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C121: Three match balls.
Moulded in yellow plastic with black spots. 19mm in diameter.
Pack types:- As with all 1970s balls, this was originally sold in a bag with header card. Again like the other balls, it was placed into a bubble pack in the 1980s. All three backing cards have been seen with this ball on them. The later the card, the more likely the balls are to be printed.
Other Ball "C" numbers are C127, C144, C145, C167, C183, C190, C191 and C205. See also the "61" range which is stuffed full of balls :-).
C122: "New-type" goals. (Fixture-type goals).
With rounded posts and crossbar with real netting mounted on green bases for fixing and holding.
A really flash redesign of the goal had to wait until C130. The early catalogues and boxes refer to this set as "new-type" goals, but this name obviously had to change when they weren't new any more. Hence "fixture-type goals". Hardly an inspiring name folks. They did not appear in the 1978 catalogue and their replacement, also with rounded posts, was the Tournament goal (C154).
Box types:- The box shown at the top of this section is the only type I have seen, although they come in various shades of green. I have seen pictures that suggest a slightly different shape of box (wider?), but I'm not sure.
Other goal "C" numbers are C130, C148. C149, C154, and C181. Lots more goals were introduced in the "61" range.
C123: Live Action Goalkeepers.
The lifelike new accessory you have been waiting for. He dives, twists and punches at shots from every angle. Suregrip "Continental" plastic handle gives more effective goalkeeping.
Yeah, right. The optimistic description above is from the 1969 catalogue, when these 'keepers were new. If you are imaging a sophisticated device to "punch at shots from every angle", you are out of luck. This is an ordinary keeper with a coiled metal spring between the 'keeper and the green plastic handle. Does it work? Well I was disappointed with my set, when they didn't turn me into the greatest 'keeper ever. I found the loss of stability in the handle outweighed the benefits. Plus, I'm sure the spring yielded to powerful shots with the goalkeeper just helping them on their way. So a short-lived novelty item? No, actually a long-lived one with this item surviving right up to 1995. So either they were usually better than the ones I had, or generations of players were fooled into buying them. I suspect the latter.
Box types:- The original 1969 box is the same size as the other goalkeeper boxes of the era, but more detailed, actually naming the product on the sides (as usual, the reference number is on the end flaps. There would be a hobby crest version, but it isn't illustrated. The monochrome logo version is though. From 1983-90 the set would have been in a bubble pack, after which it was boxed once more, in the corner pitch box (shown right).
Obviously the goalkeepers in this set mirror those on the standard rod (see C102). So the leaning back one is common in the 1970s.
The lightweight goalkeeper switched to a peg circa 1986, but these remained on a bar until 1989-90
C124: Training Kit A. Target Board.
...with numbered holes... Improve your goal-scoring potential.
Pack types:- This accessory was usually sold in a bag, with a header card.
C125 Training Kit B. Goalkeeper Rebound Wall.
There is nothing interesting about this in any of the catalogues, and none even bother to illustrate it. It is however, one of my favourite items. A big yellow plastic thing, stuffed with rubber bands, it really is pretty successful at doing what it sets out to achieve. The way to get the best out of it is to load it with small, tight rubber bands, and set it at an angle to the goal (30 degrees is a good start position). Then pin down your goal with goal grips or whatever, because you are going to need both hands. With one hand on your goalie, ping a ball at the rebound wall with a finger (don't bother with a player). The ball should fly off the wall at some strange angle, and will fly past your stunned static goalkeeper into the net. Repeat ad nauseam....
Box types:- Just the one shown. Classic early 1970s illustrated box.
This 1990's reuse of the "125" number is detailed on the 61222+ Hasbro page.
C126: Training Kit C. Dribbling posts and passing Tee.
An alternative use for this item is as the hole at the end of a Subbuteo golf course. In this exciting game, the corner kick figure becomes your driver, the 1998 World Cup corner kicker is a delicate wedge, and a normal player is your trusty putter. Add a few house plants and a cat's water dish as hazards, and you are ready to play.... and I really should get out more :-(
This item dropped from the range earlier than the other training items, with its final outing being 1973-74.
Box types:- Just the one shown. Another classic early 1970s action illustration.
C127: Three Continental Balls.
Pack types:- Like C121, these balls were sold in a bag with header card throughout the 1970s, and on bubble packs through the 1980s. The pack illustrated is the 1983-85 61127 version, and the spots are printed on.
This item also appeared in the short lived "FA Cup Pack" of 1980-81 (C180), which included the finalists of the previous year, and a ball. The FA Cup was joined in the range, belatedly, by the League Cup in 1980, but a league trophy didn't appear until the Premiership tie-in in the late 1990's.
Box types:- A long lived item that ran through all the later box changes. The original early 1970s illustrated box is rather lovely, but I actually prefer the hobby-crest box of the late 1970s. Both had and insert, which held cup (and lid) for display. As did the monochrome-logo box produced 1981-83, although this is rarer. From 1984-90, all the remaining cups were put into bubble-packs. From 1990-95 the cup was back in a box. This was pretty basic though, and not as good as the early display versions. In 1996 Hasbro put the cups back onto bubble-packs, in a new pitch-corner design.
Thanks to Steve Gladwell for sending a picture of the rare monochrome box (shown on the far right).
C129: Number Transfers.
This set arrived in 1971, replacing the "lick to stick" version which
had been fine for flats, but could only be used on the bases of the OO figures.
I'm fairly sure that originally you had to cut out the numbers manually, but
luckily they soon became ready cut. The set lasted until 1983 when it was
replaced by C206
- which had squad numbers.
The latest type of international goals adapted to the Subbuteo scene, complete with new coloured nets (regd. design)
As illustrated, the nets were one red, and one blue. These goals were new in 1972-73 just in time for the 1974 World Cup. (Shame they didn't get the new trophy until the 1982 World Cup, but you can't have everything). Arguably, this is where the Subbuteo accessories first hit their stride -at least until C136. These were square posted goals, with integral bases, and no back frames. They were quite a radical new look, and continued to prove popular through numerous box changes until 1995. They also appeared in the World Cup, and Munich World Series editions of the game in the 1970's. A mini design classic.... if you overlook the fact that the nets fall off, and that the posts end up bent backwards because they have no supports.
Box types:- Introduced in a classic early 1970s illustrated box, with the goalkeeping logo of the era placed within an illustration of the new goal. This looks great until you study it carefully... The 'keeper is standing on one hand, and waving his legs in the goal. Where was the starting position for his feet? This box lasted into the Chiddingstone Causeway era, and I don't think a hobby-crest version was ever produced.
The Monochrome-era box (illustrated) is dull by comparison. Green-logo and red-logo boxes followed (the red is shown). The final box was the 1990s pitch corner design, which showed both goals for the first time.
C131: Two "Corner Kick" figures.
Larger size, articulated, hand-painted figures with "kicking" action on finger control base, adding practical skill, ball control and direction to corner kicks etc.
"Arrggg... Run lads, it's a giant footballer". Again debuting in 1972-73, these seriously oversized chaps were the Subbuteo rugby Conversion figures on new bases. They were lots of fun to use, and really did help put in big floating corners. Designed for people, like me, who couldn't chip in a corner with a normal player, even with the ball-raising corner flags (C117). Many players also used them for taking goal kicks, and this eventually became an official rule, with kickers painted as goalkeepers added to the range (C201 added in 1984).
Back in the 1970's when firms could still be small and friendly, Subbuteo would provide these figures in a range of ten colours upon request. These teams, the same basics as available for "Football Express", were 1,2,5,7,10,16,21,25,41, and 42. But they've been seen in many more kits than this. Partly, this is down to Stadium Editions having three teams - with three corner kickers painted to match. But I also think the painters strayed from the catalogue range. I currently own a pair of Genoa kickers (ref 72) which came in a 1970s box from an English toy collectors fair.
The set lasted until 1995, when it is merged with the throw-in figures to become 61133.
Colours seen in box sets include Brazil, Argentina, and England.
Box types:- The original box was designed to open and display the accessory in an "action" scene. The same idea was used in C134 and C135, and was similar to the display boxes for cups. All the ten variations sold in the 1970s come in these boxes, and often have reference number stickers on the ends.
In the late 1970s, when Subbuteo changed the address on their boxes to the Chiddingstone Causeway factory, this box was reduced in size slightly, and lost the ability to stand as a display. This later box seems to have been quickly replaced by the bubble packs. These figures have been seen on all three backing cards. These cards do sometimes have different coloured kickers on them, and in those cases, the reference is quoted on the card. This seems more common in Italy, and the teams I've seen see, to have little rhyme or reason for their selection. The kickers returned to a box in the 1990s, in the usual "pitch-corner" style.
C132: Two "Throw-in" figures.
Approx. OO scale, hand-painted spring-operated figures on finger-control base. Enables you to place the ball where you want it.
Always the companion set to the corner kickers, and introduced at the same time. As a kid, I admired these, as they were the correct scale and really looked the part. However, I never really mastered them, as my finger and thumb generated back-spin which sent the ball back out of play, or straight up in the air. Like the kickers, these were available in the 1970's in a range of ten colours. Note the Arsenal kit (ref 16) in the illustration. The set had one redesign which removed the metal clip, and made them simpler to manufacture. The new plastic bases seem to play just as well (or maybe just as badly) as the old ones.
Box types:- The original throw-in figure box was similar to the corner-kicker box, but was smaller, and the tray slid out sideways. There was no display feature. This meant that the box did not change into the Chiddingstone Causeway era. The throw-in figures then appeared in the three bubble packs of the 1980s, before returning to a box (of the pitch-corner variety) in the 1990s.
Note that all the bubble packs shown have the plastic bases in them.
corner kickers and two throw-in figures.
This 1990s double pack re-uses the number given to the interchangeable goalkeepers below. It is detailed on the 61222+ Hasbro page.
C133: Six Interchangeable goalkeepers. Essential for international matches? How so Mr
Four diving, and two crouching goalkeepers, hand painted in yellow, white, black, green, red and blue, with two controller rods for swapping over. Essential for "international" matches.
Essential for international matches? How so Mr. Catalogue Writer? More essential for people who broke as many keepers as I did. (You've probably realised how clumsy I am by now!). The description above is from their first catalogue appearance in 1973/74. Later catalogues refer to them being in "assorted" colours, and certainly many variations exist. Note that one of the crouching goalkeepers in the set illustrated is a real chubber!! In fact, looking at the two sets I own, there seem to be at least three versions of crouching goalkeepers.
The set was altered at the end of the 1970's when the crouching goalkeeper (C105) was replaced in the range by the goalkeeper with cap (C153). Shortly after, the four diving 'keepers were replaced with the modern version. You may notice in my illustration of the later set, that the yellow capped goalie is backwards on his base. I used him a great deal - he was brilliant ;-). The set continued into the "61" range, but had left the range by 1986.
Box types:- The classic early 1970s heavyweight box at the top of this page existed right through the 1970s, and there does not seem to be a hobby crest version. Early sets had the Langton Green address, and later ones the Chiddingstone Causeway.
The set was reboxed in the monochrome-logo era of 1981-83, and that box is also shown. This was the lightweight set, with two capped goalkeepers. The set existed as 61133 in 1984-85, and I think this was on a bubble pack, although I don't have a picture.
C134: Six Ball Boys.
Four standing and two kneeling 00 scale ball boys, hand-painted in yellow tracksuits.
Literally millions of ball boys in yellow tracksuits with red trim must have been produced, so it is a great relief to find them in different colours. The royal blue set above comes from Italy, and shows the inside of the display box pictured above. The second picture is a close-up of the crouching ball boy in light blue and royal blue. Like the track-suited team (C103) the colour of the plastic becomes the colour of the outfit. The last picture shows another Italian item. This time the ball boys are in red, completing the four colours also used for the track-suited teams. Many thanks to Francesco Disabato for this red version.
Pack types:- The lovely mid-1970s illustrated box sadly gave way to a stapled bag by the time I was playing in the late 1970s. They moved onto a bubble pack, and the 1986 end date suggests all three bubble packs being used. The earliest is shown at the top of this section.
C135: VIP Presentation Set.
The final new set of 1973/4, this set didn't prove as durable, retiring from the range by 1981. I'm not sure why this was, as they were a well designed "stand around the pitch" group of figures, and the original presentation box was a beauty (sadly the set was later dumped into a bag and then a standard bubble pack). The figure holding the cup is clearly the Queen, but I'm not sure if the others are meant to be anybody special.The second lady is usually regarded as the Queen Mum, and the chap in blue as the Duke of Edinburgh. The other two are hangers on. To me, the guy in the yellow coat has a journalist feel to him, and the guy in grey is the usual dull businessman sponsoring the event.
Of course, the little FA cup in this set is the only trophy that is the correct size for a Subbuteo player. Instead of sitting one of your players in the top of the FA cup, they could now run around with it stuck on their arm. Hurrah. There are colour variations within this set. Most noticeably, the second woman, who has a quick dress change from pale blue, to drap grey.
Pack types:- As with the ball boys, the attractive display box was replaced by a bag with header card by the late 1970s. The set was then packed onto the original bubble pack, but as its last appearance was 1980 it probably did not make the other card backs.
C136: The Subbuteo Sound.
A record of the Subbuteo World Cup song and other thrilling sounds of real-life international football.
C137: Subbuteo Badge.
Another uninspired 1974/75 addition, this item allows you to add the 1970s Subbuteo logo to a t-shirt - thus ruining your cool for all time. Survived to 1980, but was gone by 1981. It matches the other short lived badge Set BB, and car sticker, Set C116 as a long forgotten promotional item. Two iron-on badges are now illustrated, the second one is a spanking colour badge (complete with instructions). However, it's the green and white one that gets its only catalogue illustration (in 1980). Still not as good as the Next t-shirts produced in the 2000s...
C138: England Team.
It seemed quite a good idea to produce a separate England team, to make it easier to locate this popular kit within the range.I guess the reason it was produced was to cash in on the new and swanky 1970s England kit with the blue and red sleeve trim. After all, England kits before this date were pretty uninspired, simply white with dark blue shorts. Until this date, Subbuteo had seemed content to leave England in the World Cup team range. Come to think of it, the World Cup teams swap to the standard range around the time England failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup - a result which would have left them in no range at all....
But I digress. This new England team arrived in 1975/76, in the final year of the big box era. So this is a large box with a card interior. The set only lasts about a year, as the team boxes were reduced in size in 1977 and Subbuteo, still toying with the format, produced C500 instead. These were special coloured team boxes designed like this one, but in the smaller size and covering thel four home nations. After that, there was a Home Countries Pack (C165) containing the four sides in the single player window boxes in a wrapper, but by 1981 they were all back in the normal C100 range again. Another cool box scan from Joe Butt here.
The goalkeeper in this set should be in England colours - yellow shirt, black shorts with yellow trim.
Six figures consisting of Manager, Trainers, and Reserves to seat inside the new modern, covered, all-weather bench. Reserves have red, or blue tracksuits.
Introduced in 1976 to replace C114, this featured the classic clear plastic bench for the first time. It also saw the end of the forgotten Ken Baily mascot. In the early sets, there were a couple of grumpy looking cloth capped folk and the reserves from C114. Later versions had redesigned reserves, a manager with his head in his hands, and one separate exercising substitute on his own base. In the later set, the plastic, and therefore the tracksuits, was usually green. This later version was also available in a two bench set, with one group in blue, and the other in red (C179). It also reappeared in the Match Day series of 1981-82(C187/2), and after being produced right through to 1995, the set was finally merged with the other remaining "stand around the pitch" sets to become part of the Stadium Services Pack (61239).
The original bench can have tracksuits in red or blue (and sometimes both!)
Pack types:- The bench was originally sold in a bag, with header card. It then switched to a bubble pack, being sold through all three card types. Finally, it was boxed in the standard size pitch-corner box.
You've reached another break in the list. If you want to go lie down at this point, that's fine :-). Otherwise you can carry on to C140, which is the icing on the 1970's Subbuteo cake. Err... It's the Grandstand.