Smurfs represent one of the big successes in 1980s popular culture. Creator Pierrot Culliford (known as Peyo) of Brussels introduced Smurfs into his newspaper comic strip "Johan ET Pirouit" in 1958. He based his little blue creatures on the trolls of Nordic fairy tales, housed them in little mushrooms, and placed them in a medieval forest somewhere in Europe. Smurfs are a happy lot; they love to play and do nice things for others; and they are an easy-going bunch. Smurfs remained minor characters in Peyo's comics, but they starred in their own six mini-books aimed at a juvenile market. Larger editions of the books and a short (of course) film followed. The popularity of Smurfs spread through Europe, and Smurfs began to appear on a variety of consumer products. In 1979, Smurfs made their way to the United States. Their growing popularity encouraged animation giant Hanna-Barbera to develop a Smurf series for Saturday morning television. The first episodes aired in 1981, and the cartoons captured the attention of 44 percent of the Saturday morning audience. The series remained on air each week until April 1990. Smurfs appealed to adults as well as children, much like the trolls of the 1960s did. Consumer goods adorned with Smurfs filled store shelves; "smurfing," "smurfy," and "smurfiest" entered the English language, meaning whatever the speaker cared to make the words mean. Kids in grade schools everywhere collected and swapped the 2-inch figures of Smurfs engaged every human endeavor imaginable. In addition, more than 10 million Smurf CDs sold, as well as 4,000 different consumer products including toys, housewares, bed linens, clothing and accessories, and sporting equipment.