A special thanks to forum moderator Paul Ruiz for posting the photos of the 1962 HNIC game and the 1963 Stanley Cup game. I’ve still have an Eagle 540 “Power Play” game (that’s what the box said, which has long since rotted away) since 1962.
Since everyone loves the game they grew up with, I like the modified 540 because the rods do not cross, the lengthened defense slots add more defense to the game and the goalie has the most range of any game I have ever seen. I would like to attach three pictures, one of my modified 540 and two from Ebay of unmodified games that look exactly like mine, one which shows the standard metal goalie rod and the other a lesser seen plastic goalie rod, FYI.
I have an image of my modified game and just took a picture of an untouched Eagle 540 I just won on Ebay.
If not, then it is my humble opinion that it is the loss of the THH community not to have an image of an Eagle 540! In my early years, I played the 540 so much and got pretty decent on it that no one wanted to play me any more, I was one of those basement champions.
My offer to show the modified 540 was not meant for collectors, I understand their purity of purpose. I have had the honor to play in the NYCTHA for three years and the pleasure to have met a great bunch of guys.
Now, when I went to Kaslo, BC last November to see and play Bodycheck, I felt my skills transferred readily. I picked up my first box of Table TopicsTM on a whim while shopping in one of those funky little shops you see in the artsy parts of any city. Has someone see this game on the Sears catalogue, looks like a 2-D table hockey game endorsed by the NHL (like the good old days of Coleco) with a electronic clock which can be served as a puck dropper. Even in the video game age I hope it makes a lot of kids happy when they find it under the tree on Christmas morning.
I'm curious, because a simple Google search does not produce, who or what entity is behind the Excalibur and SureShot products. Here's a fun family classic that you don't even need to leave your home for a€” tabletop bowling. This game is the father to the famed Coleco 5385 the metal gondola poster child game of every adult turned child's dream.
This big dog is the father of both the ill fated 1964 Big Time Club Hockey one year wonder game and its better known step child Game Room Hockey perhaps the most hotly desired Coleco game of 24X48 size but uncontested pass lanes and cerebral tactics. My personal favorite that combines the unique 2nd generation 3-d players with a hollow puck and a long rather basic 41 inch length slot design. This game takes the slot pattern of the fabled 58-60 Power Play and with the cutting of a horizontal extension to the defensemens slot direct to the center red line you get another narrow but intricate game that is a blast to play. Also called Stanley Cup that year this game utilized 3-d players with a Stiga like slot pattern, a hollow puck and a game that needs no introductions. As this sites moderator Paul Ruiz has thoughtfully conveyed to most of us on occasion table hockey is not just a past time for us full grown adolescents.
I know Canadian military members could order from Sears and Eatons but they would have come directly from Canada.
While I was a computer specialist when I worked, I am still old school when drawing the line on spending valuable time to learn new technology of little concern to me. A four-inch clear acrylic cube holds 135 cards, each with a provocative question that is sure to inspire lively, and meaningful, conversation. Going to the actual bowling alley is fun, but sometimes in Minnesota you get stuck inside due to the poor road conditions. A very ornate (side crowd scene and bluesish green plexi glass end shields) HNIC is only 18 inches wide hence its incredible tight checking allure. It's timeless and survives the test of time as the model for Labelle's and Carleco's to this day. Its the big blown up brother of HNIC but wider, more competitive and a better design than its younger brother the 67 National game. Imagine using your far left and right rods as the defensemen and your three interior rods as your forwards. It has survived the test of time as the first game to allow one's right winger to dip into Gretzky's office behind the goal net.

Likewise Len 6 inch wide goals do place an undo burden on defense and goaltending that most sometime abandon that aspect to get the coveted goal. I discovered these little cards make a great game for the classroom or meeting room, around the table or on the patio. The game featured Canadiens and Leafs logos at center ice witness the dominance of the two Canadian based teams as the winners of the Stanley Cup in every year of the 1960's except for the Blackhawks win over the Red Wings in the 1961 Stanley Cup Finals. Even Table Hockey master craftsman Rick Benej enlisted this slot pattern for the first of his many awesome designs. We push the game forward and back and tire all you out with short arms ( a Las Vegas euphemism for dudes who don't tip the help). Its a change in culture in your faculty to think and attack the opponent and still defend your end. No other game personifies table hockey introduction better than the famed teal blue green game called Pro. Perhaps the personification of the Eagle games is that they are so varied, so diverse and all fairly competetive that most evoke some type of memories both good and bad and how they played such a formative roll in one's table hockey reportoire.
It's a methodical, patience driven test that beckons one to try to score using all five players.
This game personifies classic table hockey with its big lip sides, symmtrical shape and no compromised slots. The game exudes Canada's centennial the 100 year anniversary of the declaration of independance from England, the year that the old grizzled Leafs powered past Les Habitants in 6 games to win their fourth cup in six years and basically jinx the Leafs into mediocrity for the next two generations: an elitist bunch of underachievers with a thousand different excuses why they can't win the big one.
Yeah you would like to take her on a date but you don't have the moxy, the money or the game to sweep her off her feet.
The main characteristic of NLE is the ability to pinch in with ones defenseman to the opponents blue line.
This game was also a one year wonder and was also made in a 2nd variation so chronicalled in this websites photo archives as well as on a later lightly manufactured Coleco game so aptly named Baby Game Room by Warren in Vancouver.. Table hockey designs don't vary too much on the location of the rods in relation to the players except for this two year wonder that allows ones wingers to score at will with the sweep of a motion enhanced by a designed metal insert that helps one put the wingers shot always on net. One must utilize the technique as Len Mecca explains to use the winger on the mid spring rodded RW as a quarterback or a player that looks to pass rather than shoot and to set up his four other players as goal scorers. I view complete table hockey players as being totally neutral in their likes and dislikes of games. An added kicker is the behind the nets passing lanes as well as the added feature of pulling ones goalie for adding an additonal flipper to ones center so that the risk reward is ramped up when one is faced needing a win and down by a goal late in the encounter. So you stare at her when she ain't looking and you use her as the poster child for your future wife in your dreams.
Its a busy surface as a result of this design feature that makes you play heart stopping defense if you over committ your back line into opposition territory.
The games is a standard 18X36 competition of defensmen who can dominate the board with checking, shot blocking and scoring.
You thus must play top quality defense with your d-men but most importantly your goaltender. Not an easy game to master but worthy of its top ten billing as collectors to this day hotly desire this game as a change of pace and a game with an international flavor from its rollout in 1964 during the Innsbruck Winter Olympics. The game was sold with yellow plastic stick players mounted on square peg and was sold with the large 6 inch nets.
Great slot pattern except for the angular center who if utilzed properly can barbeque an opponent into a seared off piece of gristle. Made in just 1960 and 61 the game has a history as the poster child for the Montreal Canadiens due to the painting of the Habs logos at center ice. You need to focus on scoring with all five players to become an accomplished Power Play player.
A wind up timer on the side puck dropper crowd scene or on other models its a girdered overhead that is hotly desired by even the most discriminating of collectors.
Its a fantastic test as Face Off only lasted a short time but actually began as Power Play in 1958 minus the lengthened d man slot. Eagle players and afficinados are from a rich and varied past when ones own game could carry him through as a real basement champion.

I don't think the game was made in large numbers and if it was its the best kept secret in the Eagle line of 1954 to 67.
I feel like I'm at the Forum when I play this game repleat with their terrific grilled not boiled hotdogs served with a bun that is not steamed but toasted. The games size suggests the intent of the game was to make the game more of a sporting good than a child's game.
My point is the narrow yet lengthy proportions of the Eagle 1966 NHL Finals game is the closest thing to a real sized NHL rink from a scale standpoint ever made. Basically get good at one game and be totally devoted to its nuances, advantages and shortcomings.
Its obvious that kids would have difficulty scoring goals on the lengthy board and the game was released with players the same size as the standard 18x36 thus its not the type of game that is easy to check on and steal the puck from your opponent. Literally the players are not to scale.The same issue would rear its head in about 1973 or so when Coleco resurected the same slot pattern as Game Room Hockey only affixed the board to a square frame and some crudely painted 3-d players that appear to be holdovers from Eagle's 1965-66 2nd generation 3-d players but scaled slightly smaller. Being good on multiple games is without a doubt the personification of a table hockey master. It's clear Big Time Club Hockey was not a commercial success witness its inclusion from circa 1965 retail catalogs. Put in some realistic length like this game and you are thus playing more real scale hockey. I've seen Jacob Lindahl twirl a puck on the Stiga, watched video of Lou Marinoff and Carlo Bossio destroy most on the Coleco, been treated to footage of Gary Leverence's masters in the CTHL league: Lisowski,Chargo,Marsik, Rzonca, the Thill's, Lord, become aware of the best Munro can muster in some of the Chicago area Munro League's (John Medema's and Dwayne Stegner's) so it's a given that adaptability to various games separates the good from the great. Perhaps its demise could be attributed to its size that may not have caught the eye of table hockey game purchasers that year.
Simply put how many of these guys are repeat winners against top flight competition on the varied games?
Really who could blame them as the blockbuster years of 1960-63 really had saturated the hockey purchasing public with an incredible array and variety of games not just from Eagle but their Ontario based rivals Munro. Back in the day Eagle would introduce a different game every year with a different slot pattern and various subtle design features that forced one to change, to adjust to a new challenge.
This game is not for all the Stiga players who think a 36 inch length game measures your hockey aptitude. The players might not have liked it but as a collector I treasure the games getting a new slot pattern every year.
The short 360 degree peg mounted moving goalies were only made in Toronto and Montreal formats.
If you want to measure an ability to play fairly close to scale NHL hockey in a table top setting the only real test is 1966 NHL Finals. In a nutshell a game that was perhaps designed to muscle in on the table tennis and pool table crowd really never resonated and that proved itself a second time around later in the more widely produced and distributed Coleco Game Room Hockey.
All the rest is a less than true or valid indicator of ones playing ability.I don't care if you are some Euro who wears bikini swim trunks and smokes three packs of cigarettes a day, if you are a booger eating basement clown who believes he can school the best. The rinks varied and true home ice really meant you were on foreign turf attempting to wrest supremacy away from someone who knew every bounce, every detail and every tactical advantage. You are not a complete table hockey player until you learn to play on a more to scale length surface.
1966 Finals gives one a real sense of the true essence of table hockey like the real game and to omit this challenge or game from a top ten list would be a great oversight.
It's not that way anymore: A Stiga is a Stiga is a Stiga whether you are playing in Montreal, Stockholm or Chicago.
That game like Big Time ended up being a one year wonder as well as the famed and more commercially accepted G-155 would roll out the next year for 1967 suggesting that players wanted wider games not longer games. A trip into Boston Garden was as different as a 1962 Offficial was to a visit to the Olympia or a battle on a 1966 Finals.

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