Sunday, February 4, 2018

[YouTube] Electric Football: Super Bowl Edition

I didn't know the history of Electric Football until I decided to do some research for this post and video. It turns out the game is rather old and has been popular since the 1960s. Tudor Games, originally know as Tudor Metal, had a vibrating car game that the inventor Norman Sas based the football game on. It's essentially a football board game with a vibrating board that is turned on for each play. Users set their players' routes by rotating a plastic dial underneath each piece's stand, line them up in formation, and then turn the game on causing it to vibrate and move the players along the desired paths.

Some liberties have to be taken of course since the quarterback cannot throw on its own. The game must be turned off when the offense wishes to pass, at which time the "triple threat quarterback" has its arm pulled back and then released to throw the small, football-shaped piece of foam. If the ball hits a valid receiver it is a completion but if it hits a defender then it counts as an interception. Similar to throwing, that same player can be used to kick extra points and field goals. For the most part the game follows the NFL rules though users can also opt to play by college rules.

My version included the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots teams which was the match up for the 1985 season's Super Bowl (Bears won SB XX 46-10 -- ouch!; that was also the first football game I ever watched as far as I can recall). While the game includes sheets of numeral stickers for application, only 11 players per team were sold with the game so the same pieces are used on both offense and defense. More pieces could be ordered separately allowing consumers to acquire more players for the teams packaged with the game or to purchase sets with uniforms to match any of the NFL teams at the time. Other colored pieces without helmet logos were also available to provide an option of getting team colors for a favorite college or high school team.

Team Order Form
Back Side of Order Form

When I did a search on the toy it came as quite a surprise to learn that the game is still being made today. Tudor Games was purchased in 1990 so it's not the exact same company that is making it. There are a variety of editions being offered that range from $49.99 all the way up to $399.99; that expensive one has the game built into its own oak table. The game now runs on "AA" batteries rather than plugging into an outlet and instead of having a scoreboard users are expected to download a free app for their tablet or smartphone. Other than that, the pieces look very similar to the parts I have from the '80s, though the players do appear to be of a higher quality and the helmet logos are much more legible.

The video does add a few more things as I show off my 1985 AFC Champions shirt and William "The Fridge" Perry's G.I. Joe action figure makes an appearance. Today is also the day of Super Bowl LII (52) and being a Patriots fan I'm predicting a Pats win of 27-20! 


  1. That was a bad prediction! Oh well, I was concerned about the Patriots' defense but that was ridiculous as neither team did much defending and the Pats almost gave up as many points as the 1985 team.

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