Full Color Friday – Tudor’s “Big” 1967 AFL

Pages 70 and 71 from Full Color Electric Football Big Tudor AFL players in Full Color Electric Football

Full Color Electric Football™ was a labor love. It was all about putting together Electric Football images that we love, images that were inspired by our memories of that first Tudor NFL (or AFL) Electric Football game; our first sighting of a Tudor Super Bowl in a Sears Christmas Wish Book; that first peak at a lineup of NFL and AFL teams in a Lee Payne-designed color Rule Book insert.

These are all moments that, decades later, we still cherish. They link to some of the best moments of our childhood, combining the wonder and innocence of a time when things were simple. When a new NFL team came in the mail, or a new Electric Football game showed up under the Christmas tree…life was good. Very good. You had everything you needed. Period.

That’s how we felt when got the first copies of Full Color Electric Football. Leafing through the pages, especially pages like the beautiful AFL spread included in this post, it was a dream come true. We felt like a giant box containing every Tudor NFL team had been delivered to our doorstep.

And we sincerely hope you’ll share our dream when you have a chance to check out Full Color Electric Football. It’s totally from the heart. We tried to honor this wonderful game as it deserves to be honored – in full color.

 

Earl, Roddy, & MK

 

1967 Tudor color Rule Book insert - we matched the team order in Full Color Electric Football 1967 Tudor color Rule Book insert – we duplicated the team order for Full Color Electric Football

Toy Fair 2016 Recap

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Tudor Games Toy Fair Booth 2016

Going to Toy Fair in New York City is always exciting. As we documented in The Unforgettable Buzz, so much Electric Football history was made at Toy Fair, that anytime you can be part of the event…it’s special. And we’re happy to report that Electric Football history continues to be made at Toy Fair by Tudor Games.

For 2016 Tudor Games had it’s biggest booth and it’s most prestigious location since Doug Strohm took over the company in 2012. And it’s more than just having a “big” booth. The 2016 Tudor Games booth was not only spacious, it was polished and inviting. Just flat out impressive. It just had the “look” of a company you wanted to do business with. This was a much upgraded presentation from the cramped three tables and off-the-beaten-path location that Tudor Games occupied just three short years ago in 2013.

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An honor to have both of our books on display at Toy Fair 2016.

Toy Fair is really all about “business,” and business was excellent for Tudor, with the booth being busy pretty much from opening to closing throughout the four day event. All the major retailers stopped by. Without a doubt this will be the most visible year for Electric Football in a long, long time. Having the NFL back in Electric Football makes a huge difference in how toy buyers view the game. And speaking of viewing, the new Tudor NFL teams look fantastic. Great looking pieces that will be fun to play with, and likely to stand the test of time in the decades to come.

So the future of Electric Football continues to look very bright. Doug Strohm seems determined to keep the game evolving and moving forward. It’s something that was obvious to everyone who took the time to stop by the Tudor Games Toy Fair booth in 2016.

 

Earl & Roddy

Electric Football 20 Year Landmark — 1996 Miggle Convention

1996 Miggle Electric Football Convention

The Buzz display at the 1996 Electric Football Convention in Chicago.

It was 20 years ago today that the first national Electric Football convention took place in Chicago. The event was hosted by Miggle Toys, who had bought the Tudor Games Electric Football line in a bankruptcy sale in late 1991. (See the “Beyond Brooklyn” chapter in our book The Unforgettable Buzz.) It had taken Miggle a number of years to get Electric Football up and running, and to re-secure the NFL license. After holding a four person Super Bowl tournament in Michael Jordan’s restaurant in 1995, Miggle decided to have a full-blown convention in 1996.

The 1996 event took place at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago, truly a grand venue for Electric Football’s “rebirth.” For those of us lucky enough to have journeyed to this first meeting of the Electric Football nation, it’s something we will never forget. Our perspective from behind our table of vintage games — which we ended up auctioning off late in the afternoon — was a blur of conversations about games and teams, and yes, even that book we were going to write.

Part our display in 1996

Part of our display in 1996

It was all so new, from the stories we heard about reposing players with a hot butter knife, to being shown some of the “secrets” of the game with regards to passing and player positioning. There were so many layers, so many details, so many stories to share — you have to remember that 20 years ago the internet was in its infancy. This was a time of dial-up modems and five-hour a month online access plans. So the “sharing” of the game, at least beyond the exchange of letters and phone calls was just beginning. Miggle’s “Plugged In” newsletter WAS the voice of the hobby.

In looking back, it’s clear now that the Chicago Hyatt Ballroom on January 20, 1996, was the “ground zero” of modern Electric Football  The big scattered mysterious world of Electric Football gathered on that day (and the following day!) and got to know itself a whole lot better.

Electric football Miggle Chicago 1996 Earl Shores NFL Tudor

The Unforgettable Buzz author Earl Shores working his tables at the 1996 Miggle Convention.

We forged friendships in Chicago that still remain special to us in 2016. That so many of us would still be at this Electric Football “thing” 20 years later…nobody was thinking that far ahead. We were all in the moment enjoying all the moments that unfolded during those two days. A common feeling among attendees was that this might be the ONLY Electric Football convention ever held. It was a certainly a motivation that drove many of us to Chicago on a below-zero weekend.

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The Chicago Sun-Times and The Chicago Tribune both covered the event, as did Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and even The Baltimore Sun gave it a mention. We were quoted by all of these publications — identified as writing a book on Electric Football history. We’re glad that, 20 years on, we were actually able to fulfill that ambition. (Twice!)

Here’s to all of the friends we made in Chicago and on this two decade Electric Football odyssey!

 

Earl & Roddy

The Unforgettable Buzz Looks Back on 2015

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Things were very busy in the Electric Football world at the end of 2015. In fact, things got so busy that we didn’t get around to our annual end of the year round up.

Of course, the event at the top of our 2015 list….

  • Full Color Electric Football was published! We’re so proud to get our 2nd book out to everyone. It was a true labor of love and took some intense weeks to get things fully finalized and ready for publication. Michael’s design work had been blowing us away since the earliest pages, so we were eager to get it out. How cool is that Electric Football timeline?

Box of Full Color Electric Football Books

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    • The Unforgettable Buzz went to college! It was beyond our wildest dreams to ever think that a book about Electric Football history would ever be considered “academic.” But there we were, being toted to a classroom at the University of Central Florida during the Spring semester!
Pages 82 and 138 from The Unforgettable Buzz as they appeared the ESPN Electric Football documentary.

Pages 82 and 138 as they appeared the ESPN Electric Football documentary.

Web site banner for Full Color Electric Football

The 1967 Tudor NFL No. 613 Electric Football game

      • Celebrated the 3rd Birthday of The Unforgettable Buzz blog in July 2015. This might not seem like much, but most blogs don’t last 6 months. (Right now there are more than 280 post on this site!) We might not be the smartest, or the most SEO savvy people to ever run a blog, but we are one thing — determined. Otherwise we would have never published one book, let alone a second one.

So, a BIG “thank you” to everyone out there who has been along for ride, and who have helped keep this amazing 3.5 year Electric Football ride just keep going and going and going…We are humbled by your continued support.

Here’s to a memorable 2016!

 

Earl, Roddy, & MK

 

Tudor Moves To Brooklyn – December 1945

Tudor's Christmas greeting to the toy industry in 1945

Tudor’s Christmas greeting to the toy industry in 1945

Electric Football groundwork was laid 70 years ago this month, when Tudor Metal Products moved from Manhattan to a brand new factory in Brooklyn. This six-story building at 176 Johnson Street would gain iconic stature in the 1960’s and 1970’s, as millions of hard earned pennies, nickels, and dimes were sent to that address for NFL Electric Football teams and accessories.

But in December of 1945 Tudor was not yet making Electric Football. Running the company at the time were Elmer Sas (Norman Sas’ father) and Gene Levay. Both men were in good spirits after finishing a profitable period of making items for the Department of Defense, and they placed a cheery full-page ad in the toy industry journal Playthings announcing Tudor move to the new building.

Things didn’t work out quite the way Sas and Levay hoped over the next several years, but the move to Brooklyn did ultimately prove to be a positive for the company. And this ad, with the drawing of the iconic Tudor factory, is one of those fantastic “finds” that helped us put together the story of Electric Football. It’s a great piece of toy history from a time when New York City was at the center of the toy making universe.

Wishing everyone a great Holiday Season — and let’s all be thankful that Tudor Games and Electric Football are still alive and well in 2015!

 

Earl & Roddy

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176 Johnson Street today.

Uni Watch/ESPN Holiday Gift Guide Puts Full Color Electric Football At No. 3!

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Electric Football is making its mark in 2015, as our new Full Color Electric Football™ book landed at No. 3 on the Uni Watch/ESPN Holiday Gift Guide list!! Watch just past the 2 minute mark of this ESPN video as Uni Watch columnist and editor Paul Lukas holds up a copy of Full Color Electric Football and says “this is a great new book…”

 

Like Norman Sas did when Lee Payne showed off the first-ever 3-D Electric Football players, we fell out our chairs!

no 3 holiday guide copy

 

There is also a nice write up of the book on the ESPN web site (above). From this ESPN exposure we had a record number of visitors to our own web site. Hopefully we’ve awakened some long dormant yet cherished memories of Electric Football under the Christmas tree.

 

What a start to the Christmas season — thanks so much to all of you who’ve been along for the long ride over the last two years! And a big “Full Color” welcome to those who are just rediscovering the special place that Electric Football occupies in our hearts and minds.

 

 

Earl, Roddy & MK

 

Christmas Catalog Page Top 10 — No. 9

No. 9 1967 Ward

No. 9 – the 1967 Ward Christmas Catalog

Our Electric Football Christmas Catalog Page Countdown continues! Coming in at No. 9 is page 275 of the 1967 Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog. 1967 was Tudor’s first year with the NFL license, and this is the FIRST catalog appearance of the company’s brand new NFL No. 620 game with the Browns and Giants. This wasn’t the standard issue No. 620, as the Ward version came with an exclusive accordion-like grandstand (existence confirmed by Electric Football archeologist extraordinaire Brian Nixon).

Another interesting part of the Ward page is a Tudor No. 500 photo that’s labeled “Super Bowl electric football.” This was two years before the first Sears’ Tudor Super Bowl appeared, so for years we chalked this up to ambitious advertising on Ward’s part. But then at TudorCON 14 René Smith showed up with this little beauty.

René Smith with his 1968 Otasco Tudor No. 500 Super Bowl - a game the we didn't know existed!

René Smith with his 1968 Otasco Tudor No. 500 Super Bowl – a game the we didn’t know existed!

So maybe Ward did have a small generic Super Bowl No. 500 in 1967. One of the reasons we love Electric Football. You just never know what will turn up.

No matter the variation of the No. 620 that showed up under your tree in 1967, you were completely captivated by Tudor’s miniature NFL. And Tudor was off to a decade of NFL Electric Football heights that would change the toy, and how it was perceived, forever.

More to come from our Countdown — it’s already December!

Full Color Friday – Tudor QB Brass Master

FCEF QB BM Dup

Electric Football production pieces of any kind are exceedingly rare. That’s because they weren’t viewed as anything “special” at the time they were created. Their purpose was simple — to be part of the industrial process of making a toy. Or in the case of the page from Full Color Electric Football we’re previewing today, the process of creating an Electric Football player. And these production pieces didn’t create just a single item or player. The brass master in our photo spawned tens of millions of Electric Football players.

So…can something really be “special” when millions of items are produced from it?

Yes, because of what happened when a production line ceased. Pieces like this quarterback were not only discarded, they were destroyed. Melted down. Just visualize this master being dumped into a blazing furnace…Electric Football history disappearing right before your eyes.

So we’re proud in Full Color Electric Football to be able to feature — in color — this Tudor brass master. It was from him that Tudor created their NFL Quarterback Electric Football sets in the early 1980’s. It was also from him that Tudor created the short-lived “Quarterbacks of the NFL” line in 1983.

As one of the few Electric Football production pieces to survive into the modern era, he’s now like a prized dinosaur fossil in a museum display. His “bones” help explain Electric Football’s past to future generations. Another special part of this QB’s legacy is that he spent his post-production days in Brooklyn sitting on the desk of Electric Football inventory and Tudor Games President Norman Sas. How’s that for a priceless pedigree?

We’re pleased to finally give this Tudor player the exposure he deserves — in full color. 

 

Earl, Roddy, & MK

 

Christmas Catalog Page Top 10 Countdown – No. 10

1962 Sears Christmas Book page344

Page 344 from the 1962 Sears Christmas Catalog comes in at No. 10 on our Countdown.

Welcome to our Electric Football Christmas Page Catalog Top 10 Countdown! This is the first installment, featuring the Electric Football catalog page that came in at No. 10 on our countdown.

Page 344 from 1962 Sears Christmas Catalog was the first time the Gotham NFL G-1500 appeared in color. It marked the “big time” for Electric Football, with the 36″ x 21″ game – the first big Electric Football game – taking up the top-third of the page. This was the most elaborate presentation Electric Football had ever been given by a major mail-order retailer.

And Sears at this point in time was no ordinary mail-order retailer. They were, in fact, the world’s largest toy retailer. This 1962 page was Sears’ official endorsement of Electric Football as a “featured” toy, as status the game would carry for the next two-plus decades.

This page was a landmark Electric Football history. It shaped how kids (and especially parents!) viewed Electric Football, and turned the burner up to “high” in the Electric Football competition between Tudor and Gotham.

(Both of the Gotham Electric Football games on this page, the NFL G-1500 and smaller G-940, can be found in our new Full Color Electric Football book.)

 

Full Color Electric Football™ Is Published!

Box of Full Color Electric Football Books

We are pleased and proud to announce the official publication of our new book Full Color Electric Football™. It’s been quite the “drive” to get this thing into the end zone, including a few tricky “third-and-long” conversions.

Our hopes were high for Full Color Electric Football, and we have to say, those hopes were exceeded. Even after living with this material for almost two years, we found ourselves floored when flipping through the pages of our advance copies.

This book is a dream come true. From the very beginning we “saw” a color Electric Football book. So this marks the culmination of all that we’ve done over the last 20 years. It’s the writing, the research, the photography, and the collecting, all rolled into 124 beautiful pages.

Michael Kronenberg’s design work is…well, you’ll be able to see for yourselves. Masterful, brilliant, visionary — Lee Payne would be proud. And the photography, as Norman Sas and Lee always strived for with Tudor images, puts you right in the game. The appeal of Electric Football is obvious to see, as the NFL comes to life right before our eyes.

We hope that all of you will find a cherished piece of your childhood in Full Color Electric Football.

We encourage you to purchase Full Color Electric Football from our Official e-Store. The e-Store lets you order the book directly from the printer, cutting out the middle man for you, and for us. 

To further encourage you we’re offering a Special Discount on all e-Store sales until November 30, 2015. Enter the code below in the “Apply Discount” box of your shopping cart and get a $1.50 off each copy you buy.

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You will have to create an ID and password for Create Space, the company that oversees the e-store. We’ve been working with Create Space since 2013 (they also print The Unforgettable Buzz) and have purchased hundreds of books from them. They operate on a secure server and are a thoroughly professional online company. Click on the button below to navigate to the e-Store. And don’t forget your discount code!

For those of you not comfortable with the e-Store format, not wanting to hassle with a new ID/Password, or wanting to take full advantage of your Amazon Prime benefits, we understand. Here’s the link to our Amazon page:


 

 

 

New Tudor Games Web Site

Tudor Web SS copy

Tudor Games has just unveiled an updated web site to go along with its new sets of NFL Electric Football teams. The new layout looks fantastic and is easy to use. A lot of thought and work went into creating “clean” pages that offer up everything an Electric Football fan might need in just a few clicks. Tudor Games President Doug Strohm put a lot of time into the new layout and he should be proud of how well things turned out.

That we still have Tudor Games still around in 2015 selling NFL games and teams is pretty miraculous. It was a monumental feat on Doug’s part to get the NFL back, showing a commitment to Electric Football that’s nothing short of “full on.”

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Part of The Buzz image slide show on the redesigned Tudor Games web site.

That’s why we at The Unforgettable Buzz are proud to have contributed to Tudor’s new Electric Football History page. There you will find a concise description of Tudor history as well as a “Greatest Hits” slide show of Unforgettable Buzz images (see above). Be sure to check out the History page after you’ve picked up some of Tudor’s new NFL team sets. The teams look great. We need to support Tudor Games and make sure they stay around for a long, long time!

 

Earl & Roddy

An Electric Football Afternoon

Bernard Williams and Corey Johnson draw a crow at King of Prussia Mall (PA).

Bernard Williams and Corey Johnson draw a crowd at King of Prussia Mall (PA).

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending a Saturday afternoon watching Electric Football being played at the highest level. The event — a “Demo Day” and mini-tournament organized by Philadelphia Electric Football all-pros Corey “National” Johnson and Ed “Smokestack” Scott — was held at the Sports Vault in the King of Prussia Mall in suburban Philadelphia. Also on hand was base-tweaking wizard James Harris, along with his delightful wife Tee. Coming down all the way from New York to be part of the event were Bernard Williams and Edwin Hinton.

James Harris' Seahawks and Ed Scott's Vikings.

James Harris’ Seahawks and Ed Scott’s Vikings on Ed’s board.

It was eye-opening to see the game played on a “professional” size field, with complex adjustments and rule implementations being done at speed to make the play as realistic as possible. The quickness and precision of James Harris’ “looping” rushers had to be seen to be believed. And actually I saw it, but it’s still hard to believe.

There were nice crowds throughout the day, with many staying for long periods, totally fascinated by what they were seeing. Corey, an MFCA National Champion and Hall of Famer, took time to talk about Electric Football with every single person who stopped by, earning full all-pro honors for his promotional skills. Ed Scott also spent at least 15 minutes working with a young couple (in their 20’s) on the finer points of the Tudor QB figure. Ed made sure they actually got the QB in their hands for a full-on kicking and passing “tryout.”

Corey introduces Electric Football to a boy whose never seen the game before.

Corey introduces Electric Football to a boy whose never seen the game before.

Most of the kids, teens, and college age spectators who stopped by had never seen an Electric Football game before. For them, watching the game being played seemed to be a major revelation. You could see it no their faces. The youngest, of course, were totally taken by the entire miniature NFL player concept (yes, Corey had brought along Eagles).

James and Edwin made it to the championship game, with James’ stingy Seahawks’ defense keeping Edwin’s Jets in check until the final play. On 4th down Edwin’s running back burst through a small hole in the line and seemed on his way to touchdown…until he hooked arms with one of his own teammates. They spin began and the play was over. James was the day’s winner.

It was a true Electric Football day right down to the core. A great group of guys showing off the game that they love. And passing it on. The future of Electric Football is bright indeed.

 

Earl

Chiefs and Packers Monday Night Football Photo Series

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Some Electric Football team combination are just classic. We were only looking for one photo to use out of this series, but so many of them turned out so well that we couldn’t help but share them. Especially with the Chiefs and Packers headlining Monday Night Football tonight. These are big/large Packers from 1967 and Chiefs from the early 1970’s. Enjoy!!!

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Electric Football As A Christmas Catalog “Featured Toy”

1969 Montgomery Ward Christmas Book

1969 Montgomery Ward Christmas Book

There are so many points in Electric Football history where a change occurred and the path of the game was forever altered. One of the truly momentous changes happened when Electric Football began appearing the in the Christmas catalogs of major mail order retailers in the mid-1950’s.

Electric Football in the 1955 Montgomery Ward Christms Catalog

Electric Football in the 1955 Montgomery Ward Christms Catalog.

It was 1955 when Electric Football showed up in the Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog (above), the Sears Christmas Catalog, and also the Spiegel Christmas Catalog. Sears and Ward were both featuring a Gotham Electric Football game.

This happened because of the extensive connections that Gotham Vice President Eddie Gluck had in the toy world. One of his other connections was that he happened to be a former Tudor employee.

Spiegel had the Tudor Tru-Action No. 500 in a tiny yet full color illustration. This was the first time Electric Football appeared in color.

The Tudor No. 5000 in the 1955 Spiegel Christmas Catalog

The Tudor No. 5000 in the 1955 Spiegel Christmas Catalog

Looking at the Ward page from 1955 — it’s really hard on the eye. The Gotham G-880 game in the top right corner seems to blend right into the page. But it wouldn’t be long before Electric Football was promoted to “Featured Toy” status. By the early 1960’s major mail-order retailers like Sears, Ward, and JC Penney were all displaying Electric Football prominently on full-color pages (see main image).

Electric Football would remain a Featured Toy in Christmas catalogs for most of the next two decades. By that time, of course, the onslaught of electronic games relegated it — and most all other toys — to the category of “ordinary.”

Thankfully in 2015 we still have Electric Football, and it’s even still appearing in Christmas catalogs! For those of us who know it best, it has never ceased to be a Featured Toy. And we’re going feature the best of the game throughout our upcoming Full Color Electric Football book.

 

Earl & Roddy

 

Electric Football’s Golden 50-Yard Line

By now we’ve all noticed the gold 50-yard line numbers being used by the NFL. The league is doing this to honor the upcoming 50th Super Bowl game, since 50 years, at least in marriage terms, is known as the “Golden Anniversary.” That got us to thinking…does any Electric Football game have a golden 50-yard line?

The first game that comes to mind is Tudor’s 1968-69 AFL No. 520 model. It has orange yard lines lithographed on its field, including an orange 50-yard line. That’s close, but not quite right.

AFL Photo 2

An orange 50-yard line on the Tudor AFL No. 520 game.

Next we thought of the 1970-72 Tudor AFC No. 610 model. This game used an orange and red theme to designate the AFC, and had gold field numbers that were outlined in red. A nice look, but again, that’s not quite it. (The photo below is our Ward No. 627 — it used the same field as the No. 610.)

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But there is one Electric Football game that does have a gold 50-yard line. The numbering is actually white, but the “50” is outlined in gold. And only the 50-yard line outlined in gold. The other numbers on the field alternate between blue outlined even numbers, and red outlined odd numbers. Sound familiar? As a hint, this game finished at No. 3 on our Top 20 Countdown.

It’s the 1970 Sears Tudor Super Bowl.

1970 SB Koff

EF Gold 50

Does Electric Football ever cease to be amazing? We’ll have more previews from our Full Color Electric Football™ book on Friday. In the meantime, stay tuned…

 

Earl, Roddy, and MK

Announcing Fullcolorelectricfootball.com!

Web site banner for Full Color Electric Football

Banner image for our new Full Color Electric Football website.

We are thrilled to announce that fullcolorelectricfootball.com is now “live” and online! This new website is the official home of our upcoming Full Color Electric Football™ book.

The site has been in the works for some time, and will hopefully be the main landing spot when people search online for Full Color Electric Football™. Over the coming weeks we’ll be posting up sample pages, and of course the publication date for the book. We’re getting ever closer to the big day.

We’ll not be abandoning The Unforgettable Buzz website. It will continue to be where the bulk of our Electric Football writing and ruminating takes place. We’ve already installed a live feed of Buzz posts on fullcolorelectricfootball.com (check the right hand menu).

So please go on over to fulllcolorelectricfootball.com and check it out. We felt that our new book was worthy of its own online presence. We hope you’ll agree.

 

Earl, Roddy, & MK

 

 

Hong Kong Electric Football Painters “Greatest Hits”

Lineup of 1967 Tudor Electric Football players

In last week’s post we talked about Tudor’s Electric Football painters in Hong Kong. The job they did getting all those tiny NFL teams painted and ready for Tudor was amazing. It was hard work, but they were rewarded well because at the time there many American toy makers with paint “shops” in Hong Kong. After training up a painter the last thing Albert Sung wanted to do was lose them to a competitor. Sung’s deadlines were tight. He always needed the best painters he could get.

So this week we’re going to take a look at Hong Kong’s “Greatest Hits” — that is, the best work done by Tudor’s painters. And the work is truly special when you recall our photo from last week showing the stacks of player pallets sitting at each painter’s station. That the painters could impart this much detail to the players…it’s was a major factor in Tudor earning the top-sellers spot at NFL Properties from 1967-76.

We — us kids, that is — had never seen anything like this:

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Cleveland Browns triple-sleeve stripe.

Atlanta Falcons sock stripes.

Electric Football New Orleans Saints sleeve stripes

Saints triple-sleeve stripe.

Electric Football Los Angeles Rams player with helmet horn

Rams’ helmet horn.

1967 Philadelphia Eagles Electric Football player

Four sleeve-stripe pattern of the Eagles.

Electric Football Green Bay Packer with sleeve and helmets stripes.

Packers sleeve and helmets stripes.

Oilers sleeve stripes.

Oilers sleeve stripes.

Chiefs' helmet arrow.

Chiefs’ helmet arrow.

The best Tudor and Gotham had done before 1967 was this…

Lee Payne's 1964 Electric Football "Fab Five"

Lee Payne’s 1964 Electric Football “Fab Five”

Or this…

A 1961 G-1500 from our display. The toy career of Tudor's James Baum was already well underway when this game first appeared in the Sears Christmas catalog.

1961 Gotham NFL G-1500

What Tudor’s Hong Kong painters gave us were major upgrades to the Electric Football experience. It took the vision of Lee Payne and Norman Sas, the practical nuts-and-bolts genius of Albert Sung, as well as the very determined and talented hands of unnamed artisans in Hong Kong to create the painted NFL player.

It’s a concept that we’ll never forget, and one that will be on full display in our upcoming Full Color Electric Football book. Keep that finger on the switch!

 

Earl, Roddy, & MK

 

 

NFL Electric Football Player Painting in the 1960’s

NFL Electric Football Players being painted in Hong Kong

Revealed for the first time – a color photo of Tudor’s NFL teams being painted in Hong Kong during the late 1960’s. Each pallet contained over 200 players.

The “toy men” of Electric Football — Norman Sas, Lee Payne, Eddie Gluck, Joe Modica, Brian Clarke, and Don Munro —all have Hall of Fame credentials. But there’s another person who belongs on that list. He had a major impact on every single Tudor NFL Electric Football game and team that was produced throughout the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. That would be Albert Sung.

Photo of Albert Sung

Albert Sung

Mr. Sung worked on the other side of the world in Hong Kong. He was responsible for the molding of Tudor’s players, and also the much bigger job of getting all the NFL teams painted. During the peak season he had 300 workers painting millions of miniature Tudor NFL players (see photo above). Each painter would have stacks of player pallets containing upwards of 200 Electric Football players. What a daunting task it must have been to sit down in the morning and look at perhaps 1,000 tiny players stacked up at your painting station.

The day’s assignment was to paint each of these players identically…as quickly as possible. There was no time to carefully strive for “perfection.” We’ve been told that a truly accomplished painter could hold three brushes at a time in their non-painting hand, quickly pulling the brush and color they needed — for stripes, helmets, and “grass”— from between their fingers. The best could finish an entire player within minutes.

The Table of Contents from our upcoming Full Color Electric Football™book.

Some of the amazing early work done by Albert Sung and Tudor’s Hong Kong painters

Super Bowl teams, which Norman Sas had to make a “best guess” at by the end of December, always had priority. They were painted during the month of January and shipped by the end of the month so Tudor could get their Super Bowl games ready for Sears. Then Sung and his painting crew moved onto the rest of the NFL teams, with a delivery schedule that stretched from March to September. Mr. Sung recounted that it usually took a month for the teams to simply clear U.S. Customs.

Beyond the actual physical act of painting, Mr. Sung had to order all the paints in the right quantity, and make sure the colors matched those specified by NFL Properties. These were all massive issues, especially with the NFL mandating that all paint be dumped when it was a year old.

1966 Sung Card

Player painting was a monumental task — we think the painters in Hong Kong have NEVER gotten the credit they truly deserve. Even in the years when the painting was less than perfect, it was still an incredibly difficult job. Yet the painted teams were such a critical piece to Electric Football’s greatness, and a major reason why we still have such great memories of playing the game.

There’s much more about the Hong Kong “process” and Albert Sung’s many contributions to Electric Football in our book The Unforgettable Buzz. Many, many thanks to all of you who have already showed your support for our work.

 

Earl, Roddy, & MK

Electric Football’s Biggest Weekend Ever? Richmond 2015

  The countdown is underway for the biggest Electric Football weekend of 2015. On July 31-August 2 Tudor Games and the Miniature Football Coaches Association are co-hosting the Electric Football World Championship and Convention in Richmond, Virginia. The event is being … Continue reading

Toy Hall Of Fame — The Answer is “YES!”

Electric Football Browns and Giants on the scrimmage line

The Electric Football community has spoken, and the consensus is clear — yes, an effort should be made in 2015 to get Electric Football into the Toy Hall of Fame. That was the reaction to our blog post last week.

So…ok, here’s the link to the Toy Hall of Fame nomination form:

http://www.toyhalloffame.org/nominate

The nomination period ends on July 31 — that gives us two weeks to make our voices heard. Everybody get typing!

Like we suggested last week, maybe there can be a “Nomination Hour” on the 31st at the Tudor/MFCA Convention in Richmond. Everybody can Check in, Log in, and Nominate Electric Football. How hard could that be?

We’ll be putting up Toy Hall of Fame reminders on all of our Social Media platforms during the next two weeks. And we’re going start working on our own nomination forms. Guess it won’t hurt to try again…

 

Earl, Roddy & MK