|SMURF PAINT DOTS
|What are Smurf Paint Dots?|
Smurf Paint Dots are best defined as a Quality Control dot. The paint dots represent which country a Smurf figurine was painted in. The blue paint dot represents that a new type of PVC forumation was used to make the Smurf figure.
List of Smurf Paint Dots
- Red Dot
- Yellow Dot
- Green Dot
- Black Dot
- White Dot
- Blue Dot
Smurf Paint Dots
Red Dot Smurf Figurines
|Red Dot Smurf Figures|
Red Dot Smurf Figurines are painted in Sri Lanka.
The Quality Crafts Ltd. factory in Sri Lanka also manufactured Smurf figurines as well as painting them - read more about Made in Sri Lanka Smurfs here.
Yellow Dot Smurf Figurines
|Yellow Dot Smurf Figures|
Yellow Dot Smurf Figurines are painted in Portugal.
Although the Smurf to the left was manufactured in West Germany (as depicted by the "W. Germany" marking), the Smurf itself was actually painted in Portugal (as depicted by the Yellow Dot).
The size and shade of the yellow dot varies. Some dots are bigger than others. And some dots are mustard yellow color while others are brighter.
The Portugese Smurf facility opened in the early 1980s exclusively to paint Smurfs. Located in Oporto, Portugal, the factory took Smurf figurines manufactured in Schleich's German Helikofen factory and hand-painted them - putting a yellow dot on each one. Smurfs were manufactured in Portugal as well - read about Made in Portugal Smurfs here.
Green Dot Smurf Figurines
|Green Dot Smurf Figures|
Green Dot Smurf Figurines are painted in Tunisia.
Black Dot Smurf Figurines
|Black Dot Smurf Figures|
Black Dot Smurf Figurines.
All Black Dot Smurf figures feature a round black colored paint dot.
White Dot Smurf Figurines
|White Dot Smurf Figures|
White Dot Smurf Figurines.
All White Dot Smurf figures feature a round white colored paint dot.
Blue Dot Smurf Figurines
|Blue Dot Smurf Figures|
Blue Dot Smurf Figurines are new PVC formula.
Smurf figurines produced after October 2000 are stamped with a blue dot. The blue paint dot is a different type of Smurf quality control dot than the other colors - these Blue Dot Smurfs represent the type of PVC forumulation used to manufacture the Smurf figurine itself, not where it was painted.
After October 2000, the older Smurf PVC formula was no longer legal in the European Union (a collection of European countries) and so a new PVC formula was used. All Smurf figurines made using the "new" PVC formula have a blue dot.
History of Smurf Paint Dots
Why are there dots of paint on Smurf figurines? The answer is quite interesting - and begins in merry old England. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, UK Smurf figurine demand skyrocketed because of a National Garage gas station promotion featuring Smurf figurines. The advertising said, "Only National gives you service with a SMURF". The Smurf figures were given away free with gas purchases. Public response to the promotion was phenemonal.
National Benzole faced far greater demand for Smurf figurines than they originally anticipated, and looked for ways to reduce production costs. Hong Kong was chosen to manufacture the four or five figurines for the National Garage promotion. Production costs were reduced, and all seemed well.
That was until, in 1978, The Smurfs and National Garages were embroiled in a lead paint scandal that captivated the nation. TV news reported kids licking the toys and getting sick. Apprently, the Smurfs painted in Hong Kong did not meet British safety standards - and in fact apparently contained illegal and toxic levels of lead. In addition to stopping Smurf giveaways at National Gas stations, the scandal even birthed the song "Lick A Smurp For Christmas (all Fall Down)" by Father Abraphart & The Smurps (aka Jonathan King), a parody song that scored relatively well on the pop charts.
The National Smurfs had to be "fixed", and fast. It was decided that this could never happen again, and a system was introduced to verify that Smurfs met quality control and safety standards. All new Smurf figurines had a "paint dot" that was a quality control signal showing that the Smurf figure was safe. In addition, each paint dot was color-coded to represent the country it was painted in - so each figure could be traced to the painting source.
Finally, on October 4, 1978 The Times newspaper sounded the "all clear" - Department of Health testing revealed that the Smurf figurines were safe, and the National promotion would continue - except that now every figure had a paint dot that could be used for quality control to determine where it was painted.
Dots on Smurf figurines have been essentially used as a "quality control" mark in every batch of Smurf figurines up until the 2005 series, when the dots were finally retired - finally closing the book on the "lead paint" Smurf scare of 1978.
Read more about BP Smurfs in this thread.
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