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Table Hockey Art- Revive the Memories



Table Hockey Art: Revive the Memories


Many hockey fans that grew up in the 70s and 80s spent many hours battling it out with their friends on a table hockey board.  Hours and hours of good wholesome fun and memories were made on table hockey boards throughout Canada and the US.  Where are your table hockey boards today?  A Toronto based artist, Anthony Jenkins is bringing old table hockey boards back to life, and producing amazing pieces of hockey art along the way.  This is the most unique and amazing pieces of hockey art that I have seen.  Seeing these great pieces of art brought back numerous memories of classic table hockey games.



Anthony Jenkins was born in Toronto and spent a happy childhood there. He was a Leafs fan and played organized hockey as a kid. His first team, circa age 8, was 'Baby Bunny Nuts' (A hot peanut vending machine firm of the day) out of Scarborough, Ontario. He was lousy then and, many decades later, remains mediocre - but still loves the game He plays, in Orangeville, Ontario, with the 'Rusty Blades' pickup group.



As a working artist (for many years an editorial cartoonist and illustrator with the Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper) he found hockey was ill served by art; cute kids on frozen ponds being the gold standard. 

Having played table hockey as a boy, man, and father he became alarmed to learn that these icons of his childhood and his culture were facing extinction, killed by video games. At the same time, he found himself lamenting that the innocently-revered idols of a Hockey Night In Canada youth were being overshadowed by flawed and merchandized sportsmen of today.

The 'Game Faces' series, jointly conceived with friend, line mate and fellow artist Larry Humber, is his homage to that innocent Canadian past where fun didn't have to be plugged in.   The idea was adapted from that of Larry Humber. He took the table hockey games of our youth, striped of the players and glued on different things - animals, glitter bric and brac, etc. to make art pieces, laid flat.  I came to the realization that, turned upright, the boards made a natural frame, hung.  I'm a portrait guy - actually primarily a cartoonist, and adding portraits of NHL stars from the classic table hockey era finished the idea.

I got most of the games off EBay. Most of the games are nearly 30 years since manufacture.  It is getting more difficult and expensive to find. Most are 'Eagle Toys Gretzky Overtime' games and I try, if possible, to include teams for which the player portrayed played - for example having Oilers and Rangers on a Messier game board.

The games are titled after the each players nickname, “The Rocket,”  “Moose,” “The Big M,” “Super Mario,” “The Golden Jet,” etc.

Originally I painted about 25 games, games mostly procured from eBay, and they all sold, although over a 10 year span, and many showings in galleries and bars. I limited the subjects exclusively to Hall of Famers.

A recent challenge to this wonderful art is the limited access to these old table hockey games.  I used to be able to find games for around $75.  They were not that hard to find.  Now it is a whole new story.  They are much harder to find and usually run in the $125-$150 range.  Games are now 25 years old, the good, solid 'Gretzky' games of the 80s and 90s are now 25 years old and harder/more expensive to find and acquire.  This problem will only get worse as each year passes.



The “Game Faces” collection consisted of 20 feature pieces of art.  The collection was sold for $600 per piece, and is sold out, with the exception of Brett Hull.  The collection was well thought out and very popular.  Key pieces in the collection were Guy Lafleur, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux, “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky and the late Gordie Howe.



After creating such a wildly popular original collection the question was asked “Do you do customs?  Yep, I am happy to do customs. Including any star you'd like or your uncle Bob, or your just graduated son, and even a recently promoted/retired Dad.  I have created many customs, some that come to mind are; Gump, Stevie Y, Domi and Wendel Clark.

The price is $700 for most custom orders – plus shipping.  Contact Anthony Jenkins for final price quotes



“I loved playing table hockey and I love doing the paintings.” Anthony Jenkins


* Written By Brad Burud in collaboration with Anthony Jenkins



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