Review: New Subbuteo electronic scoreboard is the best new launch for years

It seems like the last few years of Subbuteo news has led me to be critical of the brand license holder Longshore a number of times now and honestly, it can be tiring.

My frustration has always been because I want Subbuteo to be a success and I want Longshore to be the company who delivers it. Sadly in recent years I’ve found them lacking and I have written about it quite a bit.

When I travelled to the Toy Fair in London earlier this year I made my usual beeline to the University Games stand to check out Subbuteo. There, on a significantly smaller stand than usual was half a pitch, the Liverpool FC set and a few other nondescript teams scattered about. So far, so disappointing.

However, tucked away on a shelf was a prototype for the new Subbuteo electronic scoreboard and initially I was sceptical. It was quite bulky but featured washed out dark green, didn’t allow you to input team names and didn’t connect to any existing Subbuteo infrastructure like stands or existing scoreboards.

The electronic scoreboard is now on sale for £17.99 – a price that in my view is at least £5 too much.

But let’s move away from my usual negativity because the new Subbuteo electronic scoreboard is the best new product from the brand in years.

The washed out green has been replaced by vibrant Subbuteo light green for the official product and the scoreboard works really well. Easy to program and use, it takes a quick push of the button to update scores, acts as a timer with real whistle sounds and even cheers goals.

The scoreboard is good quality plastic and the display is backlit which means it’s easy to still read on darker game nights. It actually looks quite nice if you set it up in a stadium and certainly doesn’t look like a tacky add on.

In fact, the scoreboard does something that not many new Subbuteo products actually do; it adds a bit of fun to the game. The addition of cheers and sounds when goals fly in is a clever idea and one that shows perhaps Longshore are starting to realise that the real joy of Subbuteo is the recreation of association football – not desperate tie-ins with ageing commentators or sub-par box sets with recycled materials. The more they can add touches that help to immerse the player in their game the better the products will be received.

It is not just me that likes the latest addition to the Subbuteo range. Clive Medcalf on the Subbuteo FB group says: “Got the new Subbuteo digital scoreboard. My view; love it. Simple touch screen to record a goal, crowd. Whistle to restart, half time and full time whistle. Different times can set,click stops when record a goal.”

The scoreboard has also received rave reviews from Subbuteo Collector on his channel, where he labelled it the best new Subbuteo product in years.

Is there anything wrong with the new scoreboard? Not really, apart from the fact that once again University Games seems to have very little in terms of marketing. At least tell us when the product is coming, especially when it is one as good as this.

Subbuteo digital scoreboard review stats

Tested: 15/04/2024

Price: £17.99

Buy it here.

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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