Saturday 2 August 2008

Les Schtroumpfs & Les Schtroumpfs Autour Du Monde

When discussing collecting for the Master System there is always one topic that keeps coming back, Smurfs, or to be more exact Smurfs 2 (Les Schtroumpfs Autour Du Monde). The online collecting community didn't even know it existed until March 2000 and to date still comparatively few copies have been discovered. My aim with this article is to put together all the information I know about Smurfs 1 and 2.

Les Schtroumpfs aka The Smurfs aka Smurfs 1.

Smurfs 1 is a fairly generic but decent platformer, Sega Power gave it 71%. The game is very linear, just go from the beginning of each level to end in order to progress. Attack by jumping on enemy's and run by pressing button 1. You get the option of three levels of difficulty and the option of turning the music off. You can collect stars, 5 per level, doing so will give you a bonus level.You also need to locate keys in order to free the Smurf prisoners. It is well worth trying if you enjoy 8 bit platform games but don't be expecting Miracle World or Castle of Illusion quality.

Euro version on the left and Tec Toy (Brazilian) version on the right.

Smurfs 1 was released in Europe in 1994 (1995 in Brazil) which is quite late in the Master System's life, as with most late releases on the system it is uncommon.

There are actually 2 variations of Smurfs 1 in Europe, they are only minor variations though (just on the back cover as shown in the picture below). A recent online poll shows the bottom one to be slightly harder to find.

Both European versions of Smurfs 1 came with a poster (see below) which advertised Walibi Schtroumpf Theme Park and included a voucher entitling one free entry when accompanied by one full paying person. I may have been unlucky but I bought 7 copies of Smurfs 1 before getting a poster.



For the hardcore collectors who like everything 100% complete there is also a Smurfs registration card included with the European versions as well..

You should be able to buy the European Smurfs 1 on ebay for between about £5 to £15+ depending on condition and completeness. The Brazilian Tec Toy version maybe slightly more if that appears on ebay (around £20 complete).

There are also 'blister packs' of the European Smurfs 1 but so far I have only known 2 Master System versions to have been seen (one was badly damaged). The blister packaging also contains a Smurfs figure, and not all packs have the same figure. Below is a picture of the more common Mega Drive Smurfs blister with figure (A Master System smurfs blister picture will be included shortly).

(Mega Drive Smurfs blister pack)

Les Schtroumpfs Autour Du Monde aka The smurfs Travel the World aka Smurfs 2.

For many Master System collectors Smurfs 2 represents their holy grail, the pinnacle of the collection. This was the very last Master System game released in Europe (1996), well I say released, there does not seem to be any official mention of it magazines and it certainly wasn't on the shelves in most local video game shops of the day. It is the only Euro game that I do not yet own despite bidding on many Smurfs 2 ebay auctions.

The very first time the Master System version of Smurfs 2 came to the attention of the online collecting community was when Mikko Heinonen from Finland posted a message on a News Group on the 26th March 2000. His message described how he had noticed an unusual game for the Master System whilst on holiday in the Czech Republic, the release date of 1996 had caught his eye. He purchased 2, one to keep and one to trade for EUR 0.50 each. On returning home he could not find any information online about the game he had bought.

Mikko received a lot of interest from collectors and so asked his fiancee, whom was currently working in Prague, to buy anymore she could find. She found 5 - 8 more copies of Smurfs 2 which were promptly sold/ traded onto collectors.

The interest online continued and when Mikko's brother went on holiday to the Czech Republic at the end of the year (2000/01) he asked him to look out for more Smurfs 2's and buy them. Mikko's brother found a further 20 copies of Smurfs 2 but only bought half, stating that the other 10 were in 'really poor physical condition'.

The last time Mikko looked for Smurfs 2 in Prague (early 2002) he could not find anymore. Mikko posted his full story on SMSPower forums on September 29 2004 in response to speculation about how many were actually found in Prague orignally.

Since these initial finds, Smurfs 2 has started to appear on ebay, but only very occasionally. Perhaps only 2 or 3 previously unknown copies go up for auction annually, mainly from sellers in the Czech Republic. There have been some appear in Germany, France and Italy as well. Psychofox, A member of sega8bit forum managed to find one 'in the wild' for just under £2 whilst on holiday in Prague in September 2006 (see pic below).

A proud looking Psychofox

The members of sega8bit forum have attempted to maintain a tracking list of most of the known Smurfs 2 to have appeared on the Internet.

Due to its apparent scarcity Smurfs 2 regularly commands a high price with most copies selling for between £150 and £300 (again depending on condition). The poster that comes with Smurfs 2 is actually a Game Gear poster (shown below) and is blank on the reverse.

It is also worth noting that there wasn't a Tec Toy release of Smurfs 2. It is quite surprising as the Master System was still going strong in Brazil at that point and in fact the last Tec Toy game to be released on cartridge was in 1998. Below is a mock up I made (for April fools day on the forum) of what a Tec Toy Smurfs 2 may have looked like had it been released.

This year, in fact just last month, another great discovery in the Master System community was made, a prototype of Smurfs 2. Uncovered by Bock of SMSPower and originally owned by the developer of the game. For more information on that find and the data differences from the retail version click here.

'Take a rare game and make it rarer'


Anonymous said...

A great summary of the situation :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Smurfs fan, but now I can say I'm a little more educated on Smurfs for the SMS.

Anonymous said...

I havent read this article, it is great.

If you want I can make photos to my Smurfs and Smurfs 2 copy of Game Gear, I think that one of them has a poster include in it, but I dont remember.......


James Costello said...

Hi Martin,

Don't you mean you HAVE read this article?
This one is just about the SMS versions as to the best of my knowledge the game is fairly common on all other formats (?). Thanks for the offer though - I may be in touch if I need some other Game Gear pictures ;)

Anonymous said...

I mean that I didn't know that you wrote this article, but yesterday I saw it and I read it :)

Sorry about my English, but when I don't use it I forget a lot of words, and I make a lot of mistakes with the grammar.

Kind regards!!

PD: it would be interesting an article about the cover variations, such as Language variations, Kixx versions, Activision covers,....


James Costello said...

Your English is better than my Spanish :)

Speaking of language variations - I finished my artical on German variations yesterday so please check it out.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I saw yesterday that article too.

PD: I am still looking for a Spanish Jungle book for you, I didnt forget it :)


Anonymous said...

Hi, interesting article on Smurfs 2, which I came across via google which searching to see if there was still interest in Smurfs 2. I was one of the very lucky few collectors who traded a copy of Les Schtroumpfs Autour Du Monde with Mikko Heinonen. I have an almost complete Master System collection, plus a few tectoy releases, but the sad day has come when I have reached the decision to sell the collection. Yet another soon to be addition to the family forces sale.

James Costello said...

Hi, try offering your Master System games for sale on the sega8bit forum, you can find a link on my blog.

I now have Smurfs 2 but no manual or poster. I would be interested in purchasing yours if it is complete.

Anonymous said...

Hi and greetings to Rupert ;), yesterday I got my copy of the Smurfs 2 after 5 years hunting this game.
I wish a happy X-Mas and a happy new year

Best Regards from Germany

James Costello said...

Great stuff Michael, I hope to find a complete one sometime in the future.

I really must create some new articles here, its been too long..

Anonymous said...

I just bought this game for around 20 EUR in Denmark :D

Anonymous said...

I found les schtroumfs 1 last week on a flee market for 5 euro's... never saw that game before, so i was happy to buy this...

Anonymous said...

I found the smurfs game 1 for SMS last week on a flee market for 5 euro's...

Peder Johnsen said...

I recently bought new old stock of this game for the game gear, 6 copies, all with the poster etc:

Only one had slight damage to the corners of the box.