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1959-63 Hartland Statues Football

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The Hartland Plastics Company of Hartland, Wisconsin first released, around 1959, a series of plastic NFL football statues similar to the ones the company had issued for baseball and TV western stars. Hartland produced 5000 Baltimore Colt quarterback figurines of Johnny Unitas -- the only quarterback produced by Hartland. Jon Arnett, the Los Angeles Rams star running back, also had 5000 statues minted and both players sold very well in their respecti… [Read More]

The Hartland Plastics Company of Hartland, Wisconsin first released, around 1959, a series of plastic NFL football statues similar to the ones the company had issued for baseball and TV western stars. Hartland produced 5000 Baltimore Colt quarterback figurines of Johnny Unitas -- the only quarterback produced by Hartland. Jon Arnett, the Los Angeles Rams star running back, also had 5000 statues minted and both players sold very well in their respective home markets but seemingly no where else. Therefore Hartland introduced 28 additional football players. At the time there were only 14 teams in the NFL and Hartland made a running back and a lineman each adorned in their respective team colors. They each stand on a green base that has the NFL logo and team named embossed in gold on the front of the base. In total, 5000 of each were manufactured between 1959 and 1963. The football statues were sold in a plain white cardboard box with blue and red ink printing, sketches and logos. The front panel tore away to reveal a cello panel through which one could see the figure. The top flap of the box was then stamped with a black label indicating RUNNINGBACK or LINEMAN. A sheet of uniform numbers and team decals were included inside each box. In 1958 LSU won the NCAA football championship and their star running back, Billy Cannon won the Heisman Trophy in 1959. Hartland used its running back mold and in 1962 created an LSU running back with the purple and gold emblems of the school on each shoulder as well as the orange pants. The university ordered 10,000 figures that were completely sold out by the end of the first semester. The LSU Statue is rarely seen in the hobby. A prototype quarterback from the University of Wisconsin was also produced but rejected and subsequently returned to Hartland from the university. A running back prototype was also sent to Notre Dame for consideration but the university never got back to Hartland and kept the "Fighting Irish" figurine. Prices below reflect that of loose stautes. Statues in clean boxes are worth approximately double the price of a single loose statue. [Collapse]

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