Gold Base (1967-74)

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gold Base Dolls
Most of the Gold Base series dolls were created between 1967-1968. The exceptions are the Salt Lake City and San Diego Gulls dolls that were made somewhere around 1969-74. I make that decision on the fact that both teams played in the WHL between 1969-1974. The dolls stand 7 1/4 inches tall and have a 3 x 2-inch oval base. These dolls have decals on both the base and chest. The "Original 6" teams had a gold ROUND shaped sticker on the bottom which says "Sports Specialties 10203 Santa Monica Blvd Los Angeles, Calif. 67 - Japan". The Los Angeles Kings and the San Diego Gulls "red pants" version dolls have a gold OVAL shaped sticker with the same information. Both of the St. Louis Blues dolls had "1968 & MADE IN JAPAN" stamped on the bottom of the bases. The Salt Lake City Golden Eagles doll had a ROUND gold "Sports Specialties" similar to the "Original 6" teams (see pictures below). The Gold Base dolls used a straight spring that had 8 - 10 coils. In regards to their boxes, I was told by Tim Hunter that the Gold Base dolls were shipped in a large crate style cardboard box that held 6 or 12 dolls at a time. This may explain why I have never seen or found anyone who owns a Gold Base doll with the original box. UPDATE = In Tim Hunter's very last auction (11/02) as a bobbing head dealer, he offered a Toronto Maple leafs gold base box. He said "The box was nothing special except for being a bit oversized and "TORONTO" stamped at the end." Unfortunately, my bid didn't win.

As most bobbing head collectors or dealers are aware of, the "67" on the gold stickers on the bottom of the base on these dolls was not the year that they were produced. It was the postal code for Los Angeles, California. Considering the small size of the sticker on the dolls, it was just an abbreviation for the zip code for Los Angeles, which was 90067. For your information, according to a book at the post office, zip codes came out July 1, 1963.

These dolls were also known as the Realistic Series. Their faces depict a "realistic adult male". They have a different presence; more mature than the other dolls. Some collectors say the faces were modeled after Gordie Howe of the Detroit Redwings.

PROTOTYPE DOLLS I was told by Tim Hunter that he saw 2 PLASTIC bobbing head dolls at the Cleveland National show (8/01) that were molded exactly like the Gold Base series dolls. He saw a Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers doll. They even had the realistic shaped head and face. They have decals on the chest and base. Plastic dolls, for baseball and football, started to appear in the mid 70's so these may have been prototype dolls for hockey which never took off. UPDATE = (8/02) I was fortunate enough to find the Philadelphia Flyers PLASTIC doll at the National show in Chicago. Unfortunately, it did not have a head. But for $20, I thought it was worth it. There are no markings that indicate the year made or the company that produced it. Notice the "NHL" sticker on base! (see pictures below)

The Salt Lake City Golden Eagles is my favorite. It uses the standard oval gold base body but a unique head. Notice the head and face features; black eye and a Band-Aid over his nose. It is one of the few dolls that had a number decal. It has a #7 on the shoulder and back. Considering when the team played and that the team changed its logo and colors for the 1972-73 season, the doll probably came out between 1969-1972. (See pictures below)

11 teams (12 dolls) used the same body mold design: (8 NHL / 3 Minor League)

    Boston Bruins ---------------------- NHL since 1924
    Chicago Blackhawks-------------- NHL since 1926
    Detroit Redwings------------------- NHL since 1932
    Los Angeles Kings ---------------- NHL (expansion team -1967)
    Montreal Canadiens -------------- NHL since 1917
    New York Rangers ---------------- NHL since 1926
    Toronto Maple Leafs -------------- NHL since 1926
    St. Louis Blues --------------------- NHL (expansion team - 1967) "BLUE Jersey"
    ------------------------------------------- (75-80% of all ST. Louis dolls)
    St. Louis Blues --------------------- NHL (expansion team - 1967) "GOLD Jersey"
    ------------------------------------------- (20-25% of all ST. Louis dolls)

    Salt Lake City Golden Eagles - WHL (1969-74), CHL (74-84), IHL (84-94)
    San Diego Gulls -------------------- WHL(1966-74), IHL(90-95), WCHL(95-03)
    ---------- ECHL(2003-04)
    ---------- (Red Pants, teal chest decal, large base decal, black skates)
    San Diego Gulls -------------------- WHL (1966-74), IHL(90-95), WCHL(95-03)
    ---------- ECHL(2003-04)
    ---------- (Blue Pants, orange chest decal, small base decal, orange skates)
oddities in Gold base dolls
Gold Face Doll face
salt lake city eagle face

(notice the Band-Aid on his nose, scar on left cheek and black eye!)

salt lake city side view

Notice how 2 different dolls were painted. Trim on back of jersey; stripe on side of pants & leg; white paint under #7 decal on shoulder.

salt lake city logos
2 different san diego gull doll

The San Diego Gulls had 2 different head & body molds. Notice the position & shape of the legs and hands.

gull blue face
gull orange face
gull box

Original San Diego Gulls box with a doll
Sticker reads= "SEN GULLS

I want to thank Steve Smith from the San Diego area for information & the pictures of the box. He thinks that he bought the doll (with box) in January 1974 for around $1.50.

gull box

Original liner for the San Diego Gulls box

gull LOGO

Logo used by the 1967 San Diego Gulls
"GULLS" was on their uniforms

gold base bottom

Typical gold base bottom
(Notice the bottom has a ridge or rib around edge & a round sticker). The "67" was the zip code (90067), not the year the doll was made.

los angeles kings bottom

Base design for the Los Angeles Kings & San Diego Gulls "Red Pants" dolls
(Notice the "flat bottom" design of the base & the oval sticker)
Text on sticker reads =
Sports Specialties
10203 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, Calif. 67

st louis  bottom

Both of the St. Louis Blues dolls used a "Flat Bottom" designed mold; gold and blue variations
(notice the 1968 & Made In Japan stamp)

philadelphia plastic doll

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS PLASTIC prototype doll (Notice the "NHL" sticker between the legs!) Philadelphia entered the NHL in 1967.

philadelphia plastic doll bottom


Boston Bruins plastic doll

Pictures of the Boston doll were supplied by Joe Ciccone.

Boston Bruins plastic doll bottom


Boston Bruins plastic doll base

Notice the "NHL" sticker between the legs! The NHL logo, "BOSTON" & the chest logo were made of a clear sticker material. They were not decals like the normal dolls.

Boston Bruins plastic doll back


boston bruins doll

This is first example of an ad for a Gold Base series doll that I have ever seen. Notice that the doll sold for $1.75 and that the listing mentioned dolls for Baseball, Football & the six NHL hockey teams.

chicago blackhawks doll
This is a 1971 ad for Chicago Blackhawks merchandise by a store called "ALL SPORTS" in Chicago. It shows a Chicago Blackhawks Gold Base series doll. See "RED" circle.
( Picture sent to me by Karen Becker)