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April 25, 2002 - Vol. 7, No. 2

Heddon's "Natural" Colors

Heddon Natural Colors
Tiny River Runt Spooks
Top Row: Natural Bluegill (350NGL), Natural Sucker (350SUC)
Bottom Row: Natural Shad (350SDN), Natural Pumkinseed (350PUM)

In 1979, Heddon introduced a new line of colors for their lures called "Naturals". These color patterns were designed to give the lure a more 'natural', fish-like appearance. Collectors often refer to these color as 'photofinish' colors since the color patterns were not made by painting the lure bodies as with other colors but by a special photoprocess.

Initially, three colors were made, Natural Perch (LC), Natural Shad (SDN), and Natural Sucker (SUC). Lures that were made in these colors were actually given their own series number, different from the standard number for the lure. Thus, the Tiny Chugger Spook, series number 335, in a Natural color was numbered 338. Therefore, a Tiny Chugger Spook in Natural Perch had a series number 338LC. Eight other lures also appeared in the 1979 catalog that were produced in Natural colors. Their model, series number, and new 'Natural' series numbers are as follows:

Tiny Torpedo (#360) - Natural #363
Prowler (#7025) - Natural #7028
Hedd-Hunter (#9320) - Natural #9326
Hedd-Hunter (#9310) - Natural #9325
Medium Dive Hedd-Hunter (#9305) - Natural #9308
Medium Dive Hedd-Hunter (#9300) - Natural #9303
Tiny River Runt Spook Sinker (#350) - Natural #353
Sonic (#385) - Natural #388

1980 Heddon Catalog
1980 Heddon Catalog Cover

In 1980, the 'Natural' color concept became a lead sales item as the cover of the 1980 catalog was devoted to the introduction of eleven new Natural colors. The cover slogan, "Heddon - No. 1 in lures, naturally" fit nicely with the Natural color campaign.

The use of the Natural colors expanded to numerous other lures as well as the ones listed in the 1979 catalog. Interestingly, Heddon stopped using a special series number in the 1980 catalog for the Natural colors and reverted back to the original number for the lure. Thus, the 1979 Tiny Chugger Spook in Natural Perch (338LC) now reverted back to 335LC.

Heddon continued to produce many of their lures in Natural colors through 1984 and during that time added three more. By 1985, the production line of lures started to be reduced and many of the natural colors were no longer made. Some of these colors, however, survived and even today (2002) are being made. (To see the lures that are being produced in Natural colors, you can visit lurenet.com; click on the Heddon logo).

Below is a listing of each of the Natural colors produced, their year of introduction, and if available, a link to my Heddon Colors web page if a picture is available of a lure in that specific color - click on the color code if underlined:

JMP - Natural Campbell Perch (1980)
JMS - Natural Campbell Shad (1980)
LC - Natural Perch (1979)
NB - Natural Bass (1981)
NF - Natural Leopard Frog (1980)
NGL - Natural Bluegill (1980)
NGM - Natural Green Mackerel (1981)
NRE - Natural Redfish (1980)
NRT - Natural Rainbow Trout (1981)
NSE - Natural Sea Trout (1980)
NSN - Natural Sunfish (1980)
NSO - Natural Snook (1980)
NSP - Natural Spotted Bass (1980)
NST - Natural Striper (1980)
PUM - Natural Pumkin Seed (1980)
SDN - Natural Shad (1979)
SUC - Natural Sucker (1979)

From a collector's view, many are aware that these colors were made for the more popular Heddon collectible lures such as the Sonics, Tiny Torpedos, Chuggers, River Runt Spooks and Zara Spooks. A review of the Heddon catalogs reveals that there were thirty-nine (39) different lures & models made in the Natural colors from 1979 to 1984. I've prepared a 3 page chart listing all the cataloged colors for the various lures which you can view and/or print. Please note that this is in Adobe Acrobat format and requires you have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it. If you don't have it, you can download it free at Adobe's web site.

Click HERE to view the Heddon Natural Colors Chart.

Collector values for lures in the Natural colors typically run in the $25 to $50 range but many sell for much higher prices ranging up to $200 or more. As indicated, some of the lures are still being made in Natural colors so beware!

Tiny Torpedos
Tiny Torpedo Variations

Addendum: Collector Guy Brunet sent this picture of two Tiny Torpedos with the following information:

"One of the things I collect is Tiny Torpedos and I noticed a variation in what I believe is the early model and the one produced today. In the picture (above) the top one has printed 'Tiny Torpedo' on one side and the fin on the side has only the outline of the bottom. The one pictured below it says 'Torpedo' on one side and 'Heddon' on the other. Note that fin is well marked and the eyes are larger. This one I believe to be the older one."

Thanks to Guy for the information!

If you have any further information on any of the items displayed on this page which you'd like to share, please send your comments to me and I'll update the page accordingly. Contributions of interesting items and/or unknowns are encouraged. Lures pictured in Lure Lore are not for sale.

Comments? EMAIL ME!


Web Author: Tom Jacomet
Copyright 2002 by Tom Jacomet - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED