Electric Football has once again been ignored by the Toy Hall of Fame. And when we say ignored, that’s putting it kindly. For the second consecutive year Electric Football didn’t even make the top 12 Finalist.
Last year we let things slide, deciding not to make a fuss. It seemed like the “proper” thing to do, good sportsmanship and all that. But this year…are they kidding us?
Pots and Pans? Bubbles?? Paper Airplane???!!
Come on, how many poignant pleas did you get for those items? Surely not as many as you received from the Electric Football community. We know for a fact that you got impassioned nominations for Electric Football, and lots of them.
And it wasn’t like Pots and Pans, Bubbles, and Paper Airplane were Finalist in 2013, and just moved up the nomination ladder. They came in out of the blue over Electric Football, which already had two years of solid lobbying behind it.
But Hess Trucks…we’ll argue that they’re a highly regionalized item because most Hess gas stations were and still are located in the Northeast part of country. And not only were there limited opportunities to get a Hess Truck — you had to buy them at a Hess station — they came with inherently limited play value. That’s because Hess Trucks were often collectible or “heirloom” gifts. Ripping them out of the box and pushing them through the backyard dirt on Christmas morning was frowned upon. So the real “value” in a Hess Truck came from keeping it in the box. Is this really a “Toy Hall of Fame” type qualification?
Of course the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles were/are huge — and just by “coincidence” they had a movie out in 2014. The My Little Pony franchise has had ups and downs, but without question the line was enourmous during its early days. As for the Slip and Slide, we’d love to see the Emergency Room numbers related to this toy. How many of you out there still have belly rash — or scars of varying types — from a Slip and Slide? Type “Slip and Slide” into a Google search and the fourth item that comes up is “Slip and Slide Lawyer.”
The American Girl Dolls…they are wildly popular. We’ve peered into the window of their extremely posh store on Fifth Avenue in NYC. It’s an unbelievable sight — lots of money gets spent there. A number of upscale NYC hotels even offer American Girl Doll weekend packages. But doesn’t the American Girl Doll formula seem about as far away from Pots and Pans as you can get? We’re just not sure what the Toy Hall of Fame is looking for.
If it wants an honest toy, one that came to popularity in a time when a toy’s play value was more important than a well-funded marketing campaign, then it should look no further than Electric Football. The game became a featured toy in the Sears, Montgomery Ward, and JC Penney Christmas catalogs based on demand, not on advertising.
It was also a groundbreaking item that tapped into the sport that became America’s Game — how many other toys have done that? And for a decade, Tudor NFL Electric Football games were the NFL Properties’ top-earning item. No other toy EVER produced can make that claim.
So how can a toy that introduced the NFL to tens of millions of Baby Boomers not be a finalist for the Toy Hall of Fame? How in 2014 can Electric Football not already be in the Toy Hall of Fame?
We’re not expecting answers to these questions. Respect for Electric Football — from the toy world, the sports world, and the media — has always been hard to come by. But we’ll do what those of us who love the game have always done — we’ll flick the switch and keep moving forward. And we’ll also do some extra “tweaking” to make sure the “Buzz” we create for the 2015 Toy Hall of Fame nomination process won’t be ignored.
In fact, we can start right now. The next Toy Hall of Fame nomination cycle has already started. Maybe 2015 can finally be the year of Electric Football!!
Earl, Roddy, and Michael