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An Eye for Eagle
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Jefman
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:04 pm    Post subject: Top Ten Eagle Games of All time Reply with quote

My ranking of the top ten Eagle Toys table hockey games of all time:


1) 1962 Hockey Night in Canada. Also distributed in 1963 under the Power Play moniker and side graphics. A very ornate (side crowd scene and bluesish green plexi glass end shields) HNIC is only 18 inches wide hence its incredible tight checking allure. There are no easy ways to score. It's a methodical, patience driven test that beckons one to try to score using all five players. An added kicker is the behind the nets passing lanes as well as the added feature of pulling ones goalie for adding an additonal flipper to ones center so that the risk reward is ramped up when one is faced needing a win and down by a goal late in the encounter.
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2)1963 Stanley Cup. The original S slot game. It's timeless and survives the test of time as the model for Labelle's and Carleco's to this day. You can't object to its width, length and versatility. This game personifies classic table hockey with its big lip sides, symmtrical shape and no compromised slots. You want to start a collection of vintage games? This game is the chef's knife to a gourmet ensemble: You can't do without it.The game's slot pattern was also used by Coleco on many models including their legendary City Series games and was even a mainstay with Toronto based Irwin as their flagship game. Still around after all this time tells you this game is one tough hombre.
==================================

3) 1967 National. This game is the father to the famed Coleco 5385 the metal gondola poster child game of every adult turned child's dream. When this game came out in 1967 it was the deluxe game of the last year of Eagle. The game featured Canadiens and Leafs logos at center ice witness the dominance of the two Canadian based teams as the winners of the Stanley Cup in every year of the 1960's except for the Blackhawks win over the Red Wings in the 1961 Stanley Cup Finals. The game exudes Canada's centennial the 100 year anniversary of the declaration of independance from England, the year that the old grizzled Leafs powered past Les Habitants in 6 games to win their fourth cup in six years and basically jinx the Leafs into mediocrity for the next two generations: an elitist bunch of underachievers with a thousand different excuses why they can't win the big one. This game ushers in the expansion era or the end of the original six era; take your pick. Great slot pattern except for the angular center who if utilzed properly can barbeque an opponent into a seared off piece of gristle.

4) 1962 Official. This game was only made one year. Its the big blown up brother of HNIC but wider, more competitive and a better design than its younger brother the 67 National game. It's a diamond in the rough, the one game that turns big bucks in Ebay auctions as no one likes to talk about it but if available it yields big rewards to the winning bid...kind of like the hot chick in high school you dream about...she's got a boyfriend who's older, she's got an awesome body and wears a black bra. Yeah you would like to take her on a date but you don't have the moxy, the money or the game to sweep her off her feet. So you stare at her when she ain't looking and you use her as the poster child for your future wife in your dreams. Seriously this game has a lot of neat attributes. A wind up timer on the side puck dropper crowd scene or on other models its a girdered overhead that is hotly desired by even the most discriminating of collectors.

5)1960 National League Electric. This big dog is the father of both the ill fated 1964 Big Time Club Hockey one year wonder game and its better known step child Game Room Hockey perhaps the most hotly desired Coleco game of 24X48 size but uncontested pass lanes and cerebral tactics. NLE is a timeless workhorse. Even Table Hockey master craftsman Rick Benej enlisted this slot pattern for the first of his many awesome designs. The main characteristic of NLE is the ability to pinch in with ones defenseman to the opponents blue line. Its a busy surface as a result of this design feature that makes you play heart stopping defense if you over committ your back line into opposition territory. Made in just 1960 and 61 the game has a history as the poster child for the Montreal Canadiens due to the painting of the Habs logos at center ice. Talk about home ice advantage. I feel like I'm at the Forum when I play this game repleat with their terrific grilled not boiled hotdogs served with a bun that is not steamed but toasted. The French Canadiens are real gourmets and the 60-61 NLE is a tasty treat.

6) 1966 Finals. My personal favorite that combines the unique 2nd generation 3-d players with a hollow puck and a long rather basic 41 inch length slot design. Don't fall asleep against long armed bandits like myself. We push the game forward and back and tire all you out with short arms ( a Las Vegas euphemism for dudes who don't tip the help). This game was also a one year wonder and was also made in a 2nd variation so chronicalled in this websites photo archives as well as on a later lightly manufactured Coleco game so aptly named Baby Game Room by Warren in Vancouver.. Its demise must be indicative that the table hockey purchasing public was more or less sold on its standard 36 inch length games and this 41.5 inch monstrosity left many confused or afraid...take your pick.Always remember that this game is probably as close to real NHL hockey as one could envision. An official size NHL rink is 85x200. For arguments sake lets reduce that size 3/4ths and you come up with a rink or table hockey table 21 and 1/4 x 50 inches. Reduce that size 15% and you come up with a rink 18 and 1/14 by 42 and one half. My point is the narrow yet lengthy proportions of the Eagle 1966 NHL Finals game is the closest thing to a real sized NHL rink from a scale standpoint ever made. It's a narrow yet lengthy challenge...and to be honest with you that is what real NHL hockey is about. Yes you can play way out of scale overtly wide table hockey from a scale standpoint. Put in some realistic length like this game and you are thus playing more real scale hockey. A real challenge. This game is not for sissies or punks. This game is not for all the Stiga players who think a 36 inch length game measures your hockey aptitude. If you want to measure an ability to play fairly close to scale NHL hockey in a table top setting the only real test is 1966 NHL Finals. Play this game, play it well and you are a real NHL style player. All the rest is a less than true or valid indicator of ones playing ability.I don't care if you are some Euro who wears bikini swim trunks and smokes three packs of cigarettes a day, if you are a booger eating basement clown who believes he can school the best. You are not a complete table hockey player until you learn to play on a more to scale length surface. 1966 Finals gives one a real sense of the true essence of table hockey like the real game and to omit this challenge or game from a top ten list would be a great oversight.

7) 1960 Power Play. An awesome narrow slot game that is made to this day by Irwin Toys. Call Power Play lots of things but call it clean, competetive table hockey. Its design compels one to play defense and to attack...like in real hockey. Don't take a shift off or you will pay dearly. The games is a standard 18X36 competition of defensmen who can dominate the board with checking, shot blocking and scoring. You need to focus on scoring with all five players to become an accomplished Power Play player. I believe a league in Ontario still plays this slot pattern game. To be arouund close to fifty years speaks voulmes to its competitive design.

8) 1962-63 Face Off. This game takes the slot pattern of the fabled 58-60 Power Play and with the cutting of a horizontal extension to the defensemens slot direct to the center red line you get another narrow but intricate game that is a blast to play. Imagine using your far left and right rods as the defensemen and your three interior rods as your forwards. Its a change in culture in your faculty to think and attack the opponent and still defend your end. Table hockey designs don't vary too much on the location of the rods in relation to the players except for this two year wonder that allows ones wingers to score at will with the sweep of a motion enhanced by a designed metal insert that helps one put the wingers shot always on net. You thus must play top quality defense with your d-men but most importantly your goaltender. Put a scrub in goal and your out the door. Its a fantastic test as Face Off only lasted a short time but actually began as Power Play in 1958 minus the lengthened d man slot.

9) 1964 Olympic Hockey. Also called Stanley Cup that year this game utilized 3-d players with a Stiga like slot pattern, a hollow puck and a game that needs no introductions. It has survived the test of time as the first game to allow one's right winger to dip into Gretzky's office behind the goal net. Unlike the Stiga game its not fast but it is fair. One must utilize the technique as Len Mecca explains to use the winger on the mid spring rodded RW as a quarterback or a player that looks to pass rather than shoot and to set up his four other players as goal scorers. Not an easy game to master but worthy of its top ten billing as collectors to this day hotly desire this game as a change of pace and a game with an international flavor from its rollout in 1964 during the Innsbruck Winter Olympics.

10)1954-63 Pro. As this sites moderator Paul Ruiz has thoughtfully conveyed to most of us on occasion table hockey is not just a past time for us full grown adolescents. Rather the hobby's popularity maintains its appeal by introducing the games to kids. No other game personifies table hockey introduction better than the famed teal blue green game called Pro. Resplendent with the large sized logos of the NHL's original six teams this stationary game that plays more like pinball than hockey, played with a marble not a puck still emphasizes the core objective of table hockey...shoot or put the object into the opponents net. You can call Pro Hockey in its various forms a toy, call it pinball call it rollerball...but also call it fun.[/img]


Last edited by Jefman on Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:09 pm; edited 2 times in total
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TheStein
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good stuff. Any chance of putting some pictures to the games?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll second that. Like putting a face to a name.
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Jefman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A special thanks to forum moderator Paul Ruiz for posting the photos of the 1962 HNIC game and the 1963 Stanley Cup game. Photos of 3 other ranked games are in the multimedia section under photos. Once in that folder hit Eagle and then scroll down to game #1 and there you will see the sixth rated game: "Finals", Photo # 6 shows the fourth rated game "Official" and the 11th game from the top is the 8th rated game: Olympic Hockey. So now one can view five of the top ten rated (at least in my book) on this site.
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tonscia
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ve still have an Eagle 540 “Power Play” game (that’s what the box said, which has long since rotted away) since 1962. I have modified my game by extending the defensemen’s slot back toward the goal line, moved the right defensemen’s rod to align with its slot, put 1/2" dia x 2" long wooden handles on the goalie rods for better control, removed the metal barriers behind the goal line to allow for at least some form of passing behind the net and put 6“ high Lexan around the game. I've sanded a roundness to the slots, which seems to have made the game faster.

Since everyone loves the game they grew up with, I like the modified 540 because the rods do not cross, the lengthened defense slots add more defense to the game and the goalie has the most range of any game I have ever seen. Because of the 5” wide nets, you have to actively play goalie, who also can become an offensive weapon to the point of getting your opponent very angry. Most of the people that have played this modified game are amazed at its playability after 47 years, even though it may not be pretty to look at. Some express concern about the large dead spot behind the net, but the rule to give the puck to a winger by hand behind the goal line seems fair, takes only a second and does not affect the flow of the game.

I would like to attach three pictures, one of my modified 540 and two from Ebay of unmodified games that look exactly like mine, one which shows the standard metal goalie rod and the other a lesser seen plastic goalie rod, FYI.
I don't know how to attach pictures to THH and would like some help.

If anyone has questions, I am certainly open to discussion.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tonscia: Paul has a thread for posting photos on this site.
http://www.tablehockeyheaven.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=335
I find Photobucket easy to use.

Jefman: Clapping Clapping Clapping
Would you know if Eagle/Coleco had a distribution network for Europe? I know Canadian military members could order from Sears and Eatons but they would have come directly from Canada.

Steven
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tonscia
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked at the posting photos thread you cited.
Looking at the SCHROJO post of 5/30/07, I do not see any image after the statement "doing so will show this", only a box with an X inside.
So, with all due respect, I am not confident it will work.

I don't wish to fight through a 1/2 dozen pages of Yahoo terms of service to determinine if I am violating some rule or copyright.
I prefer not to open an account on a photo service I do not intend to use very much. While I was a computer specialist when I worked, I am still old school when drawing the line on spending valuable time to learn new technology of little concern to me. I DON'T USE EASY PASS OR ATMs!!! Laugh if you want.

I have an image of my modified game and just took a picture of an untouched Eagle 540 I just won on Ebay. The image I have of the 540 with the plastic goalie rods and original blue plastic glass is an ebay image, not mine.

So, I would be happy to send the images of the 540 and a "Henry" game to someone to post for THH.
If not, then it is my humble opinion that it is the loss of the THH community not to have an image of an Eagle 540! I mean no disrespect.
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Rodwarn
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first experiences with Eagle games dont go back as far as 1963. I do have an old Eagle game from the 50's. It came with the Original Six teams and the "Vampire" Goalie Nice piece of nostalgia it is, but I dont plan on ever playing it. The marble seeking stationary men seems so primitive.

I have a nice Hockey Night in Canada, complete with ALL of the blue plexi pieces. I have a lesser HNIC as well. This is the game I played from the mid 60's till I got my G155 (the forerunner to the Coleco 5340) in 1967

The HNIC was very easy to score on. Jeff, I know you talked about "tight checking" and "low scoring". Are we talking about the same game? Goals came so fast and furious on HNIC with nets nearly 6" wide on a game that was only 18" wide. Where else could the puck go but in the net?


Once we played the G155, all the memories and nostalgia were forgotten . The HNIC was put away and there it stays. The G155 took our appreciation of table hockey to another level. No dead spots, great slot pattern, amazing graphics, and a super scoreboard and puck dropper make this my favorite all time table hockey game. Virtually EVERONE who has ever played this game feels the same way.

What this game lacked were plexi end boards. The nets were also the old style BIG nets. By substituting smaller Coleco nets, and adding plexiglass and levelers, a G155 is about as sweet a table hockey game as you could own or play.


Anthony, I hear your frustration. You love your 540! But it isn't true..."everyone (doesnt) love the game they grew up with" We love the first game we fell in love with.. But alas "love is blind". You are going to have a difficult time convincing anyone to get excited about the smallest and most basic of the Eagle games. Add to this the fact, your game has been modified. Collectors are not interested in seeing pictures of a rusty Vega with a VW front end.

I hope to see you tomorrow night to see if Body Check plays as well as I hear. Sorry for the reality check on 540....kinda like hearing your steady girl has cooties. Rolling On Floor Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Len,
Your point re: “the game they grew up with” does have validity, just not for me. I love the 540. I love the “improvements” I made, I believe it is a much better game for it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Function is much more important to me than good looks. Because it is small, which really means narrow, adds to the checking ability of the defensemen, something that, in my opinion, is lacking in wider games. I respectfully disagree with you that it is the most basic of Eagle games.

In my early years, I played the 540 so much and got pretty decent on it that no one wanted to play me any more, I was one of those basement champions. Then I went to work for 35-1/2 years, and no time to play. And once, in the middle of those 35 years, a hotshot came to work expressing his virtuosity. A short three man tournament on the 540, proved that I was the best on that game, at that time, against those opponents.

My offer to show the modified 540 was not meant for collectors, I understand their purity of purpose. Rather it was meant for enthusiasts who see a game and believe they might be able to improve it in some way, or at least try. Maybe that’s the engineer in me. While Jefman gave a very fair assessment of the 540, I felt I wanted to give the 540 a little more deserved press.

I have had the honor to play in the NYCTHA for three years and the pleasure to have met a great bunch of guys. Whatever skills I had on the 540 did not readily transfer to the Custom Coleco 5380. It took all of three years to get to the middle of the pack, with no aspirations of beating NYCTHA’s best in a consistent manner. Also, my skills did not readily transfer to Munro or Eagle/Coleco yellow stick. I believe this is also part mental as I still prefer the 540 over these games. I could cite dozens of reasons why, but not here, it would take too long. A respectful in-person discussion where we could agree to disagree would be interesting and hopefully insightful.

Now, when I went to Kaslo, BC last November to see and play Bodycheck, I felt my skills transferred readily. I was truly amazed. So, I look forward to Saturday night to again play the Bodycheck and more importantly to see if Bodycheck can get neophytes to develop an ardent and enduring interest in our great sport of table hockey.



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Jim Rzonca
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Tony. All Table Hockey is good! Please show us, continue to Enjoy and let it Shine!

To any Snobs, i can only barf.


Keep it KrAnKiN!
Jim Rzonca


Last edited by Jim Rzonca on Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jefman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anthony: I can respect your loyalty to the 540. It is a great game. Likewise Len 6 inch wide goals do place an undo burden on defense and goaltending that most sometime abandon that aspect to get the coveted goal. Perhaps the personification of the Eagle games is that they are so varied, so diverse and all fairly competetive that most evoke some type of memories both good and bad and how they played such a formative roll in one's table hockey reportoire. I view complete table hockey players as being totally neutral in their likes and dislikes of games. Simply put a good player can master any game provided he/she gets enough time on that game. Perhaps the Stiga/Coleco argument so cleverly documented by Lou Marinoff in his travels to Sweden to take on some of Sweden's best on a Martin Labelle Coleco illustrates to us all that once a player can master one game can he translate it to another? Eagle players and afficinados are from a rich and varied past when ones own game could carry him through as a real basement champion. Anthony you articulate that so well. Basically get good at one game and be totally devoted to its nuances, advantages and shortcomings. Len: You touch on HNIC but harken back to your beloved G-155. Being good on multiple games is without a doubt the personification of a table hockey master. I've seen Jacob Lindahl twirl a puck on the Stiga, watched video of Lou Marinoff and Carlo Bossio destroy most on the Coleco, been treated to footage of Gary Leverence's masters in the CTHL league: Lisowski,Chargo,Marsik, Rzonca, the Thill's, Lord, become aware of the best Munro can muster in some of the Chicago area Munro League's (John Medema's and Dwayne Stegner's) so it's a given that adaptability to various games separates the good from the great. Simply put how many of these guys are repeat winners against top flight competition on the varied games? Back in the day Eagle would introduce a different game every year with a different slot pattern and various subtle design features that forced one to change, to adjust to a new challenge. The players might not have liked it but as a collector I treasure the games getting a new slot pattern every year. Like a visit to the Forum in Montreal doubling back via Pullman car for a matinee at Madison Square Garden and then a flight to Chicago for a tussle in Chicago Stadium playing the rich and varied Eagle games gives one a sense of old time hockey...no cookie cutter approach involved. Every game like every old arena is different. The rinks varied and true home ice really meant you were on foreign turf attempting to wrest supremacy away from someone who knew every bounce, every detail and every tactical advantage. A 1960 NLE is different from a 62 Face Off. It's not that way anymore: A Stiga is a Stiga is a Stiga whether you are playing in Montreal, Stockholm or Chicago. A trip into Boston Garden was as different as a 1962 Offficial was to a visit to the Olympia or a battle on a 1966 Finals. Here's to variety the spice of vintage table hockey and the players who grew up on them. Thanks for the memories guys you really articulated a nice spin to this thread.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:10 pm    Post subject: 64 Big Time Club Hockey Reply with quote

Hi Jefman,

What can you tell me about the 64 Big Time Club Hockey game? Any amount of detail is highly appreciated. Regards, Dave.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice games Anthony.

-Paul
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tonscia
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much Paul.

In the summer, I bring the modified 540 to my swim club.
I have about 30 kids between 8 and 14 addicted to playing it.
There are two kids about 10 years old that have developed some skills.
Some 14 year olds, new to the game, come over to watch, not to play.
I believe they would be afraid to lose to a 10 year old !!!
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Jefman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Courtesy of TableHockeyHeaven™


Courtesy of TableHockeyHeaven™

Dave: My best educated guess on Big Time Club Hockey is that it was sold for one year (retail price $14.99) by Eagle Toys in 1964. A large game that measured 24X48 that utilized the same slot pattern as the 1960-62 National League Electric whereby the defenseman can move from ones zone all the way to the opponents blue line...the ability to play a true power play. The goalies control rods were located on the sides and were made to rotate 360 degress. They were mounted I believe on a square peg (Steve G. correct me if I'm wrong) and its outward appearence was much like the 1963 Stanley Cup game using the large lip or edged chassis. The game was sold with yellow plastic stick players mounted on square peg and was sold with the large 6 inch nets. The game is rare...I have only seen one and that's in Steve G's collection. I don't think the game was made in large numbers and if it was its the best kept secret in the Eagle line of 1954 to 67. The games size suggests the intent of the game was to make the game more of a sporting good than a child's game. Its obvious that kids would have difficulty scoring goals on the lengthy board and the game was released with players the same size as the standard 18x36 thus its not the type of game that is easy to check on and steal the puck from your opponent. Literally the players are not to scale.The same issue would rear its head in about 1973 or so when Coleco resurected the same slot pattern as Game Room Hockey only affixed the board to a square frame and some crudely painted 3-d players that appear to be holdovers from Eagle's 1965-66 2nd generation 3-d players but scaled slightly smaller. It's clear Big Time Club Hockey was not a commercial success witness its inclusion from circa 1965 retail catalogs. Perhaps its demise could be attributed to its size that may not have caught the eye of table hockey game purchasers that year. Really who could blame them as the blockbuster years of 1960-63 really had saturated the hockey purchasing public with an incredible array and variety of games not just from Eagle but their Ontario based rivals Munro. I'm not sure Eagle planned on Big Time becoming a regular game to their product line. The short 360 degree peg mounted moving goalies were only made in Toronto and Montreal formats. This might indicate that the game was never commercially marketed in the US rather sold only on a test or trial basis in Ontario and/or Quebec.The game was perceived by players as very pedestrian and difficult to play...this view coming from Game Room Hockey owners. In a nutshell a game that was perhaps designed to muscle in on the table tennis and pool table crowd really never resonated and that proved itself a second time around later in the more widely produced and distributed Coleco Game Room Hockey. Perhaps table hockey is meant to be played on a standard 36 inch length format to match that of the human arm...for most people. Two years later Eagle would release a 41 inch long game not as wide (20 inch) game by releasing "NHL Finals " for 1966. That game like Big Time ended up being a one year wonder as well as the famed and more commercially accepted G-155 would roll out the next year for 1967 suggesting that players wanted wider games not longer games.
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Jim Rzonca
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never seen that Big Time Hockey before. Its Awesome! Whats that sucker worth?

Never Seen It......
Jim Rzonca
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daveandjudi
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jefman for your in depth knowledge and history of this interesting and unique game. I'm coming into one of these Big Time models very soon. I wonder if the Club Hockey terminology was genuinely aimed at youth clubs like the boys and girls clubs or whether that's a coincidence.

Again, I appreciate your insights and expertise. When I get my game I'll put some pictures up here. Goodnight all.

Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it ment BIG TIME CLUB, Like your wiith the Big Time Team, NHL type. But thats just my Fantasy.

GREAT GAME DAVE!
Jim Rzonca
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eagle Toys table hockey games have never been a more hotter commodity than right now. In collecting circles they continue to attract new members to the fraternity. Two recent auctions on Ebay underscore my observations: Auction # 320457367365 for an exquisite 1962 Model 555 called Official Hockey but in reality the grand finale depiction in the evolution of National League Electric sold last week for over $530. Its girdered overhead with the windup timer plus a complete set of fairly intact plexiglass ends (actually plastic) gave the game fantastic appeal. Combine that with a couple of motivated, deep pocketed buyers who wanted that game and presto the battle was on and the winner came home with a real nice game.

Just ten minutes ago a splendid 1965 Eagle Stanley Cup Model H-130 saw a spirited auction # 120502371165 go down to the last ten seconds with the last man standing scarfing off with the game for about $290. Goes to show that nice games, in the box, in excellent condition are going to be competed for to augment ones collection at prices that underscore how valuable these hot collectibles are becoming. It's an aspect of this hobby that goes somewhat unrecognized but draws decent money into a realm of the hobby that keeps adults who don't play in leagues and tournaments involved.

I recently traded e mails with Dave Luciani who's auctioning off a splendid 1969 Eagle/Coleco Offficial game right now on Ebay complete with the overhead metal gondola that is attracting the big money collecting crowd as well. Dave has a real nice 1961 Eagle Power Play on the restoration table too. Stay tuned. He has also been moving a steady flow of brilliantly restored stationary 1950's square cornered Eagle teal versions of "Pro" this fall...a game known for its timeless depiction of large silk screened side graphics of the original six teams logos. In other action Ron "Hockeymatrix" has recently picked off a load of classic Eagle games including a complete 1962 Model 544 Hockey Night in Canada game, a 1967 Eagle G-155 Jean Beliveau game and a terrific 1965 Stanley Cup, the deluxe model Model 601. In all instances the buyers and sellers are extending the lore of Eagle games that are still keeping table hockey afficianados licking their chops for more. The popularity of the games just adds more to the depth of our great hobby and I hope more current players delve into the past to gain more insight into the games and this will lead to better games down the road. Happy Holidays to all. Keep the dialogue coming and don't hesitate to send off an email or post if you want to communicate more about Eagle Toys table hockey games. Remember if you snooze you lose because right now has never been a better time to purchase timeless classic games at still decent prices. With a limited supply of games still in existence the value of the games can go no where but up.
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daveandjudi
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff you are too kind. And when you do get around to writing "the book of all TH books," I would like mine autographed! Clapping
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perreault11
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject: Eagle Hockey Playoffs 5180/5181 Reply with quote

Here is an Eagle game I have called Hockey Playoffs. Has no NHL endorsement but has post expansion cities on the sides. Anyone know the history of this?. Model numbers on box are 5180 Canada and 5181 USA. Black base shown is a leveler I made. It came with the metal "legs". Also.. unique thing is the goalies have white backs. I have never seen this in the yellow stick style before.





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Jefman
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: 1968 Hockey Playoffs Reply with quote

As Eagle Toys was sold to Coleco in the spring of 1968 they were still saddled with a tremendous amount of manufactured inventory. Coleco, by purchasing Eagle's assets, had inherited the factory located on Rivard Street in Montreal and the vast inventory of games and their production machines as well as the slot pattern jigs accumalated since 1954. What Coleco did not purchase was the rights to affix NHL logos and trademarks to the sides of the games,the boxes,the metal players,the surfaces or in the catalogs of their distributors. I speculate that licensing rights were either non transferable or in a state of renegotiation due to the leagues recent expansion. 1968 was therefore a year of some manufactured games made by Coleco to continue their lucrative distribution of the games but minus the logos and trademarks until NHL licensing rights were secured. Remember the league had just doubled in size the previous season and the prices, I speculate, for NHL licensing were about to increase as the amount of markets was going to add exposure and revenues the goal of growing the league. One can speculate that the Greenberg brothers, who owned Coleco, would attempt to market the games as generic minus NHL logos and see if revenues would increase but that is probably a reach to consider that scenario.

What is fact is that the game pictured, an "S" slot game or known since 1963 as a "Stanley Cup" model was released for 1968 in a couple of versions as "Hockey Playoffs" and sister games National Hockey Model G-155 and Power Play were also released as rebranded games called "Official" and "Regulation" hockey. If one is negotiating to land NHL naming rights it's probably good business sense to negotiate with a posture of strength...that you literally can survive and sell games even without NHL licensing rights. It's clear that Coleco on some versions of the three mentioned games sold them with primarily Toronto and Montreal yellow plastic stick players probably to liquidate the remaining Eagle inventory but then released a set of generic Montreal and Toronto all metal players with just the city names on the jersey's ala a quasi Munro look to install as the teams on the generic games.

Your game is a 1968 generic version of Stanley Cup. The game exudes the same high quality metal frame and masonite surface that Eagle manufactured and would continue in their lineup until 1971 when a wholesale change towards more cost effective production leaning towards an empahasis on plastic end frames would signify the Coleco imprint on the games. 1968 versions of Official, Stanley Cup and Power Play are quite popular for their playability, collectibility and robust manufactured strength continuing the rich history of Eagle Toys. In late 1968 Coleco would secure NHL naming rights and thus the generic look of the games would fade away into the Christmas season of 1968 with a roll out of all new 12 NHL team logo'd games in blue, (Official) red (Stanley Cup) and yellow (Power Play) banded editions that would invigorate the Coleco line to new heights. The goal lights positioned behind the nets were ditched the next year as Coleco introduced a goal net with pop up red and green lights to signify a goal. No longer would batteries need to be located beneath the games surface to light up upon goals being scored.Passing the puck behind the net was also made easier and simpler with the elimination of the old goal lights. The hollow puck and yellow plastic stick players were also headed for the scrap heap as all metal players were returning for their last three year run of existence and an all new solid puck was introduced.The metal gondola four sided scoreboard/puck dropper was the other huge release that fall on some models of Stanley Cup and for 1969-70 and 70-71 on an orange banded version of Official perhaps the most sought after and popular game that Coleco ever made.
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perreault11
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jefman.. I am new to the history of table hockey although I have owned Gothams, Munros (including Crystal Ice), Colecos, Stigas and OF COURSE Eagles since the early 70's. I personally find the Eagle yellow stick "S" slot games the MOST exciting to play of ALL the games.. fast and furious.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing compares!
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rhino
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:44 am    Post subject: Eagle Toys of Canada - Table-top Hockey Reply with quote

Dropped the puck for the first time with a 1962 Eagle Face-off on Christmas morning that year. Played it with brothers and friends in league play with mom's baking timer for official time. Still have all the stat sheets from 62-72. Older brother ended up with the game and it sits in his attic with broken springs. I picked up this mint 62 Face-off in 2008 from THH member Jefman (Thanks again!). It plays like new .. what a great find.

rhino - hawaii
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Last edited by rhino on Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jefman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone looking to collect vintage table hockey games usually zero's in on the classic games made by either Montreal based Eagle Toys or Burlington Ontario based Munro. I started this thread many moons ago to more or less tell the story of venerable Eagle Toys. They were purchased in 1968 by a US based firm Coleco. Between 1954 and 1968 Eagle was the official NHL endorsed game of its era. Collectors sometimes need clarity in their pursuit of collecting the old games. I hope this helps.
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