Subbuteo has quietly launched a new version of one of the best and most beloved pitches ever produced by the table top game.
License holder Longshore has launched a new official Subbuteo Astropitch but it is not available in the UK. Eagle-eyed Subbuteo expert Stewart Grant, aka Subbuteo Collector, spotted the new product listed on German and Italian distributor sites and announced the news on Facebook.
The new Astropitch 2023 Edition is an homage to Subbuteo’s most popular pitch. The rubber-backed pitch is similar in style to the original version, although this one features a wool-like polyester surface with a rubber backing. Promising no ironing, gluing, pinning or taping required, the pitch is instantly available to play on.
The new pitch is listed at around 60 Euros, or £55 before shipping fees from either Germany or Italy.
Not to be confused with Subbuteo’s previous modern attempt to produce a rubber-backed pitch in the case of the Deluxe pitch, the new Astro promises to be a lot better quality and easier to play on than the Deluxe pitch released last year that earned poor reviews from players.
The Astropitch and its famous tube storage first arrived on the market in 1980 and was sold for 16 years before it was unceremoniously dropped by the brand in favour of less popular cotton and nylon sets.
Subbuteo historian Peter Upton says: “The Astropitch first appeared in 1980, and was possibly the reason Subbuteo could justify switching to the cheaper nylon pitches in the box sets. It remained the pitch of preference for “serious” players, until it is dropped for the 1996 range. That was not a popular move, and Hasbro did produce a cotton pitch in some of their 1997 box sets, before deciding that they might as well stick with the cheap ones!”
Thanks to Subbuteo Collector for the tip.