|What is a Minimodels Smurf?|
Argentina Mini Models (or Minimodels) are licensed Smurf figurines from Argentina bearing a "Minimodels" stamp. Mini-Models are the same size as regular Schelich figurines, but are made of a harder material.
The markings on Mini Models Smurfs are unique and immediately distinguishable from other Smurf figurines. Minimodel Smurfs have the marking "MiniModels" printed on them. Specifically, it says "Minimodels Industria Argentina", followed by "C Peyo" and "Schleich".
Minimodels Industria Argentina Smurf Markings
Mini-models that don't have a "Minimodels" stamp?
Only figurines that have the Minimodels stamp are true Minimodels Smurfs. There are, though, many Argentinian Smurf figurines that are made from the exact same mold as the Minimodels - they just don't have the minimodel stamp. Quality-wise, these un-marked "MiniModels" are identical to real Minimodels figures - because they are identical except for one simple fact: they're pirated. Minimodels Industria Argentina lost their license to produce Smurfs in the 1980s - but apprently the owner of the molds, Edgardo Broschi, kept on manufacturing them unlicensed, without the Minimodels logo printed on the figurine. There are ways to tell if you have a unlicensed Mini-model / Argentinian Smurf if there is no marking: Aside from the harder material they are made of, only the tips of the Smurf tail are painted on Smurfs made in the Minimodels Industria Argentina factory. On standard Schleich and Bully Smurf figurines, the tail is usually fully painted. In addition, Minimodels have unique looks and color-combinations only found on Minimodels.
There are fake Minimodels too! After Minimodels Industria Argentina went out of business, the molds were passed on to third parties, who continued making unlicensed Smurfs. These Smurfs are made out of a softer material and look a lot cruder than Smurfs made in the Minimodels Industria Argentina factory (whether licensed or not), although they have some interesting and collectable painting and color variations.
Minimodel Smurf with complete Minimodels Industria Argentina Smurf Markings
Smurf it! This is confusing. So what happened with these Minimodels exactly?
1. Minimodels Industria Argentina gets a license to make Smurf figurines. They make them and print the word "Minimodels" into the figurine itself - see picture above.
2. Minimodels Industria Argentina loses their license to make Smurf figurines. They continue making them, exactly as before, but without the word "Minimodels" stamped into the figurine.
3. Minimodels Industria Argentina finally goes completely out of business, and the molds are passed on to other pirates who make low-quality unlicensed Smurfs.
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