Sometime near the end of 1984, or early in 1985, a curious little baseball memorabilia product was released. Fun Foods Inc. from Little Silver, NJ released a 133 player set of MLB baseball buttons. They came in 36 count boxes of three button packs. Each quarter size button features a player photo on the front and the button number, position, and stat on the back. A simple but fun product for kids in the 80s.
I don’t remember seeing these in stores as a kid, but I recently came across a collection that had about 2,500 of them! You guessed it, I’m now the proud owner of said buttons and have made a portion of them available for sale on EBay.
I’m amazed how well these have held up. There is very little damage to these despite being housed in big plastic bags or paper envelopes. Even through they have spent years bumping and rubbing against each other, there is very few nicks and scratches, and although they spent years in a garage, there is no rust. I think that says something about the production quality of this product. Fortunately for me, they are already grouped by player, and I have anywhere from one to about 35 of each....except for Kent Hrbek. For some reason there are no Hrbeks.
The checklist contains a mixture of stars of the day like Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, George Brett, and Pete Rose, but it also had young prospects like Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg, Dwight Gooden, and Tony Gwynn. It’s a fun little product that provides another avenue of collecting your favorite players of the era. There were even binder pages for coins that fit these pins so you could put them on display!
Have you ever heard of Fun Foods? Not the product, I’m sure some of you have seen these pins, but the company itself?
Me neither, and that is what got me curious.
I tried to do some research about the company, but to no avail. Little Silver is a small town of around 5,000 people in New Jersey, and while I was able to find a number to their historical society, the phone call went unanswered. I find myself even more interested to know what the full story was behind this company, their ability to get a MLB license to issue this product, and its ultimate one year run before, for all intents and purposes, falling off the face of the earth.
This one may require some further digging.......
What do you think? Another awesome oddball product from the 80's?