Happy 65th Birthday Electric Football!

The 1949 Tudor Tru-Action No. 500.

Happy Birthday Electric Football!

Electric Football turns 65 in 2014. It’s quite the landmark, and it’s been quite a ride for a game that was first marketed with modest ambitions in the fall of 1949. Electric Football inventor and Tudor Metal Products President Norman Sas had little idea what was in store for his new game, or that the toy industry was on the cusp of a true “golden age.”

1949 was a time when college football was more popular than pro football and baseball was the unquestioned king of the sports world. Television was just starting to make inroads on daily life, while America itself was entering an unequaled period of prosperity…for the complete story please check out our book The Unforgettable Buzz: The History of Electric Football and Tudor Games.

1949 Electric Football newspaper advertisement.

Tudor was selling just a single Electric Football game in 1949 — the Tru-Action No. 500 model. It may look crude to the modern eye, but it was the EA Sports Madden of its time. The No. 500 sold for anywhere between $5.95 – $6.95, or the equivalent of $70 in 2014! So it was a luxury item, and a very special toy to receive that fall or on Christmas day.

Despite the cost, Tudor completely sold out of the No. 500 for Christmas and had retailers eagerly awaiting the delivery of Electric Football games in January and February of 1950. It was a flying start for Electric Football, which foreshadowed the ever-ascending popularity of the game for the next three decades. This ascendancy, of course, included an NFL license, which turned Electric Football into perhaps the most dependable “fan creator” in the entire history of the NFL.

With NFL once again part of the Tudor Games’ lineup, Electric Football seems poised to make a sports comeback that even George Foreman would envy. And it all started 65 years ago in the fall of 1949.

 

Earl & Roddy

Electric Football Game Top 20 Countdown – No. 20

No. 20 in the Electric Football Top 20 Countdown – the 1976 Sears Tudor Super Bowl

Coming in at No. 20 on The Unforgettable Buzz Electric Football Game Top 20 Countdown is the 1976 Sears NFL Super Bowl featuring the Steelers and the Cowboys. While a “small” Sears Super Bowl may not seem like an ideal Top 20 candidate this game has some, shall we say, “extenuating” circumstances.

Super Bowl X was by far the most exciting Super Bowl game played up to that point in time. The Steelers’ 21-17 victory over the Cowboys had drama, scoring, hitting, as well as an epic individual performance by Steelers’ WR Lynn Swann. It was everything that football fans had hoped for since the Super Bowl was first played in 1967. And it still ranks as one of the best Super Bowls of all time.

By 1976 Sears had reduced its Super Bowl models down to Tudor’s mid-size game design (31” x 18”). Still the field had the colorful Tudor No. 635 template, with a giant NFL shield at midfield and a red-white-and-blue diamond pattern in each end zone. It also came with Tudor’s standard size single-posted goal posts.

But what really helped push this game into our Top 20 was the teams that came with the game — black shoe Haiti Steelers and Cowboys. The Haiti players are just so well painted (although they were molded in New Jersey). The metallic grey/blue of the Cowboys’ pants is one of our all-time favorite looks. We like this game so much we even used it on the back cover of The Unforgettable Buzz!

So there’s our No. 20 game – the 1976 Tudor Sears’ Super Bowl. See you next week for No. 19!

 

Earl, Roddy & Michael

 

2014 Season Kicks Off With Electric Football Back In The NFL!

The Packers and Seahawks open the 2014 NFL season tonight.

It’s hard to believe the NFL kicks off its season tonight, as it doesn’t seem like that long ago we were at TudorCON 14 in Philadelphia.

But what a momentous year 2014 has been for Electric Football!

Who ever imagined that an NFL season would once again kick off in a year when the NFL was part of Electric Football? It was starting to feel like one of those things that would never happen. But thanks to Doug Strohm and Tudor Games, when the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers take the field tonight, the NFL license is back where it belongs — in Electric Football.

So here’s to an entertaining game, a great NFL season, and a successful fall and Christmas for Tudor Games and Electric Football. We definitely need to order some Seahawks in white…

 

Earl & Roddy

Preview – The Electric Football Game Top 20 Countdown

Our Top 20 Electric Football Countdown starts next week…who will make the cut?

A lot of great Electric Football games have been made through the years, and we’re going to honor them this fall with The Unforgettable Buzz “Top 20 Countdown.”

1996 Miggle Electric Football Convention

What games will make the cut in our Top 20 Countdown?

Beginning next Friday we’re going to feature one of Electric Football’s most amazing games, talking about where it fits into Electric Football history and why we think it’s worthy of a spot in our Top 20.

We’ll start with game No. 20 on Friday September 5th, and then countdown with a new game each week until we reach No. 1. It should be a lot of fun.

Who will be No. 1 when it’s all said and done? What games will make the cut?

Be sure to check in with The Unforgettable Buzz each and every Friday this fall!!

 

Earl, Roddy and Michael

Electric Football TudorCON 14 Flashback – Mike Landsman

This looks like an argument, but it was actually a very amiable conversation. It was just a bit animated at this moment. Earl Shores, Roddy Garcia, and Mike Landsman. Photo by Robin Shores.

One of the biggest Electric Football surprises at TudorCON 14 was the appearance of Mike Landsman. Mike was the owner Superior Toy, who purchased Tudor from Norman Sas in 1988, and also the owner of Miggle Toys, who resurrected Tudor Games and Electric Football in 1993. He plays a prominent part in our “Beyond Brooklyn” chapter in The Unforgettable Buzz (Chapter 37).

Delayne Landsman, Corey Johnson, and Mike Lansdman at TudorCON 14. Photo by Lynn Schmidt.

Mike Landsman’s Electric Football legacy is a significant one. He not only resurrected Electric Football, he held the first Tudor Electric Football Convention in 1996, and then held one each year until 2009. As “Commisioner” he oversaw the second and contemporary phase of Electric Football, starting the Miggle web site and Chat Board, which helped connect all the pieces of the Electric Football community. He then passed the Tudor ball to Doug Strohm in 2012.

Mike has had some serious health issues, but we’re pleased to report that he looked great at TudorCON 14, as did his wife Delayne. It was a pleasure to talk with both of them, about the old days and about the “now.” We were pleased to be able to give Mike and Delayne a signed copy of The Unforgettable Buzz, and Mike seemed grateful that we had taken the time to dig into all the not so pretty details surrounding Superior’s bankruptcy in the early 1990’s.

It was wonderful to talk with Mike and Delayne throughout the weekend. It provided a sense of “closure” to the entire Buzz project that we really didn’t see coming. A totally unexpected “buzz” of its own.

 

Earl & Roddy

Excerpt No. 3 of The Unforgettable Buzz on Sports Collectors Daily

 

Excerpt No. of The Unforgettable Buzz on Sports Collectors Daily covering 1969.

Electric Football had one of its most exciting years in 1969. After the Jets defeated the Colts in Super Bowl III in early January, Electric Football makers Tudor and Gotham both ended up creating, arguably, the most memorable games in the history of the hobby.

Chapter 21 of The Unforgettable Buzz

For Christmas of 1969 there was a true bounty of exciting Electric Football games to choose from. As a result, the chapter of The Unforgettable Buzz that covers 1969 – Chapter 21 – is one of our favorites. 

And we’re pleased that Sports Collectors Daily chose to run an excerpt of Chapter 21 on its web site. Again, SCD has done amazing job in making the Buzz look good, with some great Electric Football images from that memorable year. It really captures what The Unforgettable Buzz: The History of Electric Football and Tudor Games is all about.

Electric Football on the New York Jets Website!

With the NFL now officially back in Electric Football, it’s fitting that Electric Football recently earned its first official appearance on an NFL team web site. All credit goes to the New York Jets and Randy Lange, who ran “What’s The Buzz ? It’s Electric Football” in his Randy’s Radar column.

1961 Tudor ad with Titan QB Al Dorrow.

Randy interviewed The Unforgettable Buzz author Earl Shores about how important the New York Jets were to Electric Football history, going back to the early days of the AFL when the franchise was called the New York Titans. Tudor actually had an endorsement deal with Titans QB Al Dorrow, who appeared in several Tudor ads in 1961.

The story follows through to the Jets appearance on landmark Tudor games like 1968 Tudor AFL game, the first Sears Super Bowl in 1969, and the 1970 AFC No. 610 model which recreates the first-ever ABC Monday Night Football game with the Jets and Browns. The Joe Namath-endorsed Gotham and Munro Electric Football games are also part of the story.

We’re so proud, and grateful to the Jets for giving Electric Football the visibility the game truly deserves. And The Unforgettable Buzz gets a nice shout out too.

Check out the story here on the New York Jets website!

 

Earl, Roddy & Michael

Two Years And Counting At The Unforgettable Buzz Web Site

Here at TheUnforgettableBuzz.com it’s 2 years of Electric Football and counting!

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been writing about Electric Football for over two years now on The Unforgettable Buzz web page. When we started back in July 2012, if someone had told us that we’d still be at it two years later…we would have said that there’s just not that much stuff in Electric Football to keep someone busy for two full years!

The NFL is back at Tudor Games!

But things have grown and evolved in so many ways. We’ve met a whole lot of new people who’ve not only inspired us, they’ve become good friends (over 300 of you have “friended” us on Facebook!) It seems there’s always something going on in the world of Electric Football that’s worthy of writing about. Just look at this past week — Tudor Games got the NFL license back!!

And the things we’ve been lucky enough to be part of during the last 24 months — from the publication of The Unforgettable Buzz, to TudorCON 14, radio interviews, a television interview, the New York Jets website — we’re pretty awestruck.

From what we can see, the future of Electric Football looks very bright, especially with a brand new NFL license to raise the game’s profile. So we’re going to stick around for a while. There’s plenty to write and celebrate about in this endlessly amazing hobby. Not to mention a piece of significant unfinished business — our upcoming book Full Color Electric Football.

Thanks for all of your support over the last 2 years and stay tuned!!

 

 

Earl, Roddy, and Michael

THE NFL IS BACK!!

It’s official! Tudor Games has announced that it’s reclaimed the NFL license for Electric Football!

Tudor Games’ President Doug Strohm broke the news on Friday, August 1, at 12:00 am EST . For the fall of 2014 there will official NFL Electric Football games and NFL Electric Football teams. In fact they’re already up on the Tudor Games website!

Electric football 1967 Tudor NFL 613

Tudor Games continues the long NFL-Electric Football tradition in 2014! (1967 Tudor 613 game.)

This is one of the all-time milestones in the history of Electric Football. Doug Strohm has worked diligently over the last two years to bring the NFL license back to Electric Football.  It’s not easy to return to the fold of NFL Properties, especially after a 7-year absence. Once a licensee has missed the NFL’s “cut” — as happened to Miggle Toys with Electric Football in 2007 — it usually doesn’t get a second chance.

Undoubtedly the long and storied relationship between Tudor Games and the NFL — which we recount in The Unforgettable Buzz — helped the league reconsider the value of Electric Football to the NFL brand. In fact, we have it on good authority that NFL Properties had a copy of The Unforgettable Buzz in their possession during the licensing negotiations. That our work may have played any part in helping the NFL grasp how deep the roots of the NFL-Tudor relationship go…it’s very humbling. A scenario we never dreamed of during the writing of The Unforgettable Buzz.

For all of us in Electric Football, we need to take a deep breath and truly savor what Tudor Games and Doug Strohm have done in returning the NFL to our game. It really is against the odds that a 65-year-old toy would make a “comeback.” But that’s exactly what Electric Football is doing in 2014.

So here’s a giant “Thank You” to Doug and Tudor — it’s Christmas morning in August!

 

Earl, Roddy & Michael

MFCA CON.7 This Weekend In Cleveland!

One of the biggest Electric Football events of 2014 will take place this weekend (August 1-3) in Cleveland, Ohio. That’s where the Miniature Football Coaches of America are holding their 7th annual convention and Tournament of Champions.

2013 MFCA Champion Jim “The Hulk” Davis will be defending his title, while Adrian Baxter, Eric Robinson and Dave Campbell will be inducted into the MFCA Hall of Fame. 

MFCA CON.7 is an amazing chance to see Electric Football played at the highest level — and also meet some the nicest people you’ll ever meet. The event site is the Sheraton Cleveland Airport. The event schedule is here on the MFCA web site.

Good luck to all coaches! We know that it will be an Electric Football weekend to long remember.

 

Earl & Roddy

Nominate Electric Football For The Toy Hall of Fame!

Electric Football needs to be in the National Toy Hall of Fame. It’s a simple fact, and we at The Unforgettable Buzz are grateful to Tudor Games for getting out in front with this issue for the month of July.

Here’s a pretty cool list: Barbie, Etch-A-Sketch, Silly Putty, Hot Wheels, Big Wheel, GI Joe, Slinky Tonka Toys, LEGO, Lincoln Logs, Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head, Electric Football. All are classic and iconic childhood toys. It’s a point that no one would argue.

Another interesting point about the list is that all of those toy have been inducted into National Toy Hall of Fame…except one. Can you guess which one?

It’s our own Electric Football.

So maybe this year, Electric Football’s time has come. Our book The Unforgettable Buzz documents conclusively Electric Football’s position as one of the most beloved toys of all time. But we all have to do our part…and it’s really not all that hard. 

Just click on the link below and fill out the form to nominate Electric Football for the Toy Hall of Fame. And pass the nomination form on to everybody you know who loves Electric Football. The nomination period closes on July 31. Together we can make 2014 one of the most memorable years in Electric Football history. All those NFL players at the top of this post are counting on us!!

http://www.toyhalloffame.org/nominate

 

Earl, Roddy & Michael

Searching For Electric Football – The Old School Method

The only Electric Football find during an expedition to Reningers Collectibles Extravaganza in Kutztown, PA.

Over the weekend I went “old school” in search of vintage Electric Football items, visiting the Renningers Collectibles Extravaganza in Kutztown, PA. There was a time when actual legwork — that is, walking around a toy show, antique show or flea market — was a pretty fruitful way to pick up Electric Football stuff. And Renningers was one of the “can’t miss”
shows in the entire Northeast.

The Renningers Collectibles Extravaganza

Things could be crazy cheap, owing to vendors who were willing to unload games to anyone who showed interest. As we all know, Electric Football games are on the large side (if we’re lucky) and take up a lot of space on a display table. They also take up space in whatever vehicle they’re transported in. Dealers basically couldn’t wait to get rid of their Electric Football items.

Of course, then this thing called eBay came along, and well, you know the story. More EF stuff is available than ever – for a price. Thanks to eBay my outings to collectible shows dwindled through the years, and when those outings did happen, the challenge turned from finding great Electric Football pieces to finding anything Electric Football related. (Also dwindling during this time were the toy and collectible shows themselves.)

Drop-Kick arcade pinball game from 1934.

My recent Renningers experience reinforced what we’ve come to expect from legwork at this point in time. Even though the Extravaganza has been renown for decades as a “big” show, I came across just a single Electric Football game. It was a Tudor No. 500 from the early 1950’s in the worst box I’ve ever seen. Faded, stained, and mildewed, I don’t know how it was staying together. Inside the pieces were all there, as was the jewel/storage box that Tudor included in those early games. Also inside was a $45 price tag — and a giant crease in the frame and the game. Other than accessories, the game was trash. But, I did find a game. Reward enough in 2014.

By far the coolest football item I saw was a coin-op bagatelle-style pinball game called “Drop-Kick.” It was dated 1934 and arcade quality all the way, with a heavy wooden frame and glass top. At $400 it was a much better bargain than the trashed No. 500. Still, I’m convinced if I keep my walking shoes on some Electric Football bargains will come my way. I’ll keep you posted. And don’t hesitate to tell us about your own non-eBay finds.

 

Earl

One Year Anniversary for The Unforgettable Buzz

Buzz Designer Michael Kronenberg with Buzz authors Earl Shores and Roddy Garcia at the ADA Gallery in Richmond, VA, August 2013.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since The Unforgettable Buzz was published. Our journey to complete the book became so long and protracted that we never really gave much thought to the “after” part. We were too busy worrying about “how” and “if” a book on Electric Football would ever get published.

Antiques Roadshow Appraiser Gary Sohmers

But it did, with the official date being recorded as June 26, 2013. Since then…well the last year has been nothing short of amazing. From those enthusiastic emails you sent us in the early weeks, to the glowing reviews left on Amazon, to our road trip to Richmond, VA, the radio interviews (including with Fox Sports and the Antique Road Show’s Gary Sohmers), the positive reviews that popped up on other websites, the positive reviews that came from other authors, our epic conversations with the Knee Jerks, the book signing at Chester County Books…and that’s just 2013.

Earl and Roddy at TudorCON 14

2014 started with an amazing review from Uni-Watch.com which morphed almost seamlessly into the most memorable event of the entire last year – TudorCON 14 in Philly. That some of you came and purchased a second (or third) copy of The Unforgettable Buzz — it’s something we will never forget. And we will never forget all the wonderful stories you told us about your own Electric Football history. TudorCON 14 was one of the highlights of our entire “modern” involvement in Electric Football.

Then, just a few weeks later, we got to witness the genuine enthusiasm of toy buyers as they checked out Tudor Games new line Electric Football games at Toy Fair. Sports Collectors Daily then ran a series of excerpts from The Unforgettable Buzz, we were asked to contribute to and fact check the Electric Football chapter of the Toys of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, and finally, The Unforgettable Buzz landed on television in White Plains, New York.

The Unforgettable Buzz on TV!

It’s been a breathtaking journey so far. And the most rewarding part has been the support that you’ve given the book. Whether by email, Facebook, on the phone, or face-to-face at whatever event we were at…we’ve treasured every single word of encouragement that’s been offered. Thank you so much. Your support alone has made this a journey worth taking.

 

Earl, Roddy & Michael

 

 

The Unforgettable Buzz on Television!!

Earl Shores of The Unforgettable Buzz appears on the television show “Beyond The Game.”

Electric Football got a great reception from John Voperian of “Beyond The Game” the other night at White Plains Community Media. I had a great time talking with John – he’s a gracious host who asked great questions. He made it a lot of fun to talk to about The Unforgettable Buzz for a half an hour.

Click on the photo or following link to see the interview: Earl Shores – Beyond The Game

So…the profile of Electric Football is still on the rise. Thanks John!!

 

Earl

 

Tudor Games Invisibases on a 1970 Coleco Game

As we were shooting photos for our upcoming Full Color Electric Football book, we thought we’d have some fun trying out the new Tudor Invisibases. This Coleco game does not vibrate that well at all – as you can hear in the video. The Invisibases made the best of a not so great running situation. It just took some minor finger “tweaking” to get it to go all 100 yards.

We’re off to White Plains, NY this morning for a television interview about The Unforgettable Buzz. More to come…

 

Earl

The Unforgettable Buzz Contributes to New Toy Book

There’s a brand new toy book out and it even features a section on Electric Football. It’s called Toys of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s by Kate Roberts and Adam Scher, who are both authors and curators for the Minnesota Historical Society. Were proud to say the not only was The Unforgettable Buzz consulted for the book, we contributed a photo and also a remembrance of the game we all love so well.

Our contribution to the new book Toys of the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s –the photo the left-hand column.

Toys of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s is actually a companion project of an exhibit by the same name that is now on display at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The exhibit will run through January 4, 2015, and then tour other museums around the country. Ms. Roberts and Mr. Scher put a lot work into this project — we were totally impressed by their desire to get Electric Football “right.” And there’s no doubt that they covered the other 44 toys in the book with the same attention to detail.

We have to say we’re envious of the layout – 232 full color 8” x 10” pages. But we’re totally proud to be a part Toys of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and wish Ms. Roberts and Mr. Scher all the best with the book and the exhibit. We’re sure that every visitor to the History Center will rekindle wonderful memories, and hopefully understand of just how important these great toys were and are to so many of us.

Be sure to check out the exhibit if your in St. Paul, and keep an eye out to see if it comes to a city near you. Onward and upward toys and Electric Football!

 

Earl & Roddy

Electric Football’s Paper Trail

1) Gotham’s coach gives assembly instructions for the NFL G-1500

Electric Football has many nooks and crannies for aficionados to dive into. One of our favorite sections, and one that is a bit under appreciated, is Electric Football’s long and intriguing paper trail.

2) A 1962 warning from Tudor – once they’re together, don’t pull them apart.

This fascination with paper probably owes a lot to growing up during a time when afternoons were contentedly spent looking at sports magazines and comic books in the local newsstand. Just park your bike out front and enter another world – or at least until you got the 10 minute warning:

“Hey kid, are you going to buy something or not?”

Then the smartass of the group would plop down two cents for two pieces of Bazooka Joe. We’d usually leave with something to read, even if it was just a pack of cards (Baseball, Football, Wacky Packs…whatever).

So old paper, even just handling it, brings back a special feeling. And the Electric Football paper we’re specifically referring to is the stuff that came in our games and orders. Of course there are the Tudor Rule Books, some of most special paper in all of Electric Football. But we love the more obscure stuff, the things that were easily ignored and discarded by an 9-year-old totally fixated on getting his game up and running.

3) From Tudor in 1968…sorry kid, you didn’t get those white Jets

Examples we have:

1) Gotham’s “coach” instructing on how to assemble the NFL G-1500.

2) 1962 warning from Tudor that the new Gorilla players are designed for permanent assembly (of course kids took them apart anyway).

3) A Tudor note apologizing for not including the teams you expected – actually, this was one piece of paper we did pay attention too.

4) 1970 instructions from Coleco for putting together their scoreboard and grandstand.

5) A Coleco order form for “World of Sports” Pro Stars posters.

While our Tudor NFL Rule Books got put in a special place for further study, this type of paper usually ended up in the trash can. Which is why we now find them a priceless window to a different time.

We hope everyone has a fantastic and Holiday Weekend…“Hey kid, are you done writing this blog yet?” 

 

Earl & Roddy

5) Coleco posters – did anyone actually order one?

The Unforgettable Buzz on The Knee Jerks 5th Anniversary Show

The cover of the new book from The Unforgettable Buzz authors; full color electric football

The Unforgettable Buzz did a repeat performance on The Knee Jerks last night to help them celebrate the 5th Anniversary of  their podcast program. As always, it was a pleasure to talk with hosts Greg Eno and Al Beaton. They know their sports and their Electric Football, which adds up to great questions and great conversation. The time on the air flew by.

Greg and Al have been big supporters of Electric Football and The Unforgettable Buzz, so we urge you to check out their writings and also their previous podcast. They cover the entire Detroit sports scene and more.

The Electric Football segment begins at the 22 minute mark. We cover a lot of ground in a short time including our upcoming book Full Color Electric FootballThanks again Greg and Al!

Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Sports Geeks on BlogTalkRadio

Looking Back At Electric Football Realism – The Long View

Electric Football realism in 1962 – Tudor “Gorilla” players on the Sports Classic No. 600 game.

Electric Football has many threads holding it together. The main threads are “sports” and “toys,” which tie directly into “play” and “competition.” But as we’ve started to put together our new book, Full Color Electric Football, the most obvious thread is realism.

We’ve certainly reached a state of advanced realism in Electric Football in 2014. From size of the games, to the scale and painted details of the figures, to exact speed and strength of particular bases, the hobby has a simple credo —  the more real, the better.

The early Tudor Tru-Action 500 game.

So it’s quite easy to dismiss the early days of Electric Football as a prehistoric age when things were crude and little thought went into the details of a game. Yet as we’ve pulled out some older games to reshoot them for our new book, we’ve begun to reevaluate some of our less than flattering feeling toward early Electric Football pieces. It’s really unfair to judge these games by what we now see as their shortcomings. Each one needs to be appreciated for the details they DO include, the key being to appreciate the time period in which the game was created.

The glorious Gotham NFL G-1500 game in 1961.

In the early 1950’s, most football players didn’t wear face masks and most NFL teams didn’t even have a white away uniform. So that Tudor Tru-Action No. 500 under your Christmas tree…pretty doggone awesome. In 1961 most televisions were black and white and the only league with a national television contract was the AFL….so that NFL Gotham G-1500 left by Santa in 1961? It was the biggest Electric Football ever made with a mind-blowing giant Yankee Stadium grandstand! Even with paper-covered spacemen on the field it was a sports toy like no other. (Gotham players of this period are known as the “Martian” players.)

The 1962 Tudor No. 600 model.

And when Tudor to created the Sports Classic No. 600 in 1962 to compete the G-1500, unveiling the first-ever 3-D players, its “speckle” field, and litho crowd photo grandstand? Totally, totally amazing, Gorilla players and all.

These games all broke barriers of realism and set the standard for the innovations to come. Without them, as well as the energy and creativity that went into making them, there is no Tudor NFL in 1967. But luckily for us there was a Tudor NFL 620, there was a Sears Super Bowl, and there was the glorious Tudor Rule Book that created mail-order dreams that still haunt us in 2014.

Those of us who love Electric Football never had “randomly vibrating figures.” We always had a “greatest game” waiting to happen. It was, and still is, all in the details.

 

Earl & Roddy

Electric Football Collecting Overview — Part II

The 1967-69 Tudor NFL 620 model

We finished our last collecting post talking about the Tudor NFL 620 model

Tudor used the 36” x 21” 620 template from 1967-1977, including on many NFL models that were numbered something other than “620.” Not all of these large games command the same prices as an original 1967-1969 NFL 620, but there is a line that brings in even more money. That would be the No. 633 Super Bowl games sold exclusively by Sears from 1969-1973.

Electric football NFL AFL Super Bowl III 1969 Tudor Norman Sas Unforgettable Buzz

Tudor’s brand new Super Bowl III No. 633 model in the 1969 Sears Christmas Book.

The 1969 Sears Super Bowl features the Jets and the Colts on a field that looks almost exactly like the one in the Orange Bowl, including the Lombardi Trophy at mid-field. (It was not yet called the Lombardi Trophy in 1969.) As a point of reference, a broken non-buzzing Sears SB III recently sold on eBay for $280.

The 1970 Sears Super Bowl game has the Vikings and Chiefs on a field that looks like the Sugar Bowl, even down to having a team name in each end zone. (This was the only Tudor Electric Football game with NFL team names on the field.) The Lombardi Trophy is at mid-field, bordered by the team helmets of the Vikings and Chiefs. It’s a beautiful game that can hit the $300 mark, depending condition and completeness.

Electric football Tudor Super Bowl Chiefs Vikings 1970

The Chiefs “huddle” up during Super Bowl IV.

The last Tudor Super Bowl with a Lombardi Trophy at mid-field is the 1971 Colts-Cowboys game. Its end zones feature only an “NFC” and “AFC,” making it not quite as unique as the first two Sears games. The next two Super Bowl models – the 1972 Cowboys-Dolphins and the 1973 Redskins-Dolphins – are the “lesser” of all the Sears No. 633 games, with only an NFL shield at mid-field and generic “NFC” and “AFC” end zones. But all of these games are easy $200+ investments, with prices increasing depending on condition, completeness, and additional teams.

Electric football Munro Day Nite FooltballOne non-Tudor game that routinely fetches the prices of a Sears Super Bowl is the Munro Day/Nite Electric Football game. Made from 1972-1973, this game came with battery operated floodlights, a wind-sprint track, and a field-mounted wind up timer. There was even a Joe Namath model in 1973. At 40” x 25” it was the largest commercially made Electric Football game of the time, and is quite the impressive catch today. Besides being unique, they are pretty rare. You’ll need deep pockets to land one.

There are just the highest of the “highs” in Electric Football collecting. There are so many more very cool Electric Football games out there. Some are just a bit smaller with great features – they can provide a much more affordable entry into Electric Football. People usually go after the game they grew up with often going all out to land the cleanest most complete game possible.

Another collecting technique is to “part” games together with less expensive pieces that ultimately make a complete game. This can be fun, but lead to having a lot of extra games around the house (unfortunately, you can’t store Electric Football games on a bookshelf). eBay is the obvious place to find games, but they can still be found “locally” with some leg work. It does, however, take a LOT more legwork than it did 15 year ago.

There’s a lot more information and context in our book The Unforgettable Buzz. Go out and find yourself a memory!

 

Earl & Roddy