Monday, August 15, 2011

REVIEW: McDonald's Happy Meal Smurfs - Vanity Smurf

Produced For McDonald's | Released August 2011

With a flower in his bonnet and a mirror on his hand, Vanity is the Smurf that cares the most about his appearance. Delicate and sensitive, he spends his time talking fabrics with Smurfette and keeping his complexion fresh. If, by accident, his mirror breaks, he is the unhappiest Smurf.

Packaging Shots

Happy Meal Smurfs - Vanity Smurf
As you may (or may not) be aware, fast-food chain McDonald's has partnered with Sony Pictures to release a line of collectible Smurf toys, available in every Happy Meal. This weekend I managed to score one of the figures from this line, Number 14: Vanity Smurf.

The Happy Meal Smurf figures all stand at around 2 1/2'' tall. From what I can see, they're not produced at the same scale as those seen in the movie, which is fine, given that larger figures would (A) be more expensive and (B) wouldn't fit in the bag the meal comes in. I'm surprised though that they're not at the same scale as the ''original'' Smurf toys that have been in circulation since the 60s. 

The basic sculpt on Vanity Smurf is pretty good. He's got a solid, chunky feel about him and he stands very well without any form of assistance. Details are nicely tooled, with his fingers and facial details being particularly well done. There's also a very nice ''flocked'' effect on his hat's sculpt, which makes it appear to be made from a fuzzy, felt-like material. It's a shame his pants didn't include this same texturing, as it is very nicely done. 

There's also a very nice ''Disney-style'' wood texture on Vanity Smurf's hand mirror, which is - again - very nicely done. The sculptors have clearly worked from original sketches and drawings and have done a great job of translating the ''animated/drawn'' style of the Smurfs into 3D.

Vanity Smurf - being so vain - comes with a flower in his hair (well, hat) and a mirror in-hand. The pose is quite ridiculous but I'm sure younger kids will get a kick out of his preening ways. The actual figure is not articulated, which is a shame, as it would have been cool - and not impossible - to see some form of poseability. The pose he's holding, however, is fine and does a good job of conveying his Narcissistic nature.

Whilst the sculpt is well-detailed and nicely-produced, the paint application is sadly a little slapdash. There are numerous splodges of colour where there shouldn't be, edges are hazily finished and there are many areas where paint is applied recklessly. It's a shame, as the facial details are nicely applied, with a very comicbook/cartoonish look to the detailing.

Each Happy Meal Smurf includes a character sheet showing all 16 Smurfs. There are no additional accessories with Vanity Smurf.

Final Thoughts
The Happy Meal Smurfs are a nice, tactile toy. Although there's no articulation, they're fun to handle and sit nicely in the hand, thanks to a combination of size and texturing (especially on the hat.) It's a shame the quality control is a little lacking on the paint app, as the sculpt and finish is actually very good, especially for a ''free'' toy of this size. 

Unfortunately, the big problem with the Smurfs is that many of them are just not very interesting. As a kid I loved the Astronaut Smurf, Brainy Smurf and Handy Smurf, as they all had very clearly defined roles and characters (or as much as any identi-kit character can really have) but Vanity Smurf - whilst nicely sculpted - is just a little dull and I have to admit, I was disappointed to find him in my Happy Meal.

Fans of the Smurfs will love these new figures though and even though they're a little slapdash in places, I'd certainly be interested in seeing more of them.

Production QualityB-
Final ScoreB-

Image Gallery


  1. ummmmmm.... i'm kinda surprised they made a blatantly gay smurf figure. I'm sure some parents are going to have a hard time telling their sons it's not okay to wear a flower in their hat like their favorite smurf.

    On a side note, I got the brainy smurf one and he's pretty pimptastic with his cell phone.

  2. But it's not wrong to wear a flower in your hair!

    Good catch on the Brainy Smurf!

  3. I have been hear some good things about this i should grab one or two up for the wife.

  4. Yeah, they're fun, cute little things and surprisingly better than I expected.

  5. i think i saw this smurf at this year's San Francisco gay pride parade. yeah he's gay alright have you ever seen a smurf wearing assless leather chaps.

  6. It is an odd choice for the line-up, given how homophobic many people. Maybe McDonald's is being very smart and open or they're trying to create something news-worthy...

  7. Well this version of mcDonalds Vanity seems better than the version we are having from Singapore McDonalds currently.

  8. Heh. That's kind of cool, though. The ones we had don't do much, aside from stand there looking Smurfy!


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