Since I wrote this in a thread that is only for members on the blue cavern forum I would like to add it here also.
This is my opinion how the dot-marked smurfs mainly were sold. 🙂
The ones with green dots are always made by Schleich. Eventhough sometimes having Bullymarkings. I have a emailconfirmation from the Kraut-family and also recieved a email from Paul Kraut Jr( managing director of Schleich) that Paul Kraut Sr started the factory in Tunesia in 1982. At that time Bully already had stopped with smurfs. :cheers:This is also a 100% solid proof that Schleich sold and made smurfs marked Bully.
Regarding where these were sold I agree with Benny. Mainly in Europe.
Basicly I think it was like this:
In 1978 Schleich started making smurfs in Hongkong. In the beginning these were sold in Europe. For example the smurfs sold before the leadpaintscandal in UK were painted in Hongkong and those were the smurfs accused to be dangeruos for children.
So in late 1978 or in 1979 Schleich started painting smurfs in Portugal instead for the UK-market, the National Benzole-campaign. And then the smurfs made in Hongkong were sold in other ”new” countries outside Europe. The BP-campaign in Australia started and also the smurfs were sold in the US by W Berrie.
Because of the increasing demand of smurfs a new factory in Tunesia was used 1982, mainly for the european market. Around the same time also another factory was built in Sri Lanka to help the Hongkong-factory with the increasing demand in US. During those years they had areas around the airports in Sri Lanka where it was were ”cost-effective” to place factories. I think no taxes had to be paid because the main idea was that parts were sent to these factories and then the final products flown away when finished. So these were not items made to be sold in Sri lanka and then did not need to pay taxes. Large areas around airports were used for factories in Sri lanka because of that.
So as Benny wrote the tunisian factory mainly helped the european market and the Sri lanka factory helped the Hongkongfactory because of the increasing demand in US. However this changed in around 1984 when the demand started dropping in some countries and then after the bancruptcy in 1987, 3 countries were used besides the smurfs made in Germany. It is written in the Schleich book that those 3 countries still were used in 2010 when the book was written. The countries are China, Tunisia and Portugal. However I think the Maia Borges factory in Portugal no longer makes items for Schleich???
Between 1984/85 and 1989 the stock of smurfs was higher than the demand and therefore Schleich sold the smurfs they had in stock, no matter where it was made, to where the demand wanted smurfs!!! 🙂 So during those years a lot of different markings could appear basicly anywhere?? 🙂
I think it is hard to say exactly which smurfs were painted with green dots, because basicly all smurfs made before 1987 are potential green dot smurfs. But I am sure that is not the case, however it is hard to say exactly which smurfs Schleich sent to Tunisia to help with the increasing demand during 1982-1987!! Schleich have also confirmed that many of the smurfs with black dots were painted in Tunesia. So the Tunisian factory was 100% sure used after the bancruptcy also.