Hobby News: Last night, after watching a weekend of NCAA basketball, I turned the T.V. to NBC to watch Dateline. I was very happy and surprised to see that the feature story was about NFL football fanatics. Since I fall into this category, I (and more importantly, my wife) could relate to the craziness of Sunday afternoons during football season. The stories focused on the rituals that fans perform while watching their favorite teams on television. It was an eye-opener to watch these characters as they were caught by hidden cameras. I am guilty and as my wife said- probablly worse behaved then the fans featured.

The best part of the hour was that they did a feature on Dallas Cowboy fanatic, Bob Bragalone (AKA Cowboy Bob). Bob has been a customer of ours for many years and the story centered not only on his gameday antics, but on his Cowboy memorabilia. They showed his show case filled with vintage Cowboy bobbing heads and Fred Kail statues. His Cowboy room was quite impressive.



A number of years ago, I had the priveledge of talking to Fred Kail and subsequently writing an article about his works for Sports Collectors Digest. In the late 50's, Mr Kail was an aspiring artist who was commisioned by the Baltimore Colts to make a series of chalk-ware statues for team members of the 1958 World Champions. The statues were such a hit, that a enterprising company contacted Mr Kail with the idea of mass marketing these statues and making other NFL and college teams. A deal was struck (although the company really took advantage of Mr Kail) and a series of ceramic statues and banks were produced. The line also included a number of Major League baseball teams and various other sports figurines (i.e. bowlers & basketball players).

 Fast forward more than 40 years and these statues have become immensly popular among collectors. The attention to detail of the uniforms is incredible. The football statues came in two different sizes (10" & 5.5" tall) and were made in an upright position and in a 3 point stance. Each of the then 14 NFL teams also were made as a stadium ashtray with a small figurine at one end. These statues an banks can range in price from $100 into the thousands of dollars depending on the team and variation.

The line of baseball statues is nearly impossible to find. In over 20 years in the hobby, we have handled only 4 of the baseball statues (Phillies, Yankees, Orioles and Reds) and have seen only a handfull of others. They usually sell for several thousand dollars each. They are simply amazing looking.

If you haven't yet started collecting these figurines, you might want to take a good look at them They display beautifully in any figural or bobbing head collection.