The challenge of the Nine Smurfs

On Monday, I issued a little challenge on a smurf house we got as a wedding gift. The challenge resulted in eight comments overall, and I was struggling to clarify my initial observation. To make things short, I learned something from the comments. What I initially observed was, that the Brainy Smurf was reading in front of a flower, while Smurfette carried a watering pot in front of a pile of books on the first floor on the left. From the comments on my blog I learned, that I should have taken the hindsight, and do some more follow-up testing. The variety of similar mistakes in the arrangement of the smurfs was fabulous.

That said, when going through the comments, I need to find a way to rank the responses I got. A simple second-order measurement could be the number of comments per individual. In this category, Jeroen Rosink is the clear winner. He left two comments. This does not say anything regarding the quality of the comments, of course. So, I needed to find a different rating scheme.

So, on the contextual things remarked, I even didn’t get a hint, why Painter Smurf is in front of the cake, why Handy Smurf is trying to fix the gift in front of him, why Chef Smurf wants to taste the blue paint, or what any of the other smurfs do there.

Regarding the building, the inconsistencies in the building itself and the weather outside are great things to notice. In addition the arrangement of the Smurfs with regards to the background could be a point. Why is Papa Smurf working in that distance to his table? Why does the Fisher Smurf fish the pillow from the Sleepy? Where are the stairs to the first floor? Where is the chimney outside? Well, if you would be able to look on the back of the house (a mushroom) and get a 3d impression, you could see that the walls on the first floor are less in depth than on the ground. So, the chimney could go out of the mushroom house outside, but on the back of the house no indication of any chimney are present. The comment from ElizaF was also very well put. The structure of the building is not well architectured, as there is no kitchen, and no toilets. Maybe Smurfs don’t need them.

Finally, the answer I liked best came from Anne-Marie Charrett, and I was tempted to state that it’s a pure example of the English humor, but recognizing that she’s from Ireland, I realized that I should refuse.

I dunno, if you live in a world where its ok to have blue skin, anything could be acceptable. :)

Well said, Anne-Marie.

Last, but not least, here are some things I missed. I didn’t see anyone trying to find references on the Smurfs and the particular campaign run by a German producer. Before putting up the challenge, I needed to verify that our Smurfs weren’t just misaligned. Thereby I found a picture of the arrangements as well as a selling offer for the diorama. For this write-up I used the list of Smurfs from wikipedia. The plug Milk, minus Kakao is part of the brand Kinder Überraschung, indicating that these sweet chocolate eggs are some kind of healthy. Overall this is very great domain knowledge, which could have helped in the decision on “problem or not a problem?”

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