The town hall in Júzcar, still painted blue after it was used by Sony to launch Smurf films, has agreed a deal with International Merchandising Promotion & Services (IMPS). The company represents the Smurf brand and now official merchandise can be sold in the village, with residents getting 12 per cent of the profits.
The agreement brings to an end several years of unease between the family of Pierre Culliford, the Belgian cartoonist known better under the pseudonym Peyo, who created the blue cartoon dwarfs in 1958, and the village in the Ronda mountains, which is home to just 292 inhabitants.
There has been a lot of unofficial merchandise and unauthorised use of the brand in the village since it was declared the first ‘Smurf Village’ in the world in 2011 and first painted completely blue for the worldwide promotion of the film ‘The Smurfs 3D’.
IMPS had previously warned villagers that using images was illegal, as was the unauthorised advertising of the products, such as paintings on the front of properties.
Júzcar has since celebrated two more Smurf releases, with ‘The Smurfs 2’ in 2013 and ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ last Christmas.