Friday, February 27, 2009

Outdoor Football Leagues

As I was researching and completing the various Indoor and Arena Leagues, I discovered more outdoor leagues.  I had already worked on the WFL and USFL as well as some TB NFL helmets.  Then I found the CFL, CFL USA (one of my favorite sets) and many, many more.  Here is a list of outdoor leagues, including the NFL, that I have completed:

National Football League (including Throwbacks)
American Football League (1960's)
Canadian Football League
World Football League
United States Football League
All American Football Conference
Asian-Pacific Football League
NFL Europe (Europa)
World League of American Football
Professional Spring Football League
Spring Football League
Regional Football League
All American Football League (2008)
Continental Football League (1960's)

Next on this list is the new United Football League in 2009.  I expect that I will do a full post on the NFL, since my work now includes more than just the current helmets.



Thursday, February 26, 2009

List of Indoor and Arena Football Leagues

While working on the Arena League throwbacks, I discovered many other Indoor Football leagues.  So, I began work on those as well.  Here is a list of Indoor leagues that are complete and in my collection

Arena Football League
Arena Football League 2 (AF2)
American Indoor Football League
American Indoor Football Association
American Professional Football League
Continental Indoor Football League
Great Lakes Indoor Football League
Intense Football League
United Indoor Football
Indoor Football League (2009)
Eastern Indoor Football League
Indoor Football League (2000)
National Indoor Football League
World Indoor Football League
Indoor Professional Football League
Professional Indoor Football League
Various Independent Teams

For the 2009 season, we have some new leagues and teams on the horizon.  I hope to have those completed by April or May of this year (after the seasons start).


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Arena and Indoor Football

The next step in the evolution of my Gumball collection was the Arena Football League.  I went to my first game in 1988 and fell in love with this version of football.  I began collecting anything I could from this new league.  As time went on, my home town fielded a team and I was able to begin seeing many more teams and helmets.  After completing the USFL and WFL sets, I moved on to the current AFL and then to all the throwbacks.  That took some time and some serious research.  The AFL had many, many teams and lots of one-time use or pre-season only helmets.  Many teams also used more than one helmet in a season.  And, the New York City Hawks actually had a home and an away helmet!

From the AFL, I moved on to other Indoor leagues, such as the AF2, PIFL, IFL, NIFL and others (a complete list will be the topic of a future entry).  These leagues also proved to be a challenge.  However, the result is some of my favorite helmet sets.  I really like the old IFL and PIFL sets.  Here are photos of a portion of my Arena League set and one season of the NIFL.  Enjoy.


Monday, February 23, 2009

My First Football Helmets - WFL, USFL

Let's start at the start, as they say.  I began collecting the old NFL iHOP Gumball Helmets in the early 1970's.  My grandfather would buy them for me when we had breakfast.  Over time, I collected entire sets and played with them.  Later in life, I discovered that you could purchase these great old helmets on Ebay.  At the same time, I was looking for a specific set of drink coasters that had World Football League logos on them from 1974.  I really wanted these as a kid, and never did get them.  They were sold at some gas stations in California and I figured I could find them on Ebay.  As I searched, I started thinking - wouldn't it be great if I could get WFL Gumball Helmets!  

So, I decided to make some.  My first efforts were crude, but over time I got better.  I used various resources, like the VHM Club, Logo Server, and various other helmet history sites to help me make these first helmets.  I ended up with Adobe PhotoShop Elements, which is a great program for this type of work.  I also "met" other helmet collectors via email.  People like David J, Ben J, and Klaus K all helped me do a better job on these helmets.  Once I figured it out, I started on other Football Leagues - USFL, AFL, Arena, and many, many others.  I will add a complete list later.  For now, here a a few photos of sets I have completed to date.


First Entry

Hello everyone.  This is the first entry in my new Gumball Helmet blog.  In this blog, I hope to share my passion for this hobby, my designs, and some history of various sport's helmets and caps.  

I create and collect custom football, baseball and hockey gumball helmets.  These are the same helmets you may have collected when you were a kid.  They came from 25 cent machines, IHOP, baseball concession stands, comic book ads and other locations.  They are harder to find these days, but still fun to collect.

Since most of these factory made helmets represented the NFL, MLB and NHL, I decided it would be fun to "create" sets for other leagues.  I started with the old World Football League and went from there.  A few years ago, I tried my hand at updating some MLB helmets with custom logos and then went on to Minor League teams and historic teams (Negro Leagues, etc.).  Then, I started making custom Hockey Helmets.  I loved the old World Hockey Association, so I started there.  Now I am making Minor Leagues and Jr Leagues, as well as Throwback NHL helmets.

That is the quick history of my work and what this blog will document over time.  I plan on adding photos and links later.

Thanks for reading,