Sunday, February 26, 2006

Flick to Kick

Jonathan called me last weekend all excited. "Are you watching the Newcastle game? There's a Subbuteo sign board on the side of the pitch! I wonder if they are bringing it back?" For those that aren't familiar with Subbuteo, it's a table soccer game invented in England in 1947 by Peter Adolph. It is somewhat akin to the electric football game I had as a kid in that you could buy all kinds of accessories including custom teams, stadium parts, etc., a real collectors dream. Here's a video from SkySports detailing the 2004 Home Nations Subbuteo championship to give you a flavor for how seriously some folks take their table soccer. Santa gave me a NASL Subbuteo kit when I was about 8 or 9 and I loved it. I hadn't really thought much about Subbuteo until a couple of years ago when my mom was cleaning out her attic and found my old kit. Max and I got it out and played it a little bit but he promptly broke most of my old players. Luckily, Jonathan has a regulation tournament table which he happens to be storing at my house at the moment. He and I have played a few games and we really need to get the table out more. Maybe TSF can sponsor a Subbuteo tournament? From what I can gather, Subbuteo peaked in popularity in the last 70s and the digital entertainment age of the 80s/90s kind of did it in. But Ebay revived the trade among fans in recent years and now it looks like Hasbro UK has re-introduced a new kit in Britain just in time for this summer's World Cup. With a revamped stadium design (complete with pitch tensioners and a working scoreboard) this kit seems to be more focused on the younger set than the serious table soccer "professionals". While I can't find the kit from a US distributor at the moment, it is available for online order from Habro for about £33.50 (or about $58 US, shipping included). UPDATE (2/27): Hasbro UK's online toy store will not ship to the USA! I'm looking for a place that will and will update this post when I find one.

-- Jarrett @ 2/26/2006 08:53:00 AM


At 7/27/2006 03:04:00 PM, Anonymous Mike E said...

Have you got in touch with anyone in the Subbuteo playing community over here? The Hasbro-released Subbuteo is not too good compared to some of the other gear we use made by different companies. See, and for more info.


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