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Peter Upton's

Subbuteo Tribute Website.

Miscellaneous Stuff.

The Subbuteo Figure in Popular Culture.

Subbuteo was such a massive success throughout the later half of the 20th century, that it has left an indelible mark on football culture. The design work of the figures and their relationship with their bases have become a familiar, and near universal concept. This means that the look of the game seeps into popular culture. I think this is especially true when publishers and advertising companies want to show a recognisable "footballer" without paying for modern image rights of players or licensed shirts.

This page is a not particularly serious looks at the irrepressible Subbuteo figure, and where he might turn up.

This page was partly produced to give a proper home to this wonderful illustration from an Italian newspaper supplement. This is clever on lots of levels. Can one of the 3-D printer guys make these blades for all those broken lightweights out there?

Newspaper Graphical Representations.

When an important World Cup match or FA Cup final comes along, you can almost guarantee that at least one newspaper will use subbuteo-like graphics to represent the line-ups, either on a pitch graphic, or next to individual player information.

The initial picture illustrating this section is slightly different however. This is a Mailsport supplement to the Scottish Sunday Mail newspaper dated to August 1-7 2004. Here, the designer has used real Subbuteo figures to represent the twelve teams from the Scottish Premier League. The teams are on a mix of lightweight and Hasbro bases, but have been amended - they are not regulation Subbuteo issue. Whether they are re-painted or digitally altered, I'm not too sure. The shiny bases in weird colours suggests the latter. Some of the kits are accurate to the 2004-05 season (Hibernian had green shorts that year, Dunfermline wore a single strip on a white shirt). Others are rather generic. An attractive and effective design.

Book Covers.


Subbuteo makes a nice clear simple graphic for book covers. How many of these can we find?

Football Competitions. World Cup bumpf.


This was a Tesco promotion called "Love Football? Hate Football?" from 2006. What was surprising about this one is the use of officially licensed Subbuteo images. Seeing as how just about everyone else on this page is just stealing the idea of men on flickable bases, that seems generous. Especially as the figures are doing non-Subbuteo things, and no real stock was used.

Real Footballers on Subbuteo bases.

There must be loads of these too. The John Terry Role Model picture is from the cover of The Mail on Sunday "Live" supplement from March 2009. The base is rather small though, and he looks top heavy.

Advertising for Financial Companies.


I bet that wasn't a section you were expecting to see on this website. Obviously this website does not give financial advise. However, these companies thought that the sight of little plastic footballers would attract attention. The Egg tracker leaflet was from 2002, and the Nat West home insurance was 2006. I wonder what will have performed better from 2002 - an investment in a Stock market tracker ISA, or buying a Subbuteo League Cup.

Betfair's Spoof Gaelic Subbuteo Advert.

Football historian (and founder of the non-FIFA NF Board) Jean-Luc Kit e-mailed in the details of this glorious advert from Betfair for the All-Ireland Championship Final. I'm not going to start linking to betting sites, so you'll just have to google the YouTube video. Someone had a lot of fun finding and painting appropriate Subbuteo stuff. Guaranteed to raise a smile.

Fancy some Gaelic Subbuteo? Chalk up a pitch, cut up some rugby posts, and off you go.

Do you have some fun Subbuteo newspaper pictures tucked away in your archives? Feel free to send them in.

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