Sunday, January 31, 2010

Super Bowl Party List - 1965 Hormel Trays / Lids

As the Super Bowl is America's ultimate party, its time to start preparing the list of things you need to throw your best Super Bowl party ever.

Over the years, there have been many food products which have had promotions featuring NFL collectibles, so all this week The Fleer Sticker Project is going to showcase some of these food related promotions to help plan your party menu.

First on the list is figuring out what meat to get for the party. One thing that would really make your party stand out is some Hormel Cooked Ham in tins that came with these fantastic NFL lids:

In 1965 Hormel issued a series of lids (sometimes referred to as trays) on their cans of cooked ham featuring all 14 NFL teams that were in the league at the time. The lids measure 4 1/2" by 4 1/2" square. Here is a picture of what the packaging looked like with the note indicating the NFL team helmet picture on the back of the lid:

As you can see, the lid has a raised edge that goes all the way around the rim which makes it look like a small tray.

Even though the sticker says to collect all 14 teams in the league, there are actually more than 14 lids as some teams can be found with a colored background in addition to a white background.

Here is a look at all 14 teams:

The Baltimore Colts are one of the teams with a colored background variation:

The Cleveland Browns lid features the "CB" logo that NFL Properties was using at the time which the players never actually wore:

The Dallas Cowboys tray also features a colored background variation:

As do the Detroit Lions:

There may be other teams with colored background variations, but all I've been able to find are the Colts, Cowboys, and Lions.

Here is what the other side of the lid looks like:

These lids are sometimes referred to as coasters as they are actually the ideal size for holding a drink, although given that these are now 44 years old (which coincidentally is also how old the Super Bowl is this year), I wouldn't recommend using them for that purpose today (although they really would look impressive at your party!)

Stay tuned all week as we've got more food tie-ins each day leading up to Super Bowl XLIV.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

1986 Fleer NFL Team Action Football Sticker and Card Sets

After more than doubling the number of cards in a pack from 7 to 15 in 1985 (and making the stickers much harder to find by cutting the stickers from 3 to 1), in 1986 Fleer returned to offering 7 cards and 3 stickers in each pack of NFL Team Action (now called "Live Action") packs as they had in previous years:

The sticker design finally underwent a change after keeping the same design (other than border color changes) from 1982 through 1985 as the helmet stickers had more of a 3 dimensional look and a new facemask as seen in this comparison of the 1986 design:

to the 1982-1985 design:

The change in the helmet stickers meant that the helmet variation stickers that had been in the 1982 - 1985 sets (Bengals facemask, Packers ear hole, Giants TM, and Seahawks helmet color) were no longer present.

The one variation that did continue from the 1982 -1985 stickers is the small / large Colts name variation. Since that variation is found on the smaller team name sticker at the top and not on the helmet itself, apparently when they were making changes to the sticker sheet for the new helmet stickers, nobody noticed that the Colts name was two different sizes (as the Colts helmet sticker must be double printed on the sheet), so that variation continued.

Here is a look at the full sticker set:

The backs featured ads for the first time for various Fleer bubble gum products including Dubble Bubble and Razzles:

As had been the case in the 1985 set, Fleer once again issued 3 cards per team, with an "On Offense", an "On Defense", and an "In Action" card.

The last 4 cards cover the dominating 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl XX victory as well as the previous season's Pro Bowl.

The corresponding backs of these cards featured offensive and defensive stats with the In Action cards having the team's 1986 schedule on the back:

Monday, January 25, 2010

You got to know when to hold 'em... Stancraft NFL Playing Cards

Steve from the excellent site recently brought this great series of Stancraft NFL playing cards from the late '60s to my attention:

The cards feature the artwork of Dave Boss who did a series of NFL team paintings that were produced as the first set of team posters for the NFL back in 1965.

Note the infamous "CB" logo on the sides of the Browns helmets:

The following year, the paintings were featured on the covers of all the NFL team's 1966 programs.

Decks were produced for each team using the Dave Boss paintings:

I haven't found a picture of the Bears cards yet

Here is an picture showing the box the cards came in:

Since the Saints didn't join the NFL until 1967, presumably Dave Boss also did this painting for the Saints at a later date. Notice the very large fleur de lis on the helmet.

Still looking for the Cardinals as well

I'm glad Steve made me aware of these as I've always enjoyed the Dave Boss paintings as they capture the teams in a very colorful way, and showcase the teams' uniforms in all their mid 60's glory.

This series of cards was not Stancraft's first set of NFL playing cards as Stancraft had previously produced cards in 1963 with a red background featuring NFL logos and cards with a green background featuring helmets:

Its interesting to see the chin strap as part of the helmet. For a period of time in the 60's, it appears that helmets were shown with the chin strap

until the NFL later went with the no-strap look when using helmets to promote the league:

Stancraft later went back to the helmet design in the early 1970's with separate decks featuring the AFC and NFC (and of course no chin strap):

There have certainly been many other NFL playing card sets produced over the years, but I think the Stancraft cards featuring the Dave Boss paintings would have to rank as the best.