Tudor Games, long-time maker of Electric Football, has announced the 70th anniversary celebration of “the world’s favorite football game.” They’re also lobbying for a spot in the toy Hall of Fame.
Electric Football began in post-war Brooklyn, New York as a plug-in vibrating board game where chaos reigned—much to the delight of kids, football fans and the toy business who had never seen anything like it. Since then, over 40 million Electric Football games have been sold and today, “coaches” compete in leagues across the United States, Canada, and around the world. The older games are highly collectible.
“We’re excited to honor this game’s legacy and its future with our 70th anniversary celebration,” said Doug Strohm, president of Tudor Games. Invented in the late 1940s, Electric Football made its debut at New York Toy Fair just as the NFL and college football were gaining in popularity thanks to the spread of television broadcasting.
“It was a marriage made in heaven,” said Earl Shores, author of several books on Electric Football. “Electric Football was football’s ‘home game,’ teaching football rules to generations of baby boomers who would make American-style football a sports institution in high schools, colleges and at the professional level.”
Electric Football has the distinction of being one of the NFL’s longest-running items, with the first officially licensed NFL Electric Football games sold by Sears in 1961. One of Shores’ books has republished the pages from those old catalogs through the years.
The platinum anniversary celebration will feature a letter-writing and petition campaign aimed at inducting Electric Football into the prestigious ‘National Toy Hall of Fame’ at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. To date, 65 toys have been inducted, and each year, The Strong honors and showcases both new and historic versions of classic toys (you can nominate Electric Football here).
Television, press, and online outreach are also part of the campaign which will include contests for Electric Football enthusiasts, special products, commemorative packaging and more to celebrate the 70th anniversary.
“The NFL is very proud of its longstanding relationship with Tudor Games Electric Football,” said Rhiannon Madden, Vice President of Consumer Products at the National Football League. “We hope the game is inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame for its impact on generations of football fans.”
Actively participating in the anniversary celebration is the family of Electric Football’s inventor, Norman Sas, who not only invented the game but successfully built it into a toy empire. Sas passed away in 2012 at the age of 87 and is survived by his wife Irene, her children and grandchildren, some of whom attended Toy Fair 2018 to see the industry Electric Football helped to shape. “We are so proud of Dad’s iconic invention and are delighted to see the innovation that’s still driving Electric Football 70 years later,” said Wendy Sas Jones.