[ Subbuteo Menu ][ Teams ][ Accessories ][ Index ][ Links ][ Mail Me ]

Peter Upton's  

Subbuteo Tribute Website.

The Illustrated Accessories List.

Part 2 The Continental Range.

C100 - C110.

First introduced in 1961, the Continental range was where Subbuteo really started to develop its distinctive look. Once the players had been changed to the standard OO scale of model railways and military miniatures the way was open for all sorts of peripheral items which would make the tabletop look more like a real football league game.

This list is again in numerical order. When I was scanning pictures of goals, balls, goalkeepers, etc. I thought it might be easier to put all the similar accessories together, but this did create too many problems and in the end I decided against it. If you think this is an easier way to find what your looking for, then I can again recommend Jon Shelley's site, where he's done just that i.e. a page full of goals, a page of trophies... you get the idea. There are a lot of illustrations on the following pages, so please be patient with them.

Spring 2010: I have added so many new pictures to the accessory range that I have had to split it at C110.

The Accessories.

C100: Complete team of OO Scale dimensional figures.

I'm not sure this needs an illustration. If you don't know what a Subbuteo team looks like, then you're showing real dedication to get this far :-)

Oh, go on then just to keep you happy, here's a set:-

Obviously the teams were the whole reason for the "Continental Range", and as you may have noticed, they are discussed at length elsewhere on this website.

In addition to the standard C100, Edilio Parodi's Italian factory produced a range of specially detailed teams which they called C100s. These were enclosed in coloured boxes as shown in the illustration

C101: Floodlighting Pylons. 
Set 1: Two pylons. Set 2: One pylon.
Moulded in white, red, silver and pearl plastic and individually operated by 4.5 volt battery (not supplied)

 

Just a thought, but wouldn't it have been less confusing to have Set one as one pylon, and set two as two? Subbuteo Sport Games eventually figured this out, and the different versions became set A, and Set B in the 1970s. In the range tidy of the late 1970s the single pylon was taken off this number, and became C171. The reason for the two options, was one of cost. Floodlights were an expensive luxury when they were introduced. Both sets were actually sold in the same box. Only the card inserts were different.

Despite some powerful powerful batteries, Subbuteo floodlights of all types are notorious for only giving out a faint glimmer of light. When I was a kid, I couldn't afford floodlights, but instead used an Action Man searchlight. This was a similar size and ran off the same chunky flat battery (now sadly unavailable). The Action Man searchlight did have the power of a torch, and if I had owned four of them, I could've had a decent floodlit game. So this should not have been beyond Subbuteo's designers.

Although the floodlights boxes often advertised "new" features, there were basically two distinct types of floodlight sold under this reference.

1961-70 Red Floodlights.

The original floodlighting set was the first Continental accessory produced, and the first ever OO scale boxed set was a Floodlighting Edition. Arriving in 1961, these early floodlights were supported by three thin, hollow red poles, which were identical to those in the contemporary red fence (C108). Each floodlight had a flat white base, with a green Subbuteo sticker on the front. This base was designed to house a big, flat bicycle lamp battery. At the top of the poles was the light box. This was silver, with a pearl front, moulded to suggest six lights. One of the six lights was a hole, and behind this sat one small 3.5 volt bulb. Connected to the bulb holder were two wires, which you could feed down the poles to the battery box. It was that basic. Even now, if you place a battery between the wires, you can often get a weak light. Often the straws don't want to fit into the base, and the lights end up looking wonky.

Sometime towards the end of the run of red floodlights, the front of the battery box changed to a more realistic black "lens" with twelve clear plastic circles. The new fronts were bigger, and more like an extension to the light box. Sadly, they did not fit very well, and and have a tendency to fall out.

 

1971-1989 White Girders.

The more familiar white girder floodlights arrived in 1971. This was a sturdy Subbuteo design classic (even if the light given off was still minimal). The scaffold was produced in two distinct pieces, which joined together at the front of the floodlight. The wires ran down the join, and into the battery box. The base (minus the Subbuteo sticker), and light box were originally the same as the late type red floodlight, but improvements were made over this lights long life. For those of you who enjoy charting these changes, I'm pleased to add Jon Shelley's famous floodlight lecture to the site. This lists the floodlight variations by date:-

  1. Red poles, Silver light box with bulb sticking out, Battery box with Subbuteo sticker on front. (Early 60s - 1970ish)

  2. Red Poles, Silver light box Black lens 4-4-4 formation. Battery box with Subbuteo sticker on front. (1970ish)

  3. White Girders Silver light box Black lens 4-4-4 formation. Battery box with no sticker. (1971/2 - 1977/78)

  4. White Girders Silver light box Black lens 4-3-4 formation. Battery box with no sticker. (1977/78 - 1980/81)

  5. White Girders Black light box Black lens 4-3-4 formation. Battery box with contacts and switch. (1980/81 - 1991) Various battery boxes in both white and beige with different sockets and contacts around this period.

The 4-3-4 lens was the first improvement, and actually clipped properly to the battery box. The late 1970s also saw proper battery contacts and a switch, which were probably a response to changes in safety laws for toys. Later versions of  the 1978 World Cup Set advertised "new" floodlights, and I think this referred to the arrival of the mains adaptor (C161), which allowed four floodlights to be linked, and plugged to the mains. Floodlights of this period featured an extra socket on top for the adaptor leads. Other 1980s sets also mentioned "improved floodlights". "Now with even more light" would have been welcome at some point.....

 

C102: Two diving Goalkeepers.

A simple pack of replacement goalkeepers for when you had sat on the originals. Playing on the floor, this would happen a lot (and Subbuteo collectors know how many teams have re-glued/broken goalkeepers in them). This accessory lasted from the early days of Continental equipment right through to the late 1990s, and understandably they went through quite a few incarnations.

Wire rods - 1960s.

   

The original 1960s goalkeepers were fitted into the standard one-piece flat base of the earlier flat celluloid/card teams. As with those sides, a wire rod slotted into the base, but the Continental rods were a new design, being much longer, with a more comfortable handle. These rods could vary in length as the illustration above shows, but all of them were considerably longer than the green plastic rods that came later. This meant that if you played a kid who owned an early set, he could sweep the whole penalty area clear of ball and attacking players whilst "making a save".

The original diving goalkeeper figure had an action pose, with a good impression of movement. He was a bit skinny compared with the later keepers, and perhaps lacked a little detail. He also had a small head, and no neck. I've actually found a second diving goalkeeper from this era, who seems to be rarer. Shown in the green shirt above, he is recognised by the horizontal creases on his shirt (especially on the back). I am guessing, but he looks related to the chunky style playing figures that were later used in the rugby game. The familiar "diving back" heavyweight goalkeepers arrived late in the metal rod era, and do appear with short-sleeved teams.

 

Green Rods - 1970s-90s.

The green plastic rods arrived around 1969-70 and were another sound Subbuteo design that survives to this day. In the 1970's there were two similar goalkeeper types:- static with hands above head, and diving back with bent knees as shown. There is not a lot of difference between them, and the arm positions are identical. However, while the leaning back one may have looked much nicer, he had slightly less height, and I always found that the curve helped the ball into the net. I know, a bad workman and all that... 

The diving back version definitely arrived in the wire goalkeeper era (and is also illustrated there), but I think the straight 'keeper was a later improvement. The leaning back ones is certainly more common in early sets, but all the catalogues up to 1979 show both (with more of the leaning back ones). When the team boxes changed to having plastic inserts in the mid-1970s these originally had space for both types of goalkeeper, but the final versions of this lift-off lid box only had room for the straight backed goalkeeper. The "single window" box that appeared in 1978 also had no room for the leaning 'keeper. However, by that time, Subbuteo had changed the keeper once more.

At the end of the 1970's the outfield players were redesigned as Subbuteo teams switched from hand painted to machine painted. These teams were accompanied by a new goalkeeper type, which became the standard. The first appearance in a catalogue for this goalkeeper was 1980, but they seem to have arrived earlier than that. Interestingly, this new goalkeeper was not initially machine printed.

This keeper started on a slot base, and did not move to a round peg until the mid 1980s. The first English catalogue to show the peg is 1986 (and the live-action keepers C123 lasted on a bar for longer than that). 

The final Hasbro keeper was still this basic design, but the final version was slightly slimmer with a less detailed casting. This made him look more fragile than a goalkeeper should be. I've scanned two versions of the peg goalkeeper as a comparison, but they don't look a great deal different in the picture. The older one is on the left.

  • Box types:- The green rod 'keepers start in a plain early 1970s box, identical to the one shown under C105, but with C102 on the end flap. There was a nice illustrated box for the hobby-crest era (circa 1978-80), and a similar box in the mono-logo era (1981-83). The 'keepers were placed in a bubble-pack in the mid-1980s (goal net backing card), before returning to a box in the 1990s. The 1970s-80s boxes should have an insert to support the goalkeepers, but the 1990s boxes don't have this type of luxury!

  • Goalkeeper colours - The lightweight goalkeepers usually have black shorts, but a variety of jersey colours have been seen - yellow, green, blue, red, and grey are the most common.

  • Goalkeeper colours - Somewhere in the bubble-packed mid-1980s, the goalkeepers in C102 changed to a unique design, where the colour of the shorts was painted to halfway up the jersey (as shown on the 1990s box). Again, colours can vary.

  • Other goalkeeping "C" numbers are C105. C106, C123, C133, C153, C201, C202 and C203.

C103: Tracksuited Team.
Available in red, yellow, dark blue or light blue.

      

This is another accessory that closely followed the introduction of the OO scale teams, arriving in 1962. The 1960s catalogues offered the set in a choice of light blue or dark blue. These were joined in 1970 by red and yellow versions. In the early sets the colours were painted onto white plastic, but in the later 1960s sets, and throughout the 1970s, all four kits were moulded in the relevant coloured plastic, so only hair and flesh needed to added by the painters. The 1971-72 catalogue stated that the two blue versions were available "whilst stocks last", but stocks did manage to last right through to the final catalogue appearance in 1977, although it is possible that they changed their mind. If you can make out the style of the tracksuit in the pictures, you can see how out of date they were getting in the 1970s.

When I set up this website, I hadn't seen this set (it was before my time) so I've been indebted to the e-mails about it, and the pictures sent in by Joe Butt. Since then, I've managed to acquire a set, and I can sadly confirm what everyone else has said. This item is absolutely hopeless to play with. The leg-up pose and extra weight knock the player's centre of gravity right off, and the only thing they are good at is falling over. If this was supposed to win players over to the new OO scale teams, it wasn't really going to work... 

         

C104: Photographers, trainer and manager.
...add big-game realism when placed behind the goals and on the touchline.

     

As you can see, two versions were produced. The first set was produced from 1962 until the mid 1970s. These were bar and groove figures, like heavyweight players, and were available on a thick plain base or a thinner base with a logo. The cameramen in this set are holding huge box cameras with impressive flash guns, and the manager looks more like a bank manager, with trilby hat and a suitcase. The trainer wears a cloth cap and a baggy jumper, which was normally painted in light blue. Charles Stadden invoiced for work on this set in September 1962.

This set was still shown in the 1975-76 catalogue, but by 1978 it had been replaced by a set of smaller figures which were matched in size to the ball boys and VIP set. In the new version the manager wore a sheep skin coat, and the trainer was actually more of a medic with tracksuit and bag. The cameramen now had small cameras, and in a humourous touch, one of the seated ones looked very bored...

The newer version lasted until 1986 on this number, after which it combined with the ball boys and police to become 61214. That continued until 1996 when it combined sets again to become 61239. It also appeared in C187/2 from 1981 to 1983.

 

Colour Variations.

The cameramen in the early set are a selection of drab greys and browns. Luckily, although the trainer was usually in light blue, this is not always the case, as these scans show. The claret wearing trainer does seem to be lurking at the back of the 1975-76 catalogue (shown at the top of this entry).

There is a distinct lack of variation in the later version of this set despite about twenty years of production. Basically, the greys, browns and blacks on trousers, shoes or hats are interchangeable, and the best you can hope for is matching or contrasting grey or brown jackets and trousers on the standing photographers. Yawn.

C105: Two crouching goalkeepers.

    

A simple set that arrived in 1963, this gave you the choice of having a tiny goalkeeper with no reach. Not a very useful set then, but the upright pose might bounce the ball back out into play, whereas the leaning back diving goalkeepers seemed to bounce it into the net... These goalkeepers were the norm in box sets of the 1960s and early 1970s, where they sat nicely in the box (unlike the diving ones). They also appeared in 1960s teams, but were not as common there as the diving version. Once we reach the green rod 'keepers of the 1970s, the crouching goalkeepers slowly disappear from the team sets, and the team boxes with plastic inserts that arrived in 1977 made no allowance for them. 

They were absent from the 1978 catalogue where their place in the range was taken by the much more practical diving goalkeepers with caps (C153). Their place in the set of interchangeable goalies (C133) was also taken by the capped goalies at this time. However, my original box set from 1979 did feature a pair (one in all white, one in a green jersey). Perhaps this was how SSG finished up the stock.

The picture above shows three different versions of the crouching goalkeeper. The one in white is the original 1960s casting. The two in the full editions wear green and white and all white (like this one). They really are tiny, especially on the small 1960s base. In the 1970s the crouching goalkeeper was enlarged, and this figure is shown here in a blue jumper. The third 'keeper illustrated is a strange one. I only own one of these, and he came from an interchangeable goalkeeper set. He's chunky, has a real action pose, and frankly looks  more like a rugby player than Subbuteo's rugby player. In my opinion, the plastic and style match to the "odd" 1960s diving goalkeeper shown at C102

     

C106: Two spare goalkeepers.

Two goalkeepers without rods, or in reality, two normal outfield figures painted in colours which hopefully made them look like goalkeepers (i.e. black shorts!). This set was useful for goal kicks, and manic "Bruce Grobblelaar" style rushes out the box. Normally, I just used whatever spare outfield players I had hanging around, and so the set was not crucial. C106 was downgraded to "request only" on the 1983 price list, and did not appear on the 1985 poster. Later cash-ins on the same theme were C202 and C203 from the early 1980s, although they were not as stable as using a proper playing figure.

The pictures now illustrate various spare goalkeepers through the ages. The original heavyweights shown left, are painted to match the 'keepers on rods from that era, with sock hoops that contrast with their shirts. This paint design carried onto the classic heavyweight (shown middle) and a common early version of this set was green shirt with red sock trim, and red shirt with green sock trim. In the 1970s, diving goalkeepers were usually painted with socks to match their shirts. The spare goalkeepers changed to represent this, although they were usually painted with black shorts, which was more uncommon on the "rodded" keepers at that time.

For the lightweight era (shown right) the spare goalkeepers kept to this formula, and as black shorts had also become the norm for the diving keepers at this time, these were well matched. On the above picture, the red goalkeeper is hand-painted whereas the other two are machine printed. The green shirted goalkeeper is in a 1990s base (small letters) suggesting that the set was still sold beyond its final catalogue date. Blue shirts in machine-print and hand-paint were also produced.

 

  • Pack types:- Sold in a bag (with name sheet) in the early 1960s, and with a headed card until the late 1970s. They were bubble packed from the late 1970s, and all three types of backing card have been seen, including the later 61106 version.

  • Now illustrated are two name sheets. The familiar green-print version is from the early 1960s, whilst the standard heavyweight 'keepers have a new version with logo.

C107: Referee and two linesmen.

     

One of the more obvious accessories for any football game, the referee and linemen set was a straight lift from the 1950s celluloid range. Charles Stadden's invoice for his work on the set was dated June 1963, and they first appeared in the 1963-64 catalogue (introduced August 1963). As usual with Subbuteo there were variations to the set, which I'll deal with below.

The Heavyweight Version 1963-78.

Charles Stadden's original set had a chunky design, which sat in the standard (slotted) heavyweight player bases. It was an old school look, with baggy clothing and long shorts. The referee was well detailed, with his hand holding the whistle, and a clear top pocket.

The long life of this figure (and usual Subbuteo eccentricity), has created a multitude of variations. The figures were usually produced in black plastic, so a minimum of painting was required. However, referees on flesh and white plastic also exist in reasonable numbers. The base colours also varied of course. The most common is probably a green outer/white inner, but the reverse also turns up, and looks quite nice. A black inner on green outer is also reasonably common.

The most bizarre variation (catalogued in the early 1970s) was the "maroon" version. This was produced in claret plastic, and base inners of the same colour were usually used (although white inners also turn up). There is some sense to having different based referees. If you were a Plymouth fan, your referee would clash bases with your team... although did anyone actually play with these figures on the pitch?

  • Pack type:- A small accessory, so simply sold in a bag with headed card. As usual, the early sets also have a bag with paper insert, with "C107 referee and linesmen" written on in green.

The Accessory Based version 1980-84

The heavyweight accessory figures were looking out-dated by the late 1970s, and the decision was made to update them. The new referees first appeared in the 1980 catalogue, and were scaled to match the other new "stand around the pitch" figures such as the ball boys, and new police/photographer sets. As such, the new figures were placed on the small accessory bases. This meant the linesmen matched the other figures on the touchline, but the referee was dwarfed by the players. I assume this experiment was not a huge success though, as the officials soon found their way back onto player bases.

  • Pack type:- The small-based referees have been seen in all three bubble pack styles from the period.

The Lightweight based version 1985-96.

By 1985 the thin officials had been put back onto (pegged) player bases. This was especially pleasing for those of us that liked to field a refs team as a "minnow" in cup competitions alongside the spare goalkeeper team (the linesmen just fall over, but the ref can play a bit). This version lasted through to 1995, and then combined with the flag set (61188) to become the new 61240. They also featured in the Premiership boxed edition and accessory set (61234) wearing dark green shirts. The pegged officials were originally  produced in white plastic, but later sets returned to the black plastic of the 1960s. The flags should be one yellow and one red, but are sometimes painted in flesh colour instead by lazy painters. I also own sets where Subbuteo have not bothered to paint the figures at all.

  • Pack type:- They would have been sold in the final "goal net" style of bubble pack, before being sold in one of the small "pitch corner" accessory boxes in the 1990s.

  • A completely new design of referee was produced for the 1998 and 2001 Premiership Editions.

 C108: Plastic Fence Surround.
...including advertisements which achieve a realistic appearance. 

   

Designed to keep the ball on the table, the fence had two major incarnations under this number. First up was the red fence, with big advertising hoardings supporting a single line of straw-like poles at a height that stops a standard football (but sadly not the small FF size). This red set was introduced in 1963, and was a marked improvement on the "clips and string" of Set Y. The poles were those used in the red floodlights set.  

The second version was a picket fence design, made of green plastic with brown supports. Usually four of the fence panels had room for advertisements on them (do I even need to tell you this - who hasn't seen one??). The green version was "new for July 1970" in the 1970-71 catalogue, where it featured alongside the red fence (the old fence was dropped the following year). From then on, it was available right through to the final accessory range of 1996-97, and featured in the 2003 editions. Lucky then, that it was a sound design, and worked really well.

Green fences are so common, that most collectors have enough sets to put the advertising boards right around the ground. As you normally got 4 advertising boards, and 20 plain fence panels, you need six sets to replace all the plain fence. Well unless you bought the Euro 96 box set where half the fence (i.e. 12 pieces) was advertising hoardings, but frankly that's cheating. If you are feeling especially eager, you can try to go around the ground without repeating any adverts. This is certainly possible, probably even without the Euro 96 set (does anyone else have a Olau Cross Channel Car Ferry board??) Certainly, with such a long length of service, you could probably fill this page with the different advertising alternatives, but that goes beyond even my remit :-). Well, it does for now. If I'm bored in a few months, who knows....

The later fence was also produced with brown panels for the rugby game, white panels and blue posts for the cricket game, and in the 1990s it appeared in red with white posts for the Manchester United Edition. So it should be possible for an Italian collector to use the green, white and red panels to go around the ground (although cricket fences can be tricky to locate these days). 

The fence was looking out of date in the 1980's, and for a time it had a rival in the crowd barrier (C170) . However, that didn't prove popular, and left the lists even before the real-life crowd barriers were taken down.

   

  • Box types:- The red fence was sold in a lift-off lid box, matched to the teams of the time (although obviously bigger). The green fence spent the whole of the 1970s in an early 1970s style of box (middle picture). There were actually several versions of this box, including slide-out trays, lift-off lids, and address changes. Some of the boxes were also designed to store either the rugby or cricket fence.

  • In the 1980s and 1990s, the fence was re-boxed in the various styles of the time. First up was the monochrome logo box (pictured), then the green-logo, red logo, and finally the pitch-corner style (available with both Waddingtons and Hasbro details).

C109 Two fully assembled deluxe goals.
manufactured in strong white plastic available with BLACK or WHITE P.V.C. plastic netting.

   

For years, this poor item has had to put up with a simple catalogue description and a poor joke about the other uses of PVC.... but finally, we have pictures and details.

This goal was a short lived item at the very start of the Continental era (1963-64 to 1965-66 only). As the "N" on the box suggests, this was simply the standard plastic Subbuteo goal, but with a hard plastic net. The net had four small plastic loops which simply hooked onto the front and back posts of the goal. This did leave the goal open at the back struts to possibly let the ball through, although the plastic is quite firm.

It actually made for quite an attractive set, but I'm not sure what advantages there were over the standard nets (perhaps just one of cost). Maybe by leaving the old nets in the flat range (as set N), Peter Adolph was hoping the buyers of continental equipment would automatically order these goals when they needed new ones, but the short life suggests that Subbuteo buyers were unconvinced. I've also been advised that these goals have been sighted in Display Editions dated to 1965.

September 2008: A big thank you to Ashley Hemming who supplied the pictures and details on this item, and to Martyn Burr who sent in the picture of the white plastic version.

 

C109(M): Playing pitch.

   

The Subbuteo pitch was previously sold in the earlier A-Z range, but having two ranges was confusing and it made sense to switch it. This finally occurred in 1973, but for a few years it retained its old number as well, so it was C109M. Again, the standard pitch had all sorts of variants in its long life. The early pitches did not have the Subbuteo written on them, and had chunky lines and big penalty spots. In the 1970s they tried a variety of different sized logos. In cost cutting measures, the pitches got thinner in the late 1970s so that the white lines were visible from the reverse side. Then from 1981 the material changed to a thin nylon, with visible threads running across it. These nylon pitches had a tendency to crease, and the edges were likely to start unravelling. In addition the surface could fluff up, to the point where the player's arm got caught during swerves. Not a popular switch, but at least it sold more Astropitches... The later style pitch also had different logos. The one shown is from the early 1980s. Later ones used the lozenge shaped logo.

C110: TV Tower.
Complete with TV camera and monitor, cameraman and commentator.

      

Another popular item of Subbuteo, this was produced very early in the range (1964), and was available right through to the Hasbro era. In design it was a square brown tower which was supplied ready assembled. You received four figures with the tower. On the top was a cameraman in a thick blue coat, complete with camera. On the middle floor was the commentator complete with monitor (to watch the replays). The camera and monitor had spikes that fixed them to the platforms. The monitor had two spikes, whilst the camera had just one, and you could not assemble the tower in any other way. However, the cameraman and commentator were free to slide around and fall over. Charles Stadden invoiced for the people (but not the tower) in June 1964.

The first illustration above shows the early 1960s version of this item. On this original TV Tower the vertical supports were simply copper poles wrapped in white plastic (matching the goals and goal-holders of that era). The plastic parts of this early tower were a much lighter shade of brown. The much more common plastic sided version arrived in the late 1960s.

The set passed through about five box types and lasted on C110/61110 until 1985 when it merged with the 1980's cameramen to make set 61208. Between 1981 and 1983 it had a rival, the grey TV Tower kit (C186). As with the fence surround, the classic accessory proved the more appealing item.

This seems a good point to take a break, the page having already grown rather long. If you wish to push on deep into the heart of the 1970's, then you can follow the links laid out below.


[  Main Page  |  Previous Page  |  Next Page  ]