|What are Bully Smurfs?|
Bully manufactured Smurfs from 1973 until 1980 and was the third company (after Dupuis and then Schleich) to make Smurf figurines.
Bully Smurf figures feature a "Bully" stamp marking and look different from Schleich figurines - either because Bully Smurfs use an entirely different mold or simply because the Bully Smurfs were painted in a different style.
Serious collectors always try to obtain the unique Bully versions of a figurine.
Bully Smurf Markings
Bully versus Schleich Astro Figurines
No - you are not seeing things ... the Astro Smurf figurines are different! Bully's artist, Irmingard Hieber, created original molds based on Peyo's artwork - different molds than what Schleich's in-house artists created. Because both companies were using different molds based on the same art, their figurines had the same theme, but were different creations.
For collectors, Bully Smurfs are truly interesting in that they all have Schleich counterparts, but often different molds were used.
This means that both Bully's and Schleich's Astro Smurf are similar - they're both astronauts, after all, but look at the implementation... the molds are completely different.
In the picture above - the Astro Smurf made by Bully has both hands stretched out at his sides. The Bully Smurf also has a red tie. The Schleich version of Astro Smurf has one finger pointing upwards and does not have a tie. Both Smurfs are indeed "Astro Smurf", but but because Bully and Schleich made their own versions, each figurine looks very different.
Astro Smurf Markings
Bully Smurf figurines are stamped with their own special marking - the Bully mark.
Comparing Bully versus Schleich marking, you can see that they are quite different. The Bully Smurf (on the left) is marked, "(c) Peyo", "Bully" and "West Germany". The Schleich Smurf (on the right) is marked, "(c) Peyo" and "W.Germany".
Bully Smurfs are made in a variety of countries - but they all feature the "Bully" stamp.
The example below shows the Lion Tamer Smurf - one made by Bully and the other made by Schliech. The two Smurfs are nearly identical except the paint is different. The green is lighter on the Bully Smurf. The whip and loin cloth are painted yellow on the Bully Smurf. Whereas on the Schleich Smurf, the whip and loin cloth are painted a brown color. And the green is darker.
Bully Smurf Markings & Schleich Smurf Markings
The Bully Smurfs are fun to collect (along with the Schleich Smurfs) because sometimes you get different molds for the same Smurf (ie. Astro Smurf) and sometimes you get different color variations (ie. Lion Tamer Smurf)!
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