Game No. 3 on the Countdown: the 1970 Sears No. 633 Super Bowl IV with the Chiefs and Vikings.
The Electric Football Game Countdown moves down to game No. 3 – the 1970 Tudor No. 633 Super Bowl.
This game is a landmark in both toy and Electric Football history. In terms of visibility and economics, it may have been the highest heights ever reached by Electric Football. It’s also a game we devote an entire page to in our 2015 Full Color Electric Football book.
The No. 633 with the Vikings and Chiefs was sold only at Sears, who at the time, was the largest toy retailer in the world. Sears gave their exclusive Super Bowl an eye-catching full-color layout on page 488 of the Christmas Wish Book. They also gave the game a “Sears Best” designation, which served as an endorsement for hesitant parents. It was Sears saying that the game was worth its hefty $15.99 price tag. The Sears Best label also designated the Super Bowl as one of the “featured toys” in all of the 1970 Wish Book. Sears had clearly designed page 488 to make boys stop, gawk, and scribble down “Sears Super Bowl Electric Football game” on their list for Santa.
This was Tudor’s second Super Bowl, and Lee Payne went all out in designing the field, which is still one of the most colorful ever created. The Vikings’ end zone was purple with yellow lettering, and included a circular Vikings logo. The Chiefs end zone was bright yellow with red letters, and included a matching circular Chiefs logo. Framed in a light blue square at midfield was the Lombardi Trophy, with the square itself having a Vikings helmet and a Chiefs helmet serving as bookends.
Page 488 of the 1970 Sears Christmas Wish Book.
All of these markings — including the odd yard lines being outlined in red, the even numbers outlined in blue, and the “50’” outlined in yellow — were like the real Super Bowl field in New Orleans. Only three things were different: the actual Vikings logo was shaped like a shield; there was no NFL logo in the Vikings end zone or, AFL logo in the Chiefs end zone.
But this took nothing away from overall “awe” the game inspired. Tudor’s field actually looked better than the real Super Bowl field, which the late NFL Films’ legend Steve Sabol described as “mud with green paint.”
Besides getting all the actual details right — the field, the teams, the goal posts, etc. — the frame design was perfect. Large white capital letters said it all: SUPER BOWL. That’s all that needed to be said.
The Chiefs “huddle” up during Super Bowl IV.
Sears had no problem selling every single Super Bowl that came off the production line in Brooklyn. Only a Vikings’ fans could find anything negative about it…but even Vikings’ fans wanted to have the game. It was that beautiful — and it gave you a chance to replay the Super Bowl with a different outcome.
And then there’s the history that the game taps into. It recreated Super Bowl IV, a 23-7 Chiefs’ win that marked the last game ever played by an AFL team. This was the second straight victory for the AFL, giving “the other league” unquestioned parity with the NFL, as both leagues would take a 2-2 Super Bowl record into their long-planned 1970 merger.
The Super Bowl IV page in our 2015 Full Color Electric Football book.
Another piece of Super Bowl IV served to illustrate Electric Football’s status in American culture. Sitting in the stands watching the Vikings and the Chiefs that day was Tudor President Norman Sas. He was a guest of NFL Properties, his reward for having the top-earning item — Electric Football! — in the entire NFL Properties’ line.
Tudor’s 1970 Super Bowl was, and still is, a stunning game. A true work of art. Even the box, with Lee Payne’s silhouette motif, is a work of art. So it’s deservedly one of priciest games in Electric Football collecting.
Yet we still view the game as a bargain. That’s because nobody will ever make anything like it again. It’s just too expensive. If a game were made to same the design specs in 2015, it would cost well over $200…and might even cost what the current eBay price is for a 1970 Tudor Super Bowl. And really, how many other toys are still playable 45 years later? We’re very, very lucky that Tudor made their games to last.
At No. 3, one of the greatest Electric Football games EVER made — the Sears-exclusive 1970 Tudor No. 633 Super Bowl! We even put on the cover of our Electric Football Wishbook!
Earl, Roddy, & MK
P.S. Final fact…this is the only Tudor model with team names lithographed in the end zones.