Friday, 25 May 2018

More Post Variety - (Volume 1 Update)

Three years ago I outlined the visual differences in 1963 Post cereal box back cards that had different varieties issued in this Post Variety blog entry. So now I think it is time to highlight additional information that has come to light about both the 1962 & 1963 Post card issues, because of which Volume I of Collecting Canadian Football (2010) is not as entirely accurate as it could be.

1962 Grocery Store Advertising display  

First up is the uncatalogued large in store advertising promotional associated item that was printed on some sort of waxy paper stock. The item illustrates (some partially) six of the cards that appeared in the set, although not all of them occur on the insert panels that are specified in the artwork. It is not clear if this particular item has been somewhat trimmed from the original size or if it was issued this way to fit a specific shaped backing stand for store placement. If I recall correctly this item sold for somewhere around $300 on ebay a few years back, you don't see too many of these around.

Next as explained in Volume I there were ten short-printed cards identified as "White Backs" which were printed on a different type of cereal box stock than the normal brown backed cards, three of which also had regular brown backed versions of the card making the white back a variation. Now if you are holding the card in your hand or have a scan of the back it is pretty easy to tell if you are looking at a short print or not, but if all you have is a scan of the front of the card on ebay, it can help to know how to easily spot some of the variants.


Card No.1 Don Clark regular brown back at left, white back at right. Some of the scans were kindly provided to me by Rick Pauloski and were taken with the cards in sheets so that is why you see the sheet pocket hologram at bottom right. 

 The first of the three cards with a white back variant is pretty difficult to tell apart as the photo cropping is just about identical. You can always tell in person as the white backs have black borders and text and the brown backs have dark blue borders and text, but as you can see from all of these scans variations in colour registration, light levels and scanner calibration can make it just about impossible to be 100% sure of a cards composition just from the image alone. Black and dark blue look an awful lot alike in most cases online.

In Clark's case the regular card seems washed out and the short print has deeper more vivid colours, but this may just be these particular scans as the other pairs pretty much exhibit the opposite effect.    

Card No. 51 Jim Rountree, regular brown back at left, white back at right. 

The second of the three cards again is cropped almost identically, but the regular card has the deeper colours and the short print is washed out and less intense. This player is unusual also because of the studio shot instead of the normal outdoor photograph.

Card No. 82 Kenny Ploen, regular brown back at left, white back at right. White back example has some paper loss bottom right. 

The third card is easy to differentiate as no left shoe laces are visible on the regular card and Ploen's hand touches the image border while the short print shows the left shoe and Ploen's hand does not touch the border.

Card No. 30 Dave Thelen, regular brown back at left, white back at right. 

Since publication of Volume I two more white back short prints have been identified, Dave Thelen and John Barrow. Thelen's cards again show the colour intensity difference but the easiest way to tell them apart is the team name OTT. on the left and OTTAWA on the right.

Card No. 56 John Barrow, regular brown back at left, white back at right.

Barrow's cards show the colour intensity difference, have either two windows on the building top right or three, have visible fingers on his stance hand touching the ground or not and his French language position is Plaqueur on the brown back and Bloqueur on the white back.

It was thought that the original ten white backs had been printed 5 per 2 short printed box back panels, so now perhaps there were six per panel or perhaps there was a third panel and more short prints variants have yet to be confirmed.

1963 Alpha-Bits 7 oz. intact box paired next to 1963 Alpha-Bits 10 oz. intact box, both sides

Moving on to the 1963 Post set the above images show that the side panel checklist and order form (both catalogued as individual associated items in Collecting Canadian Football Volume I) came in different sizes depending on which cereal box it was printed on. There were 27 different panels produced on nine different brand / size box combinations, ranging from unknown product weight through 7, 8 1/2, 10, 13, 14 and 15 oz. product weight boxes.  Since some of the boxes from different brands may have been the same dimensions it is not known exactly how many distinct sized side panels exist.

1963 Alpha-Bits 7 oz. intact box paired next to 1963 Alpha-Bits 10 oz. intact box, fronts

  What this photo of the two boxes makes clear is that the size of the promotional cards on the fronts also varied depending on the brand / size of the product. Since Volume I catalogued only a single instance of each of the nine players (one from each team) and certain players are known to exist in more than one size, those listings were obviously inaccurate.

Now it would be tempting to think that with nine teams and nine selected promotional players and 27 different boxes in terms of the panels, that each promotional player appears on three different sized box front cards, but this is far from certain and there is no guarantee that the promotion was laid out that symmetrically. Since the box brand / weights varied so much and so few are known intact, we really don't know what the corresponding card size is for every potential product.

Recently a fantastic assortment of these box front promotional cards has been available on Ebay here if you have very deep pockets. If you follow through to the description on the sellers website they have quite a bit of information on the cards including more accurate dimensions for one of the different sizes as I had rounded up to the nearest 16th of an inch in the guide. This lot allowed the seller to identify four distinct sizes:

  • Small (2 7/8 X 1 7/8)
  • Medium Type 1 (3 13/32 X 2 7/32)
  • Medium Type 2 (3 17/32 X 2 5/16)
  • Large (4 1/4 X 2 7/8)

Large sized card above left, Medium Type 1 card above right
Presumably the paws on the Large cards (whose measurements include the additional two tone frame, but could just as easily not include it) belong to Sugar Bear from the larger Sugar Crisp box
(It could also theoretically be a Crispy Critter's paws but unlikely since that cereal did not come in the larger size box) 

and we have the following 9 box product / size combinations (3 of each were issued) in product weight order where known, with the confirmed card size indicated where applicable:

  • Grape Nut Flakes ? oz.       
  • Alpha Bits 7 oz.                  (Small)
  • Sugar Crisp 8 1/2 oz.          
  • Alpha Bits 10 oz.                (Medium Type 1)
  • Crispy Critters 10 oz.          
  • Grape Nuts 10 oz. - Short Print White Backs
  • Sugar Crisp 13 oz.              (Large)
  • Bran Flakes 14 oz.
  • Alpha Bits 15 oz.

Medium Type 1 sized card above left, Small card above right
Besides the actual dimensions of the card the photo cropping is usually different, especially on the small cards, but otherwise the cards and their graphic elements are remarkably similar and seem to take up the same percentage of space regardless of card size 

As you can see without a detailed comparison of the cards side by side it is pretty difficult to determine which size you are looking at, especially since you will almost certainly never come across more than one at a time in a normal situation. I have tried to keep the images shown here in the proper width and height ratios for each card in relation to the other sizes. The white space around each card does get progressively larger from size to size so that is some help is viewing a single card front online.

Large sized card above left, Medium Type 2 card above right top, Small card above right bottom
So far Ray Purdin is the only Player to be known on the Medium Type 2 size but at least two more cards for this size are highly likely to exist. I have assumed that the smallest card image is of the stated Small dimensions but it is not guaranteed as this card image came from a different source than the comparative lot

So to sum up what we currently know here are the 16 cards that are confirmed by size and sometimes by cereal type:


  • Shatto, Henley , Kapp (Alpha Bits 7 oz.), Dixon, Purdin, Kruger

Medium Type 1

  • Jackson, Ploen, Shatto, Day, Dixon, Kruger (Alpha Bits 10 oz.)

Medium Type 2

  • Purdin


  • Dixon, Ploen, Purdin (All Sugar Crisp 13 oz)

Large sized card above left, Small sized card above right

Now we also know that it seems likely that each of the three boxes per cereal would have had a different player (like the Large cards) and that at least some players appear on three different size cards, and that the maximum number of different promo cards would be 27 (one per different box panel). But we don't know that the sizes of the cards on all of the different brands of say 10 oz. cereal would be any different so a player might have been issued multiple times but once cut from the box be indistinguishable from each other.

The lot seller also indicated that they believed the box front promo cards were produced regionally by CFL city, making the advertising cards from Montreal and Toronto the most available and the others, somewhat scarcer. In my opinion the chances that this was true are pretty much zero. For this to happen each of the 27 different box designs would have had to have been printed with Shatto for the Toronto market, with Dixon for the Montreal market and so forth. In an era when offset printing of the cereal boxes meant you needed to produce a specific large metal offset plate to print the cereal box (flat both sides together then folded to make a box) then this would have required production of 243 different plate designs instead of just 27.

Finally the most intriguing aspect of these box front promo cards, of which clearly a minuscule percentage survived compared to the regular box back cards, is that there would also have been three produced on the Grape Nuts 10 oz. - Short Print White Backs packaging. Just as the white backs are an order of magnitude rarer than the regular cards, white back box front promo cards could be considered the absolute holy grail of Post early sixties CFL cereal cards.

Alpha-Bits box back panel header card above left, Crispy Critters above right

Wrapping this blog entry up, as suggested in the write-up for the Post 1963 set in Collecting Canadian Football Volume I there were indeed different promotional box back panel header cards produced per cereal brand as the image above proves.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Tex Brings the Action - (Volume 1 Addition)

League Wide Schedule front panel (left) with graphic design based on the image from one of the Tex Coulter Electrohome Football Action Scenes Issue (pictures not to scale) 

Every now and then something pops up on Ebay that either sheds some light on a issue whose method of distribution was unknown or poorly documented, or adds new collectibles to the list of things that were produced, and with some diligence can now be searched for, or sometimes both as is the case for the topic for today's blog post.

The above schedule for the 1972 CFL season has a front graphic derived from artwork that former Montreal Alouette lineman Tex Coulter produced sponsored by Electrohome, an electronics retailer in Canada during that era. The known issue of two colour posters plus a promotional folder was listed in Collecting Canadian Football Volume 1 estimated to the Late 60's (which should probably be revised to the Early 70's). But the distribution channel for the items was a mystery and there is no evidence that there were any more than two posters completed for that set.

Inside and back panels of the same schedule

 But the interesting stuff comes on the other panels of the schedule pamphlet. You can see on the left that you could get free "FOOTBALL ACTION PAINTINGS" from your Electrohome dealer credited to Tex Coulter. So distribution mystery solved apparently, ... except the poster sizes are stated as 22" X 30" and the known posters with the folder were only 11" X 15" in size and incidentally are described as "Football Action Scenes".

I think it is unlikely that the size is an error, I suspect that Coulter produced the smaller sized paintings paired with the explanatory folder first a year or so earlier and they were then adapted for this promotion in a larger size in 1972. With no CFL league or team identifying marks (just uniform colour schemes that matched existing CFL franchises), unless you really knew your vintage CFL memorabilia and knew who Tex Coulter was, then most people encountering one would have just concluded that these were random generic football drawings. Consequently the survival rate for these pieces (already limited since they were large posters) would probably have been perilously low.

The other panel shows a fantastic associated "FOOTBALL ACTION LAMP" again probably without CFL identifying markings but with a solid Canadian pedigree nonetheless. Whether Coulter also drew the graphics shown on the lamp, or his other graphics appeared on the lamp or there were only two different posters produced is unknown. A product box for the lamp was probably also made. In any case there is good reason to have a quick scan through the old lamp sections of flea markets and antique malls looking for this old gem.

Uncatalogued mid 1950's portrait photograph of Coulter from Montreal above left,
and Coulter's 1954 Blue Ribbon card with the Alouettes above right 

So when it comes to the collectible output of Tex Coulter, the above items were just the tip of the iceberg. Tex (Dewitt) Coulter was a star All-American tackle for Army winning the college National Championship in 1945, He then played six seasons for the New York Giants in the NFL before coming to Montreal for a four year playing career from 1953 to 1956 as part of the Alouettes mid fifties powerhouse. Coulter played both ways on the line (incredibly selected as an All-Star both Offensively and Defensively for three consecutive years!!) and also handled the punting so he was almost never off the field.

Tex was often the subject of informational cartoons, the type of which were very popular in newspapers for roughly the first two thirds of the 20th century, foreshadowing the day when he would create similar artwork

After retiring in 1957 Tex elected to stay in Montreal and remained active in sports as an author, reporter and radio commentator but found his greatest success as a prolific artist and illustrator. He drew dozens if not hundreds of topical football themed cartoons for the dominant Canadian Football weekly newspapers of the day, as well as contributing columns and stories in many issues.

Football Fanfare - July 27, 1957 & Canadian Football News - October 17th, 1959 

Tex produced colour artwork with a couple of examples shown below that accompanied a story by Andy O'Brien in the old Weekend Magazine newspaper supplements that were full of interesting old Canadian football content, most of which has never been catalogued. Coulter also did Hockey illustrations creating hundreds of classic portraits and drawings of many of the greatest players of all time during the golden age of the NHL in the fifties and sixties. You can google his work to see many fine examples online. 

Selected article illustrations from Weekend Magazine Vol 10 No 34, 1960

Coulter was an entrepreneur with his hands in many projects, whether it was authoring pamphlets about sports or being a distributor during the sixties Bobbleheads period (both football and hockey figures), he was always active and often creatively involved. 

Early sixties C.F.L. bobble-head mascot outer box paper label above left,
and the cover of a how to manual about football in French, late fifties

In the early seventies Tex finally left Canada moving back to Texas, before he left he also did one of a kind portraits of some of the Alouette players and these as well as his originals from all of his decades of artistic output have now become sought after collector pieces as well. 

Late sixties or early seventies Coulter portrait of Al's Peter Dalla Riva

Coulter passed away in 2007, he was a remarkable talent on the field but his most lasting and unique legacy to Canadian sport history was using his fantastic artistic capabilities to chronicle for posterity many of the most famous and iconic Canadian athletes of all time. 

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Grocery Store Score on the Prairies - (Volume 2 Update & Volume 1 Addition)

Gameday Approved was the name of the multi year promotion sponsored by Federated Coop, a large agricultural and retail conglomerate based in Saskatoon. Co-op is one of the major grocery retailers in Western Canada, especially in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Beginning in 2010 in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of the Roughriders Co-op issued two commemorative Andy Fantuz cereal boxes although the Game Day Approved slogan was not used in the first year of the promotion.

2012 Saskatchewan Roughriders Getzlaf Waggle Cereal Box (French Side) 

 Subsequently A Darian Durant commemorative cereal box was produced in 2011 and the Getzlaf pictured above in 2012. These items as well as two Weston Dressler themed potato chip branded packages were all catalogued and illustrated in Collecting Canadian Football Volume 2, because they were team specific to the Roughriders. A large number of other grocery product items were also branded with the Rider's logo but this blog post will concentrate (mostly) on only those that also contain a specific player image.

2013 Geroy Simon Chips & Weston Dressler Fruit Snacks 

Subsequent to the publication of CCF V2 Co-op produced two more Rider player themed packages in 2013 and there does not seem to have been a special cereal produced for this season. Life sized cardboard standups of Simon were produced, unsure if new Dressler ones were also made (a Dressler standup was produced in 2011).

Edmonton & Winnipeg promotional posters featuring the Mike Reilly and Nick Moore branded Chips and multiple other non-player specific products 

After four seasons featuring just Saskatchewan Co-op decided to expand the promotion to the 3 other prairie teams with their own branded and player sponsored grocery items. The result was a lot more things to collect as well as more associated advertising pieces that will eventually find their way into an update for Volume I as they are no longer specific to just one team.

2014 Special Stampeders Cornish autograph poster at left and Cornish Flakes Cereal from the same year, the only non-Saskatchewan player to be featured on their own cereal  

Besides what is pictured here there were Cornish RB-Q Chips, a Durant Quarterback Quench drink (which I have not been able to find a picture of), Getzlaf Chris-py Dill Chips and a generic Roughriders Kickoff Krunch Cereal to keep consumers busy buying and eating. It is not known if similar special autograph session posters were created for any of the other players in the other cities, but it would seem probable.  

2014 introduced prairie wide everybody's favorite damn hard to store player item, the life size cardboard standup (it is possible the Durant on the left is from a previous year). Standups of Cornish and Moore were also made.  

Also to celebrate the Rider's 4th cup win in 2013 the special cola cans  below were produced, each one specific to the year with the final score and a player image on them, including George Reed '66, Glenn Suitor & Dave Ridgway '89, <cant make it out> '07 & Kory Sheets '13.

Don't forget to save the box too, player images are on it as well as the cans 

2015 saw the promotion scaled back somewhat and as far as I can tell there was one chip bag issued for each of the four teams. There may have been new standups issued as well, but this is unconfirmed. Information on line seems to be scarce for this year, and pretty soon it will likely all be gone, highlighting the importance of capturing the details on dates and items while it is still just a click away.

All four 2015 Quarterback themed Chip Packages 

One of the players above is particularly not like the others, while Bo Levi Mitchell, Mike Reilly & Darian Durant have either led or probably still will lead their teams to multiple Grey Cups and all have brought home a championship to their franchise, Drew Willy's time in Winnipeg was a bust, so you know which bag will probably be the rarest a couple of decades from now.

All four 2016 Quarterback themed Chip Packages 


The seventh and final year of the program came in 2016 after hundreds of thousands of dollars had been raised for the various Children's Hospitals in each province. Once again four different types of chips with player endorsement were issued with the same three quarterbacks for Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatchewan but with Weston Dressler appearing for Winnipeg, making him the only player who was featured on products for two different teams.

Grocery store items are a great way to score basically "free" collectibles while getting your moneys worth on the actual product itself. They typically are very easy to get while the promotion is active and then rapidly become very difficult to locate afterwards. Commemorative cereal boxes are something that people tend to pack away so those will likely remain relatively easy to find, but if you didn't grab all the chip bags you needed over the last few years for your team, well good luck finding them in the future. At least you now have the info to know what to look for.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Illustrating the CFL

Magazines with the title "Canadian Football Illustrated" or "Canadian Football League Illustrated" have a very long affiliation with professional football in Canada over three distinct eras. All of them make for great collectibles filled with period information and photos that are not commonly seen elsewhere. This blog post will examine these cool and desirable items.

Billy Vessels of the Edmonton Eskimos on the cover of the 1953 edition and
Eddie Bevan of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on the cover of the 1954 edition. 

The first era spanned five seasons beginning before the two primary Canadian leagues (Eastern "Big Four" I.R.F.U. - Interprovincial Rugby Football Union and Western W.I.F.U. - Western Interprovincial Football Union) had merged to form the CFC - Canadian Football Council in 1956). The last edition of the yearly magazine came out in 1957.

1956 edition Table of Contents page as well as one of the article pages 

The magazines were published before each season with prognostications on the upcoming year as well as pictorial features and coverage of Canadian college football. These magazines are not super rare although acquiring a complete set of five would probably take some patience, with prices ranging from about $30 to $60 per copy depending on condition, the older ones obviously at a bit of a premium over the later ones.  

1955 cover featuring a beautiful full colour picture of Ottawa playing in Hamilton and Hal Patterson of the Montreal Alouettes on the cover of the 1957 edition.

The CFC would rename itself to the CFL - Canadian Football League in 1958 and for their 13th season in 1970 the name Canadian Football League Illustrated was resurrected for a series of magazines that were available for separate purchase but also functioned as "outer" programs at games in each city.

1970 Volume I No. 1 Saskatchewan Roughriders and
Volume I No. 8 Montreal Alouettes 

The publications feature gorgeous colour photographs of each team in action on both the front and back covers at a time when colour pictures of CFL games were definitely not the easiest thing to come by. These are large format magazines measuring roughly 8 3/4" X 11 3/4".

Inside page of the Roughriders album detailing some of their history

Each magazine, one per team, was like a mini history of the franchise detailing their championships and most famous all-time players as well as some of their current crop of budding stars.

Inside page of the Alouettes album showcasing some of their current players

Because of their in depth team history studies these 1970 mags make great keepsakes and since they were printed in large quantities to supply fans at the games in every city they are fairly easy to come by, sometimes for as little as $3 or $4 each at antique malls or thrift shops, and sometimes they show up on Ebay at significantly higher asking prices.

1971 Volume II No. 2 Hamilton Tiger-Cats with poster and watch offer inside page

The 1971 editions remained large format and contained a little historical information along with more stories on the team's active players and  multiple offers for cool CFL Properties merchandise, some catalogued and some yet to be catalogued.

Finest plastic "Wood Grain" binder that contained a full set of 1970 magazines and
a 1971 "Internal" game program that came stapled inside the "Outer" magazine

When you bought the CFL Illustrated at the game it typically contained a smaller (but still as many pages as a regular program) local insert with local advertising and the usual lineup pages and team photos and sportswriter columns. Great value for $1. 

1972 Volume III No. 5 Toronto Argonauts and 1973 Volume IV No. 7 B.C. Lions

Starting in 1972 the magazines were shrunk to a more standard program size of roughly 8 1/4" X 11". These publications served to chronicle the history of the CFL during these years with great colour images of some of the biggest stars in the league and in depth reporting in the stories within.

1974 Volume V No. 9 Ottawa Rough Riders and 1978 Volume IX No. ? Superstars

Initially there were nine magazines for every season, one for each team but eventually others titled "Outstanding Players", "Superstars" or "CFL Action" were added to various season's sets. Eventually the game local inserts ceased being different magazines but instead were just additional pages of the same paper stock collated into the magazine for each city.

1980 Volume XI No. 5 Winnipeg Blue Bombers and 1984 Volume XV No. 16? Stampeders

The CFL Illustrated name continued into the eighties and by mid decade the occasional colour photo accompanied the stories or features inside. The magazines could still be ordered separately but this was no longer promoted in large advertisements, just in the tiny print on the letterhead page. Perhaps for this reason or perhaps because crowds were somewhat less numerous in the eighties, these seasons are definitely harder to complete than the seventies issues.   

1986 Volume XVII No. 5 Hamilton Tiger-Cats French and 1988 No. 5 Offence

After 19 consecutive seasons the second era of CFL Illustrated finally came to an end in 1988, during which season the issue per team theme was finally retired for different topics. While bilingual covers started way back in 1973 during the eighties full French language covers (and many French language articles inside) were being produced, meaning there can be double the magazines to collect for many seasons as well. 

1991 Volume 1 No. 4 Edmonton Eskimos and 1995 Volume 5 No. 5 Birmingham Barracudas

After just a two year break the third and final (so far) CFL Illustrated era started in 1991 and ran to 1996 with the Volume numbering being restarted in regular numerals. The team theme returned to the covers although not always explicitly named. This era included the American CFL teams for posterity.
So there you have it, 30 years of magazines spanning 43 years of Canadian Football action. Probably in excess of 250 magazines (including French versions) that chronicle the sport like no other resource. This should keep a dedicated collector busy for a little while.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Flat-out Fugly Football Figures

Sometime beginning in the mid seventies a very large number of ceramic designs of what looks like the same character engaged in numerous pursuits including sporting activities were created. These characters are typically called Smileys because of their facial expression which was obviously intended to be cute but in hindsight they sort of resemble trolls (another seventies toy fad) and the effect is not particularly attractive.

A figure custom decorated to resemble the Stampeder's Gerry Shaw,
this one likely dates to the mid seventies. The numbers are decals stuck to the figure. 

These were never officially licensed products nor is it likely that they were ever issued in any pre-finished team color designs, rather ceramic hobbyists would buy the figures already fired and then they would decorate them however they wanted to. Because of this when you come across one of these the possible variations in style, utility and finishing touches are endless.

Yikes, above left is a quarterback figure somewhat crudely painted as seventies B.C. Lions QB Jerry Tagge, along with the related cheerleader figure above right  

There are however at least two different football poses available and an unknown number of actual small figure styling changes on the base molded ceramic designs that further adds to the variability of the items. The figures were uncommonly large (at least 12" tall) making them difficult to store and the available vintage teams and or players are limited to what particular hobbyists or craftsmen decided to make.

B.C. Lions lamp figure variant with integrated base above left.
Examples of two molded number styles and no-number style crudely painted above right.  

Should anybody want to put together a collection of these somewhat unnerving dolls, they are not particularly rare and random examples tend to be available from time to time online or in thrift and second hand stores, but finding an exact figure for a specific team or player is likely going to be fairly challenging. The other issue is that the molds still exist (or were recreated) and blanks of the figures are commonly available, so there are people decorating these dolls today complicating determining a reasonable age estimate for a given figure.

George Reed figure on a wooden base above left and
an unpainted blank figure (called bisque) that you can buy today  

Moving on to some other examples of dubious artistic merit we see below two ghastly cloth figures of Rider legends Ron Lancaster and George Reed. Both are sporting nifty Dairy Queen plastic helmets as detailed in this earlier blog post here so the figures probably date to the late seventies or early eighties. Cloth is not a particularly good material to model human figures in. 

Lancaster's face looks like he just got a peek into the Ark of the Covenant and is about to melt away, while the Reed figure ... well if you tried to market something like this today you would probably get a visit from the progressive politically correct thought police. 

Items that are made by individuals such as the Smiley figures and the cloth dolls will not be catalogued in the eventual Collecting Canadian Football Volume 3 - Novelties and Souvenirs because they are unlicensed and because there is no way to come up with a list of what was available. That would include the alien headed abomination below.

Either some Rider fan was snorting wheat chaff when he thought this Ron Lancaster doll was a good idea, or it was supposed to function as a voodoo doll where an opposing fan could stick pins into it during the games

Just so you don`t think the Riders have cornered the market on ugly figures, there are a few more examples below from other teams.

This Ti-Cat figure probably dates from the early sixties 
(although late fifties might also be possible) 

The toy above was described (on Ebay) as one of those rubbery squeezable figures, meaning it probably was factory produced since most individuals would not have had rubber molding equipment available to them. The ashen faced doll strikes me as fairly creepy.

The figure at left may be an Argo but it also could be anything and looks like it was a sewing kit project. The figure on the right is definitely an Argo, and doesn't it just scream "Take me home!"

Lastly we have the Ralph the Dog Stampeder mascot travesty below, mid seventies probably. Not sure if that is a modified Dairy Queen helmet or not, maybe not as it looks to have a molded center stripe but hard to tell in this scan.

I have left out a number of well know (and not so well known) other CFL dolls that could also be described as not very attractive. But those are licensed (or pre-license era manufactured) issues, are considerable older than most of the items shown in this post and I think have arguably a lot more collectible cachet to them and consequently they would deserve their own specific future post.