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Peter Upton's

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Subbuteo in the 21st Century

NetCam/Paul Lamond Games 2012-16

This latest range of Subbuteo products was launched in March 2012, and has been slowly expanding ever since. A lack of time (especially online) means that I've sadly not been able to track the range as well as I would have liked, and so this page is very much a work in progress. Not everything is illustrated, and products will be late arriving.... but I suspect I will catch up eventually.

To re-cap, this range is manufactured by Spanish company Netcam Iberia Valores, who were originally producing a Subbuteo clone called Total Soccer, and also have a figure range called FT Champs. In the UK and Ireland, the game is being distributed by Paul Lamond Games Ltd. However, other countries have their own distribution companies, and different team colours are being produced for specific markets.

The key innovation with this product is the flexible players made from a rubbery plastic (an experiment which began in Total Soccer). This makes them far less likely to break in play, which can only be a good thing. The team range is split between official teams and generic ones. The official teams use squad numbers and a few hair and skin colour variations to identify individual players - which is a nice touch.

The range is steadily improving, with a good range of teams in attractive colours. The boxes are eye-catching, and sturdy, with the full team displayed to view. The original box interiors were a bit of a disaster, bending the players forward and making them difficult to release. Pleasingly, these have been improved with the later releases.

2016: The three ranges (UK, Italy and Spain)  are growing quickly, and I think this page will need to be split very soon.

3005 Team Edition

The box set is of course the centre-piece of any Subbuteo range. Go to my focus on the 2012 Subbuteo Team Edition for a full review of this product. I think this has been replaced by the International playset shown below.

International Playset Edition.

This seems to be new for 2015, and once again is a simple full edition. This time the teams are simply all red, and all white, and lack the shirt numbers of the earlier Paul Lamond edition. The set also lacks the plastic insert, with the teams being supplied loose in bags.

As with many of the items from 2015 onwards, the box features an extra Subbuteo logo in a "retro" capital letter format (last seen in the 1970s), with a tag ling of "since 1947".

UEFA Champions League Edition.

  

Also new in 2015, this is a set licensed to the UEFA Champions League. I believe this is the basic set produced for the Italian market - the clue being the Astrobase logo on the plastic insert. As with the new Paul Lamond playset, the teams are in simple all white and all red colours. The differences in these sets being the aforementioned plastic insert, and the inclusion of four Champions League balls, a very generous number. Note that the inset is not an exact fit to the box. Teams have also been produced in Champions League boxes, with the sides picked from the unlicensed teams produced for the Italian market.

Spanish Editions.

  

In Netcam's home territory of Spain, two alternate box sets have been produced featuring their national team versus either Brazil or Germany. Spain has a range of national teams, which are shown at the bottom of this page.

Five-A-Side Edition.

Another Spanish set arriving in 2015 is a five-a-side edition of Subbuteo. (or 5 vs 5 Indoor, as the box calls it). Always a useful addition to the range for those with limited space. The teams in the box are Spain and Brazil.

Official Team Editions.

A further new venture for 2015 are official club editions. The sets for each country seem to be in their respective languages, and so like many of the other products on this page, it is possible that these products will only be available in specific markets (probably chiefly for club shops).

The range of sets seems to be ever increasing.....

English Sets.

    

 

I assume that the other Paul Lamond official sides (Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Spurs) will also be produced.

Spanish Sets.

   

 

French Sets.

    

Portuguese Sets.

Keep your eyes peeled for more sets.

The main selling point for these sets is, of course, an licensed Subbuteo replica of the relevant team, complete with badges, logos and shirt advertising. The ball also features the club badge. The second team in the set is simply a generic team in a contrasting colour. For example, the Arsenal set has a standard blue/white team, and the Liverpool opponent seems to be in all yellow. Beyond that, you get the standard pitch, goals and corner flags. Nothing too thrilling....

Big Box International Official Sides (Not Paul Lamond).

     

Obviously related to the official box sets, this is a new range of top European club sides. These are not Paul Lamond products - the small print mentioning NIV (Netcam) as the producer and a Spanish distributor called Eleven Force S.L.

As with the Paul Lamond official teams, these sides are rather special, with badges, numbers, chest advertisements, and individual hair and skin colours. In addition, the teams have an outfield player painted into a goalkeeper strip for goal kicks, and a ball in the club colours. Sadly, the box interiors are a backward step, with cheap white plastic bending the players in the box.

The teams spotted in this range match those in the box sets, but the big plus is that there are also away kits being produced for the first time. So far, I've only seen Barcelona and Real Madrid (both illustrated above), but hopefully more will be forthcoming.....

Standard Box International Official Sides.

Adding to the confusion, some of the other teams from the official box sets are being issued in the standard sized boxes. Compare the licensed Spanish teams (complete with badges and logos) with the more basic unofficial versions in the Spanish section at the bottom of this page.

Paul Lamond Official teams.

    

3015 Manchester United
3025 (a) Chelsea 2011-12 Chelsea FC on the box.
3025 (b) Chelsea 2012-13 Chelsea Football Club on box. Logos on socks!
3035 Man City
3045 (a) Liverpool 2011-12 (illustrated) An Adidas kit. White logos, full "Shankly Gates" badge.
3045 (b) Liverpool 2012-13 Yellow logos, retro Liver Bird  badge.
3235 Rangers
3245 Celtic

Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool were initially released for the 2011-12 season. Both Liverpool and Chelsea had a second version produced for 2012-13.

New for 2013-14 were Arsenal and Spurs.

3215 Arsenal
3225 Tottenham Hotspur

The official teams are really the stand-out products of the new range. These British sides produced were slowly teased out over the course of 18 months, with rumours of Manchester City and Arsenal arriving long before the actual products. Clearly, the paperwork isn't the quickest... Luckily, Arsenal wore the same home kit for 2013-14, so that kit stayed current. Paul Lamond were less lucky with the Manchester City, where the lovely Mohican-haired Balotelli figure (with his 45 shirt number) became available just as the player was moving to Milan....

 

With many teams changing kit every year, it seems that Paul Lamond (and this website) are struggling to keep up. Here are various teams from the Mad-About-Games website listed as 2015 or 2016! Note another pair of Liverpool teams, and another out-of-date Tottenham Hotspur side.

Paul Lamond National Sides.

  

3095 England
3105 Scotland
3115 Ireland

The three national sides are really a halfway house between the licensed teams and the generic ones. They have extra details with badges and numbers on the fronts of the figures. However, they are not official products, and just feature the flags of the countries involved, rather than the official team logos. For example, England have the cross of St George, rather than the Three Lions. Welsh Subbuteo players felt suitably left out (Northern Ireland too really, due to the badge). At least the generic red/white team from the box set will cover for Wales.

Paul Lamond Generic sides.

 

3125 Red white stripes, black shorts (Sunderland etc.)
3135 Black white Stripes, black shorts (Newcastle Utd etc.)
3145 All White (Swansea, Leeds Utd, Spurs etc.)
3155 Claret shirts, with blue sleeves, white shorts (Aston Villa, West Ham Utd etc.)
3165 Blue and white stripes, blue shorts (Wigan, Brighton and Hove Albion etc.)
3205 Yellow shirts, Green shorts (Norwich City etc.)

A sensible response to modern licensing issues, the remainder of the range produced are generic kits in classic football colours.

Accessories.

So far, this is a very straightforward accessory range.

           

3075 Balls
This is a set of three extra balls in white, yellow and orange. "Night time, daytime and playing in the snow are no problem with our coloured football set" says the packaging. It'll take more than a yellow ball to be able to play under Subbuteo floodlighting, lets be honest. For the proper 1970s experience, talc up a pitch for snow.

3085 Referees (yellow kit).
The referees set is borrowed from Netcam's Total Soccer range - it is a first time in Subbuteo for these castings. Like the players, the referees are made from a rubbery material. The set contains four officials, and a white ball. The fourth official is indicating that there are two minutes of added time -  two minutes (as the stadium announcer would say).

3175 Goals.
The not very good, (but at least pretty robust) goals from the standard set. You won't need to buy as many of these as you did in the 1970s, even if you do play on the floor.

3185 Pitch set.
The pitch set is a little unusual, as it is practically an old Club Edition without the teams, so you get the pitch, plus goals, balls and flags. The flags are a little surprising, as they do not appear in the full Team Edition of the game.

3195 Fence.
An expensive item, this is a solid white plastic structure, with a selection of advertising stickers.

3265 Penalty Shoot Out.
Less exciting than it sounds, this little set is just a goal, a ball, a goalkeeper and a single blue player. It might useful for introducing kids to the basics of the game without having to invest in a full 40 boxed set. However, with no pitch, and only the one player, it has less content than the photo-real penalty shoot out set, that was "given away" with an Easter Egg a few years back.

3285 Flicking Goalkeeper Set.
Two extra players in goalkeeper kits (one all blue, one all yellow - with painted gloves!), to take goal kicks properly. This almost feels like a proper Subbuteo accessory range now doesn't it? Throw-in figures next surely? The set also includes an orange ball.

Further sets are forthcoming in this range. Keep an eye on Mad About Games for further details.

Italian Issue Teams.

Netcam have gone down the route of having different distributors for each of the main Subbuteo markets, and in turn have produced a different range of teams for each country. So in Italy, there is a completely different mix of generic teams. These have been produced in the general colours of Serie A teams, with a few unlicensed top European teams added to the mix. Whilst this makes sense from a general sale point of view (British football fans being mostly unfamiliar with Catania or Palermo. Italian fans not needing a "West Ham"), it is frustrating for collectors.

The Italian distributor is Giochi Preziosi SPA, and the printed barcode references for these teams are GPZ0xxxx rather than the PLGxxxx references on the UK and Eire products. It's worth noting, that on the teams I own, the "Palermo" and the "Fiorentina" both use the same barcode, and reference number, although the boxes are printed with the correct coloured player/flag.

Italian Sides

  

3040 Pink shirts, black shorts (Palermo)
3126 Claret shirt, white shorts, black socks (Torino etc)
3127 Sky shirts, Navy shorts, white socks (Lazio)
3040 All Purple, red and white trim (Fiorentina)
Blue and Black Stripe Shirts, black shorts (Inter Milan)
Red and black stripes, white shorts, black socks (AC Milan)
Black and white stripes, white shorts (Juventus)
Red and Sky stripes, sky shorts (Catania)
Red shirts, white shorts, black socks (Roma)
Sky shirts, white shorts, sky socks (Napoli)

In addition, the black and white striped shirt with black shorts (also in the Paul Lamond range) is available (as an alternative Juventus/Udinese)

European Club Sides.

Blue and red Stripes, blue shorts, blue socks (Barcelona)
All red strip (Bayern Munich, or an unlicensed Liverpool)
White with a red central stripe, white (Ajax)
Red shirts, with white shorts and black socks (an unlicensed Manchester United)
Blue shirt and shorts with white socks (an unlicensed Chelsea)
Green and white hoops, black shorts (Portuguese team Sporting).

The Uefa Champions League Range.

       

Just to add to the fun, these are licensed boxes with unlicensed teams. The teams seem to be taken from the other Italian ranges as appropriate. So far, the following have been sighted.

Blue and Black Stripe Shirts, black shorts (Inter Milan)
Red and black stripes, white shorts, black socks (AC Milan)
Black and white stripes, white shorts (Juventus)
Red shirts, with white shorts and black socks (an unlicensed Manchester United)
Blue shirt and shorts with blue socks (an unlicensed Chelsea) Note the different sock colour to the earlier team.
Red and blue hoops, red shorts (Barcelona). Again, this is different to the earlier side.

In addition, there are Champions League accessory sets. Not the different referee kits, and the Champions League balls.

Spanish Issue Teams.

Added to this in 2015 are a selection of unlicensed Spanish colours.

All white with black trim (an unlicensed Real Madrid)
Red and white stripes, blue shorts (Atletico Madrid)
Green and white stripes, white shorts (Betis etc)
White with black shorts (orange base!) (Valencia)

In addition, the all white kit from the Paul Lamond Range (Real Madrid etc), and the blue and white striped team (Porto etc) make an appearance in this range.

National Teams.

This is yet another range of Netcam teams, which are available in the company's native country - Spain. The teams are like the Paul Lamond national sides, in that they have extra badges and fine details, but are otherwise deemed to be unofficial.

2016: Again as teams change colours, so different versions are being issued. Very distinct versions of Germany and Portugal have been sighted. Keep your eyes peeled for more.....

 

Brazil
England (I am assuming this is the same kit as the Paul Lamond version)
Germany (two distinct versions).
Holland
Italy
Portugal (two distinct versions)
Spain

Keep watching this space for further details......

 

 


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