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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

T is for Toy Fair 2018 Reports - Paul Lamond - Subbuteo

I'm having a mojo-fail at the moment, March and October are never good months for me, the mind wanders, the extreme tides fulling me away from the flickering cod's eye of my laptop, to vastly better endeavours (I'll be working the rose thorn-tips out of my hands for a fortnight!), but there's plenty in the queue, so keep popping back . . . if you can be arsed - it'll all still be here in six months time!

One of the biggest new stories (for me, not the general public!) at the Toy Fair 'back in' January (where does the time go, it's our very-actual-bloody lives; tick-ticking away!) was the return of Subbuteo, which if I understood the sales-chap right is now in-house, or part of the intellectual-property portfolio of Paul Lamond, they having either bought the rights, or a long-term license?

Look for the sales display in your local stockist! It's green!

A nice display of what is already a growing range of teams, with seven strips already issued (last year?) including all the teams of the UK and Eire (actually - not sure about Wales while Curnow seems to have been left out!), backed up by accessories and larger 'starter' play-sets.

The main event is the International Playset which gives a pitch with hoardings, fences, two teams, goals, referee and officials, balls &etc - in a box. The only visible difference is that the goalies' beams are red now, rather than the green they used to be.

However, there are two other major changes over the older versions (which we have looked at once or twice here at Small Scale World), the first has to be a matter of opinion, in that they claim the pitch material is better . . . if it makes for faster ball play, those who liked a slow ball game won't find it better at all, and if it's slower . . . vise-versa!

The other upgrade one of those no-brainer, rocket-science, euraka!, why-didn't-someone-think-of-it- in-1950-something applications - which I can attest-to personally as being a major contribution to player-safety (he misquotes the old Goodyear TV add's) because - the players are now made of a flexible rubber, silicon or substitute-PVC compound, making them extremely flexible and almost impossible to damage if you drop them, drop something on them or tread on them - genius! I bent one (after invitation to do so - I hasten to add) pretty-much flat and he just popped-up again!

A smaller pitch-set or goals are also available to build your league slowly on a budget, there seems to be a choice of white or coloured nets, probably indicated on the box-ends, I didn't notice. Other accessories are currently limited to the fence-hoardings, a set of officials and spare balls, but I'm sure the range will be expanded if sales are promising.

The teams, notice the set; hair colour varies, ethnicity is obvious and varied. Another seven team-strips have been added for 2018, and if that rate is continued for a few years they'll be back to the 1970's heyday when you could order from several hundred different strips, and while I don't suppose it will get to that point, there's no reason why it couldn't be done with computer-aided manufacture (CAM).

Indeed, with a dedicated support website and CAM-linked ordering system you could stipulate the strip, boot, ethnicity and hair colours individually for all 11 players, just like buying a new-car (or 11 new cars) these days! Hint-hint Paul Lamond - find a VC who loved Subbuteo as a kid, they'll lend you the money!

All new for 2018 is the beginnings of a Spanish league, flicking goalies and a leaping goalie for penalty shoot-outs, whether there are any plans for an English player who can't hit the goal for toffee, remains to be seen and for the English goalie . . . Vaseline his hands?!

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