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Peter Upton's

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The Boxed Editions 

Page 3: British Editions 1981-1989

1981-82 Re-boxed Editions

These illustrations come from the lovely 1981 catalogue, and show a huge choice of editions to suit every budget. In keeping with the era, the players in these sets were now likely to be lightweights. Underneath the new lids the sets do not differ from the late 1970s versions, with the exception of the new World Cup set.




It's the display edition with a different name :-)


Same as always, the standard Subbuteo set.


No change here either. The standard Subbuteo set with floodlights. 


This was not the return of the old International set. It was simply a new name for the 1978 World Cup Edition. the change of name was required, so that it didn't clash with the new FIFA World Cup edition mentioned below.


This again was the same as the previous edition, although the illustration shows it with the new Police set (C159) rather than the old one, which had been phased out by this time.



FIFA World Cup (1982)

Arriving in 1981, this contained a pitch, two international teams, two championship goals (C181), two FIFA balls (C183), and the FIFA World Cup (C182). The teams were the World Cup hosts (Spain ref 48) and the holders (Argentina ref 67). 

1983-84 Waddingtons "Table Soccer" sets.

This era can be a little tricky to work out, because the posters from 1983 to 1985 do not show the boxed editions. Luckily, it appears that Waddingtons simply re-boxed the existing sets in brighter colours, but kept the contents pretty much the same


League (S160):Short lived final boxed version of this small set. 1983 only? (Price in 1983 6.25)

Club (S140):

New box, same old faithful set. (Price in 1983 11.95)

Floodlighting (S130): Again, this set was identical to the 1981 version (Price in 1983 18.50)

International (S115):

The only set to retain the Brazilian footballer box (but with the Subbuteo logo changed to red.) (Price in 1983 28.95)

Stadium (S200/60200):

New box art, but again the set was identical. (Price in 1983 38.95)


European (S230):

This was produced in 1983-84 to replace the FIFA World Cup Set. It featured Germany (ref 445) and France (ref 461) in fifteen man squads. However, rather than having two goalkeepers on rods (as in the squad team boxes), these had one rodded keeper per team, plus a pair of spare goalies (61106). The set also featured the tournament goals (C154), and two tournament balls (C167), plus the fence surround (61108), and a set of number stickers (61206).

The set also included a poster for the 1984 European Championship. The set was priced at 14.95

1985-86 Waddingtons "The Football Game" sets.

By 1985, the League,  Floodlighting, and Stadium Editions had left the range, leaving only the Club and International sets. These were joined by the new World Cup Set, which replaced the European Edition. I have not illustrated the  the Club and International edition boxes because they differ from the previous ones only in a change of sub-title (from "Table Soccer" to "The Football Game"). The pictures and colours are the same as before. There are other differences internally, as the large flags (C117) are replaced by the small ones (C188).

The new set was the World Cup 1986 Edition, which was a replacement mid-range set. It retained the fifteen man teams from the European edition, but added a scoreboard.

Club (60140): 

Same box lid as the previous set, but with the interior swapped from a vertical to a horizontal design. The flags change from large (C117) to small (C188), and the balls are now medium sized. (price in 1985 - 14.95)

International (60115):

Again, just the change of sub-title, and the change of flags. However, the set was  dropped from the range by 1987. (Price in 1985 - 29.95)

World Cup (1986) (60240)

This was the first appearance of the mid-range set that became a 1990's mainstay. The set was similar to the European Edition it replaced, with Tournament goals (61154), a fence surround (61108), a pair of spare goalies (61106), a pack of number transfers (61206), and fifteen man teams. Of course the spare goalkeepers actually brought the teams up to sixteen a side, which matched the World Cup squads of the time (which had two goalkeepers on rods per team rather than the spare). However, the set was bigger than the European set, because you also got a scoreboard (61158). (Price in 1985 - 19.95)
In this original version you should get hosts Mexico (ref 610) and holders Italy (ref 415)

Like S230 which it replaced, the set included a poster for the relevant competition.

1987-89 Waddingtons "The Football Game" Sets

As can be seen, the Waddingtons catalogues of the late 1980s showed a big reduction in boxed versions. In fact 1987 had the lowest number of sets of any year, with just the Club, and World Cup sets available. This improved in 1988, because the arrival of the red and blue stadium saw the introduction of the Grandstand Edition, which was a cut down version of the old Stadium Edition.


Club (60140):

A new colour for the logo, but otherwise no change. For completists, there were in fact two alternative bottom sections with this box. The early one had white sides and pictures of how to play. The later one had green sides with Subbuteo logo, whilst the bottom is dominated by a picture of a Subbuteo layout and the new stands.

Grandstand (60250):

The stadium edition had ceased by 1984. This new version was produced in 1988 to capitalise on the new red and blue grandstand. However, it is a smaller set than the stadium edition. It had two polystyrene layers, with the existing World Cup layer on top, and a deeper layer containing the stadium and extras underneath. Included were three teams, stadium grandstand (61216), scorboard , fence surround, tournament goals, line flags, bench set, ball boys, police set, referees, photographers, film crew, corner kickers, throw-in figures and a number sheet. However, it lacked all the bigger accessories of earlier sets - no cups, no floodlights, and no TV tower.



World Cup (1986) (60240):

As introduced in 1985. The 1987-88 versions of this set had a sticker on the front which read "includes World Cup Finalist teams", and so featured Germany (445) and Argentina (457)
The set lasted until 1989, when the stickers on the box changed to the 1990 World Cup.

Follow the links to reach the 1990s

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