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Erik Davila

Wow! I've never seen these (probably because I wasn't born until '82)...but I love this stuff. I grew up with the Starting Lineups figures, of which I still hoard several hundred in my closet. Those were always tops on the Christmas list when I was a kid.

Hoolie67

Awesome find and column! I can't believe I missed these when I was growing up. Too bad they are all wearing white cleats though! Love the old school unis though.

Jeff E.

Wow! Thanks for the memories. I had a couple of those figures when I was a kid too(early 80s). I know I had the Cowboys, but I can't remember the other team. Maybe the Eagles since I always like the "wings" on their helmet. The Sears Christmas catalog arriving in the mail was one of the highlights each year when I was a kid.

Tom G.

Mine was a Buffalo Bills, that I numbered "12" for Joe Ferguson.

I think that the NFL's rise to dominance over MLB is directly related to their licensing efforts during the 70's. As you point out, NFL merchandise was everywhere in the Sears Wishbook. (Seemed like every kid I knew had the NFL bedspread with the team logos from every team). MLB was nowhere to be found though. A whole generation of us grew up wearing NFL Jammies, playing NFL Eletric Football, and sleeping in NFL bed sheets. Any wonder football became America's game?

Eric B in KC

YES! My grandma, living in Minneapolis, bought me a Vikings and a Raiders figure. I loved those guys. My Viking was #9 for Tommy Kramer and the Raider alternated between #12 for Kenny Stabler and #21 for Cliff Branch. My dog chewed up my Raider, which just made him look even tougher. I'd love to find some more online...without paying $100+ a piece for them.

Todd

Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane! I had a Roger Staubach, a Walter Payton, and... a Rocky Bleier! Hadn't thought about those in ages, but now will be all day.

Rob

Ha! Totally forgot about those. I used to agonize over which guys to put on my X-mas list. I remember having a guy from the Jets, Chargers, Falcons, Rams and Bills. Wish I still had 'em as those old school unis would be sweet to display.

Daniel J Leonard

Jim,
Your article reminded me how out-of-touch NFL marketing was back in the day.
No player, other than a kicker, wore those old, two-bar facemasks even in the late 70s or early 80s, yet those were all you ever saw in most print media.
Now, thanks in part to people like you trying to bring about awareness, even the little plastic helmets found in the super-market vending machines sport full-cage facemasks like the players actually wear.

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