Hartland Plastics, located in southern Wisconsin, produced a series of sport and western figures between 1953 and the early 1960s. These painted acetate plastic figures came with removable accessories Western figures ranged from generic figures, e.g., Western Champ, to licensed figures, e.g., The Lone Ranger and Wyatt Earp. Hartland occasionally used the same mold for more than one character, e.g., #804 for St. Preston and Sgt. Lance O’Rourke and #817 for Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett. A different paint scheme, accessories, and packaging distinguished one from the other.
The sports series contains 30 different football players (a generic offensive and defensive player for each of the 14 NFL teams at the time plus two personality figures) and 18 baseball players (18 personality figures and a bat boy).
In 1989 Hartland reissued all nineteen baseball figures in a 25th anniversary edition. They are identified by a “25” in a circle located on their back just below the belt.
Reference: Elizabeth Stephan (ed.), “O’Brien’s Collecting Toys,” 9th Edition, Krause Publications, 1999.
by Harry L. Rinker
“Official Price Guide to Collectibles”
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