Gold Base (1967-74)
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|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)
------------------------------------------- (75-80% of all ST. Louis dolls)
------------------------------------------- (20-25% of all ST. Louis dolls)
---------- (Red Pants, teal chest decal, large base decal, black skates)
---------- (Blue Pants, orange chest decal, small base decal, orange skates)
(notice the Band-Aid on his nose, scar on left cheek and black eye!)
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.
The San Diego Gulls had 2 different head & body molds. Notice the position & shape of the legs and hands.
Original San Diego Gulls box with a doll
Original liner for the San Diego Gulls box
Logo used by the
1967 San Diego Gulls
Typical gold base
Base design for the Los Angeles Kings
& San Diego Gulls "Red Pants" dolls
Both of the St. Louis Blues dolls used a
"Flat Bottom" designed mold; gold and blue variations
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS PLASTIC prototype doll (Notice the "NHL" sticker between the legs!) Philadelphia entered the NHL in 1967.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS PLASTIC prototype doll
PLASTIC prototype doll.
BOSTON BRUINS PLASTIC prototype doll
BOSTON BRUINS PLASTIC
BOSTON BRUINS PLASTIC prototype doll
( Picture sent to me by Karen Becker)