The little blue creatures known as the Smurfs first appeared in
October of 1958, the creation of Belgian cartoonist Pierre
Culliford (known as Peyo). However, it would take the 1980’s Saturday
morning cartoon to launch them into stardom and cartoon history.
The Hanna-Barbera cartoon ran on NBC Saturday morning cartoons
from 1981 to 1989 and are a permanent part of 80s pop culture.
I was a huge Smurfs fan much to the dismay of my father who
couldn't stand to hear the Smurfs theme pouring out of the den
on any given Saturday morning. He tried to convince me
that Smurfette was up to no good (he used more colorful language
than that) as she was the only woman in a commune of all men.
I was convinced of her virtue and chose to ignore him.
Perhaps one of the most highly merchandised cartoon characters
ever, the Smurfs once permeated the world of toys and games.
Companies such as Milton Bradley, Hasbro, Kenner, Tiger, and
Playskool supplied children with everything imaginable.
Naturally, there were the traditional
board games such as The Smurf 3D game where the object was to be the
first to reach home with 4 different baskets of food and the Smurf Spin
A Round game. Yet, since this was era of home video games it only stands
to reason that there were electronic hand held games as well as an Atari
video game featuring these little blue guys. But Smurf Mania didn’t stop
there. In homes everywhere there were toys like the Smurf Sit-n-Spin,
the Smurf version of Lite-Brite and of course Smurf Roller-skates. Who
could forget toys like the View Master Smurf Theater; the Smurf
Colorforms play set which allowed children of the 80’s to create their
own Smurf Adventures or the Smurf Shrinky Dinks.
Image Above: Taken by Kent Westlund,
the Smurf Balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in 2008.
Today Smurf fans can still purchase a wide variety of Smurf figurines,
plush dolls, and other toys on the internet. This means if you
didn’t get the Velcro Smurf Dartboard when you were a child, it may not
be too late. In fact, the Smurf figurines continue to be released
even today, with 8 new designs each year. Over 300 million of
these little blue figurines have been sold. Wow.
In 2008, the complete first season of
the show was released on DVD in two volumes (39 total episodes).
If you feel the need to get your Smurf on, we've provided a link to buy
the DVDs here. The Smurfs - Season One, Vol. One
For more information and Smurf images,
check out the official Smurf website at