TV series, 1981-1982

The adventures of the matchstick men from Vuurhoutjieland, told through songs. There’s Buksie, the leader; Hansie Houtskool, the clever one; Frikkie Fosfor, the naive one; self-confident Bella Brand; neurotic Feitjie Vlam; as well as Koos the vegetable man, Dr. Swael with his motorcar, Prof. Kallie Kooltjievuur and the postman. The characters were all made from real matches and matchboxes and the series was filmed using the black theatre method.


Production summary: 

Premiere date:

5 May 1981






Children and youth; Puppets

Number of series:


Number of episodes:


Production company:



Jan Engelen

Translation of title:

"Matchstick Land"

Cast and Crew: 

Jan EngelenDirector
Rónell BothaPuppets



Series 1

Episode 1
Original air date: 5 May 1981

We meet the characters of Vuurhoutjieland.

Episode 2: "Dieretuin Toe"
Original air date: 12 May 1981

The matchstick men decide to go to the zoo – but then Hansie Houtskool is late and they miss the bus.

Episode 3: "Sirkusstorie"
Original air date: 19 May 1981

It’s circus time! Everything goes well until Flippie enters the tent with one of his lions.

Episode 4: "Ons Speel Raai-Raai"
Original air date: 26 May 1981

It’s riddle time – but why is Flippie thinking so slowly? Hansie decides to invite a few friends to Vuurhoutjieland.

Episode 5: "Minister van Musiek"
Original air date: 2 June 1981

Buksie gets a letter from the Minister of Music. He’s coming for a visit, and everybody must get their songs ready for the big day.

Series 2

Episode 1: "Briefies by Dosyne"
Original air date: 17 August 1982

Flippie Fosfor is bitterly unhappy: among the dozens of letters from the viewers, there's not a single one for him.

Episode 2: "Boeresport"
Original air date: 24 August 1982

The matchstick men are holding a sports day to collect money for a trampoline.

Episode 3: "Ruimteman"
Original air date: 31 August 1982

What are Hansie Houtskool and Flippie Fosfor building?

Episode 4
Original air date: 7 September 1982

The matchsticks go on holiday. They take the boat out to sea, but then their petrol runs out.

Episode 5: "Toormag"
Original air date: 14 September 1982

When Hansie Houtskool’s magic starts leaking, strange things happen to him.


Images from: Stella du Toit en Susan Groenwald, Kinders, Daar Wag 'n Televisiefees op Julle! Radio en TV Dagboek, 4-10 May 1981, pp.48-49.