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

Electric Football Collecting Overview – Part I

Electric football 1967 Tudor NFL 613

Collector’s “Delight” – Sears’ 1967 NFL No. 613 model with large Cardinal vs. Bears

(This is part of post we wrote for the Sports Collector’s Daily web site.)

The 1949 Tudor Tru-Action No. 500.

Older is not automatically better in Electric Football collecting. The first Electric Football games were made by Tudor in 1949, and although yes, the early Tru-Action No. 500’s are very cool pieces, millions were made between 1949-61. They are not that hard to find and, owing to their very basic design, not overly prized. But…they usually do work, which is more than can be said about most 60-year-old toys.

The 1954 Gotham G-880 All-Star Electric Football Game.

Things got a little more interesting in 1954 when Gotham Pressed Steel began making Electric Football games to compete with Tudor. Gotham models are not as common, in part because fewer were sold, but also because they were not made as well as the Tudor games. The field/playing surface on Gotham models tend to bubble and warp over time (this tendency applies to every football game Gotham ever made.) Gotham games from the 1950’s also have a very rudimentary design, and as a result, not a lot of demand from collectors.

1961 Gotham NFL G-1500 model. It was the first NFL-licensed Electric Football game.

There are some special Gotham models. The Gotham NFL G-1500 and the NFL G-1503 Big Bowl hold a significant place in Electric Football history as the first “big” games with elaborate grandstands. But despite their scarcity – in addition to warped fields, large Gotham games have an issue with broken corners – the collecting interest in these models is surprising light. If there are any bargains left in Electric Football, it’s large Gotham games in playable condition. A nearly complete 1961 G-1500 recently sold on eBay for just $47!!

The heart of Electric Football collecting lies in the NFL line that Tudor began producing in 1967. That year saw the introduction of three Tudor NFL Electric Football games, as well as the introduction of Tudor’s miniature mail order NFL and AFL team figures. These games, which Tudor made from 1967-69, are Electric Football classics. They are the small 26” x 16” NFL No. 510 with the Packers-Colts; the mid-size 31” x 18” Sears exclusive NFL No. 613 with the Bears-Cardinals (this was also made as a Montgomery Ward-exclusive No. 619 with the 49ers-Rams); and the large 36” x 21” NFL No. 620 game with the Browns-Giants.

The Tudor NFL 620 – the gold-standard for Electric Football Collecting.

It’s the Tudor NFL No. 620 which seems to be the gold-standard for Electric Football collecting. There are other Tudor NFL games that are harder to find, but this is the game that made the biggest impact on boys of the time. Maybe it was the realistic NFL Gold single-posted goal posts, or how perfect the Giants and Browns looked on the giant “grass” field, but this is the game, more than any other, that men of a certain age want to reclaim. For so many people, their lifelong devotion to the NFL started on a living room floor with a Tudor No. 620.

620’s aren’t exactly scarce but the demand is high. And like most collectibles, condition is everything. A complete game in excellent condition – no frame or field dents, all 22 NFL players, no broken players, and all the little parts like corner flags, team scoreboard names, player bases etc. – can easily exceed the $200 mark on eBay. Throw in some extra NFL teams that a kid actually ordered from Tudor, and a No. 620 can cross the $300 mark.

We’re really just scratching the surface here. Of course, there’s much more about Electric Football history in our book The Unforgettable Buzz. And we’ll be talking more about Electric Football collecting over the coming weeks.

 

Earl & Roddy

 

Electric Football and the NFL Team Shop Concept

1970 NFL Properties Catalog extolling the Team Shop concept.

Electric Football got a lot of promotional help in the 60’s and 70’s from the NFL Team Shop concept. The Team Shop almost seems quaint now in the era where giant team mega-stores stick out of the side of each NFL stadium. But there was a time when stadium sales consisted of small portable stands that popped up in concourses and walkways on game day. They needed to be portable because the teams were usually sharing the stadium with a baseball team or college football team. And there were only 7 games a season. So there was no need for dedicated structures to sell a few pennants and bobble-heads.

But that began to change when the NFL started its first true merchandising program in 1960. The man heading the program had created the Roy Rogers Corral, which were dedicated areas in major department stores that sold only Roy Rogers merchandise. He thought the NFL would benefit from a similar strategy. The NFL Team Shop was born.

1970 PRO! for the NFL Team Shop. Can you find the Electric Football game in the image?

One of the earliest NFL Team Shops was for the Giants in Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC. This appeared in 1963, and by 1967 when Tudor took over the NFL Electric Football licensing, every NFL city had a Team Shop in at least one major local department store. And what was one of the top selling items in these Team Shops in 1967? Why, Tudor NFL Electric Football, of course.

Tudor NFL Electric Football quickly became NFL Properties top earning item, and it can be argued that the popularity of Electric Football helped further the cause of the Team Shop. When people were looking for an NFL Electric Football game, they knew exactly where to find one. And while they were in the Team Shop getting a game…oh yeah, we’ll take a team ski hat, maybe some coasters, and a t-shirt too. That’s the kind of tie-in sales the NFL was looking for.

So next time you walk into your team mega-store – or local Dick’s or Sports Authority – remember that the NFL merchandising program had very meager beginnings. And as you fight the urge to be overwhelmed by NFL team jerseys and jackets – not mention their prices – remember that Electric Football played a big role in the NFL bounty you see before you in 2014.

There’s much more about the selling of the NFL and Electric Football in The Unforgettable Buzz. It’s the NFL’s “toy story.”

 

Earl & Roddy

Tudor's NFL No. 510 Colts-Packers

An item that could be found in an NFL Team Shop – Tudor’s NFL No. 510 Colts-Packers

Excerpt No. 2 of The Unforgettable Buzz on Sports Collectors Daily

Electric Football Book Excerpt #2

Electric Football history has gotten a big push recently from Sports Collectors Daily, the premier destination for online sports collectors. They’ve run a series of fantastic looking excerpts from The Unforgettable Buzz on their web site, including the one pictured above. This is excerpt #2 – it’s the part of our book where Norman Sas explains how he invented Electric Football.

To read about how Electric Football got started, click here: Sports Collector’s Daily Buzz Excerpt #2.

SCD Editor Rich Mueller has done a masterful job setting up the excerpts, and we’re very grateful for his interest in The Unforgettable Buzz. Be sure to take a look at our earlier excerpt: Sports Collectors Daily Excerpt #1. And to see an entire Chapter of our book click on “Read Chapter 1″ in the header at the top of this web page.

Many thanks and happy reading!

 

Earl & Roddy

Electric Football Book Excerpt On Sports Collectors Daily

The Unforgettable Buzz on Sports Collectors Daily – an excerpt from Chapter 1.

Electric Football history gets a big push from Sports Collectors Daily, who recently ran a series of excerpts from our book The Unforgettable Buzz. The first excerpt is from the very beginning, starting at Chapter 1. Editor Rich Mueller has done a great job setting everything up, so it’s an easy “entry” into the story. We’re very grateful for his interest and efforts with The Unforgettable Buzz.

Click here to the read the Chapter 1 excerpt on Sports Collectors Daily.

Click here to read our PDF sample of Chapter 1 and see what The Unforgettable Buzz actually looks like!

Happy Reading!

 

Earl & Roddy

The TudorCON Buzz Electric Football Display Continued

1970 Coleco Grey Cup game. Photo by David Hawkins.

Electric Football TudorCON 14 Buzz display continued….Next up we chose to display a 1970 CFL Coleco Grey Cup game. We like this game because Coleco first entered Electric Football in 1970, and the extra twist of dual 50-yard lines, CFL logos, and 12-player teams help it be more eye-catching than the large Pro-Stars Coleco model made for the U.S. market. As for the provenance of this game, it was found on the back room shelves of a long-closed Canadian hardware store. We’ve speculated that it was a display game because the grandstand is folded and creased so exactly that it stays completely in place once the pieces are all mounted.

Electric Football 1970 Tudor Super Bowl V Colts Cowboys

Tudor’s 1971 Super Bowl V Electric Football game. It was a Sears’ exclusive. Photo by David Hawkins.

Just past the 1970 Coleco CFL model we had the 1971 Colts-Cowboys Tudor Super Bowl game. It was sold exclusively by Sears, and was the last Electric Football Super Bowl to have the Lombardi trophy at mid-field. Actually, it was one of only three Super Bowl models to ever display the trophy (the other being the Sears’ Super Bowl games from 1969 and 1970). There are also two NFL helmets on the field framing the trophy — two features which were not present on the actual Super Bowl field in the Orange Bowl. The end zones contain “AFC” and “NFC” instead of team names. This is how the end zones would look on all the rest of the Super Bowl models that Tudor ever made.

Tudor’s 1977 Super Bowl XI Electric Football game with the Raiders and Vikings.

Our next Super Bowl was the 1977 J.C. Penney model with the Vikings and the Raiders. This game is significant because it was a “first” and a “last.” It was the first Super Bowl to come with a totally modern field configuration – goal posts on the end line and hash pulled in to line up with the uprights. But…it was the last No. 620-sized Super Bowl made by Tudor. A great looking game with the oversized Tudor grandstand.

Still more to come….

 

Earl  & Roddy

More of The Unforgettable Buzz Electric Football display at TudorCON 14.

Electric Football TudorCON 14 – The Buzz Display

One of our “no-brainer” display games – the Tudor NFL No. 620. It is truly the game of a million dreams.

Electric Football has had so many cool and significant game through the years that it was hard to narrow down to which games we should put out for display at TudorCON 14. The 1949 Tru-Action No. 500 model was an easy choice – it’s the game where it all started. And despite the “plainness” of the game, and the fact that isn’t a very rare game, it still serves as measuring stick for how far Electric Football has come.

In the beginning – the 1949 Tudor Tru-Action No. 500.

Things got a little tougher as we tried to balance how many years to skip over, but the 1961 Gotham NFL G-1500 game came in as our next display game. Like the No. 500, it holds a number of Electric Football “firsts.” It was the first “large” Electric Football game, the first game with a sideline grandstand, the first game with teams, and…it was THE first NFL-licensed Electric Football game. Besides these firsts, it displays well, being a very impressive game with the metal Yankee Stadium grandstand and the NFL logos on the frame.

1961 Gotham NFL G-1500 model. It was the first NFL-licensed Electric Football game.

We really wanted to display a Tudor Sports Classic No. 600 model (we did bring one), but didn’t have the space. So the next game was another “no-brainer” – the Tudor NFL No. 620 (see top photo). The game we displayed was from 1969, with small Giants and Browns. We were able to date the game thanks to the 1969 Tudor Rule Book that came in the game.

Of course it was 1967 when the No. 620 made it’s biggest splash a part of Tudor’s brand new NFL line. Without fail, this is the game that generates the most conversation at all the conventions we’ve attended. The Tudor NFL No. 620 made a HUGE impact on boys in the late 1960’s.

And we’re not done yet…more to come in future post!!

 

Earl & Roddy

The TudorCON 14 Buzz display Table No. 1: a 1949 Tru-Action 500 and a 1961 Gotham NFL G-1500.