Subbuteo Tribute Website.
Subbuteo in the 21st Century.
La Leggenda Vintage Edition - Fabbri Editori Partwork 2014-16.
The success of the Italian partwork of 2009-2011 (150 issues), prompted Fabbri to produce a second version, called the "Vintage Edition". This was a completely new range, featuring figures based on the classic 1970s heavyweight. Once again, each issue featured a single team from a particular year. As before, the magazines were tiny, and the main purpose of the exercise was to sell replica Subbuteo teams. The first issue featured Liverpool's European Cup winners from 1977, the second issue had Manchester City's Cup Winners Cup team from 1970, and the third Paris Saint Germain from 1995. There is a Liverpool FC hologram on the first issue, so the teams are official club releases - necessary these days when releasing detailed teams from the bigger European leagues.
The partwork eventually ran to 137 issues, which was a pretty impressive number (if a slightly weird place to stop...). It was heavily focused on the leagues that did not feature in the lightweight partwork (I assume because of licensing expenses/complications first time around). This at least made it worth having if you had already collected the previous work, although there was a very slight overlap, noticeably with Portugal and Scotland. A quick count makes it 43 English sides, 25 from Germany, 24 from France, 16 from Spain, and no more than five from any other European country. Oddly for an Italian partwork, the Italian teams did not extend past Juventus and Milan, who were promised on the first issue.
The figure was a new casting, and first impressions were not that great. There are better reproductions out there, and there was criticism on Italian forums. The teams seem to be a mix of hand and machine printing, although there are accurate badges, which I'm assuming are transfers. It could be all machine-printed I suppose. The boxes were based on the 1970s long box, with a modern twist - for one thing the insert is plastic. I suppose this could be falling between two stalls, although they look nice stacked. The cardboard box material was too thin though, and the inserts only give up their contents reluctantly. They should have been much better.
As with the original lightweight partwork, some of the early issues include extra accessories to build up the game - goals, balls, flags with retro logos, plus a green fence and 1970s style bench sets. The first team was priced at 6.99 euros; the second issue had a DVD (with rules?) and was 9.99 euros. After that, the price rose to 12.99.
I was hoping that all those English sides would encourage Fabbri to release this partwork in the UK, and the fact that the unsold issues were not made available to retail (unlike the lightweight partwork) was keeping me hopeful. However, licensing issues for different countries, (and different distributors) have probably stopped this happening. We get so many rubbish partworks in the UK it would've been nice to have one worth collecting!
A third partwork, the Platinum edition followed this one, focusing on national sides.
As we are unable to buy these teams in the UK at present, I had previously not been in a hurry to include them on the website. Instead, I was content to direct interested visitors to the websites of Italian collectors who have taken the trouble to photograph their teams, or to the official website of the manufacturers. However, these sites do not always stay active, or their addresses change. As of June 2020, the following sites are recommended :-
So here is my simple list of the 137 issues, that I've hopefully jotted down correctly. I originally planned to use the official pictures, but most seem to have disappeared from the internet. White backgrounds on a lot of the official shots allowed me to "green out" the list in the traditional way in places. Enjoy! The teams in boxes are from ebay generally. Most have been photographed through the plastic protector, so might be a bit more blurred than I'd like. Others I've borrowed randomly from the above websites. This is much appreciated.
The teams are a mixed bag. This applies as much to the chosen years, as it does to the quality. For a "vintage" collection there are a lot of modern sides. Oddly though, the modern sides tend to come out of it the best. The reproduction of badges and pin stripes are very convincing. In contrast, teams with hoops often look dreadful. The supposed 1960s Queens Park Rangers is horribly unconvincing, with white hoops printed on a blue body. Basic stripes like the 1930s Sunderland are not much better.
I've added quite a few of the dates in this first draft. I'll do the rest when I get time.....
Liverpool and Nottingham Forest are your first "all red" teams, and Valencia the first "all white"
A lovely vintage West Ham United. The badges on some of these teams is a delight. Leeds Utd are of course, your second all-white side....
CSKA Moscow are the solitary Russian side in this range. Two more all red teams....
Willem II (Holland) were one of the great distinctive kits
that Subbuteo missed out on first time around. It has a Parodi version (and I have it
in Top Spin)
The Werder Bremen kit is disappointingly not from the "ugly shirts" era of green and orange - again Parodi covered those rather nicely. Good pin stripes though. The all white teams at least have interesting trim in this selection. Watch out too for blue/white teams and blue/white stripes...
Villareal are one of the clubs to rise up from the lower league post-Subbuteo era.
Wolfsburg are another team with post-Subbuteo prominence . They wear some lovely outfits, but the chosen one is rather plain.
We're over halfway..... QPR wore all white in their 1960s League Cup final. Still, we have plenty of those in this range.
The teams are starting to get more obscure.... actually a good
thing for most collectors.
Young Boys wore a lovely hooped kit in the Champions League a few years back, but this is a dull plain version. Still, white shorts takes it away from h/w reference 6. Southampton are another team who wore their away kit in the referenced final. The lovely badge makes this a better striped side than the Sunderland. The blue and white stripes are mounting up....
Wanderers - the FA Cup winners in the Victorian era were a real
curve ball at this point. A great kit, but not too convincing in this print, or
this style of figure even....
It looks like the partwork designer decided that there hadn't been any dull all-red or all white teams for a while, so he could sneak a few more in....
Celtic and Rangers had previously appeared in the lightweight
Arenas Getxo? Apparently they won the Copa Del Rey in 1919.... sadly in a kit very similar to the previously issued AC Milan.....
The kit Bradford City wore losing the League Cup final arrived before
Swansea's winning kit. Mind you, as Swansea is another all white kit for your
collection, it is probably fair enough.
The distinctive Montpellier kit can be seen elsewhere on the site showing off the Santiago range.
A dull red/white Swindon kit at 119, but as they wore all-white to win the league cup, perhaps it is just as well......
The Notts County is the FA Cup winning team from 1894.
However, with such standard stripes, it could really be almost any Notts County
Newcastle, or Grimsby etc) for most of the 20th century.
Vorworts Berlin were an East German army side, who were "expelled to Frankfurt-an-der-Oder in 1971" according to David Goldblatt's world football book. Great kit though.
We're on the last leg of this one....
Two clubs from smaller countries (who both appeared in the
lightweight la Leggenda) suggests that either they have run out of ideas, or a
major expansion to other leagues awaits.... luckily, it isn't the second or I'd
have been typing in team names for another couple of hours.... sheesh.
Red Star is the amateur Parisian team that Subbuteo released as a heavyweight, rather than the more famous Belgrade side (who were in the lightweight selection).
Dynamo Kiev is another team where the lovely badge saves a rather dull outfit.
Not sure why they did Goteborg here. They were in the lightweight partwork, and this series isn't exactly short of blue and white striped teams with blue shorts.
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