astronik

A Green Smurf? No, it is an Astrosnik

If you go to flea markets or garage sales on a regular basis, you start to see recurring items that fire your imagination. With smartphones, it is pretty easy to find out what something is (and often a good price to pay), but before the internet was in the palm of you hand, it could be challenging to discover what something was without finding an expert.

In the late eighties, I ran across what I was calling “green Smurfs” at a flea market. I can’t remember what they wanted for them, but I do remember that the owner of the table had no idea what they were and it was in pretty rough shape, not really something I wanted to spend money on. This was unacceptable to me and thus began a way too long quest to find out where these little green guys were from. Now it probably would have helped if I had bought one at the time, but I don’t always truck in good decision. So began a multi-year search for more of these green smurfs.

Its odd where and when you can have those “Eureka moments”. For my green smurf quest it was at another more established flea market in central New Jersey. A place open all year round with real “permanent” booths. I was browsing their toys when I passed a case of smurfs and on one level of the case were all these little green guys. I quickly ran over to the owner of the booth who informed me that they were not “green smurfs”, but were a different toy all together. A set of space toys from Germany called the Astrosniks. Developed in 1975, these little green guys certainly have a Smurfy vibe, but their space theme makes them appealing in a completely different way.

Most of you who have seen them, probably got them in happy meals around 1983/1984. I am not sure how I missed these, during that window, but I did and my life wasn’t as bright because of it.

Here is a commercial for these delightful toys. Maybe it will stir up some memories or, if you have never seen them before, create some interest in starting a collection of your own.

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