Tudor Tru-Action electric football game

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:30:08

The Tudor Tru-Action electric football game is a tabletop American Football game first produced in the 1940s.

 

Background

The Tudor Tru-Action electric football game was developed by the company Tudor Metal products in 1947. It features a vibrating metal sheet which propels miniature plastic players around the pitch until one scores a touchdown, or is tackled by touching a player from the opposite team.

The game was a huge success, and spawned a competitor in the form of a rival game by Tudor’s competitor Gotham. Throughout the 1950s and 60s the companies both improved their games, adding stadium seating and more realistic gameplay.

In 1967 Tudor gained a license from the NFL, and produced a game with players that copuld be painted in team colours. In 1967 they went one better, releasing the famous ’67 Big Men’ sets of figures in every one of the NFL team colours.

By the 1980s the games had died away in the face of competition from video games, but in the 1990s the company Miggle Games purchased the rights to the game along with a new NFL license, and instigated a revival of the game’s popularity.

Today the hobby is booming, with local leagues and national tournaments across the U.S and beyond. Collectors now customise their own figures, and the market for vintage sets is stronger than ever.

Guide for collectors

Due to the resurgence in popularity of the game, the market for vintage sets is strong with certain sets selling for hundreds of dollars in top condition.

The most sought-after pieces are the teams known as the ‘Big Men’ produced by Tudor in 1967. They produced sets of players in both home and away kits for each of the 16 NFL teams, along with nine teams from the AFL. These figures were slightly bigger than the originals, and were only produced in 1967 making them the Holy Grail for collectors.

Individual teams of ‘Big Men’ can sell for up to $200 each in mint condition, with sets comprising several teams reaching more than $1,000.

Games to look out for include commemorative Super-Bowl games from the late 1960s and 70s, complete with team pennants and stadium backdrops.

The earliest, pre-NFL license games can sell for up to $50 in good condition, but the most sought after games are those marked with the official NFL logo and team logos which were produced from 1967m onwards.

However, due to the current popularity of the hobby and the 1966 Tudor sets which allowed people to paint the players with team colours, there are numerous home-painted sets of figures on the market. Collectors should research the team colours and kits of the period, and make note that original ‘Big Man’ teams have black shoes and are stamped with ‘Hong Kong’ on their base.

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