Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Magic ! From Space! - (Volume 1 Update)

The golden age of plastic toys occurred in the fifties and sixties when the versatile material overtook the traditional wood and metal as the primary component used to manufacture playthings for children (and of course thousands of other products). Couple this with the enthusiasm for all things relating to space thanks to the space race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R and it kind of makes sense that a Canadian company that produced plastic novelties would call itself Space Magic LTD.

1963 Krun - chee CFL holder imprint on left and 1964 Nalleys CFL holder imprint on right 

But what does any of that have to do with Canadian Football? Well it seems that Space Magic was responsible for manufacturing all of the plastic cap holders that were made available for collectors to house their CFL plastic potato chip caps in both 1963 and 1964. The imprint was a little different between the two years as is evident above in the bottom central cap indentations.

When I published Collecting Canadian Football Volume I in 2013 I did not have a whole lot of information available about the holders and only two were pictured from 1963 and one from 1964. Additionally I made an assumption that in 1963 each team would have had its own colour of holder from each named potato chip manufacturer and I listed them that way although most colour/brand variations were unconfirmed. Naturally it makes perfect sense that an orderly mind would expect that a collector would want to put Eskimo caps in a dark green holder and Argo caps in a blue holder but examples of caps in holders where the owner made absolutely no attempt to enforce a proper colour correlation are disturbingly evident from time to time. That, coupled with the fact that all teams had more than one colour in their uniforms and also that there seemed to be more colours used for holders than teams means that those listings were incorrect or misleading at best,

To shed a little more light on the subject I am featuring at least one of each brand of holder that I have information on in this blog post, along with a few peculiarities.

1963 Krun - chee Black CFL holder : KRUN - CHEE Canadian Football Stars 

Although each of the 1963 holders had the same attractive football layout design, the brand name of course was different for each manufacturer and the sub-title was either a different phrase or had a different juxtaposition of the wording.

1963 Hunters Dark Blue CFL holder : Hunters Canadian Football Stars 

Humpty Dumpty holders seem to be few and far between as this is the only example I have seen a scan of. Note that the holder is bilingual which corresponds with the bilingual Humpty Dumpty caps but not with the no-name caps which were both unilingual and bilingual and no-name caps are known to have been available in Humpty Dumpty chip bags.

1963 Humpty Dumpty Gold CFL holder : Humpty Dumpty Football Plaque - Plaque A Jetons 

At first glance at the holder below it appears that all is in karmic balance as the conscientious long ago collector put his B.C. Lions caps with their black and orange uniforms palette into an appropriate black holder. But wait, these are in fact 1964 Nalley's caps inserted into the holder designed for the 1963 issue so undoubtedly some type of negative repercussions eventually manifested themselves in the life of the foolhardy offender.
1963 Nalley's Black CFL holder : Nalley's Pro Football Stars Of Canada 

For 1964 only Nalley's issued potato chip caps for the five western teams and it is thought that there were just five colour matched holders produced with a new field design, although I cannot recall actually seeing any more than the blue and green versions, so perhaps the other three team holders listed in Volume I should have been marked in lighter text as unconfirmed.

1964 Nalley's Blue CFL holder : Nalley's Pro Football Stars Of Canada 

Another error in Volume I was the statement that the 1964 Nalley's cap holders were identical to the 1963 versions except for the caption, but the above two images makes it clear that wasn't the case. For unknown reasons the subtitle for the green holder was different as per below, and for the remainder of the 1964 holders it is still a mystery, perhaps both versions exist in all colours?

1964 Nalley's Green CFL holder : Nalley's 1964 Western Conference Pro Football Stars

It is one of the oddities of classic CFL collectibles as to why no ephemera of these chip cap promotions seems to have survived, after all you would think the packaging would have advertised the premiums inside, the shields would have had order forms or there would have been in grocery store displays for the products. Well the following two images would appear to be just that with regards to the wall plaques. (I was using the term holders in the guide and this blog entry, but now might be a good time to start using the official designation).

1964 Nalley's Wall Plaque packaging illustrations, not to scale, sizes unknown, blank backed

The left illustration matches the green shield for subtitle and the players actually look distinguishable but I have not compared them to any of the 1964 caps to see which team, if any they are modeled on. The player images on the right illustration are generic and the subtitle is gibberish letters. Both pieces look to have been cut from a larger package. These came up on ebay a few years ago and interest was surprisingly low if I recall correctly.

Space Magic was also apparently involved in producing a series of space caps and probably the related wall plaques and perhaps that is where the name originally came from. There is a posting on the Topps Archives from last year that has some more information on Space Magic and some of the other promotions they were involved with here Space Patrol.