In the late 50’s, Fred Kail was an aspiring artist who was commissioned by the Baltimore Colts to make a series of chalk-ware statues for team members of the 1958 World Champions. The statues were such a hit, that a enterprising company contacted Mr Kail with the idea of mass marketing these statues and making other NFL and college teams. A deal was struck and a series of ceramic statues and banks were produced from the late 1950’s into the early 1960’s in all the major sports.
Fast forward more than 40 years and these statues have become immensely popular among collectors. The attention to detail of the uniforms is incredible. The football statues had the same figure but were painted with each team’s colors. They came in two different sizes (10″ & 5.5″ tall) and were made in an upright position with a metal single bar face mask or in a 3 point stance. These statues and banks can range in price from $100 into the thousands of dollars depending on the team and variation. (Background on the Kail statues courtesy of Inside the Park Collectibles). Authentic Kail statutes will have a stamp on the bottom somewhere with “FAK” above “Fred A. Kail, JR” and are made in Japan.
This specific OSU Kail piggy bank is a unique one for one main reason… Most Kail banks have the numbers 00 on the front of the jerseys. However, this specific statue has “OSU” on the front jersey, leading me to believe this may have been a later alteration to the front (the back has 00) or potentially whoever had these painted for the Bank may have requested this as a special order. It’s hard to tell. Another unique thing is you can see the NFL shield on the football… many of these college banks were leftover NFL team banks purchased by the banks for their local college team. On this specific bank, you can see the sticker at the front bottom, which says “Score Your Savings Goal at First National Bank of Oregon.”