How do you describe your collection?
I’ve been collecting Smurf merchandise from North America and around the world for about 40 years. I have a large collection of original PVC Smurfs released by Schleich and my collection also includes kitchenware, toys, games, puzzles, posters, books, plush, and other merchandise from the franchise. My 2021 Guinness World Record count is 11,455 items. My first Guinness World Record was established in 2014 when I had 6,320 pieces. It’s a fun hobby that allows me to connect with other collectors from around the world.
When and why did you start your collection?
I had Smurfs as a kid that my brother and I used to play with. One day, I saw him chew on one and I didn’t like him breaking it. So I gathered up every Smurf item we owned and it took off from there. Years later, I mentioned to a friend that I had more Smurfs than the Guinness World Record holder. It became a goal to put myself out there and challenge the record.
How do you display and store your collection?
I took over my kids’ rooms when they moved out of the house. I used bookshelves and department store displays to make aisles so I could get more Smurfs into a room. The more expensive items in my collection are kept in glass cabinets. When something new arrives, I take a picture of the item and file it in folders that have correlating Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with a description of the item.
What do you consider to be the Holy Grail of your collection?
I have a couple of large resin statues that are hard to find, but there are more to the series that I would love to get. These figures were displayed at a theme park. There are 12 different figures stamped with the Peyo signature. I would also like to own a Pop Rocky Golden Hammer Smurf. These gold-coloured figures were awarded to musicians, artists, and entertainers by a German youth-oriented magazine called pop Rocky that originally published in the 1980s and 1990s.
What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a similar collection?
Go for it! Follow your Smurfs wherever they lead because you only live once, so you might as well have fun.
View Gerda’s Guinness World Record listing.
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