Electric Football’s ancestry can be traced back to 1929, when Elmer Sas incorporated Tudor Metal Products in New York City. The company survived the Depression and in the late 40’s, Elmer’s son Norman became president of Tudor and invented the game, Electric Football.
Norman Sas based the game on a vibrating car race game that Tudor already made. The early #500 Electric Football models were crude to the modern eye, but were the first tabletop football game which featured actual moving players as they reacted to the vibrations created by the electro-magnet motor under the metal field. Actual passing and kicking was also a unique feature of this first of its kind design.
Electric Football was an immediate hit and became one of the hottest items at Christmas time through the 60’s and 70’s and to date has sold 70 million games. Tudor did so well with the game that other companies also entered the fray; Coleco, Munro and Gotham. Over the coming years, some of Electric Football’s greatest innovations would come out of the competition between the companies.
Tudor produced the first all-plastic 3D players and in the 1960s an industrial designer named Lee Payne was showing Norman Sas a new set of player prototypes whose additional realism would change Electric Football forever. Tudor introduced these players on its first large game, the #600 model. Besides figures in five different realistic poses, Payne sold them on the idea of painting the figures using actual NFL uniform colors. He was instrumental in working with the creative services department of the NFL to obtain the NFL license for marketing the NFL uniformed teams.
By now Payne was working directly for Tudor Games as head of Product Development. He began taking the game boards to new heights with more realistic fields and lithographed, crowd scene backgrounds complete with scoreboards. Payne used a softer plastic material to develop the Triple Threat Quarterback (TTQB) that can run, pass, and kick. In 1967 Tudor introduced its new flagship Model 620, complete with an improved metal playing surface, cardboard backdrop scoreboard, NFL-style goal posts and NFL painted teams. This quickly set the standard for Electric Football, making the game even more popular, allowing Tudor Games to be the number one choice when selecting an Electric football game. Later, to make these realistic figures more enjoyable Tudor Games went on to create the “TTC” or Total Team Control base with its directional dial allowing finer route control and all new capabilities. In 1990 Tudor Games was sold to Miggle Toys and under the direction of Mike Landsman, the game was nurtured, preserved, and made popular again creating another generation of game hobbyists and enthusiasts.
In February, 2012, Landsman handed off operations to new owner, Doug Strohm who renamed the company, Tudor Games. Strohm re-established the NFL license, created new innovations, figures and fields and added products from many of the hobbyist inventors across the country, making Tudor Games a one stop shop for the game. Tudor Games with the help of dedicated Electric Football enthusiasts and an Electric Football non-profit fan association called the Miniature Football Coaches Association, has re-energized the game for new generations of sports fans, game players, hobbyists, and collectors.
The Electric Football hobby today features many local, regional, national and even international leagues and tournaments with hundreds of coaches participating and caps off with a World Championship tournament and convention.