With so many Subbuteo sets available, it can be easy to get lost given the sheer quantity of choice that is available to your average Subbuteo fan. There are dozens of different football teams out there, with a majority of the more well-known examples having their own miniaturised Subbuteo version. Only a select handful of these player sets are fully hand-painted however, and an ever smaller quantity can be said to be of a Limited edition run. This review takes a little look at the beauty of some of the most notable Limited edition, hand-painted Subbuteo player sets available online.
Best Sets Available
Unlike the standard Subbuteo sets that are available on many different websites, the Limited edition sets don’t cater for the more popular team choices out there. You won’t find the usual suspects such as Chelsea, Manchester United, and Aston Villa amongst the hand-painted lot.
The only team amongst the hand-painted, limited edition sets recognisable from the Premier League is Arsenal, coming in a box with a retro design and modelled on the 70s Subbuteo figures. Expect to see some pretty short shorts here (as was the style for football players in the 1970s) as well as a wonderful level of detail in the mustard yellow/forest green kit
One of the newer sets of its kind on Subbuteo World, the Bristol Rovers hand-painted team look just as gorgeously-painted as the Arsenal team, only with a blue/white combination strip that makes them look like true 70s footballers through and through.
Probably the most desirable team to own out of all of the limited edition teams is LA Galaxy due to it becoming quite famous for being the team that David Beckham went to play for later in his career. The LA Galaxy green/yellow strip looks quite striking on the players, though you’d have quite a job picking out which member of the team is supposed to be David Beckham.
What Makes Them Worth Owning?
Even on the Limited edition section of Subbuteo World – a site specialising in Subbuteo and other table football-related products – you will only find a handful of hand-painted sets that are of Limited edition stature. Though they are at an increased price of around £18.99 per 11-man set, the extra level of craftsmanship and presentation that has gone into each is well worth the extra money, particularly for long-time collectors of Subbuteo products.
As well as being fewer in number and hand-painted exclusively for Subbuteo World, you will also notice the retro look of these limited edition player sets. Each comes with a wonderful box – also designed in a wonderful retro fashion – in which you can store the players when they are not in use. What makes the most difference to their function however is the slightly different shape of the base of each of these figures; it results in arguably less manoeuvrability compared to the newer Subbuteo players, but only fractionally. This gives them a novel feel on the Subbuteo pitch, though this won’t really be relevant for collectors that wish to keep their purchase in pristine condition.
Quite simply, the sets listed above (as well as all of the limited edition ones available) are another level of quality and craftsmanship above the regular Subbuteo players. The retro style and high level of detail in the paintwork makes them more desirable than rival products such as the Zeugo figures, and the fact that their production was limited makes them all the more desirable.