Electric Football history was changed 54 years this fall when Tudor unveiled their redesigned 3-D players in 1964. Tudor Director of Product Development Lee Payne created a new set players to replace Tudor’s two-year-old “Gorilla” 3-D players. The Gorilla players, which were groundbreaking in their own right, needed to be assembled and were prone to breakage, with the breakage often taking place while the players were being assembled.
Payne’s new 1964 players became known as Tudor’s “Standard” players They were larger than the Gorilla players, more detailed, and were molded from a single piece of flexible polyethylene plastic. This unique design — player and base molded as one — made them virtually unbreakable. It was a trait that Tudor was eager to have after two years of disappointing performance from the Gorilla players.
The single-piece molding, however, is not the reason that these players changed Electric Football history. It’s the poses that Payne came up with for the players. There were five (up one from the Gorilla versions), and they were named tackle, guard, end, offensive back, and defensive back.
The “Fab Five” of Electric Football were born. And what’s amazing is that 54 years later the Fab Five are still going strong with Tudor Games’ brand new NFL.
To learn more about Lee Payne’s influence on Electric Football check out our Full Color Electric Football book and The Unforgettable Buzz: The History of Electric Football and Tudor Games.
Earl & Roddy