

In 1991 this strange marking is described by SCCI. This could be the only
marking-variation with both W Berrie and China??

 

refreeunmarkedrefereebase

Also this unmarked referee could have been made these years. All W Berriemarkings are
removed in the mold but the cavity-number is still there so we can see that it is the
HK-mold. Then they have used the base originally used for Jogging-smurfette in
Hongkong, also that one with removed markings. So I am pretty sure it was made
in China.??:)

 

germany

From 1991 only Germany is stamped in the molds. W Germany is not used anymore.
So in many of the old molds the W is removed.

 

germanychina

The first time the combination China and Schleich are used on new molds is in 1993.

 

1995-1998

Irwin sells smurfs in the US and McDonalds and quick restaurants
uses Schleichsmurfs in promotions. Larger CE markings.