Thursday, May 3, 2012

Billy Williams Transogram Figure

Last July I wrote about

a Billy Williams Transogram 1969 card I bought. The card was on back of the box of a plastic Billy Williams figure. I have never seen the actual Williams figure on ebay, though several of the other players have been available.

A couple weeks ago one finally showed up. The box was in rough shape, but the figure was fine. I sent the sniper and waited....and won. Because the box was so beat up, I got a pretty good deal.

Here's the box

and here's a couple closeups of the figure.

The pieces are all interchangeable, so for Billy, they slapped a Cubs logo on the front, a 26 on the back, and they were in business.

It doesn't surprise me that it looks nothing at all like Billy Williams. About the only thing they got right was that they made him black. But then, I don't think Transogram was too concerned about accurate figures.

Before I bought this, I had two questions about the Transogram figures, and now I've got both answers.

My first question was about the size of the figures, namely just how big were they? The answer, not very big at all. I assumed they were larger than this, maybe the size of the Starting Lineup figures from the '80s. But they are only 2½" tall.

Here's the figure against Billy's 1969 Topps card, which is 3½" high. Pretty dinky, aren't they.

My second question was more of a personal one. In the July post, I mentioned that Transogram had a factory right here in beautiful Sturgis, Michigan and I wondered if they made the baseball figures at the Sturgis factory. Well, the bottom of the box has the answer...

....made in Hong Kong. I guess I should have figured that. As a kid, it seemed like just about every junk-type toy was either made in Hong Kong or made in Japan. It wasn't called "outsourcing" back then, it was cheap imports.

Transogram also made figures of Ernie Banks and Ron Santo, but unless I fall into a fantastic bargain, I'll probably just stick to the Billy Williams.


  1. Thanks for posting this - I've been curious about what the Transogram figures looked like ever since I'd heard of them.

  2. That's really cool. I was just looking through REA's auction online and found a complete set of 1970 Transogram figures with display.

  3. With those colors, it looks like Transogram was predicting Billy's stint with Oakland at the end of his career.