What Happened to Subbuteo?

Subbuteo is a classic tabletop football game, created in 1947 by Peter Adolph. It consists of a large cloth playing field and miniature plastic figures that can be moved around to simulate the movements of real-life players. The popularity of the Subbuteo peaked during the 1980s when it was one of the most popular toys among children. However, since then its popularity has been steadily declining and nowadays it’s not as common as it used to be.

The basic components of Subbuteo are fairly simple: there’s an octagonal green felt board with white lines painted on it that serve as boundaries for two teams; each team also has its own goalposts which they must defend against their opponents’ shots at goal. In addition to this, each player also has a set of 22 small plastic figures (11 per side) that represent the players on both teams – these figures come in various different poses such as running, kicking, or even diving. There’s a ball made from foam rubber which is used to kick around between the players and ultimately try and score goals!

What makes Subbuteo unique compared to other games is its realism – while many other board games are based more on luck than skill, Subbuteo requires some degree of strategy in order to win matches.

Players must think carefully about how best to move their pieces around the pitch in order to gain an advantage over their opponent; this means having an understanding of how far away each piece should be from another so that they can effectively pass or shoot at a goal without being blocked by defenders.

Depending on what kind of formation you choose for your team will determine how well you perform overall – if your defense is too close together then attackers may find gaps easier whereas if your midfielders are spread out wide then passing options will become more available.

playing the table football Another great feature about Subbuteo is its portability – all you need for a game are just two people plus the required components and you’re ready for some exciting matchplay.

This makes it perfect for traveling or taking along with you when visiting friends/family who don’t have much space available themselves.

Furthermore, due to its size it doesn’t take up much storage room either making storage easy once finished playing!

Who Created Subbuteo and How did It All Start?

Subbuteo is a beloved tabletop football game that was invented in 1947 by Peter Adolph. The name Subbuteo comes from the Latin word ‘subbutaeus’, which translates to ‘the one who plays football’. Peter had originally started off as a toy soldier enthusiast and it wasn’t until his mother asked him to make her something for her son’s birthday party that he decided to create a set of hand-painted soccer figures. After much trial and error, he eventually settled on the familiar design we know today.

The first ever Subbuteo set was released in 1948 with just two teams – England and Scotland – but it didn’t take long for other sets featuring different countries and teams to be added. By 1949, sets were also being produced for cricket, rugby union, and field hockey games too. As popularity grew even more teams were created including some very obscure ones such as Andorra or Zimbabwe!

Peter went on to invent many other exciting accessories over the years such as goalkeeper’s gloves, referee cards, and corner flags; all of which helped add further realism to the game experience. With its realistic gameplay mechanics coupled with an affordable price tag, Subbuteo quickly became popular amongst children (and adults) across Britain during the 1950s right up until its decline in recent times due largely to competition from computer gaming platforms such as FIFA 21 or Pro Evolution Soccer 2021.


How do You Play Subbuteo? What Are The Rules?

Subbuteo, a classic tabletop football game from the 1950s, is one of the most beloved board games ever created. Players create their own miniature football teams and use flicking action to move players around on a pitch-style playing field in an attempt to score goals against their opponent’s team. The rules of play are surprisingly simple but still offer enough depth that no two games are ever exactly alike.

The basic idea behind Subbuteo is for each player to have eleven figures – or ‘players’ – who represent their team and be placed in designated positions on the pitch before each game starts. These positions can be changed depending on the type of formation chosen by each player; traditional formations include 4–4–2, 3–5–2, and 4–3–3 amongst others. Once both sides are set up correctly, they then flick their players into motion with finger flicks across the tabletop in order to try and get them closer to the goal than those of your opponent’s side at any given time.

Players must also abide by certain laws during play such as not being able to kick a ball out of bounds unless it has been touched first or going over three seconds without touching it again (unless using wall passes). If either side scores during normal play then they gain a point while conceding results in losing points – however this can change if penalties or extra time is needed after regular play ends due to no winner being declared yet.

England and Subbuteo: Table Football World Cup

As a nation, England has had an ongoing love affair with Subbuteo since the first sets were released in 1947. It’s no surprise that it remains a hugely popular pastime and has even been recognized as an official sport, with annual world cup important tournaments taking place each year.

In 2021, teams from all over the world gathered to compete in Manchester for the Subbuteo World Cup – an event that saw many of those teams vying for glory on what was ultimately a virtual playing field.

The tournament began at 9 am GMT and went through until 11 pm that night; each team had two hours to complete their matches before being eliminated from contention. Despite some technical difficulties throughout the day – such as players experiencing lag issues or losing connection altogether – this didn’t dampen spirits or enthusiasm for the tournament itself.

After 12 intense rounds of competition, Germany emerged victorious after beating out opponents from France, Netherlands, and Spain in what was considered one of the most competitive final matchups ever witnessed within Subbuteo circles.

The atmosphere surrounding this global event was electric; both online spectators and players alike fed off one another’s energy to create something special that will be remembered by many years down the line.

For those who couldn’t attend due to travel restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were still plenty of ways they could get involved via live streaming platforms like Twitch where viewers could watch all games unfold in real time alongside commentators providing entertaining analysis throughout proceedings.

Slow Sales: What Happened With Hasbro?

When it comes to the popular game of Subbuteo, many people remember it fondly from their childhood. It was an enjoyable way to simulate a real football match and many players had hours of fun playing it. Unfortunately, in recent years sales have been on the decline and Hasbro has been struggling with how to revive its popularity.

What happened? One issue could be that Subbuteo is seen as a child’s toy and not something for adults or teenagers. The intricate set-up process also requires time, patience, and skill which may discourage potential buyers from investing in the game. With new forms of entertainment such as video games being so widely available these days, there is less demand for physical board games like Subbuteo.

As part of its strategy to attract more customers Hasbro recently released a limited edition version of Subbuteo that features updated figures modeled after some well-known soccer stars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. This was intended to make the game more attractive to both older players who appreciate nostalgia but also younger ones looking for something different than typical computer games they are used to playing nowadays. Whether this will be enough to restore interest remains uncertain though only time can tell if this move pays off or not.

subbuteo come back

Is Subbuteo Making a Comeback?

The game of Subbuteo has long been a staple of homes across the world, with many childhood memories associated with its miniature figures. However, in recent years the popularity of this traditional tabletop football experience has dwindled – leaving some to wonder if it will ever make a comeback.

Fortunately for Subbuteo enthusiasts, there is still hope that their beloved pastime can be restored to its former glory. A number of initiatives have emerged over recent months aiming to bring the game back into mainstream culture and rekindle interest in it once more. These include online leagues and tournaments featuring teams from all around the globe, as well as physical events held at clubs and pubs up and down the country – complete with replica pitches, stands, and goalposts.

Perhaps most significant though is how brands such as Nike have become involved in pushing forward modern versions of Subbuteo which blend digital technology with classic gameplay mechanics. This opens up new possibilities for those who are keen on experiencing the thrill of playing football without having to step onto an actual pitch or field – making it much easier than ever before for people from any age group or background to get involved in this timeless pursuit.


In conclusion, Subbuteo has come a long way since Peter Adolph invented the tabletop football game in his spare time 75 years ago. From cardboard cut-outs and chalk-drawn pitches to the development of advanced design modifications, electronic versions, and even three-dimensional figures on bases, Subbuteo has been a source of pleasure for millions of people around the world. The game has evolved through the years with the changing needs of the generation, but the basic rules of flicking mini football figures on a tabletop pitch have remained the same.

the figure from the table football

From the first Subbuteo World Cup tournament in 1970 to the English Subbuteo Association and the Subbuteo Club, the game has continued to capture the hearts of players and fans alike.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of this beloved hobby, we look back at the memories it has created for each generation, from the old blanket as a pitch to the new wire and weight technology.

Whether you’re a seasoned Subbuteo player or a new-generation flicker, there is a Subbuteo shirt and team for you.

So why not gather your friends and family, and give Subbuteo a go? Who knows, you might just be the next Subbuteo champion to win three times in a row like Ashton did in the 80s.

People Also Ask

What is Subbuteo and how did it start?

Subbuteo is a tabletop football game that was invented by Peter Adolph in 1946. It became popular in the UK and around the world as a hobby game to play with friends and family. Adolph sold his company to Hasbro in the 1990s, but the game still remains popular today.

Was Subbuteo ever played at the World Cup or any other tournaments?

Yes, the Subbuteo game was played at the first Subbuteo World Cup tournament in 1970. Since then, the game has been played in various tournaments and leagues around the world. In England, the English Subbuteo Association was formed to organize and promote the game. Today, the game is played by millions of people globally.

Can I still buy Subbuteo sets today?

Yes, you can still buy Subbuteo sets today. There are many online retailers that sell the game, including official Subbuteo websites. If you want to sit around and play with your friends, all you need to get started is a pitch, some chalk, and a set of Subbuteo figures. With a bit of practice and some instruction, you can be playing like a pro in no time. So, why not grab your favorite team strip from the 70s, channel your inner John Motson, and start flicking your way to the top? With over 75 years of history and millions of people who have played the game, Subbuteo is the perfect autumn activity to enjoy in your spare time.

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