The Unforgettable Buzz was inspired by a simple premise: For millions of boys, finding an electric football game under the tree was “A Christmas Story” moment – that is, receiving the best gift ever.
But Christmas morning magic is just a part of the electric football story. With the fate of Tudor Metal Products riding on his decision-making skills, a twenty-three year old Norman Sas invented electric football – right at the time when both television and football were starting to make their mark in American culture. The growing popularity of a toy and a sport intertwined over the next decade, as football became a fixture on television and electric football achieved featured toy status in the Sears Christmas Wish Book.
Norman’s knack for exquisite timing surfaced again when he landed the NFL license for electric football…right on the eve the NFL-AFL merger in 1966. As the NFL transformed into “America’s Game,” Tudor’s NFL electric football games provided NFL Properties with nearly two thirds of its income. This remarkable success came despite competition from three other electric football makers, including one run by a former Tudor employee.
Earl Shores and Roddy Garcia have put over 15 years worth of research into The Unforgettable Buzz, talking with the major “players” from Tudor, Coleco, Munro, and Miggle Toys. In addition, months were spent paging through toy journals, toy catalogs, and newspaper archives to make certain the book was a definitive telling of electric football history.
And helping to make the book a truly unforgettable reading experience is Michael Kronenberg. Michael is a graphic artist for Marvel – yes the Marvel – and also a fellow electric football aficionado. He brought his special “EF Vision” the cover and interior of The Unforgettable Buzz.
The Unforgettable Buzz uncovers the fascinating stories behind how a humble inventor and a talented industrial designer established electric football as one of the longest running and most beloved games in all of toy history.
- What toy electric football is directly descended from.
- The connection that the first electric football competitor had to Tudor.
- Who the major players were in creating the first NFL licensing program in 1959. (Hint: one was a cowboy.)
- The identity of Tudor’s never-produced and “lost” sixth figure from Lee Payne’s brass master “Magnificent Six.”
- The “carrot” Tudor used to get the NFL license.
- Which famous NFL title game Tudor made a prototype for but never produced.
- What device one toymaker claimed would make all other EF games obsolete. (It didn’t.)
Download a free PDF of Chapter 1 to see what The Buzz is all about. Just click on the link below!
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