Subbuteo Tribute Website.
Index and Glossary
As my Subbuteo Website keeps growing, so the ability to find individual items or information is reduced. This page is an attempt to explain some Subbuteo jargon, and to point visitors in the right direction.
May 2002: This page was thrown together in a hurry, so expect it to get better. If you click on the top of the sub lists, these should close up.
A is for:
Adolph, Peter - Inventor of Subbuteo, and manufacturer, distributor and Managing Director of Subbuteo Sports Games Ltd until the Waddingtons buyout in the late 1960s. A creative burst between 1947 and 1952 saw Mr Adolph produce a whole range of games, and set up the Subbuteo players Assn.
Adolph, Mark - Son of the inventor. Author of a fascinating biography of his father.
"Alf" - Name given to a distinctive variant celluloid figure from the 1950s. Named by "flats" expert Mike Hyatt.
Angling - (1970-73) Sadly not "flick to fish", but Subbuteo's attempt at a traditional board game.
Astropitch (C178) - Quality rubber backed pitch of the 1980s and 1990s. Sometimes reluctant to stay flat.
B is for:
Baily, Ken - "England's famous mascot".... no I'd never heard of him either. He seems to be a lovable English eccentric, who turned up at England games in union jack clothing, top hat and gloves. He was a Subbuteo favourite appearing on the Football Express box; being in charge of the master scoreboards at the first Subbuteo World Cup in 1970; and he was of course immortalised in plastic in the C114 bench set.
Balls - without which, there wouldn't be much Subbuteo at all....
Continental (C127) White with black spots
Cricket - (TC-D)
Euro '96 (61235) Set also contains flags. Also in Euro 96 edition
FIFA - (C183)
Green logo - from most Editions of the 1990s
Hockey - small plain ball provided in the Hockey Edition
High bounce (C191) The sponge balls.
Indoor Balls (C1901) - Set FF in the American range.
Italia '90 balls (61220)
Manchester United - with club crest from the Man Utd Edition
Match (C121) Yellow with black spots. First medium size ball issued in 1969
Premiership - seen in the Premiership accessory set and editions (in various colours)
Red logo - from Hasbro's spare ball pack.
Small (set FF and C145)
Standard (Set F and C144) The larger size ball, as standard until the 1970s
Tango - Orange Espana (61209)
Tango - White (C205)
Tango - Yellow Alicante (61212)
USA '94 (61225)
Beatles (The) - Apparently some kind of popular beat combo. A Box set of the fab four was produced by Peter Adolph in the early 1960s. Not badged as Subbuteo, but features in the catalogues of the time.
Beverini, Stefano - Italian player who wrote a book about how to play, and his experiences in the game.
Box Sets - see editions.
C is for:
Card Flats - original Subbuteo players. See player types.
Catalogues - Luckily, Subbuteo produced one every year, making this website much easier to produce. The Subbuteo catalogue covers are listed on two pages, which also chart the arrival and departure of accessories and teams.
Celluloid flats - Improved figure from 1949. See player types.
Chip Shot - Tricky move to master - but easier with Hasbro based figures (and the original flats)
Chocolate Editions - As produced by Boots the Chemist in the late 1990s
Club Edition - Name for the basic editions of OO scale football and cricket.
Club Colours Painting Set - packs containing four pictures of famous players and some paint sticks.
Computer Game - produced in 1990 on Spectrum, Atari ST, Commodore 64 and Amiga.
Continental - Word used to describe the OO scale range in the 1960s and 1970s - probably in an attempt to make this new version sound more sophisticated.
Crackers - Hasbro produced these ©2001, but they didn't seem to be sold anywhere.
Cricket - First produced in the 1950s. Was the second of the three key OO scale games manufactured with teams and accessories throughout the 1970s. Great fun :-)
Crowd Barrier (C170) - Fence surround for holding back hooligans. Only advertised in the UK 1981-83, but was still sold in Italy into the 1990s (it even gained a 1990s box)
Crush Barrier (C185) - The thing to lean against on old football terraces. Subbuteo version was sold in packs of twenty in 1981-83 only.
Cycle Speedway - a racing game of the 1950s - see racing games.
D is for:
Delacoste - The French distributors in the 1970s.
Dicer - Plastic UFO type device designed to replace dice (also used in the Angling set)
Display Edition - cheapest version of football, cricket, and rugby supplied without a pitch to keep the cost down.
Dukla Prague away kit - Non-existent Subbuteo team desired by Half Man Half Biscuit.
E is for:
Editions - the full versions of the game.
EPNS Cups - metal cups designed to be awarded by clubs etc. They seem a bit thin on the ground. (see also C169)
F is for:
Famous Footballer cards - given away with accessories in the 1950s
Farm, (The) - Pop group who issued their own Subbuteo team
Fence - Most often this refers to a green accessory owned by half the country, but see also:
Crowd Barrier (C170) - Cage like fence from the 1980s
Green Fence (C108) - The common football fence introduced in 1970
Red Fence, old style (C108) - The original 1960s version
Red Fence, new style - available in the Man Utd. Edition
Tan Fence (RR) - Rugby version.
White Fence (TC-R) - Cricket version
Set Y: Original surround made from a piece of twine.
Fishing - see Angling.
FISTA - Federation of International Sport Table Football. The current table football governing body. The S originally stood for Subbuteo, but they changed it in 1994 because some of the players still have a grudge against the long dead Subbuteo Sports Games Ltd.
Fivesides - five-a-side training version of the game with celluloid figures (1950s and 1960s)
Flats - Original Subbuteo footballs produced in card or celluloid on a smaller base. Beautifully balanced, these figures produce a skillful game and are still preferred by some old-timers and purists. See player types.
Football Express - five-a-side game from the 1970s that uses the box as a pitch.
Footballs - see balls.
G is for:
Deluxe, metal (Set N)
Deluxe, plastic (Set N, and C148)
Deluxe, plastic with PVC netting (C109). More details required!
Euro '96 (61229)
Fixture goals - see "New Type"
Frames, metal (Set J) The original metal self assembly goal.
Italia '90 (61219)
New Type (C122) - first goals on bases. Round posts.
Small (Set NN and C149)
Standard - See deluxe, plastic. As found in club editions
Tournament (C154): White or green nets, round posts.
USA '94 (61226)
World Cup (C130) Classic design. Red and blue nets, square posts.
H is for:
Hasbro - Company producing Subbuteo 1996 to date.
Hasbro Base - a thinner one piece base, good for long flicks, and chip shots, but almost impossible to swerve.
Heavyweight - name given to 1960s-1970s figure fitted to base by a bar. See Player Types.
Hockey - Game designed for girls and sold 1981-82
Horse Racing - Another version of the 1950s racing game See racing games.
Hybrid - An Italian player type with a heavyweight style figure in a lightweight base.
I is for:
Indoor Edition - five-a-side version with blue pitch built into box to cash-in on the NASL indoor leagues. See also - North American Page.
International Edition (1) - name for the biggest football edition of the 1960s. Although bigger sets were later produced, an International Edition exists until 1986.
International Edition (2) - name for the standard rugby edition.
Italian Special Teams - teams produced by Edilio Parodi's Italian factory. They came in brightly coloured boxes, and often feature extra badges and trim.
J is for:
Juventus - Italian side that arrived in the team charts as No 34 in 1958. I think this was the first number to be dedicated to a foreign side.
Jokari - American company who imported Subbuteo to the US in the 1980s
Journey into Space - Game produced by Peter Adolph in the 1950s where you have to land your spaceship on the rings of Saturn.
K is for:
Knockout Cricket - A board game made by Capri in the mid 1970s, using Subbuteo cricketers.
L is for:
Lightweight - Replacement for the zombie in 1980, this figure design is still used today, although the bases were changed to Hasbro ones in 1996 (this effects the way the teams play, so they are usually referred to as a different player type) See player types
Liverpool away kits - something I traditionally received at Christmas.
Longshore - A company from Hong Kong. The current licence holders for Subbuteo (from 2021)
Lunula - top quality bases used by tournament players.
Lledo - Dicast vehicle manufacturer who has produced some Subbuteo badges vans and buses.
M is for:
Manchester Utd. Edition - a nice box set variation produced by Hasbro
Marks and Spencer - Popular UK retailer who produced a unique collectors set, and lots of Subbuteo branded body wash.....
Medals - there were silver and bronze medals for club/league awards. A Munich medal also exists.
Melchester Rovers - the team Roy of the Rovers played for (apart from a brief spell with Walford Rovers near the end of his career I seem to remember). Three different Melchester strips were sold by Subbuteo at various times (the first two only through the comic)
Motor Racing - Another racing game of the 1950s See racing games.
Moulded Figures - Subbuteo playing figures in various forms produced for box sets from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. I assume for faster assembly of sets.
Munich World Series (1)- Subbuteo World Cup tournament of June 1974, won by Italy.
Munich World Series (2) - Huge box set from the 1970s. Desired by many, owned by the very few (as true now as it was then)
N is for:
Netcam - A Spanish company who held a licence to produce Subbuteo from 2012.
North American Soccer League - Attempt to bring real football to the Americans. Resulted in two ranges of Subbuteo teams, and the Jokari American range of Subbuteo.
O is for:
Old Heavyweights (ohws) - Most common name for the original short sleeved 1960s 3-D figure.
Orange Tango Balls (61209) - Really good quality balls of the 1980s and 1990s
P is for:
Parodi, Edilio - Man (and company) responsible for Subbuteo in Italy, and the Zëugo clone game.
Plaque - An item for club awards cheaper than the EPNS Cups.
Player Types - Not all players are equal....
Q is for:
Queen (HM The,) - Cup presenting figure from the VIP set (C135).
R is for:
Racing Games - Produced by Peter Adolph in the 1950s, and early 1960s. Various versions available.
Record - see Subbuteo Sound (the)
Referees - the men in Black (oh and burgundy... and green)
Rosettes - Cheapest item designed for prize giving.
Roy of the Rovers - Much loved kid's footie comic. Had a comic strip called Mike's Mini Men, featuring a Subbuteo playing child. See also: Melchester Rovers.
Rugby - Sport first produced in the 1950s. Became the third (and least) of the three key games Subbuteo produced in the 1970s with accessory ranges.
S is for:
Santiago - Modern "repro" style figures and bases.
Scudetto - The badge worn by the previous year's winner of Serie A in Italy. Reproduced on various Italian teams down the years.
Snooker Express - A mid 1970s game with table built into the box like Football Express.
Soccer Market - A 1940s-1960s card game "for the odd moment".
Speedway - the longest lasting version of the racing games of the 1950s.
Sport Billy - FIFA mascot in the early 1980s, and Subbuteo jumior game 1981-83 featuring larger playing figures.
Squads - A collectable card game in the 1990s using the Subbuteo name in vain.
Stadden, Charles - heroic patternmaker who designed for Corgi, Scalectrix, Triang etc. For Subbuteo, he made patterns for the Subbuteo and Targetman footballers, spectators, cricketers and rugby players as well as the Subbuteo FA Cup, Jules Rimet World Cup and the European Cup. And probably more besides.
Stadium Edition - The biggest Subbuteo Football box set. Produced 1978-84 in a variety of different boxes.
Streakers - Unofficial item made by Tom Taylor's table football shop. Sadly "unlikely to be sanctioned by table soccer's governing body"
Subbuteo Sound, The (C136) - 7" record from the 1970s featuring a Munich World Cup song, and crowd effects.
Super Teams - Standard Subbuteo teams sold in "video case" style boxes.
T is for:
Tango Barmy Army - Promotional team produced in the Hasbro era.
Targetman - Junior football game sold in the mid 1970s
Tie (C115) - fashion accessory produced in the 1960s. I'm still awaiting an illustration of this!
Team wraps - used to sell four packs of teams between 1977 and 1980. See also C165 and C174
Toccer - Odd looking table soccer figure used by tournament players.
Top Scorer - Simple six-a-side version produced 1978-81
Tracksuited team (C103) - featuring footballers in tracksuits balanced on one leg. Look nice, but are completely useless in play.
Trophies (1) - Replicas of real football cups to display on a shelf.
Trophies (2) - see EPNS Cups.
U is for:
Umpires - the referees in cricket
Undertones - cool punk band from Northern Ireland, whose biggest hit (My Perfect Cousin - reached No 9 in April 1980) has a one line Subbuteo mention. The record does have an amusing Subbuteo picture sleeve with a player on front, who then has snapped ankles on back - but you are be better off buying "You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It)", because it's a classier song :-)
University Games - The current UK distributor of Subbuteo (2021 onwards).
V is for:
VIP set (C135) - five important looking people, and a small FA Cup that always gets lost....
Vision On - British 1970s kids art TV programme that every week featured a viewers gallery - like the one displaying home-painted teams on this website (what do you mean, that's a tenuous link?)
W is for:
Walker - A type of figure with a moulded base - as used in 1960s box sets. See player types page.
Wanted List - A few bits of Subbuteo I'm looking for!
Wicketz - Great fun 1990s cricket board game using Subbuteo cricketers as playing pieces.
Woolworths - Late, lamented UK high street chain. Peter Adolph used a Woolworths button for his original bases. Later had an exclusive club edition for the FA Cup final of 1991-92.
World Cup tie ins:
World of Sport Compendium - Huge edition sold in a big brown case containing a full stadium edition, plus test match cricket, International rugby, and a spare set of floodlights. Only about 1000 ever made. Sold in 1981-82 to a few rich people. Also given to Subbuteo factory workers when made redundant to soften the blow.
X is for:
Set X - A large tube of croid glue, for fixing flat players to their bases.
Y is for:
Yellow Tango balls (61212) - The nearest we have to a glow-in-the-dark ball.
Z is for:
Zëugo - A clone of Subbuteo currently made in Italy by Edilio Parodi
Zombie - Pretty derogatory term for the lifeless late 1970s playing figures on a peg fitting that were designed to be machine painted. See player types.
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