Review: Bad Boy Boxes Solo Keepers

Solo Subbuteo play is big right now. The community is really embracing the joys of solo play and with it has come some extensive innovation when it comes to goal keepers.

Phil Marsden tried out the Bad Boy Boxes Solo Keepers and has kindly sent his thoughts to us:

One of the main decisions to make for solo play is what to do about goal keeping? In my childhood I loved playing Subbuteo and because I wanted to play it whenever I had any free time, it meant as friends and family weren’t always available at every hour I wanted to play it, I often played games and leagues or cups on my own. Back then crawling round on the floor I would hold the keeper with one hand and then shoot with the other. Personally, I didn’t fancy doing this on my return as it limits where you can shoot from and being able to focus on the shot. Without holding the goalie or sticking it down with blue tac powerful shots can result in the stick goalie being knocked all the way into the back of the net with the ball. Also, due to his size and either having to have him upright or lying down makes him easy to beat. So personally for me that option was out. 

Then I adapted some ‘modern’ metal goalies I had purchased by doing a bit of Blue Peter with some clear plastic and blue tac so I could then angle them for shots (see picture). This worked well as the metal keepers don’t move when hit, the DIY meant they could be angled plus they are bigger meaning a smaller area to aim at, so it isn’t too easy to score in solo games.

Phil’s custom keepers

Brian Daly who makes the Solo Keepers saw what I was using and very kindly provided me with a set of his Solo Keepers as he said they will be far better and make a big difference. The set provides you with 3 plastic keepers, one upright, one angled to the left and one to the right (see picture). Size wise like the metal keepers they are dimensions allowed in the FISTF rules, so perfect if you play FISTF at club and tournaments to use for practice.

If like me you don’t play FISTF or at a club then the dimensions of them are still great, as just like the metal keepers they make the target smaller to aim at when shooting. They are available in various colours and you could get a set for both goals if you wished. I just use the one set to tend both goals. I pick one of the keepers to use based on where I am shooting from and place it within the 6 yard box when I am taking a shot.

The majority of the time this is one of the angled ones, selected based on which covers most of the goal. Brian has suggested using two so the upright one in front with and angled one behind to mimic the keeper being upright then diving. However, currently if I was to do this I would struggle to score.

When hit they don’t just get knocked over, due to their shape they make it tough to score despite being stationary and their ‘hands’ often clip the ball and tip shots away so provide the right balance for solo games as they make it hard to score yet can still be beaten if your aim and shot technique is good enough. They are easy to just set place with no messing around trying to position them or stick them down, so no time taken away from playing the game. Aesthetically I know some don’t like them as they don’t look like the rest of the players. However, this for me is not an issue and they have been a great addition to my solo games and I would highly recommend giving them a try. 

Price: £11.99 for three
Where to buy: Wobbly Hobby Shop

Bad Boy Solo Keepers
Stephen Hurrell
Stephen Hurrell
Stephen is the founder and editor of The Hobby Online and The Hobby by Subbuteo.Online print magazine. He is a giant nerd and specialises in Subbuteo, retro football kits and consumer stories. A journalist and editor of 15 years, he has written about football for some of the UK's biggest publications.

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