As a New York Jets collector, I think I have some pretty cool stuff in my collection. Cards, autographs, programs, bobbleheads, figures, I have a nice Jets stash and I can't wait until I can display everything either on a shelf or in a cabinet of some kind. One thing that I don't have that I hope I can add to the collection at one point is a New York Jets NFL Action Team Mate.
What's that you say? You don't know what those are?
Pro Sports Marketing put out a set of 7 1/2 inch plastic figures called NFL Action Team Mates. They came with a display stand, a removable helmet, a football and a playbook. All 28 teams in the league at the time were represented with figures that came in team colors and had stickers on the helmets. I'm not sure they were supposed to represent famous players or not, but I can swear I've seen a Terry Bradshaw and a Fran Tarkenton figures.
Here's an example of what it looked like on the shelves in your Sears or JC Penny's or which ever store your parents bought your toys at. This one is a Philadelphia Eagle player. Looks like they came in a box with a cellophane window and had the helmets of all the teams in the NFL circa 1977. If I squint, I can see the Jets helmet on the box.
Here's a vintage ad that I believe was in a Sears catalog, I remember always looking at the Christmas catalog and checking off what I wanted that year. I remember wanting this, but not a Jets one. I rooted for the Steelers as a kid because I was Bradshaw fan and because my buddy at the time told me I was a Steelers fan, like him. He was a big kid.
Here are some pictures of the figures themselves:
Los Angeles Rams. I for one would love to see the Rams move back to LA.
Kansas City Chiefs
Oakland Raiders. As I say their name, I can hear Chris Berman in my head.
I love these figures. As a child of the 70's, these toys bring me back to a less articulated youth. You could tell these were made in the 1970's. I love the the uniforms these are sporting as well. I actually remember the stripeless Bengals helmets. I remember when the Rams had yellow in their unis, not the gold they currently trot out. Heck, I remember when the teams in Baltimore and Houston were called the Colts and Oilers. These may not be as good looking as McFarlanes Sports Picks, but I will take these any day of the week. Heck, they look better than Starting Lineups. (Ducks as a Patriots helmet is thrown).
You notice what's not shown? A picture of a Jets Action Team Mate. Want to know why? Because I cannot find one. I don't think I've ever seen one in person or on eBay. They obviously exist, but are hard to find.
I looked up some eBay auctions and seen that these can go for a pretty penny. I'm seeing auctions for 79.99 to 200.00 for carded figures. Finding a Jets figure at a decent price will be a pretty difficult task, but I'm up to the challenge. There will be a Jets NFL Action Team Mate in my Jets collection one day. If I have to look through every box at every flea market, toy show, yard sale, I will find it or my name isn't Ladamore. And it isn't.