Sports Toys and Games – Part 2

With Subbuteo football leading the way in the United Kingdom, soon other manufacturers started to create games with a sporting theme. The expansion of the subutteo game over time had shown that the market was keen for sports based toys. Parker and Palitoy in the 1970’s created Striker. It was a lot simpler to play than subbuteo and was aimed at a younger audience. It was played on a 5 a-side pitch with a rebound wall, with the pitch divided into sections with a player in each section.

The board game Wembley

If the ball landed in a section the player within that area is moved to the ball. By pressing the players head a road and spring mechanism was activated and the player kicked the ball. The aim was to shoot the ball into the opposition’s goal which was guarded by a moveable goalkeeper. Football was also featured in the card game “Wembley” introduced by Gibson Games. This board game stimulated the passage of side getting through every round of the FA cup to get to the final played at Wembley.

At the start of the game the side are dealt the teams and then by playing around the board by rolling a dice sides are then able to buy and sell players. When teams play each other, they roll loaded dice for their score. The type of dice a team rolls will be dependent on the division they are in and the players that have been bought and sold. Table football was started in 1921 by Harold Searles Thornton. The table has 8 rods with 4 on each side. Players are attached to the rods and by twisting the rods the players are then able to kick the ball towards the opposition goal. Spinning of the roads is often frowned upon with the power coming from the player’s wrist. The game is best played with 2 players on each side and the popularity has grown so much that it is often seen in pubs, amusement arcades and other social arenas.

Table football, no spinning allowed

There are now national and international competitions for table football and the structures themselves are quite impressive. Some companies have produced luxury versions and there can be different slopes on separate tables. In 1974 Mookie Toys began selling the game swing ball. This involves a pole being fixed outside to the ground with players standing at opposite ends of the pole. Attached to the pole is a tennis ball on a string clipped to a coil. Players hit the ball around the pole with a racquet and if a player misses the ball the line will make its way up or down the coil. The aim is to reach the end of the coil to win the game.

The list of games is endless, and the types of games found in each country will depend on the nation’s favourite sports. While association football is likely to be popular in Europe this will not be the case on the American Continent. The vast majority of American households will have some form of miniature basketball hoop on the property. American Football and baseball have many children’s games depicting their sports, and ice hockey is represented well north of the border in Canada. Games and toys with a sports theme have always been popular and in the future, they will continue to be so.

Posted in: Seepuniverse

Comments are closed.