Peel Here #92: Smurf Me up the smurf…


By Shawn Robare




You know, aside from the couple of upcoming DVD announcements here and there it’s hard to believe that I really haven’t talked all that much about the Smurfs over the last three years.  Then again, I’m not sure what I really have to add to the pantheon of pop culture commentary on these little blue Belgian guys and gals created by Peyo (Pierre Culliford) back in 1958.   Like most kids who grew up in the 80s I watched the Hanna Barbera cartoon every Saturday morning, and like most reminisces I’ve read over the years I got bored of the show and stopped watching as soon as Johan and Peewit came on the scene (even though the characters pre-date the Smurfs and seem to be beloved in much of the rest of the world, I felt they just got in the way on the cartoon.)  I never really got into collecting the little PVC figures as a kid, probably because they seemed kind of cutesy and my mom knew I was really into He-Man at the same time.


For me the Smurfs have sort of become the perfect icon for Saturday morning cartoons of the 80s.  They had such a huge revival here in the states at the time and there’s something so simple and pure about the character design that they speak to me much in the same way that Mickey Mouse speaks to most other people.   In the mid 90s when I was fumbling around for an online handle and e-mail address I couldn’t get my brain off the idea of utilizing the Smurfs.  It was around that time that I first started feeling pangs of nostalgia for my childhood, and it just seemed fitting.  Somehow or another I ended up with smurfwreck, and it’s just stuck.


Anyway, I haven’t really tried that hard to put together a collection of Smurfs stickers.   I think I received all of these as extras with other sticker orders I’ve placed on ebay or from friends who’ve sent some collections my way.  But they added up enough to be worth a Peel Here post.   First up is a sheet of sports-themed puffy stickers dated 1980, though I think these actually hit store shelves around 1982…





Then we have a handful of these die-cut stickers from 1983 that were originally offered on large rolls.  You’d tear off the number you wanted and pat for them by the sticker.  There’s something kind of neat about that idea, almost like stickers by the pound or something.   Again, it just goes to show how crazy the sticker collecting phenomenon was back in the day…








These are only a small sample of what was available.  Being part of one of the largest fads in the 80s, the Smurfs were on all kinds of merchandise from t-shirts to lunchboxes.  I know I’ve seen a series of Trend-like scratch-n-sniff stickers, and I’m sure there were the more standard sticker sheet stickers as well.  You know, considering how popular they once were, it’s surprising that the Smurfs haven’t made a comeback before now.  I just recently saw some new plush toys at my local Toys R Us, and then there’s also that new all CG film on the horizon, but this franchise really does seem like it’s ripe for something bigger.  My idea for the perfect product tie-in are Gargamel brand gummi smurfs, so you can eat them just like he always wanted to…

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  • HooveR

    WESOME!! Sticker #2 is STRAIGHT EDGE SMURF!

  • Kristen Stegmoe

    Hey Branded In The 80s, we thought you might be interested in this new museum of kitsch (at http://www.AWMoK.com) launching on September 14th but we can’t find your contact info – please email Kristen at kitsch(at)ghettogloss(dot)com for more information. Thanks!

  • Puppatoons

    Smurfs are the same for me–the symbol of Saturday Morning Cartoons, along with Bugs Bunny and, for some reason, that new Popeye they put out in the 80′s. Ah,I remember the days of sticker-collecting. Would you believe there were magazines devoted to it??

  • Cees