Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes that North Jersey.com’s Jay Levin reported the late June passing of Alpine, NJ inventor Norman Sas, whose 1948 creation of the game depicted above became a colossal boon to the toy industry upon receiving an NFL license almost two decades later.
“Actual football thrills for armchair strategists!” said a 1949 New York Times display ad touting the game, available for $5.95 at the A&S department store on Fulton Street in Brooklyn.
The headline blared: ‘MEN’ ACTUALLY MOVE IN NEW ELECTRIC FOOTBALL GAME!
Electric Football’s success was such that Tudor Metal Products changed its name to Tudor Games. Other manufacturers rolled out their own versions, but it was Mr. Sas’ Brooklyn-assembled game that received the National Football League’s imprimatur and elbowed its way into the Sears catalogue. A December 1971 Sports Illustrated story identified Tudor Electric Football — then retailing for $9.95 to $14.95 — as the “bestseller” among all NFL-licensed products.
“For the first 10 years, we generated more money for NFL Properties than anyone else,” Mr. Sas said in a 1998 Washington Post story about the Electric Football phenomenon. “Then the games came out, and that was the beginning of the end.”