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March 15th, 2002

Vibrating Football

How many of you had a vibrating, electric football game like this one or this one? You would line up the players on the field, give one of the guys the miniscule foam ball, and then flip a switch that would vibrate the entire field, sending the players into miniture seizures. The vibrating would continue until the man with the ball was touched by a player of the opposite team. There was some bizarre way to pass, too, but I forget how it worked. Kicking was also possible with a little one-color plastic man with a snap-action foot.

The game was always pretty anti-climactic. The guy with the ball would, without fail, run backwards. Or, everyone would bunch together and never actually move anywhere.

I also had what must have been a piece of an electric game — it was just the playing field with nothing else attached. I enjoyed this as much, or more, than the electric football. I’d line up the players and run my own game, sometimes sprinkling some water on the field to simulate rain.

Interestingly, there are some hardcore players that take the game very seriously. They use pocket scales to make sure the players are of a regulation weight and will pay beaucoup bucks for custom fields designed like their favorite team’s home field. Wow.

I’m pretty sure both of these are still at my parents house (alongside the more strategic Foto-Electric Football). Perhaps it’s time to fire it up and enjoy a quick game.

Posted in Childhood Memories

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday March 15, 2002 -- 9:06:51 pm
Should I be concened that we are blogging about the same subjects in the same week?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday March 15, 2002 -- 9:31:48 pm
I think you meant this:


Yeah -- you must have (not-so) subliminally influenced me, because I know I read yours first! :)

FROM: Matt
DATE: Friday March 15, 2002 -- 11:46:41 pm
That game sucks. My friend James had a non-electric tabletop soccer game. You would flick the players at the ball. That was a pretty weak game also.

FROM: scribbler
DATE: Friday October 17, 2003 -- 5:17:20 pm
I have a vibrating football game from the 50's. It had a little spring loaded device for kicking or passing the ball which was about as accurate as Garo Ypremian. The bases of the players (all in classic Heisman trophy pose) had two plastic ribs that made it move.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Friday January 7, 2005 -- 5:50:59 pm
The real challenge was painting the little players with model paints. (You could order the players already painted, but that was considered cheating--plus it was a lot more expensive and the uniforms were much less accurate). My older brothers used to spend hours painting those little players. They would give you a card with all the numbers for the jerseys on them. For the rest of the uniform, you were on your own.
My older brother Jim really did a nice job painting those. Must have taken hours. Eventually, they all got stepped on and crushed by some bastard clumsy little brother (me).

It's funny because he still remembers who all the players were. Man is he a die-hard. One year, when we were all over for Christmas, he found one of the old players in a drawer. He painted it over thirty years ago. When he saw the player and the number, he uttered the year of the team, the name of the player (some name I had never heard before) how long the guy had played for the team represented by the little figure, where he played in college, where he played before and after the team represented by the little player, and what year he retired. The guy had a very short career, did not stand out at all, and is barely worth the memory, but my brother knew the guy's whole career.
I think once you spend that much time painting the little figure, you never forget. So, as boring as the game was to play, it was a great learning tool for him.

I never really got it, though. I always had my little green army men take the football players hostage.

FROM: Johnny
DATE: Thursday June 23, 2005 -- 8:43:53 pm
I had this game when I was a little kid in the 50's. I was talking to a 26 year-old today and somehow got onto talking about this. I laughed so hard I barely got out the description of what happens when you've finally arranged everyone "just so" and then turn this monster ON!..watching all of that organization go to hell in a handbasket while you covered your ears to lessen the insane racket. Even then, I was aware that I had to bring all of my "kid-imagination" to bear to see this as something other than totally ridiculous...turns out to be a very very fond memory....47 years later, I got my biggest delight from it. Go figure.

FROM: amie
DATE: Tuesday November 22, 2005 -- 1:27:08 pm
What was the name of that football game?

FROM: clinton
DATE: Thursday December 15, 2005 -- 6:18:51 am
i would love to get my hands on one for sentimental reasons

WEIRDWOLF August 21, 2007, 8:46 pm

Electric Football is alive and well! As Electric Football is a brand name of the Miggle Toy Company the hobby itself goes by Miniature Football these days. Organized leagues, competitive play unlike anything you remember as a child and a National Coaches Association called the Miniature Football Coaches Association. Also, custom stadiums and detailing right down to the nike symbols on the gloves. It’s come along way and you can check it out at Make sure to go to the forum for all the latest discussions.

dominic June 22, 2009, 12:16 am

If any1 knows I was just wondering what paint I should use to paint the guys. I just bought my electric football and cant wait to paint them. thanks!

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